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The New United Kansas Party

     Posted on Sat ,22/06/2024 by admin

” The United Kansas Party’s focus is on economic opportunity, affordable health care, quality education, infrastructure improvement, protecting our natural resources, protecting citizens’ rights, and coming together to get things done.”

In Kansas, the second biggest political bloc in the state isn’t the Democratic party, it’s the Unaffiliateds. According to the Secretary of State’s office, 43% of registered voters are Republicans, 26% are Democrats, and 29% are Unaffiliated. Apparently, many Kansans are disenchanted with the major political parties. However, they often register with a major party, because the Republican or Democratic party in their district is so strong that the only way to have a say is by voting in the major parties’ primaries. But there’s a problem with this system. It’s polarizing, making it harder for our government to make the compromises necessary to function in the best interests of average Kansans.

I’ve been a Republican my entire life. Lately, I’ve been feeling that my party has been taken over by its extreme wing. The more it pushes for tax breaks for the wealthy or tougher restrictions on women’s health choices, the more it alienates the more moderate Kansans. They are the middle-class citizens who carry most of the tax burden, and who want the government to make decisions based on science and reason, not on polarizing social issues or which lobbyists donate the most to their campaigns.

From 2019-2021, I was proud to serve the 93rd House district -where I worked to manage our state’s resources wisely and invest in our future. Given where the extreme party leaders and wealthy lobbyists wanted to go, that wasn’t always easy. As I gear up to run for the Kansas Senate, I’m encouraged by a new development here in Kansas. There’s a new political party, the United Kansas Party, that has submitted enough petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. Its focus is on economic opportunity, affordable health care, quality education, infrastructure, protecting our natural resources, and coming together to get things done. Its goal is to bridge the political divide, and it’s a party you may wish to consider.

What makes United Kansas different from other third parties is that it doesn’t want to spoil elections by running its standalone candidates, who may have little chance of winning outright. Instead, it aims to revive fusion voting, a voting option in Kansas that was more common until about midcentury. Fusion voting allows a candidate to be nominated by more than one party. Each candidate’s votes, no matter from which party, are then tallied to determine the winner.

To avoid being a spoiler, the United Kansas party plans to nominate the major party candidate who most closely matches their values. Each general election ballot would then have third-party candidates, a Democratic candidate, a Republican candidate, and a United Kansas candidate who is also the same as a major party candidate. That would allow citizens who are more in the middle to vote for the United Kansas candidate and, in close elections, the United Kansas candidate might garner enough votes to swing the election. That is enough to make the major parties consider running a more mainstream candidate. In districts dominated by one party, the United Kansas Party could just nominate its own candidate, which would keep a partisan major party candidate from running unopposed.

 In Senate District 26, I am running as a Republican candidate, and I have also been nominated by the United Kansas party. If I make it to the general election, fusion voting could help me draw the support of many of the unaffiliated voters in my district who agree with the United Kansas Party’s values. People in Kansas are looking for a change. The emergence of the United Kansas Party, plus fusion voting, could make change possible.

(C) 2024 – J.C. Moore on

Cornwall Alliance: Climate Denier’s Adjectives

     Posted on Tue ,09/01/2024 by admin

The Cornwall Alliance was originally created to help Third World countries deal with climate change. However, it has been taken over by E. Calvin Beisner, who uses it to spread climate change denial using pseudoscientific and religious arguments. You can identify climate change denial by the adjectives and adverbs used.

Beisner: One recent example is the announcement,” Cornwall Alliance Director of Research and Education exploded all kinds of myths about dangerous, manmade global warming/climate change …” .

#The Director of Research referred to is David Legates. As described by Wikipedia, “Legates has spent much of his career casting doubt on the severity of climate change and the human causes of warming. He is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a think tank that promotes climate change denial.”

Beisner: “Bad Climate Data Brings Wrong Conclusions”, which says,”Two new internationally peer-reviewed studies published in major scientific journals have documented misleading Northern Hemisphere temperature data and attribution analyses indicating inadequate considerations of Urban Heat Island influences and dominant influences of the sun in producing warming and cooling changes.”

#Certainly, cities are much warmer now, but they have little effect on worldwide temperatures. Beisner is correct that the Sun, through the Milankovitch Cycles , have a dominant effect on the Earth’s temperature. However, the Milankovitch cycles predict that the Earth should be cooling slowly for the next 20,000 years. But it isn’t. See the illustration above.

Beisner: “Climate Catastrophists at the UN Global Climate Summit Are Exploiting Religious Leaders. What is happening at the United Nations Climate Summit? Apparently, a lot of exploitation of religious leaders. Unfortunately, most of these leaders, including Pope Francis, seem far too eager to be exploited. ”

#Pope Francis is a chemist and believes the predictions of climate science. If anyone is exploiting religious leaders, it is E. Calvin Beisner.
Beisner: “Arctic ice at decade high level: can Doomsayers explain? ”

# There is no need to explain. This is just the denial of scientific research. NASA reports that Arctic sea ice extent is shrinking by 12.2% per decade due to warmer temperatures.

Beisner: “On the same day that Hurricane Hillary brought record rainfall to Los Angeles, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake occurred in nearby Ojai. “To the truly enlightened, these rare disasters should serve as a warning from on high that the Golden State is headed for a massive downfall – punishment for trying to force smog-fighting electric vehicles on smog-free America.” 

# Wow! Divine retribution for trying to reduce air pollution. And, America is not “smog free”.

Beisner: “Pope’s Climate Harangue Shows that He Should Stick to Theology and Leave Climate Policy to Those Who Follow Facts”.

#As noted above, Pope Francis is a scientist and is certainly qualified to speak on climate policy. Apparently, Beisner considers his own religious views to be the facts.

