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Explosive passing, hard-charging running add up to 45-35 victory



Party sees possibility
of majority after Nov. 6
By Tom Loftus
The Courier-Journal

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Citing an unpop-
ular president at the top of the Demo-
cratic ticket in November, Kentucky
Republicans believe they have a shot at
winning a majority in the state House
for the first time in 91 years.
While acknowledging a tough fight,
and declining to predict specific wins,
Kentucky Republican Party Chairman
Steve Robertson de-
scribed “a very compet-
itive environment.”
“We have a lot of can-
didates who have gone
out there and laid the
proper foundations to
be competitive,” he
Currently Demo- “We’ll be

WEATHERING THE crats hold 58 seats and competitive,”

Republicans hold 41 Chairman
with one vacancy. With Steve
House seats up for elec- Robertson
tion every two years, 53 said.
incumbents face no op-
position this year.
But of the incum-
bents facing a chal-
lenge, 29 are Democrats
and only 11 are Republi-
cans. And some of the
most competitive races
By James Bruggers | | The Courier-Journal
will be for seven open
seats where incum- Speaker
bents (four Democrats, Greg Stumbo

Louisville Causes aside,
three Republicans) are says money
SUNDAY EXCLUSIVE retiring. favors
Those numbers bode Democrats.

starts efforts First in an occasional series.
many believe
well for Republicans.
But other numbers — numbers of
dollars — are in the Democrats’ favor,

to adapt to ABOUT THE SERIES
Over the coming months, The
area is already and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-
Prestonsburg, said he expects little, if
any, change in the House breakdown.
harsher climes Courier-Journal will publish stories
examining the rising risks associat-
ed with global warming and what,
feeling impact “We have a big fundraising edge, and
we still have money in the bank for
these targeted races,” Stumbo said.

if anything, local, state and busi-
eadly tornadoes, freak ntil a relentless heat baked Aggressive fundraising efforts by
ness officials are doing to adapt.
windstorms, crippling ice, Louisville with10 days over the House Democratic Caucus and the
Today, we look at what Louisville is
torrential downpours, un- 100 degrees this summer, Kentucky Democratic Party in 2011
doing to adapt. Future stories will
relenting heatwaves and Bellarmine University (when Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear
focus on agriculture and Ken-
flash flooding that swal- wellness teacher Chris Catt was cruising to a landslide re-election
tucky’s wildlife, parks and forests.
lows streets and homes — Louisville’s was skeptical about global warming. win) gave the party a big war chest as
recent weather has become a roller But now, “I’m a believer,” he says — this election year began.
coaster of extremes. so much so that he is organizing a tree- Most House Democratic candidates
In the past four years, four weather- INSIDE planting campaign for his Dundee Es- have gotten $30,000 — some $40,000 —
related disasters have been declared for tates neighborhood because he noticed from these two party funds.
» Brief looks at the impact on But Republicans have been working
Louisville, two for Southern Indiana and health and resources. A8 that it was so much hotter there than just
11 total for Kentucky, costing the Feder- three blocks away, where towering hard to raise funds. On Oct. 6 former Ar-
» A graphic explains options for kansas governor and 2008 presidential
al Emergency Management Agency adapting to climate change. A9 shade trees line the roads.
more than $700 million in damage reim- “The lack of shade became really ob- candidate Mike Huckabee helped
bursements and mitigation grants. vious,” he said. “It became unbearable
to walk on our street.” See GOP, Page A12
Whether it’s an example of climate
change or just temperamental Mother ONLINE While experts still say it’s difficult to
Nature, the evidence of more extreme More at courier-jour- blame any single weather event on cli-
weather is mounting in Louisville and mate change, a rising chorus of scien-
across the nation. And city officials and ing tists are echoing Catt’s sentiment — that
business leaders are taking their first » Explore an interactive timeline the impact of global warming, leading to ONLINE
steps to prepare for what some scien- of major weather events here climate change, may already be upon us. Find all of the latest political
tists predict could be even dodgier con- going back to the 1974 tornado. And Louisville’s recent rash of ex- developments and past stories at
sequences ahead. » See videos detailing ways we’re treme weather only adds to the concern:
That includes identifying some of the beginning to adapt to the “new » Record-setting rain fell last year, See stories, photos, and videos from the
normal” in extreme weather. recent vice presidential debate in Danville,
See SCIENCE, Page A11 Ky., at

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The roof of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority building on Vine Street contains trees, shrubs, perennials and sedum carpet to assist in cooling and heating and reduce runoff.

