On Black Friday the Trump administration released the National Climate Assessment. Thirteen federal agencies contributed, including the military. The conclusion for Kansas should be alarming to Sen. Pat Roberts and Sen. Jerry Moran, considering their involvement with the Farm Bill and rural communities.
Kansas, according to the report, can expect hotter summers (30 to 60 additional days over 100 degrees), an increase in hailstorms and other violent weather events, reduced crop yield, reduced livestock weight gain, depletion of some parts of the Ogallala Aquifer, and accelerated loss of top soil.
This report makes clear that climate change is a risk we cannot safely ignore. I invite our senators, their staff, and Reps. Ron Estes and Roger Marshall to look at this report as well as a solution. A good start would be to quickly reduce CO2, the greenhouse gas most responsible for rising temperatures, by implementing a carbon fee and dividend plan as proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby. The plan is simple, fair, revenue-neutral, effective and not costly to implement. Waiting to act is not an option; climate change threatens the well-being of rural Kansas.
Darrel Hart, Wichita
Citizen Police Academy
On Nov. 13 I graduated from the most unbelievable education free to Wichita citizens. This is a 13-week class sponsored by Wichita-Sedgwick County Law Enforcement called Citizen Police Academy. Another session will be held in the spring. Attendance is at the beautiful new Law Enforcement Training Center on the east side of the WSU campus. During the 13 weeks we not only learned about the various activities and dangers our officers are involved in day in and day out, but we also got to go and participate in many of their activities; e.g. touring the shooting range, jail, 911 facility, fingerprinting lab and the courts and records areas. In addition we learned about meth operations in the city/county, gang activity, etc. The highlight for me was riding on his 10-hour shift with Officer J. O. Burnett and participating in his calls. Thanks to him, to Sgt. Kenneth Kimble and to Sgt. Steven Olsen and the many who shared with us. Sign up. You will not be disappointed.
Gloria Bayer, Wichita
Kris Kobach lost because of Gov. Sam Brownback and Brownback became our most unpopular governor because he didn’t understand the consequences of the state’s 1999 tax cut bill.
When that bill was passed, Republican lawmakers in Topeka promised that it would pay for itself. However, because they had already passed a tax cut the previous year, this bill required that the state take out $930 million in bond debt to pay for day-to-day operations of the state government. This, we were told, was only temporary.
But history has proven them wrong — the tax bill did not pay for itself and resulted in continuing budget shortfalls and a rising bond debt. Today, the bond debt is $4 billion. Further, the bond debt resulted in higher property taxes since there had to be some way to pay for the interest on that debt.
Which is why if there were a constitutional amendment as some have suggested to balance the federal budget, Republicans would only find a way around it in order to give America’s elite billionaires more and more tax cuts.
Michal Betz, Wichita
Trickle down economics doesn't trickle down. But it seems like trickle down government does. From the Swamp in Washington to the Sedgwick County Commission.
Wayne Powers, Derby