Outlawing sustainability

The states of Kansas and North Carolina have a lot more in common than a shared basketball legacy.  They also have  legislatures that are embarrassing the good people of both states.  While  the exploits of our own Tarheel Taliban have been making national headlines lately, the Kansas State Legislature has too.  It’s hard to believe, but they have actually proposed a bill outlawing sustainability.

The bill, HB 2366, would outlaw the use of public funds for sustainability efforts. It defines sustainability as  “a mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come, but not to include the idea, principle or practice of conservation or conservationism.”
A recent article pointed out that this very definition of sustainability was lifted verbatim from the Brundtland Report, published by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987.  ( I had no idea this document even existed, or that today the U.N. has it’s own Commission for Sustainable Development.)

The sponsor of the bill,  Kansas Rep. Dennis Hedke (R-Wichita) last year supported a resolution condemning the U.N.’s Agenda 21 sustainability plan.
Hedke, a geophysicist and oil contractor,  is chair of the State Committee on Energy and Environment.  Koch Industries, which happens to be the second-largest privately-held company in the U.S.,  is listed as one of the top contributors to his campaign.

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