Beisner: “World leaders continue experiencing a dangerous delusion of a global transition to “just electricity” that they believe will eliminate the use of the crude oil…”

# Oil is a valuable natural resource, and no one is recommending that we completely eliminate its use or transition entirely to ” just electricity”. The carbon dioxide and plastics we produce from oil are threatening the Earth and its ecosystems. We should begin conserving petroleum for future generations and transition to other sources of energy as quickly as possible.

Beisner: “Try to forget for a moment that wind and solar are unreliable, intermittent, weather-dependent sources that can’t be scheduled to provide power when needed most — like maybe recharging a gazillion new government-mandated electric vehicles on windless nights.”

# There are a few exaggerations there. We should remember that during winter storm Uri, wind and solar provided energy as usual, while gas, coal, and oil sources froze up. We need a mix of energy sources to handle emergencies and to use while transitioning to renewable resources.

Beisner: “Wind Unaffordable and Costs Common Sense”.

# The costs of renewable energy projects are now less expensive than even the cheapest coal and gas fired power plants. As to environmental costs, Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank, used the results from formal economic models to estimates that the overall costs of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. And, if not addressed immediately, the cost of mitigation and damages could rise to 20% of GDP by 2050 – with the additional cost and risk of an environmental catastrophe.

Beisner: “Thailand’s Tiger Turnaround Contradicts Climate Fearmongering“. Tiger populations in two of Thailand’s wildlife sanctuaries grew from 42 in 2012 to about 100 in 2022.” This defies the climate-obsessed mainstream media’s doomsday narrative which blames anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions for declines in animal numbers and even extinctions.

# Conservationists managed to increase the Tiger populations in Thailand, and Beisner claims it disproves global warming. That is a bit of a stretch.

Beisner: “Knowledge shared is power multiplied. Together, we can give the gift of knowledge that will empower men and women around the world with the confidence and tools to confront the irrational climate alarmist policies that will ultimately harm the poor.”

#While it is the richer nations that emit most of the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change, it is the poorer countries that suffer the most from the droughts, floods, and extreme weather. Although E. Calvin Beisner professes concern for the poor, there is little evidence that he has actually done anything to help them. Although Beisner collects money from churches and donations from his website to help the poor, Charity Navigator reports that the Cornwall Alliance does not donate enough to be evaluated as a charity.

(c) 2024 – J.C. Moore

Regulation of Commercial Solar Farms

     Posted on Fri ,01/12/2023 by admin

These are notes from a recent Town Hall meeting on 11/16/2023 regarding proposed commercial solar farms in Sedgwick County, Kansas. Many of the regulations for commercial renewable energy installations are made through zoning decisions. Though you may not live in Sedgwick County, this may become an issue where you live.

Thanks goes to Mary Ann Harmon who researched and wrote the following article.


Sedgwick county has a six-month moratorium on utility (commercial) solar farms (USF) that began September 2023. On November 16th, the entities involved in planning convened a town hall to take comments from all the shareholders on whether there should be such utilities in the county, and, if so, how they should be regulated. The meeting was attended by well over 100 people from various governing and regulatory groups, and members of the public, some of whom will be living near the proposed USF between Colwich and Maize. There are many issues to consider when deciding to site and regulate any utility.

Location, Location, Location

The location of the proposed USF is adjacent to a power plant that is being decommissioned. This provides a huge advantage, as most, if not all the transmission lines that are required for a utility are already in place.

Installing a new transmission line system for a utility can cost upwards of half a billion dollars. Here is an interview regarding the difficulty of siting transmission lines: Transition to clean energy is happening faster than you think-reporter-says October 5 2023 NPR

Residents of the area believe that the property is too valuable to put it to an ‘unsightly’ solar farm. They say this will prevent the growth of their towns.

There are calls to utilize rooftops to prevent some of the issues listed below, and this has validity. Arguments for USFs point to the economies of scale, the ability to use panels that will follow the sun, etc. But the current, dire situation calls for both rooftop and USFs.


There are concerns that a solar farm can produce a lot of glare. Fortunately, there is new technology that can totally eliminate glare to protect against danger to airline pilots or drivers approaching from an elevation. It also prevents ‘lake effect’ when birds see reflections off the panels, and dive down, intending to land. This can result in the bird’s injury or death.

Long term commitment: The contract for the property will be for 35 years, with an option to renew for another 35 years. This presents a plethora of opportunities for failure. There is a history of corporations establishing a USF, only to sell it to other companies later, resulting in a facility that is not well managed. Appropriate regulation with penalties at the local level could ameliorate this problem.

Environmental concerns

. Sourcing of materials: Materials for and construction of panels vary greatly. It is essential that all solar panels, especially in our neighborhoods, be made carefully for robust service, and with materials that are responsibly sourced to reduce impacts to the environment and society. It is prudent and responsible to prevent sources that use slave labor, seabed mining, wildly unsafe manufacturing processes, and other unsustainable practices.

·      Greenhouse gases:  Solar panels are not without cost to the environment, but a much better alternative to fossil fuels. A 2023 article by CNET states: “…when it comes to greenhouse gases, solar panels pay for themselves within one to four years of use, according to a report by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “Pros and Cons of Solar Panels: Are they worth it?” Written by Katie Collins, Eric Mack Updated Aug. 9, 2023

·      Land Use: The property in Sedgwick County under contract for the USF is very fertile ground, not ideal for use by solar panels only. However, the county has identified possible co-uses. The land under and around the panels can be used for plants helpful to pollinators. Certain vegetable crops thrive in lower sun settings, and so can use the shade of the panels. Sheep have also been grazed successfully in these facilities. We cannot forgo this opportunity to utilize this ground. Here is an excellent article on solar farms and biodiversity: Solar farms are often bad for biodiversity — but they don’t have to beYes, we can have clean energy and tortoises too.”

·      Precious local water: The proposed USF is poised above the Equus beds, vital to the drinking water supplies of Wichita and surrounding communities. Whether these panels, and the associated equipment, could affect that water must be examined as part of an environmental impact study. The metals inside the panels can cause contamination if the panels are damaged, so any ongoing operating regulations of such a farm need to include regular inspection.

