Letter to the editor: On red flags

To the editor:

Regarding the Kansas Legislature’s move to prevent local ordinances from limiting fossil fuel use in future building projects, Sen. Mike Thompson said Lawrence’s opposition to the bill mainly was for “ideological reasons.” It seems pretty clear that the planet is not “ideological” in its response to human activity generating greenhouse gases. Science and the planet agree that it is Mr. Thompson who is being ideological here. Is it “ideological” to require restaurant workers to wash their hands after using the restroom, or is it a practical, science-based move to prevent the spread of illness-bearing organisms?

One origin of the phrase “red flag” is based on laws written when “horseless carriages” started showing up. Red Flag laws were written requiring such vehicles to be slowly led by a person waving a red flag to alert horses of what was about to come. May I suggest that the Legislature is writing a similar “red flag” law in order to prevent the status quo fossil fuel suppliers from being scared off by the increasingly efficient, low-carbon and renewable energy sources that are taking over? In a similar manner we will hopefully be shaking our heads over the necessity of such “protections” as renewables increasingly replace the fossil fuel-based causes of climate change in order to mitigate its worst effects.

Ken Lassman,



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