MCDOWELL CREEK, Kan. - We've heard of "earthshaking decisions"--but the Kansas Supreme Court's October 30 decision affirming Wabaunsee County's ban on commercial-scale wind-energy conversion systems (CWECS) was an earth-saving one. It allows predominantly rural Wabaunsee County to protect its endangered tall grass prairie from industrial-scale wind "farms." The Nature Conservancy has called CWECS one of today's greatest threats to grassland ecology, in particular the keystone species of grouse, including prairie chickens. The green flag which wind energy wraps itself up in has prevented many people from taking seriously the environmental damage which CWECS can inflict. But Wabaunsee County looked through the green rhetoric and came down firmly on the side of the prairie.
Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Business: November 2009
BASEHOR, Kan. - In an October 27, 2009 press release, the Institute for New Economic Thinking announced its formation with a pledge of $5 million per year for the next 10 years from George Soros, the billionaire financier and hedge fund manager.
According to the press release, one of the Institute's first activities will be to sponsor a conference in which it will,
"...explore the reasons why prevailing economic theory failed to predict the financial and economic crisis that erupted in 2007-2008. We will also examine the implications for reform of regulatory regimes that reflect the logic of the economic paradigm that has failed profoundly in guiding society in its recent history."
Soros himself said, "The entire edifice of global financial markets has been erected on the false premise that markets can be left to their own devices, we must find a new paradigm and rebuild from the ground up. I decided to sponsor INET to facilitate the process. I hope others will join me."
BOGUE, Kan. - In good times, we Americans sing "Hallelujah, praise the Lord" and buy stuff. Sometimes we need it. If we don't, well, it looks so soooo cool on TV. No cash? No problem, we got plastic. God will come through on principal and interest later.
For decades, consumer spending was a critical 70 percent of our "robust" economy. Then the deregulated, under-regulated financial sector predictably collapsed. Speculators (including banks) who thought they had money really didn't. Neither had they credit. The whirlpool began.
Businesses are in business to sell goods or services. If they sell more, they hire more workers, or pay them better. But if businesses sell less, not only does the boss earn less, she cuts jobs, or hours, or benefits-- or wages. Those who earn less (or nothing) spend less. Result? Still more businesses sell less, cut jobs...or hours...or wages...or benefits. And so the whirlpool spins faster and wider, sucking down more and more employers and employees.
TOPEKA, Kan. - In a struggling economy, this is the kind of news we need. Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS) just announced that the Department of Energy has awarded $9,593,500 in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) to the state. These grants provide much needed job opportunities as well as give us a chance to take the lead in developing renewable energy.
"The award of these block grants to Kansas highlights the bright energy future of our great state," said Congressman Moore. "With the third highest wind production potential in the country, we must continue to make investments in renewable energy to capitalize on the growing 'green economy' and ensure Kansas is a leader in the adoption of smart and sustainable energy practices."
The EECBG funds are funded through the Recovery Act and will implement a variety of public and private sector initiatives geared toward energy efficiency and renewable energy. Said projects include grants that will be given to local government energy managers across the state. These funds are projected to create hundreds of jobs statewide, reduce energy consumption, and limit carbon pollution.
Also, kudos to Congressman Moore for the launch of his Congressional website -- it looks great!
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