Economic concerns

The proposed site is under contract with a huge international corporation, and there are rumors that the operation will be run as a Limited Liability Corporation, or LLC. LLCs are very difficult to hold accountable under law. There are also concerns that much of the money brought into and being earned by the LLC will not benefit the local economy, especially after the initial build. Such a utility requires very little labor to operate, while occupying a large swath of land.

Power generated here will be sold on the market, just as most utilities. Electricity could be transmitted to other states, depending on demand. Kansas has a history of profiting from and shipping excess to other locations, being the breadbasket of the continent.

Threat from hail, tornadoes, straight winds is not to be ignored. But these threats will only increase if we do not reduce the fossil fuel emissions that have thrown our earth into greater and greater extremes. Most of those extremes have been impacting other areas. That does not reduce our responsibility to create clean energy with the resources at hand, just the same way Kansas has provided wheat to famine areas.

The only Kansas incentives for solar power generation are a moratorium on property tax on the land in use for a10-year period after construction. As it has been pointed out, these incentives are not available in Oklahoma, but Oklahoma has different incentives for solar generation that do not fit the plans Invenergy have. But most states have some method in place to attract renewable energy. See the incentives here: “Financial Information: Funding, Incentives, Tax Breaks, and Programs” Agrisolar Warehouse

There are, of course, federal monies for this project thru the Inflation Reduction act. Full regulation of these projects is good stewardship of the taxpayer dollars, the land entrusted to us, and the water below it.


A 2020 Harvard Business Review article states: “First Solar is the sole U.S. panel manufacturer we know of with an up-and-running recycling initiative, which only applies to the company’s own products at a global capacity of two million panels per year. With the current capacity, it costs an estimated $20–$30 to recycle one panel. Sending that same panel to a landfill would cost a mere $1–$2. ‘There must be regulations in place, perhaps contributions to a recycling fund over time to ensure that the panels are properly handled at the end of their useful lives. Technology to recycle solar panels advances daily.

Even though this is decades in the future, there must also be thought about what state the land must be in after the solar panels have been removed.

So much to consider! How can we make this work for everyone? The main issues to be considered are size, setbacks, decommissioning, payment in lieu of taxes, and rules and regulations that define best practices in this type of zoning case. These are very complex issues that requires much study, caution, and input from the public!

Additional information

The Town Hall meeting was recorded and is available on YouTube here.

Solar ‘farm’ proposed for rural Sedgwick County by Craig Andres, March 28, 2023, Wichita Eagle (simplified article)

Commercial solar projects in Sedgwick County? Residents weigh in at townhall meeting by Matthew Kelly, Wichita Eagle November 17, 2023 (simplified article)

Photos of the posters from the Town Hall Forum by Randi Thimesch

Photos: The Growth of Solar-Power Stations by Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, Nov. 27, 2023

The information is from the 316 United newsletter and reflects the author’s personal opinions. Its intent is to provide interested people with different touch points to consider. This is a complicated subject which deserves your personal research. 

316 United is an Environmental Conservation Organization, whose goal is “Uniting people for sustainability”. Follow: See all

Who is to Blame for High Gas Prices, 2023?

     Posted on Sun ,26/11/2023 by admin

” There’s a tendency for politicians to assign blame or credit to the President for gas prices – when actually the President has very little to do with the price of gas.”

Prices in Wichita,11/23/2023.

The Republican strategy for the 2024 election is to try to pin the economic problems and inflation we have been facing on President Biden. The price of gasoline is something we are reminded of every time we fill up our car, so we have heard a lot about the price of gasoline during this presidential campaign.  The implication is that Pesident Biden is responsible for high gas prices, and thus for inflation. However, that is not the whole story. Oil prices respond mostly to international events and it appears that inflation is mainly caused by corporate greed. Gas prices are now dropping, so will President Biden get the credit?

Historical Gas Prices: The International Energy Agency (EIA) graph shows that historically fuel prices tend to follow international events. Average US gas prices hit a high of $4.12 per gallon in July of 2008,  while  George Bush was still president. The spike was attributed to increased demand at a time when production was stagnating. Gas prices hit a new high of almost $5.10 in 2022, mostly in response to inflation, unrest in the Middle East, and the war in Ukraine. The high prices have cut the demand for petroleum, and gas prices now average $3.28 per gallon and are dropping rapidly. Gas prices recently dropped locally to $2.62 a gallon and are likely going to drop more.

Oil Prices: If you’re looking for someone to blame for high gas prices, you might consider looking at the large oil companies. Oil companies blame high fuel prices on inflation and environmental regulations which reduce production. They wish to complete the XL pipeline and to drill on public land, in National parks, in wildlife refuges, and in environmentally sensitive areas. Those policies would be okay for the oil companies, but they would increase air pollution, increase greenhouse gas concentrations, and put a large number of environmentally fragile areas at a risk of being damaged. It is interesting that the largest oil companies made $174 billion in profits in 2021, as gas prices were going up. The United States consumed 124 billion gallons of gasoline, and the oil companies made $1.40 in profits for every gallon sold, and they also received about $0.13 per gallon in federal and state subsidies. Currently, oil costs $85 a barrel. That is $25 less than a barrel cost 10 years ago, yet the price of fuel had almost doubled by 2022.

Oil profits in 2021.

It seems that domestic oil production has  little effect on the price of gasoline. Last year our largest export was fuel, so it is likely that if we produce more fuel, we will just export more while gas prices continue to rise in the U.S. It also appears that gasoline prices do not follow the law of supply and demand, both things that Exxon/Mobil and the other oil companies should have to explain. They receive large subsidies; their products do not bear the cost of dumping large amounts of CO2 into the environment; and they have been quite profitable while many small US companies are struggling to stay afloat, in part because of the high fuel prices.