LOUISVILLE: Trying to adapt to harsher climes; some options too costly
Continued from Page A1 (inefficient) home, that’s just go- its consequences so that failure How Louisville compares VISION LOUISVILLE
ing to send those bills higher and to do so would be negligent. It
weather threats, ramping up the higher,” she said. would be a serious dropping of Hundreds of cities have Mayor Greg Fischer is asking the
emergency-response system, the ball.” vowed to reduce their emissions public about its vision for Louisville
buying out some residents of Price isn’t right Some of that work is already of heat-trapping gases, including 25 years out.
flood-prone areas, introducing Still, some city officials say being done, said Doug Hamilton, Louisville, but far fewer have His questions: What should our
green infrastructure such as the cost of adapting may some- the director of the local emergen- started specifically identifying public transit look like? What about
plant-covered roofs, and launch- times be too high. cy management agency, in part threats and making recommen- our neighborhoods? What about
ing an effort to cool the city by re- The EPA, for example, says through what he called “all-haz- dations for action, as Louisville’s our economy … our waterfront …
storing the vastly depleted tree there are materials and tech- ards” planning, which assesses 2009 climate report did. our parks … public art?
canopy. niques that can make streets community disaster risks and re- The Georgetown Climate Cen- The environment and responding
And a new, long-range plan- lighter colored, reducing pave- sponses, as well as in quarterly ter at Georgetown University to climate change is a big part of
ning effort called Vision Louis- ment surface temperatures by 20 meetings of an interagency “cri- Law Center in Washington, D.C., that vision, and the public is encour-
ville will attempt to factor in cli- to 40 degrees. sis group.” counts about 50 cities or counties aged to submit comments, via email
mate change, city officials said. But the city has limited funds Officials and others who oper- with such adaptation plans. or Twitter, via a website:
Much of that work is being for such projects, officials say. ate essential facilities and ser- “I think that puts Louisville in
done without direct reference to For example, the entire public vices, from power plants to the top tier,” said Williams. “Now,
global warming. works paving budget this year health care, have already learned implementation is the remaining
For example, in announcing was just $500,000 — enough for lessons from the repeated disas- important step.”
his tree initiative, Mayor Greg six miles of pavement. ters and made some changes, he Louisville officials say some ville. Stone and others have said
Fischer cited the need to shrink “Bottom line, we have looked said. of that is in play. For instance, Louisville’s tree cover appears to
Louisville’s “urban heat island” into some of these innovative For example, they are identi- they say they already have an ad- be much smaller than other larg-
— the downtown buildings, roads techniques, and the prices were fying and remedying places that equate system for dealing with er cities in the region, about 27
and parking lots that exacerbate well beyond what we can afford,” need backup water and power heat emergencies that involves percent compared with 40 per-
hot conditions in the summer. said Lindsay English, spokes- service, such as businesses that opening public buildings as cool- cent or 50 percent elsewhere, and
And many of the Metropolitan woman for the Metro Public fill oxygen bottles for Louisville ing centers and issuing public that tree planting would go a long
Sewer District’s changes are tied Works and Assets Department. residents with heart and lung ail- service announcements. way toward helping to cool Louis-
to an agreement with the U.S. En- When Williams was with the ments, he said. Some other cities, however, do ville.
vironmental Protection Agency city, he started working on a city The recent disasters, he said, more by working with the Nation- To that end, Fischer earlier
to greatly reduce sewage over- climate-action report through the “are building our resilience.” al Weather Service and Univer- this year appointed a new tree ad-
flows — while also helping handle Partnership for a Green City, a sity of Miami research professor visory commission, which is
anticipated heavier storms. collaboration among metro gov- Two efforts Larry Kalkstein to give officials planning a comprehensive study
“You start with the things that ernment, Jefferson County Pub- City officials also said they more robust heat advisories of the city’s tree cover. Fischer
cause health effects, because in lic Schools and the University of will incorporate thinking about based on matching weather con- has said the city needs to plant
an urban area, it’s all about peo- Louisville. Jefferson Community climate change into two new ditions with heat-related mortal- several hundred thousand new
ple,” said Louisville attorney Art & Technical College has since planning efforts. ity data from the past. trees and have a plan to care for
Williams, the retired director of joined the partnership. One is a sustainability plan It gives the weather service them.
the Louisville Metro Air Pollution That 2009 report focused that seeks to spell out how the city and cities estimates of how many The commission has begun to
Control District, who has fol- mostly on how Louisville could can create lasting environmen- people may die of heat-related raise money to make those goals
lowed climate change science reduce pollution by shrinking its tal, economic and community vi- conditions during extreme heat happen.
and policy for more than two dec- emissions of greenhouse gases tality. It’s under development by events, helping them plan an im- In Dundee Estates, Bellar-
