Essays taken from a weekly newspaper column published in the Washington County News, Washington, Kansas. Look for my book, "Dispatches From Kansas," available from Amazon.com, or from the author.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
The only thing that's changed is everything...
The following two articles are about the depopulation of the Great Plains as envisioned by two very wise people from Back East. While in some circles that might be enough to brand them as "outsiders" or "meddlers," their words are true. To deny them is to deny reality. Lori and I had the pleasure of meeting Frank and Deborah Popper once again at the Kansas Farmers Union Convention in Salina, from which the first article was generated. Because of the timeliness of the story and the enthusiasm that greeted it, I'm including the first article I wrote about the Poppers in 2004.
Posted by Tom Parker at 8:30 AM
So long Mr. Parker...
Signed - George McCune
So, Mr. McCune, what exactly do you disagree about? Rural depopulation? If so, you might check the census figures dating back to 1900. The depletion of the Ogallala aquifer? A quick scan of the Internet will find plenty of information. I realize your role as economic developer for Marshall County requires an outlook for growth and opportunity, but to deny the facts that stare at you every day you go into the office seems an ostrich-like reaction. Disagree all you want, but facts are facts.
It's sobering to think about, and I've thought about it quite a bit these ten years I've lived and loved living on the Great Plains.
We need to realize that these changes will only keep happening and we can only control the way we react to them.
With the depletion of the aquifer, I'm concerned about the projections for precipitation in South-Western Kansas by 2050.
It will be interesting to see what Kansas and the other Great Plains states make of themselves in the next 50 years and beyond. I'm afraid I'll be watching from afar, but with interest.
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