Inflation: The Cares Act injected a large amount of money into the economy because of Covid, causing some inflation. However, it appears that the continuing inflation is mainly the result of corporate greed. The main drivers of inflation are record shattering profits for oil companies and other megacorporations. Basic commodities like groceries are more expensive, partly becaused of increased transportation costs, but also because giant conglomerates, like Kroger, Cargill, Tyson, and JBS are raising prices because they see it as an opportunity to make record-setting money for their executives and shareholders. According to Bloomberg, US corporate profits are now soaring, with profit margins the highest since 1950.

Rather than blaming the President for inflation, perhaps we should blame corporate greed.

(C) 2023 – J.C. Moore

A Visit to a Hemp Processing Plant

     Posted on Thu ,20/07/2023 by admin
Hemp’s uses.

Last Spring, a group from the Sierra Club visited Midwest Hemp Technology. The Sierra Club is interested in agricultural hemp because if it’s benefits to the environment. One acre of hemp sequesters 4 to 6 tonnes of CO2, similar to the amount sequestered by a young forest, but it only takes five months to grow. Hemp helps pollinators as its flowering cycle usually occurs between July and September, coinciding with a lack of pollen production from other crops. Hemp produces large amounts of pollen and provides shelter for birds and hemp seeds for food for animals. Use of hemp products can save forests, reduce plastic waste, improve the soil, and greatly cut our greenhouse gas emissions. And it is profitable, as hemp normally produces 2 to 3 times as much income per acre as corn or soybeans.

Hemp has been grown for over 4000 years, and one website claims over 50,000 uses for hemp products. Its usefulness has been its downfall in the United States. Hemp and marijuana are essentially the same plant, but hemp has less than 0.3% THC by dry weight while marijuana has considerably more and is intoxicating. Competing industries, such as the paper, plastic, and cotton industries, have used hemp’s similarity to marijuana to essentially ban hemp in the United States for about the last century. Hemp, quite wrongly*, has been classified as a schedule one drug and only recently has it been legal to grow it in the United States, with the passage of the Hemp Farming Act in 2018. Though it can now be grown legally in Kansas, it is heavily regulated by the state, which has been a barrier to using it more widely.

The tour started in the office with a display of many of the products made from hemp. The picture on the left shows how hemp can be made into webbing, fiberboard, a finished wood substitute, cloth, and even hats.

The hemp utensils were my favorite as they show hemp can replace many single use plastics. Hemp can be made into such items as carry out boxes, plastic forks, straws, and plastic bags. Hemp plastics are compostable and biodegradable and break down rather quickly in the environment. Use of hemp would greatly cut down on plastic litter and plastics in the ocean. Birds and animals that ingest plastic often die from it. Microplastic particles from production, the breakdown of plastic products, and even from synthetic clothing, have become ubiquitous. A recent study found that eight out of 10 people have plasticizers and microplastics particles in their blood. That is certainly is not a good thing, as they have been associated with hormonal disruption and and a variety of other diseases.


Hemp is a useful building material as it can be made into wood, particleboard, insulation, and plastic-like materials. Given its light weight and durability, hemp is being used as a substitute for plastics in sectors such as car manufacturing, railway, aviation, and aerospace applications. When combined with lime and water, it makes hempcrete, which can be substituted for concrete in most applications. This is important as about 9% of the United States’ carbon emissions are made in the production of concrete. Hempcrete will last for centuries, is a good insulator, and is mold, mildew, pest, and fire resistant. Hempcrete, even considering the energy used to produce and harvest the hemp, actually sequesters carbon. The hempcrete block on the right looks a little rough, but here are some examples and a movie of buildings made with hempcrete. There is a shortage of workers who know how to build with hempcrete, and there is now a program to help veterans learn it as a trade

A Hemp Field in Bloom

Aside from regulations, hemp is one of the easiest plants to grow and one of the fastest growing biomass products in existence. It uses less water than cotton, and requires minimal pesticides to thrive. Hemp helps to break the cycle of diseases when used in crop rotation. In addition, weeds are not able to grow due to the fast growth and shading capacity of hemp plants. The dense leaves of hemp are a natural soil cover, reduce water loss, and protect against soil erosion. Hemp covers the ground just three weeks after germination. Hemp is susceptible to few pests and the use of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides can be avoided in most cases.

One problem with hemp production is the lack of custom equipment to harvest and process the hemp. Farmers and hemp processors have been quite creative in modifying existing equipment or building their own equipment to process hemp. When harvested, hemp is usually cut and baled into large bales similar to round hay bales.

Trommel, separates hemp fiber from seeds and hurd.

At processing, the bales are broken apart and put through the trommel which separates out the bast from the seeds and hurd. Bast is the long fibers just inside the stalk, and hurd is the pith, the woody inner core of the plant. The stalk can be converted into fuel and paper products like cardboard. The long fiber strands extracted from the hemp stem have long been used to make textiles, rope, and webbing. Hemp makes extremely durable clothes and accessories, such as shirts, skirts, bags, shoes, and belts. Hemp has anti-microbial properties and the fabric is stronger and more durable than cotton and, unlike cotton, hemp clothes will not lose their shape with repeated washing.

Air classifiers, which separate different sizes of hurd from the grain.

From the trommel, the hurds and grain are directed to the air classifier. Depending on the settings, the air classifier separates different sizes of hurd from the grain. The hurds may be used for horticulture mulch and for other agricultural uses. They absorbs moisture which makes them very useful for animal bedding and litter. The hurds can also be used to make hemp plastic and building materials. When the hurds are mixed with lime and water, they make hempcrete. The hurds may also be mixed with a polymer to create a fiber-reinforced biocomposite, and if the hurds are reduced to micron sized particles first, the product is much like plastic. If the polymer used is petroleum-based, the hemp plastics are not compostable. However, sustainable bioplastics may be made if plant-based polymers from corn or kenaf are used.