ades. “But all the assets will need such as carbon dioxide. the mayor’s new sustainability di- proved response, Kalkstein said. mine University wellness teach-
to be (strengthened). Roads, But it was also partly an adap- rector, Maria Koetter. “Our main use is to really help er Chris Catt responded to the
bridges, piping, utility systems tation plan. The plan will explore ways to distinguish between the days that summer heat by starting a push
above and below ground will have It identified ways that climate improve the environmental per- are just hot, and those that actu- to plant100 trees this fall and next
to be examined.” change would affect the city and formance of the city, including ally pose a health risk,” said Sa- spring on several streets near
made preliminary recommenda- buildings, transportation sys- rah Boese, spokeswoman for the where he lives.
Time to plan tions, such as developing more tems and energy, said Ted Smith, Polk County Health Department He and arborist Michael Hay-
Experts such as Keith Moun- robust public health programs the city’s economic development in Des Moines, Iowa. man, a retired Courier-Journal
tain, chair of the University of for asthma and heat stress, edu- and innovation director and Koet- And Philadelphia has a net- photographer and adviser to the
Louisville Geography and Geo- cating the public about the impor- ter’s boss. work of neighborhood volunteers tree commission, have selected
sciences Department and a cli- tance of trees, planting more “I am now just putting togeth- who check on the sick and elderly trees such as white oaks, chinka-
mate scientist who has studied trees and making sure design er the framework for what our during extreme heat. pin oaks, sunshine elms, October
the retreat of glaciers, say it’s standards for storm and flood- plan is going to include,” Koetter Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, di- glory maples and male ginkgos,
time for cities to start planning control systems are sufficient. said. rector of the Louisville Metro De- which will add summer shade and
for a new normal. Partnership representatives The other is the mayor’s new partment of Public Health and splashes of red and yellow during
“If the things that are going to are reviewing the report now to Vision Louisville program, which Wellness, said establishing such a the fall.
impact a community are some- determine what’s been accom- seeks “to harness our collective network in Louisville would not Orange flags in people’s yards
what inherently unpredictable, plished. energy and chart our path to the be practical. “We’re not as big as show where the trees are to be
such as the ice storm, or such as Some officials said it’s hard to future, to decide how we want Philadelphia,” she said, adding planted. “Re-Tree Dundee” signs
Hurricane Ike that came plan for climate change because Louisville to look, feel and flow in that police will check on the el- are scattered around the neigh-
through, the point is, there is go- there is still uncertainty about 2040,” according to its website derly if asked. borhood. And Catt is persuading
ing to be a cost,” Mountain said. just how it will play out. seeking public input. Hamilton, the city’s emergen- residents to pay $225 for each of
“The question is, do we have an For example, while it’s likely The city has hired the Space cy management director, said the trees, which will be 8 to10 feet
infrastructure that will accom- we will have more extreme Group, a consulting company some senior service organiza- tall. The money covers delivery
modate that cost with the least weather, “the uncertainty is … do based in Oslo, Norway, to do re- tions, like those that deliver food, and planting costs.
amount of impact?” we plan for increased dryness or search and help identify ideas check on clients during extreme Mike and Shirley Ehrler have
Environmental engineer Sa- increased precipitation?” said Fischer has said will “really heat. agreed to plant three new trees,
rah Lynn Cunningham, who leads Kentucky Environment and En- stretch people's minds.” after they lost a giant oak to a
the Louisville Climate Action ergy Secretary Len Peters. The mayor has said the plan Seeking shade storm last year. “If we start put-
Network, said Louisville needs to “Probably increased precipita- could be completed by December Research by Brian Stone Jr., a ting some trees in, everybody
develop a greater sense of urgen- tion, but we aren’t sure about 2013 and will explore such Georgia Tech city and regional will want to start putting trees
cy in dealing with climate that. I don’t know how to make themes as transportation, sus- planning professor, has found in,” predicted Mike Ehrler, a re-
change. policy when all we can do is spec- tainability and connectivity. that Louisville’s heat island is tired dairyman.
The impact of climate change ulate what the impacts might be.” “Climate has to be a part of growing hotter, faster than other “We are trying to leave a lega-
is going to hit people in the pock- But Williams said such uncer- that,” said Smith “If we get to the U.S. cities he’s studied. cy for the neighborhood,” Catt
etbook, with more flooding, high- tainty is no reason not to plan. bigger conversation of what is He said he’s not sure why but said. “We’re going to benefit the
er health-care costs and bigger “Many, if not most, of the key the overall experience of Louis- suggested it might be due to too next generation.”
utility bills, she said. “If we are effects can be … planned for,” ville, I think you get to … some few trees, especially downtown
running our air conditioning Williams said. “There is enough kind of greater good for us all.” and in some neighborhoods, in- Reporter James Bruggers can be
more in the summer, in a leaky known about climate change and cluding some in western Louis- reached at (502) 582-4645.


