These days, everybody wants to be green. Environmental boutiques are sprouting up across Kansas City, and Toyota Priuses roam the streets like the buffalo that once grazed the Midwest prairies. By now, even Hummer drivers who toss Styrofoam cups out their windows and hunt cyclists for sport know that April 22 is Earth Day.
But because there are still those who think recycling is for sissies, the Department of Burnt Ends offers this list of less-than-eco-friendly locals. Here are the winners of our first Anti-Earth Day Awards.
Now that intelligent design is yesterday's foolish idea, Kansas House Speaker Melvin Neufeld and Senate President Stephen Morris have been reinterpreting scientific fact. While most political leaders are scaling back their support for coal-fired power, these proud farmers nearly hijacked an entire legislative session to push for the construction of global-warming-gas-spewing smokestacks in Western Kansas.
Environmental protection requires leadership, so maybe that's why Blunt didn't follow the other 11 Midwest governors to a recent summit where they devised a plan for reducing their states' global-warming pollution. Meanwhile, the Republican leader has been busy making sure every gas tank in Missouri is running on a 10 percent blend of ethanol, even though the "green" fuel will actually make Kansas City's air dirtier.
Mother Nature probably didn't intend St. Louis-based Monsanto to genetically engineer an artificial hormone that makes cows produce more milk. So local public-relations outfit Osborn & Barr is helping the company by prodding legislators in Missouri, Kansas and half a dozen other states. Their goal is to make it illegal for small producers to mention on labels that their dairy products don't contain the Monsanto potion.
Kansas City has crept up the list of green cities, but the biggest stumbling block has been the sprawling highways and disjointed public-transit system. That's thanks, in part, to Kansas City Public Library CEO R. Crosby Kemper, who's willing to fight for car culture. Recently, the Show-Me Institute