This is the grain cleaner.

The grain cleaner is the last step of the process. The hemp seeds are then used for food flour, hemp milk, cooking oil, and beer—as well as dietary supplements. Some companies sell the edible seeds of the hemp plant. These seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and make milk, oil, cheese, and protein powder. The seeds are a rich source of polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, essentials for human health. Unhulled seeds are sold for bird and animal food. Other uses of hempseed oil are to make body-care products, biofuels, paints, and varnishes. According to the FDA, hemp seeds do not naturally contain THC or CBD oil.

Hemp in Kansas : Kansas used to grow a lot of hemp and, one year during the Civil War, Kansas grew more bushels of hemp per acre than any other state. However, economic competition with cotton, timber, and synthetic plastics – all backed by wealthy corporations – led to anti-hemp propaganda that caused a moral panic. It portrayed hemp and marijuana as being the same and that they would lower the moral values of American culture. This led to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 which essentially banned Hemp production in the United States. The ban was essentially ignored when hemp was needed for the war effort, and the government even subsidized the production of hemp. After the war, the ban went back into effect and, in 1970, President Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act which officially outlawed hemp and marijuana for any use (medical included) by declaring they were schedule one drugs. The Farm Bill of 2018 authorized the commercial production and processing of hemp, but it remains a Federal schedule one drug to this day.

Hemp can now be legally grown in Kansas, according to state law, but the laws are very restrictive. Applicants must submit a fingerprint-based state and national criminal history background check. The application fee is $100 and is due with the application no later than March 15 each year.  The background check fee of $47 per person, including the farmer and all workers, is due no later than March 15th each year.  A license fee of $1,200 is needed to cultivate or produce industrial hemp are due no later than March 15th each year. All forms and fees must be paid and filed by that date or they will not be approved. Industrial hemp producer must use authorized seed, guaranteed to produce industrial hemp with not more than 0.3% THC, so grower may not save their seeds for the next crop. Both federal and state rules surrounding the crop are in constant flux, so finding investors to spur innovation and development will remain challenging. There are no insecticides, no fungicides, no herbicides labeled for this and there’s no crop insurance and no safety net for it. And to complicate things, even though a state can legalize growing hemp, the federal government still views it as a dangerous drug, the same as heroin or cocaine. Among other consequences, that makes it difficult for potential growers and processors to secure loans from traditional banking.

Kansas Hemp growing licenses dropped  from 218 in 2020 to only 81 in 2022. Of the 4,000 acres planted, only 761 were harvested for production. and an eighth of that had to be burned by the state because it contained too much THC. Hemp growing licenses dropped  from 218 in 2020, to only 81 this year. Of the almost 4,000 acres planted last year, only 761 were harvested for production. and an eighth of that had to be burned by the state because it contained too much THC. Hopefully both national and state laws will improve so that hemp can profitably be grown. As one Kansan wrote, “My son is taking over his in-laws’ farm, and it is very important to keep our young kids on the farm. I am very proud of him for taking on this challenge. Farmers need all the help they can get, and hemp is a very lucrative crop to grow. This is very important for Kansas and our young farmers. Thanks for your help.”  

*Note: 2010 study in the journal Lancet graded common drugs on sixteen criteria relating to how harmful the drugs were to users and to society overall. On both measures – marijuana scored significantly lower than alcohol and ten other drugs. THC is not physically addictive and scored below tobacco in terms of harm to the users. Marijuana should probably not be listed as a schedule one drug, and certainly hemp should never have been.

(C) 07/23/2023 – J.C. Moore

George Will Demands Clarity – Except from the Supreme Court

     Posted on Wed ,28/06/2023 by admin

George Will started out his article, “The Supreme Court Votes for Clarity from Congress “ by citing a court case where the Supreme Court overruled the EPA – by muddying the water. He was referring to the case, Sacketts vs. the EPA. The Sacketts sued the EPA because it denied them a permit to, as George Will put it,” add a little sand and gravel to the land”.  The little sand and gravel he refers to would have filled in the wetlands adjacent to Priest Lake which is considered navigable water by the state of Utah.  The EPA cited their right to regulate navigable waters under the Clean Water Act. The Army Corps of Engineers analyzed the property and found that the EPA had jurisdiction.

The EPA successfully argued that, while the wetlands feed a non-navigable creek, that creek drains into navigable Priest Lake, and won a federal court battle in the 9th Circuit to continue blocking construction. The case was based on the Clean Water Act (CWA), which prohibits dumping pollution into “navigable waters . . . including wetlands adjacent thereto”, making it clear that the Clean Water Act includes adjacent wetlands. The Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the Sackett’s, but to do so they had to change the definition of adjacent.

Writing the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito said that to be protected, there must be a “continuous surface connection” between the wetlands and navigable water. “The Court’s ‘continuous surface connection’ test disregards the ordinary meaning of ‘adjacent,’” wrote the dissenting justices. Alito and the conservative justices divorced the law from the legislators’ intent, essentially rewriting it in a way that fits the outcome they sought and contradicting the plain text of the law. The Clean Water Act was passed in the 1970s to restore and protect our Nation’s waters. The court overturned a 50-year precedent for the way the Clean Water Act has been interpreted. And, in doing so, they’ve exposed many of our wetlands and waterways to the threat of exactly the kind of pollution we had in the past that the Clean Water Act was meant to prevent. It is now estimated that the Clean Water Act keeps 700 billion pounds of pollutants out of US waterways every year .

The Supreme Court ruling also the means that as much as 90 million acres of wetlands in the U.S. are no longer protected by the Clean Water Act, embracing the decades-long demands of mining companies, the fossil fuel industry, reckless developers, and other big polluters. The court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA puts our communities, public health, and local ecosystems in danger. Wetlands are essential. They store water to prevent and mitigate floods, filter pollutants before they reach other bodies of water, support forestry, food and seafood production, and recreation, and more. “It doesn’t reflect reality, or the scientific understanding of how watersheds and the river networks within them function,” said Ellen Wohl, a river researcher and professor in the Geosciences Department at Colorado State University. 