SCIENCE: Evidence grows that global warming’s impact will be felt here
Continued from Page A1 Chris Catt stands your population, your infrastruc-
last month at the ture, to the changes we antici-
followed by extreme heat, more site where a tree pate,” said Vicki Arroyo, execu-
smog and drought. would be placed tive director of the Georgetown
» Freak winds from a hurri- for his tree Climate Center at Georgetown
cane in 2008 toppled trees and planting campaign University Law Center. “In some
power lines and were followed by in Louisville’s areas, like New Orleans, it is sea
crippling ice a few months later Dundee Estates level rise or very intense storms,
in 2009 that left hundreds of thou- area. Catt noticed like we saw with Hurricane Ka-
sands without electricity. how hot his trina. In other places it might be
» Deadly tornadoes raked neighborhood got droughts.”
Southern Indiana earlier this this summer
year, killing 13 people and caus- because of the Getting worse
ing more than $84 million in lack of shade U of L’s Mountain has ana-
losses, while other recent storms trees. ANGELA lyzed temperatures in Louisville
have dumped several inches of SHOEMAKER/SPECIAL dating to 1947 and has found that
rain in a few short hours, flooding TO THE C-J temperatures are going up.
low-lying neighborhoods and The average yearly lows have
causing massive sewage spills. risen the most during the past 65
“I believe reality and our own years — about 4 degrees. The av-
data indicate the frequency and erage high temperatures have
intensity of weather-related inci- risen about 1 degree, and the
dents are rapidly changing and yearly average temperature has
are affecting the way we do busi- gone up about 2 degrees, he calcu-
ness,” said Doug Hamilton, lated.
Louisville’s emergency manage- Department and a climate scien- since the mid-20th century is The air pollution and pollen But climate modeling for the
ment director. “I agree with Bob tist who has studied the retreat of very likely due to” the increase in pose trouble for the estimated Midwest and Southeast suggest
Dylan who rasped, ‘You don’t glaciers around the world. human-caused greenhouse gases 100,000 area residents who suffer temperatures could work their
need a weatherman to know Whether use of fossil fuels is in the atmosphere. from asthma, including Cecilia way toward 10 degrees hotter by
which way the wind blows.’” to blame for the earth’s new Five years later, some scien- Anglin, a Family Allergy and the end of the century, Schmidt
Last year in particular was weather patterns remains a vola- tists are now starting to use sta- Asthma clinic patient. said.
one for the record books, accord- tile political debate. Still, experts tistics to attribute some recent “I am concerned, and I am The results could be deadly.
ing to the National Oceanic and say it’s hard to deny the apparent major weather events, such as really hoping they are wrong,” A report issued in May by the
Atmospheric Administration, warming trend. catastrophic drought in Texas said Anglin, of Louisville, who Natural Resources Defense
which recorded 14 U.S. weather State climatologist Stuart Fos- and Oklahoma, and the Russian manages her condition with aller- Council environmental group es-
and climate disasters, each caus- ter at Western Kentucky Univer- heat wave of 2010, to climate gy and asthma shots, pills, inhal- timated that as many as 39 Louis-
ing more than $1 billion in dam- sity takes a more cautious ap- change. ers and staying indoors on the ville residents die each year from
ages. proach, saying Kentucky’s “We are not going to avoid cli- worse days or making sure all er- problems exacerbated by heat.
Emergency managers are weather records show a history mate change,” said Gavin rands are done by midmorning. That number, the group said,
worried that “these storms seem of variability. Summers with ex- Schmidt, a climate scientist with “Even with all the medicine, I could increase to 257 per year by
to have more velocity in them treme heat have occurred before NASA’s Goddard Institute for was still having flare-ups,” An- roughly 2050 and 376 per year by
than they had in the past,” said during the past century, he said. Space Studies and the co-author glin said of the past summer. the end of the century — the
Brig. Gen. John W. Heltzel, direc- But Foster acknowledges that of the 2009 book “Climate “You can’t just take a deep worst among 40 cities studied.
tor of the Kentucky Division of climate models anticipate the Change: Picturing the Science.” breath.” University of Miami research
Emergency Management. state moving into uncharted “It’s here, it’s happening and Weather changes from year to professor Larry Kalkstein, who
While scientists are not yet weather territory. it’s going to get worse,” he said. year, as part of natural variabili- helped the group with the study,
ready to blame any of the recent “By the year 2050, a good sum- The experts say the conse- ty. But Schmidt said the planet’s said he is not sure why Louisville
extreme weather in Louisville or mer would be what we now con- quences will be more dramatic in climate fate is largely set for at ranked at the top.
the region on global warming, sider to be a very hot summer,” places such as the Arctic, the least the next two or three dec- But he said what threatens
they said the Kentuckiana cli- Foster said. American West and low-lying ades, as greenhouse gases al- people the most is when heat
mate is changing, along with that coastal areas subject to sea-level ready pumped into the air do catches them off-guard, especial-
of the rest of the planet. And glob- Strong trends rise. their damage. ly earlier in the season following
al warming, they say, can put If anything, the science of cli- But they say the Louisville And any actions that are taken cooler winter or spring weather.
weather on steroids. mate change is getting more cer- area likely won’t be able to escape now to curb heat-trapping gas “The most vulnerable cities are
“There is nothing to suggest tain. more excessive heat, summer emissions likely won’t have an ef- those with regular and intense
we are going to break out of this In 2007, scientists with the In- drought, bigger storms, the fect for just as long, meaning ad- heat waves in a variable climate,”
generally persistent warming tergovernmental Panel on Cli- spread of certain diseases like aptation will be necessary, he said.
trend,” said Keith Mountain, mate Change concluded that West Nile virus and worsening Schmidt said.
chair of the University of Louis- “most of the observed increase in asthma from more air pollution “Adaptation planning involves Reporter James Bruggers can be
ville Geography and Geosciences global average temperatures and pollen. assessing the vulnerability of reached at (502) 582-4645.

