Midwest Cooling Silences  Media


Regional/ Kansas City:


By Jack Cashill

Posted in WorldNetDaily.com
July 5, 2007

The one season Kansas City residents dread most is summer. It typically starts early, ends late, and gets very hot in between. The average high in July, for instance, is 91 degrees.

Old timers still talk about the 1930s, when one consecutive summer after another of 100-plus heat famously turned the plains west of here to dust.

Those of more recent vintage harken back to the summer of 1980 when Kansas City recorded 22 consecutive 100-plus days and led the nation in heat deaths.

I was there that summer and remember vividly playing in a softball league on two successive Sunday afternoons with game time temperatures of 109 degrees each Sunday.

This was not the bogus “feels like” 109. This was real, unfiltered 109. Home runs turned into doubles when runners stopped at second to take Gatorade breaks.

Summer here typically starts early. I remember Easters of 95 and Memorial Days of 100-plus. Our first 90-degree usually comes in mid-May.

1999 owns the record “latest” first 90-degree day, June 5. It used to own it anyhow. This summer, without any fanfare, June 5 came and went without a 90-degree day.

For the next ten days, the media chose not to notice as record fell after record. On June 15, again without any notice, the high temperature topped out at 90 degrees, a new “late” record by ten full days.

Sort of like Joe DiMaggio, who went on a 16-game hitting streak after his 56-game streak ended, KC 2007 went on a new cool streak.

After June 15, no day has exceeded 90 degrees. Starting on June 26 Kansas City began a streak of below-average days that, according to weather.com, will last at least 17 days until July 13 when the temperature is supposed to peak at 91 degrees, the average for the day.

As far as I can tell no one in Kansas City is aware of any of this. The media here are as reluctant to discuss what’s going on with our weather as they are to discuss what’s going on in Dr. Tiller’s Wichita clinic.

In both cases, the truth simply does not jibe with their prepackaged set of beliefs. So they ignore it.

Last week, I shared some of this local weather info when I sat on a panel at the American Institute of Architect’s KC meeting. It all came as news.

The four other panelists and I addressed an ambitious concept known as “Architecture 2030,” which was designed “to lessen the role the building sector plays in the increasing threat of global warming.”

Given my local role as executive editor of the regional business magazine, I was invited as the token media representative, not as a dissenter.

The last to present, I spent the first of my opening five minutes on the local weather and the final four on my research into sustainable design for my upcoming book, What’s the Matter with California.

As I explained, no county in California is more sustainability-conscious than San Mateo, due south of San Francisco. For ten years now it has been producing an amusing document called “Indicators for a Sustainable San Mateo County.”

The document evaluates 31 trends “that form a snapshot of sustainability.” Given the political nature of the document, the county is willing to give itself a few pats on the back.

So on the first page of the 2005 10th anniversary document, the county congratulates itself for “increased use of solar,” “fewer contaminated sites,” “more transit oriented development,” and so on.

It is not until page two that the county slips in a chart showing that a family of median income—higher in San Mateo than just about anywhere—can afford to buy only 12% of the homes in the county (and dropping as we speak).

Nor is there any acknowledgement that certain green measures—particularly restraints on building—are what have priced the middle class out of the county.

In Kansas City, by contrast, a family of average income can afford to buy 87% of the homes in the market, which is typical for flyover country.

Still, for all their preening greenness, the nabobs of San Mateo need someone to haul their trash, fight their fires, bandage their chin tucks, and teach the few children they bother having.

Unfortunately, the San Mateo worker-bees cannot afford to live in San Mateo. So they create a veritable trail of carbon each day as they trudge in from their sweaty homelands an hour or two east.

Fortunately for San Mateo, however, their helots leave most of that carbon behind in Alameda County or San Joaquin.

The builders and developers I spoke to tell me that things continue to get weirder and worse. It’s not so much the regulations that are slowing them down—the permitting process can run up to three years--as the regulators.

In Missouri, good old boys still run the fish and game department. In California, eco-warriors do. In a world about to self-combust, no excess is unjustified.

“If you’ve got a wheel rut, you better hope it doesn’t rain,” one developer told me. “Otherwise, you’ve got a navigable waterway.”

After my presentation, the stunned moderator asked me incredulously why I did not believe in man-made global warming. I gave him my tight, two-minute explanation.

I waited for the challenge. It did not come, not from the moderator, not from my fellow panelists, not from any of the 100 or so people in the audience. They wanted to challenge. I suspect that they simply did not know enough to do so.

So they all proceeded to discuss Architecture 2030 as their power point displays dictated, but now just a wee bit hesitantly, no longer certain that it made any sense at all.

And these are the very same people who proudly display bumper stickers that say, “Question Authority.”

Would that they did.

Who is Jack Cashill?



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