She pointed out that wetlands eventually flow into navigable bodies of water, aquifers, and subterranean waterways. Allowing the pollution of those would also allow pollution of many streams, lakes, and wells we rely on for clean sources of water. It will do serious harm to the bodies of water most Americans obviously want to protect, as the Clean Water Act was designed to do. Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in Sackett v. EPA is likely to hobble the law’s ability to protect several major waterways, including the Mississippi River and the Chesapeake Bay. He obviously did not allow for the fact that water runs downhill and that almost everyone lives downstream from someone.

To prevent an ecological disaster, Congress should rewrite the law to make it even clearer, although it is clear enough in its present form. And, states should beef up their own enforcement to ensure they protect their water and land. For now, that would be the best path forward, but it is not likely to happen soon, given the political makeup of Congress and many state legislatures.

As to George Will, he lacks clarity in the meaning of “conservative”. He applauded the decision by the conservative members of the Supreme Court which overturned 50 years of precedents and opened up over half of the United States’ wetlands to pollution and development. He distorted scientific work in the 1970s to discount the role of carbon dioxide in warming the earth, by claiming scientists then were predicting a New Ice Age. He seems to care little about conserving the earth and its ecosystems, and he rails about government regulations, even those meant to protect other human beings. Apparently, he doesn’t think claiming to be conservative means you support conserving the most important thing we have, the Earth.

Note: More detailed information about the value of wetlands, and this ruling are given in the High Country News: “Waterways are made up of more than what’s visible on the surface. Take Lapwai Creek, near Lewiston, Idaho: At a casual glance, it’s a ribbon of cool water, shaded by cottonwood trees and alive with steelhead and sculpin, mayfly and stonefly larvae. An adult could wade across it in a few strides without getting their knees wet. But that’s just the part people can see. Beneath the surface channel, coursing through the rounded cobbles below, is what scientists call the hyporheic zone: water flowing along underground, which can be a few inches deep, or 10 yards or more, mixing with both surface water and groundwater. Microbes that purify water live down there, and aquatic insects—food for fish and other animals—can use it as a sort of underground highway, traveling more than a mile away from a river.

A creek, in other words, is more than just the water in its channel; it’s also the water underground, and it’s connected to everything else in its watershed, including wetlands and channels upstream that might dry up during some years, or perhaps go years between getting wet. Whatever happens there—pollution or protection—happens to the entire creek. In the case of Lapwai Creek, which flows into the Clearwater River and then the Snake River, it’s a small but fundamental part of the complex ecosystem that salmon, humans and countless other creatures in the Pacific Northwest rely on.

But those ecological realities are strikingly absent from last week’s US Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA. The ruling strips federal protections from all ephemeral streams and, as reported by E&E News, more than half of the previously protected wetlands in the US. It limits Clean Water Act protections to “relatively permanent, standing or continuously flowing bodies of water.” That includes some wetlands—those that are “indistinguishable” from protected oceans, lakes, rivers and streams “due to a continuous surface connection.”

“It doesn’t reflect reality, or the scientific understanding of how watersheds and the river networks within them function,” said Ellen Wohl, a river researcher and professor in the Geosciences Department at Colorado State University. Wohl helped review the scientific evidence used to develop an earlier, and much more expansive, Obama-era definition of which bodies of water fall under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh: “The Court’s ‘continuous surface connection’ test disregards the ordinary meaning of ‘adjacent.’ … As a result, the Court excludes wetlands that the text of the Clean Water Act covers—and that the Act since 1977 has always been interpreted to cover.”

Weaker protections mean that more wetlands and temporary streams will be destroyed, filled in with dirt for houses or other development. Ecosystems and people alike will lose the benefits they provide: biodiversity and abundance of species; space to absorb extra water during storms, preventing deadly floods; natural storage of that same water, so it’s available later, during dry times; the natural purification that occurs when water is filtered through the ground.

Take, for example, a desert playa in the Great Basin, which might be dry for years at a time. When rainwater falls on it or snowmelt flows into it, it acts like “a big sponge,” Wohl said. A sponge that can store water for later, and clean it, too. But if you turn it into a parking lot by filling or building on it, as the Supreme Court ruling makes it easier to do, water will pour off it, rather than soak in. And what was once a playa—part of an intricate system changing across space and time—will become simply an asphalt wasteland.”

A Visit to a Recycling Center

     Posted on Mon ,08/05/2023 by admin

Have you ever wonder what happens to the recyclables you put in your recycling bin? In April, the ReGreening Wichita group visited the Stutzman recycling center in Hutchinson, which sorts the materials from Wichita and the surrounding areas.

The sorted materials are then sold to companies which can recycle them into usable products. The center has recently been upgraded and can handle almost any materials except plastic bags, hard plastics, and Styrofoam. Each recycling center is different, so please check with your recyclables collection company to see what materials they can take. This website cannot handle the short video clips, but this was originally posted to Facebook and you may see it by following this link.

Here is the schematic of a typical recycling Center:

Note added on 06/02/2023: A recent study found that plastic bags taken to many grocery stores such as Target and Walmart to be recycled end up in landfills, and a few even ended up in foreign countries. Only about 9% of all plastic waste is recycled, 12% is incinerated, and about 79% ends up in landfills. Microparticles from plastics have been found in the bodies of about 80% of the US population. The wise thing to do is to stop using single use plastics as much as you can.

The Cornwall Alliance’s Attacks on Climate Science Are Misinformation

     Posted on Thu ,23/02/2023 by admin

Exxon Mobil’s scientists discovered in about 1980 that the continued use of fossil fuels would have serious consequences for the Earth’s climate by 2030. Instead of searching for solutions, Exxon Mobil’s management disbanded the science research group, and began a campaign of misinformation to protect their profits. The Cornwall Alliance later became part of that misinformation campaign.