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to pay
off debt
Officials hope tax revenue
rises along with economy
By Marcus Green
The Courier-Journal

It was supposed to be a reliable way to
help cover the cost of a new downtown
arena: The building’s events would bring
throngs of people downtown who would
eat, drink and shop nearby. Their sales
taxes would be captured to help pay for
the KFC Yum! Center.
But the arena hasn’t added as much to
tax revenues as expected during its first
three years — producing less than one-
third of the amount originally projected.
Arena officials have scraped together
cash to deal with the shortfalls, nearly
emptying a building renovation fund and
notifying Louisville metro government
that more city money may be needed as
early as next spring.
The troubles have captured the atten-
tion of the bond market, with rating
Scott Travis, a Spencer County farmer, now plants a wider selection of crop varieties that mature over different periods agency Standard & Poor’s lowering its
and uses ponds to retain as much water as possible. ANGELA SHOEMAKER/SPECIAL TO THE COURIER-JOURNAL confidence in the authority’s ability to
repay the project’s debt to “negative”
from “stable” over concerns about the


See ARENA, Page A13

James Ramsey is under contract to remain
By James Bruggers U of L president through 2020. C-J FILE SUNDAY EXCLUSIVE
The Courier-Journal
10 years in,
Second in an occasional series.
hile some of them still aren’t convinced that humans
are to blame, farmers across the nation — including
those in Kentucky and Indiana — increasingly ac-
knowledge that they’re having to deal with the con-
The Courier-Journal is publishing stories Ramsey gets
plaudits for
examining the risks associated with global
sequences of climate change. warming and what, if anything, local, state
“Every day we get up, put our shoes on and watch the weather,” and business officials are doing to adapt.
Spencer County farmer Scott Travis said during a break while driv- Today, we look at how Kentucky’s
ing a soybean harvester this fall.
“I’ve accepted for me to stay in business, I have to adapt. I need
to assume it’s going to be hot and dry, and if it’s not, I’ll be fine.”
agriculture is adapting to climate change.
Previously, we looked at what Louisville is
doing to cope. Future stories will focus on
U of L rebirth
Kentucky’s wildlife, parks and forests.
Climate change can come in many forms. Just in the past year: By Joseph Gerth
» An early warm spell coaxed fruit trees and bushes, including INSIDE
blueberries, to blossom early, only to be frozen by the return of a » A graphic explains agricultural options
The Courier-Journal
more seasonal killer frost. for coping with climate change. A11
» The warm winter meant the ground didn’t freeze and thaw, a A decade ago, only one-third of Uni-
process that normally opens the soil and lets moisture soak in. versity of Louisville students graduated
» More frequent heavy storms threatened to wash away unpro- within six years of starting college, few-
tected topsoil. er than 100 students earned doctoral de-
» A massive drought, the worst in 20 or 30 years, prompted disas- grees each year and the school was
ter declarations in roughly 2,200 counties from New York to Cali- drawing just $81 million in research
fornia and Texas to North Dakota, including all of Indiana and grants.
Few students lived in student hous-
See FARMING, Page A10 ing, and the campus was a fairly desolate
place except during peak class hours.
Now, as University of Louisville
President James Ramsey reaches his
10th anniversary, many of those statis-
FOR TABLET USERS: tics have improved dramatically.
Use the touch screen to view the various techniques that farmers More than half of students now gradu-
are using to adapt to climate change. ate, twice as many doctoral degrees are
given out annually and professors bring

See RAMSEY, Page A4

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Videos, photos and more at
» See how Russellville farmer Don Halcomb » Watch Spencer County farmer Scott » Adam Barr preaches the virtues » Take an interactive tour on your tablet of
is adapting to climate change using more Travis as he explains his plans for hot of organic farming and knowing farmers’ adaptive techniques at www.couri-
efficient crops and rotating them each year. and dry weather. where your food comes from.

FARMING: Weather patterns may bring different crops, cultivation methods
Continued from Page A1

nearly all of Kentucky.
The impact goes beyond farming:
The drought is still contributing to
higher retail prices for food and more
taxpayer subsidies for federal crop in-
surance, even as high crop prices al-
lowed for a record $5.3 billion in farm
receipts in Kentucky.
“The pain of the drought is spread
across farmers, shippers, producers,
laborers, retailers and, of course, con-
sumers,” said Richard Volpe, econo-
mist with the U.S. Department of Agri-
culture’s Economic Research Service.
Craig Cox, an ecologist, economist
and senior vice president for the Envi-
ronmental Working Group, a group
based in Washington, D.C., that closely
tracks agricultural issues, said taxpay-
ers pay two-thirds of the crop insur-
ance premiums and pick up most of the
“And the bigger the losses, the larg-
er the share of the losses the taxpayers
pick up,” Cox said.
Food costs rising

SDA recently detected the first
impact on food prices from the
2012 drought — a 0.4 percent in-
crease in the food consumer-price in-
dex during October.
The agency estimates next year’s re- Don Halcomb of Russellville employs no-till farming, in which the soil is left exposed to the elements. Seeds are planted into stubble left
tail food prices could be about 0.5 per- from previous crops. The stubble helps break the fall of raindrops and restores organic material to the soil. KYLENE WHITE/THE COURIER-JOURNAL
centage points higher than normal,
with the increase largely due to the largely because of “a mindset” that
drought. Overall, food prices are ex- makes them resistant to change, Mur-
pected to increase 3 percent to 4 per- dock said.
cent in 2013. Farmers are also experimenting
Agriculture contributes billions of with new kinds of cover crops between
dollars to the economies of Indiana and plantings of corn and soybeans. On a
Kentucky, while employing more than tour of farms in his area, Halcomb
570,000 Hoosiers and 270,000 Kentuck- showed a field of rye that included
ians, according to the National Associa- plantings of daikon radishes, which he
tion of State Departments of Agricul- said leave behind depressions in the soil
ture. after they rot, retaining more water.
It pegs Indiana farm output at nearly Halcomb and others have also begun
$9 billion, while Kentucky’s exceeds to irrigate. He has a new, large center-
$5 billion. pivot irrigation system watering about
Experts concede it’s difficult to 140 acres. That’s the type of irrigation
prove whether any single weather system more typically seen in the much
event, including a drought, is linked to drier West.
climate change. But many are looking He said his irrigated farmland this
at how global warming fuels weather year produced more than 200 bushels of
systems, creating new weather pat- corn per acre, compared with his farm-
terns, and are examining other evi- wide average of about 90 bushels per
dence to conclude that climate change acre.
is already happening. But if many farmers turn to irriga-
Farmers have a front-row seat for tion, it could draw down water supplies,
the weather’s unpredictability. potentially putting farms and cities at
“It’s one thing to say it’s hot, and you odds.
are out running, and you go back to your Meade County farmer Adam Barr sells produce, poultry and meat at the Douglas Loop “We probably need to put some re-
air conditioning,” said Meade County Farmers’ Market last month. He’s concerned about the additional unpredictability sources into it to figure out how much

farmer Adam Barr, who raises cattle farmers could face from climate change. ANGELA SHOEMAKER/SPECIAL TO THE C-J (irrigation) these aquifers could sus-
and chickens and grows vegetables for tain,” said Peter Goodman, assistant di-
farmers’ markets and subscribing fam- rector of the Kentucky Division of Wa-
ilies in Louisville. “If you see your but drought projections are even more ter, which this year began looking into
crops drying up, that’s another thing. severe for the already dry American how many new irrigation wells have
“I don’t know what’s coming. ... That West and Southwest, he said. been drilled.
is the biggest concern.” “This could be a place where people For his part, Travis said he also prac-
But in rural areas, which tend to be want to move to (because) we have the tices no-till farming and grows corn,
politically conservative, just raising Ohio River,” he said. soybeans, wheat, tobacco and hay. He
the subject with some farmers can be
difficult because the terms “climate
“What you do as a He said Kentucky has only begun to
grapple with the potential threats of cli-
said he’s planting a wider selection of
crop varieties that mature over differ-
change” and “global warming” have be-
come so politicized, said J. Gordon Ar-
farmer is you spread mate change to agriculture and lags be-
hind some other states, including Indi-
ent times and uses ponds to retain as
much water as possible.
buckle Jr., an assistant professor and
extension sociologist at Iowa State Uni- your risks out to ana, which he said has been doing adap-
tation planning for several years.
“What you do as a farmer is you
spread your risks out to where all your
versity. “I don’t think we are far behind, but eggs aren’t in one basket,” he said.
A survey he worked on this year of where all your eggs we are not a national leader,” he said.
some 5,000 farmers across the corn belt The race to keep pace
aren’t in one basket.”
found that 66 percent agreed that cli- Learning to adapt hough he agrees the agriculture