The Cornwall alliance was originally formed to protect indigenous people and the poor from the effects of global warming. E Calvin Beisner hijacked the name, and his efforts to protect the poor mostly amounted to promoting their use of fossil fuels. Indigenous communities do not have the wealth or the infrastructure for fossil fuel use and they have lived for centuries without using them. However, Dr. Beisner uses the poor in his religious arguments to promote fossil fuels. He publishes a weekly blog where he denies the findings of climate scientists, attacks renewable energy sources, and promotes the ideas of the 1% or so of scientists who are critical of global warming. I have followed his blog for years, and here are a few of his opinions from the last six months:

  • “… the political left has declared gas stoves to be a threat to humanity.” Not exactly, but research has found that gas stoves emit nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Their use is the source of much of the methane that escapes into the atmosphere. Note that he always blames the political left and liberals, as it just wouldn’t do to say “scientific research has found…

  • … Your retirement fund may have been shanghaied by BlackRock and Wall Street asset managers to advance political causes they think will make the world a better place. Or, they may realize that fossil fuel use is declining and it makes better sense to invest in renewable energy.

  • … People in America and around the world are in danger of becoming slaves to scientism and scientocracy. That is how he describes sound science based upon evidence, as opposed to the scientists he quotes – who have little evidence. He warns against the danger of merging science and religion, and then he merges anti-science views with religion. Which is more dangerous?

  • He asks, “Should we trust the UN’s climate science? The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is made up the of world’s best climate scientists and is based on the best data available. Dr. Beisner doesn’t trust them because they publish a report detailing why we need to cut our greenhouse gas emissions.

  • And then he went after the” False Promise of EVs”. One of his claims is that the government is imposing its plans on car manufacturers. However, it might be because consumers are choosing EVs for all the advantages they have over internal combustion engines.

  • He claims that next-generation science standards are a “serious threat to the education of America’s children”. He does not want them to be taught about evolution, which he conflates with the “dogma of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.” It might be okay to conflate them, as they are both soundly based on scientific evidence.

  • He claims that there are competing worldviews of Environmentalism and Christianity. Dr. Beisner would like you to believe this, but the reality is that most mainstream Christians and Evangelicals believe that God expects Christians to protect the Earth and its environment.

  • He asks, “Is the true crisis climate change… Or climate policy?” Naturally, he thinks that it is the climate policy, as it calls for a reduction in fossil fuel use. He follows this up with an invitation to the International Conference on Climate Change (not to be confused with the IPCC), which is a meeting sponsored by the oil companies and devoted to research disputing the findings of climate science.

  • He thinks that India’s recent lethal cold spells are evidence that there is no global warming. However, the warming Arctic has changed the jetstream so that it creates a polar vortex where frigid air is pulled further south. He thinks he has found the ultimate contradiction, but it just confirms what climate scientists have found.

  • He thinks that “The end of oil will be the end of civilization”. That sounds strange coming from someone who claims to have a Doctorate in History. The earliest known civilizations arose in Mesopotamia about 3500 B.C., and civilization had existed for over 50 centuries before oil came into widespread use. Some scientists, on the other hand, are worried that global warming will lead to the end of civilization as we know it.

  • Finally, he calls scientists “doomsayers” when they report about the ill effects of global warming upon the Earth and its inhabitants. They are just reporting scientific evidence supported by data. It would be to mankind’s advantage to listen to the scientists before we reach a tipping point from which we can never recover.

The opinions listed are only from the last six months, but the Cornwall Alliance has advanced such opinions for over a decade. Dr. Beisner will not divulge the source of the considerable amount of funds needed to support the Cornwall Alliance, but all trails seem to lead to fossil fuel companies. He would like for you to believe the money comes from donations, but Charity Navigator reports that the Cornwall Alliance does not receive enough in donations to be evaluated as a charity.

(C) – 2023. J.C. Moore

Note! The Cornwall alliance newsletter regularly publishes some spectacular misinformation. Here is a sample of it:

10/6/2023 On the same day that Hurricane Hilary hit Los Angeles, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake occurred in nearby Ojai. Mr. Beisner said, “To the truly enlightened, these rare disasters should serve as a warning from on high that the Golden State is headed for a massive downfall – punishment for trying to force smog-fighting electric vehicles on smog-free America and the world.” – Wow!

07/27/2023 The Cornwall alliance want you to know, ” Global Warming Saves Lives”. – This advice comes during the most severe heat wave the Earth has experienced in last 10,000 years.

07/13/2023 “Biden’s Energy Policies Cost US Households More Than $2300 Since 2021”. – They ar. apparently blaming Biden rather than the oil companies for inflation. Nicholas Stern, past president of the World Bank, calculated that global warming is costing us 5% of the GDP, about $800 billion, each year.

07/06/2023 ” Americans Increasingly Choose a Warmer Life“. – You actually have no choice. The earth’s temperature has gone up about 2.1°F in the last century, and it’s going to keep rising as long as we listen to Dr. Beisner.

06/25/2023 “Epic Fail in America’s Heartland: Climate Models Greatly Overestimate Corn Belt Warming“. – This comes as crippling heat waves are striking the midwest and Texas and as Oregon is suing Exxon and other oil companies for the damage when 2020 temperatures reached 116° -in Oregon?

04/13/2023 ” Nearly a billion Indians use coal to Cope with heat waves.” – Apparently, E Calvin Beisner thinks India should burn more coal. The heat waves are made worse by the CO2 emitted from coal. So burning more coal will release more CO2 which will make the heat ways worse. The coal companies that help finance the Cornwall Alliance are happy with that.