mate was changing, but only 8 percent SCOTT TRAVIS, a farmer in Spencer here is much that farmers can do industry can adapt, Purdue Uni-
concluded people were the main cause. County to improve their odds of adapting versity agricultural economics
Arbuckle said that skepticism to whatever climate change professor Otto Doering says climate
makes it more difficult for university brings, Vincelli said — though eventu- change may be happening too quickly
extension researchers to educate farm- ally they may need to consider growing for science, technology and farmers to
ers on how they can both reduce their different crops entirely. keep pace.
contribution to global warming — agri- white paper that warned corn yields “Dry periods are going to be drier, There may not be enough time for
culture contributes 8 to 15 percent of could drop with rising temperatures. longer and hotter,” said Cox. “Wet peri- companies to develop new pesticides or
greenhouse gases globally — and how Corn produced $786 million in farm re- ods are going to be longer, wetter, with practices “because the damn thing is on
to change farming practices to adapt. ceipts in 2011, making it the state’s more precipitation coming in larger you all of a sudden,” Doering said. “The
Farmers, for example, can reduce third-most-valuable agricultural com- storm events. same with plant breeding.”
erosion and runoff of fertilizers into modity behind horses and broiler “The biggest issue is what kind of Companies, for example, already
streams and rivers by not planting chickens, according to USDA. farming systems and practices can have drought-resistant varieties of
close to waterways. Hail, wind and flooding damage may stand up to that kind of variability and corn but are developing some with even
And new technologies that combine become more common, the UK scien- still be productive.” more resistance, using both traditional
sensors on farm equipment and global- tists warned. Russellville farmer Don Halcomb methods and more controversial genet-
positioning systems make sure fertiliz- Pests and diseases that would nor- agreed, saying too much rain too quick- ic engineering.
er isn’t over-applied. mally be killed or slowed down during ly can be a problem for soil erosion. They are also breeding cattle with
There is plenty is at stake, Arbuckle cold winters could invade earlier in the “If you have 2 inches of rain (and) it’s genes from more heat-tolerant regions,
said. year or move farther north, they said. over a day, that’s one thing,” he said . “If such as Africa and India, Doering said.
“Despite all of the soil and water con- For example, the southern bacteria wilt you have it over four hours, that’s just As for the general public, it can ex-
servation efforts over the last 80 years that affects tobacco and horticultural more erosion.” pect dirtier water as heavy rains wash
or so, we still have major soil erosion crops, including tomatoes, recently has Halcomb grows corn, soybeans and away more farm soil, dirtier air from
and water-quality problems that need been confirmed in Kentucky. wheat, and employs a practice called dust storms and a greater tax burden,
to be addressed,” Arbuckle said. It is known to attack as many as 200 no-till farming, which was developed Cox said.
That’s in part because many of the plant species, said Paul Vincelli, exten- commercially in Kentucky 50 years Treatment plants can clean water
conservation efforts are voluntary and sion professor in the Department of ago. That’s where the soil is not cultivat- for drinking, but polluted farm runoff
pit short-term economic needs of farm- Plant Pathology at UK. “The wost case ed and left bare, exposed to the ele- can still harm aquatic life and make
ers against long-term societal needs to is total crop losses,” he said. ments. swimming and wading less safe.
maintain soil and clean water, he said. Conversely, some crops might bene- Seeds are planted into stubble left Unlike some of his farming col-
“If weather is going to get more vari- fit, such as soybeans that are stimulat- from previous crops. The stubble helps leagues, Halcomb said he buys into the
able and extreme due to climate ed by warmer weather and more car- break the fall of each raindrop and re- mainstream science of climate change
change, dealing with these issues be- bon dioxide. And warmer winters also stores organic material to the soil to and “doesn’t see how we are going to get
comes even more urgent,” he said. mean winter production of cool-season help it retain moisture, he said. out of this without any damage.”
vegetable crops, creating new market About 50 percent of the corn acre- Sometimes, Halcomb said, he feels
Climate impacts opportunities. age, 80 percent of soybean acreage and as if he might become like the farmers