3/10/2023 “The Economic Case for Net Zero Is Zero “Implementing net zero will depress the global economy more than the atmospheric warming that the campaign against carbon dioxide emissions is supposed to prevent.” – Apparently Mr. Beisner has not read the Stern report which, using the results from formal economic models, estimates the overall costs climate change is equivalent to losing at least 5% ($727 billion in 2010) of global GDP each year. And unaddressed, the cost could rise to 20% of GDP or more by 2050 – and increase the risk of an environmental catastrophe.

3/14/2023  “’The Climate Crusaders Are Coming for Electric Cars Too,’ a prophesy consistent with a concerning social control trend I have witnessed.” – Apparently, Mr. Beisner thinks the Climate Crusaders want you to walk to work.

4/11/2023 “The science teachers’ bureaucracy is driving climate education into an unquestioning adherence to unscientific methodology.” – Science teachers’ bureaucracy?

Unethical Journalism and Political Stereotyping Create Partisanship

     Posted on Fri ,17/02/2023 by admin

Journalism’s ethics say that newspapers should seek the truth and print it, and avoid bias and sensationalism. Publisher Steve Haynes violates those principles in his article, “Democrats want to tap every dime you have”, (TS News 12-01-22). The title is sensational to catch your attention. And, even worse, the article is filled with misinformation. It would be somewhat more accurate to say that Democrats want to tax the wealthy and give it to the poor and that Republicans want to tax the middle class and use it for tax breaks for the rich. Which would you prefer? The first paragraph lists things the Democrats are known for giving people, but he left out farm subsidies, something very important in Western Kansas.

As much as he’d like to blame Democrats for inflation, they’re not really powerful enough to cause it. Economists think that 3% to 5% inflation is healthy for the economy, as it means that demand is greater than supply. Recently inflation is because the supply has decreased because of the pandemic, bird flu, and the war in Ukraine. If you want to blame someone, you might consider that inflation has been about 7% in consumer goods but about 30% in the cost of fuel, which pushes the price of everything up. Oil companies have been reporting record profits, and are using the extra money to buy back their own stock which enriches the company executives and the shareholders. It’s probably, as has been suggested, a good idea to put a tax on stock buybacks.

Mr. Haynes also blames Democrats for the national debt. The national debt tripled after Reagan’s tax cuts. Deficits increased under the Bush and the Trump administrations, while deficits decreased under Clinton and Obama, and the jury is still out on President Biden. The money spent on infrastructure helps all of us. The minimum wage would now be $23 if it had grown as fast as inflation. Middle-class workers’ salaries have gone up 18% since 1978 while CEO pay has risen by 1322%. Does that seem fair? Mr. Haynes also claims that the Democrats want to tax Social Security. Taxing Social Security began under the Reagan administration, so how are Democrats to blame?

Mr. Haynes is also against canceling student loans. States used to pay about two-thirds of the cost of a college education. Now, they pay about one-third and colleges have raised tuition to make up the difference, causing a college education to cost much more and the average student to have to borrow money. The terms of the loans allowed the banks and even the federal government to make money off the students, and, like most debts, student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. So perhaps it’s only right that some of the loans be forgiven, especially if those responsible pay the cost.

Mr. Haynes does point out some of the problems our country faces. He says Democrats and Republicans have different approaches to solving them, but better solutions usually result from compromises. Stereotyping Democrats, or Republicans for that matter, interferes with the bipartisanship we need. Articles like Mr. Haynes’ lead to partisan politics, which is a real problem in Kansas. His article is especially concerning since he is the owner and publisher of Nor’West Newspapers in Oberlin, Kansas, and he likely influences many voters in that area.

(C) 2023 – J.C. Moore

Kansas Is Set to Approve Net Energy Metering Bill

     Posted on Thu ,16/02/2023 by admin

The Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee is now holding hearings on HB 2228. The bill will reset the total capacity limitation for net energy metering (NEM) systems that may operate within the service territory of an investor-owned electric utility. The total capacity is now set at 1% and it will be increased to 10%, allowing many more customers to install their own solar panels or wind energy systems. If a customer generates electricity in excess of their monthly consumption, all such net excess energy shall be carried forward from month to month and credited at a ratio of one-to-one against the customer’s energy consumption in subsequent months. It will also increase the load size limitations on a customer’s NEM system up to 250 kW.

HB 2228 is likely to pass as it is supported by many homeowners and businesses for the following reason:

  •  Kansas has some of the more restrictive net energy metering (NEM) policies in the country. They discourage residents from choosing lower cost options which would benefit both Kansas citizens and the electric companies.
  •  Residents who install their own power generation systems, such as wind and solar, need to back up their system either with a battery or a connection to the power grid. NEM is a lower cost option than a battery system and provides a number of benefits for Kansans.
  • An independent study in California found that NEM customers provide a benefit both for other ratepayers and for the electric company.
  • NEM customers allow utilities to avoid costs of generation and fuel, maintenance, and the upgrade of transmission and distribution infrastructure.
  • NEM helps avoid the cost of transmission losses (which account for 7% of losses), avoids additional capacity purchases, and increases compliance with renewable energy standards.

      • NEM also reduces peak loads, transmission losses, and the need for new power plants.

  • Similar research studies in Vermont, New York, California, Texas, Missouri, and Nevada also concluded that net metering provided a net positive benefit for utility companies and their customers.
  • It will ensure greater access and affordability of distributed generation systems utilizing solar and wind energy.
  • It gives businesses and homeowners an immediate remedy to better manage their electric
    energy costs and reduce their monthly bills.
  • NEM will help stabilize the grid and add to its security. It and any battery backups will feed electricity into the grid when needed.
  • It is good for the environment as it helps reduce emissions from coal-fired and gas power plants.

The main opposition to the bill comes from the Evergy electric company, which provides electricity to over one-half of Kansas’ residents. They ignore the benefits of NEM to their company and are reluctant to give up the profits generated by their coal-fired power plants.