limate change will increasingly There is still a lot of uncertainty 70 percent of the state’s wheat acreage who stayed behind in states like Kansas
affect this region’s agriculture in about how climate change will play out is no-till, said Lloyd Murdock, UK ex- during the Dust Bowl years in the1930s.
the next 20 to 30 years, bringing in the region, said Vincelli. tension soils specialist. It’s especially “If we were really smart, we’d sell out
both problems and opportunities, ac- “We are going to get hurt by climate important in Kentucky because of its and move north to Minnesota.”
cording to experts at the University of change, but maybe less than in other sloping topography and erodible soils,
Kentucky. parts of the country,” he said. “We will he said. Reporter James Bruggers can be reached at
Last year, the university published a certainly have our share (of droughts),” Why more farmers don’t use no-till is (502) 582-4645.
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on chew
to drop
Health advocates upset;
change got little fanfare
By Tom Loftus
The Courier-Journal

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s tax on
chewing tobacco will be cut by more
than half in August, thanks to a little-no-
ticed bill passed this year that has drawn
the ire of health advocates.
The change will
drop the tax on chew-
ing tobacco from
roughly 41 cents per
pouch to 19 cents.
The cut will cost ONLINE
the state an estimat-
Andrew Berry, manager of the Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest, walks along one of the trails at the Bullitt County ed $425,784 in annual Watch a video
site. Conservationists are seeking to protect corridors between the forest and Fort Knox. ALTON STRUPP/THE COURIER-JOURNAL revenue, but im- about how the
proved collection of chewing tobacco

tobacco taxes re- bill was passed
quired by the same and why health
bill could make up advocates think
the lost revenue, ac- it’s a step
backward at

cording to a legisla-
tive staff analysis. www.courier-
health advocates ar- legislature
gue a tax cut is the
wrong move for a state wrestling with
widespread health problems and some of
the nation’s highest rates for use of
chewing and smokeless tobacco, partic-
ularly among teenage boys.
“When Kentucky consistently has the
highest rates of tobacco use among kids
and adults, and at a time when the state
needs new sources of revenue, it does not
products,” said Amy Barkley, of the
See CHEWING, Page A16
By James Bruggers | | The Courier-Journal

OVEN FORK, Ky. Cigarettes: 60 cents per pack
mile up a tree-covered trail on Pine Mountain, the Bad Third in a series Moist snuff: 19 cents per tin
Branch stream plummets 60 feet into a crystal clear pool ABOUT THE SERIES Chewing tobacco: Changing to 19 cents
before meandering down a rocky ravine. The Courier-Journal is publishing stories per pouch (now 15% of wholesale price)
This Letcher County waterfall in the headwaters of the examining the risks associated with Cigars: 15% of wholesale price
Cumberland River is a showcase attraction, part of nine global warming and what, if anything,
Pipe tobacco: 15% of wholesale price
local, state and business officials are
state nature preserves strung together along a 120-mile-long “conser-
doing to adapt.
vation island.” » Today, we look at how large-scale
Here in southeast Kentucky, state and federal agencies and private conservation could give Kentucky na-
conservation groups are spending millions of dollars to piece together ture and wildlife the best chance at
adapting to climate change.
thousands of acres of protected land through acquisitions and conser-
» Previously, we looked at how Ken-
vation easements. Their goal is to preserve enough land for nature and tucky agriculture is adapting to climate
wildlife to weather the effects of mountaintop-removal mining and de- change and what Louisville is doing to
velopment — as well as adapt to the threats of global climate change. cope with its heating urban core.
“What we are hoping for is that we have a really intact ecosystem
for those species that are here and persist,” said Greg Abernathy, a MORE ONLINE

forest ecologist with the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, which works
A video outlines the issue
to buy or protect some of the most sensitive Pine Mountain properties and what one can do. Other
and others around the state. “So the analogy is that it is really protect- videos showcase some

ing the stage, though the actors may change over time.” Kentucky wildlife habitats. Also
In Kentucky, many native plants and animals are already strug- read past stories at www.courier-
gling as their habitat is lost to encroaching cities, farms and roads, as

well as invasive species. The American chestnut was virtually wiped BUILDING RESILIENCE
out by an invading disease and others, such as Eastern hemlock and A full-page illustration helps to
ash, face perilous threats from foreign insects. show the land in question, threats
from climate change and ways to Louisville home sales are back, but
See CHANGES, Page A6 help nature cope. A7 there aren’t that many homes for sale.
So far this year, Realtors in the area
have sold the most homes since the same
time in 2007 and more than 20 percent
more homes than a year ago.
WEATHER | B2 124 PAGES But a four-year lull in new home con-
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A panoramic view from Pine Mountain State Resort Park looks out over the city of Pineville in southeastern Kentucky. PHOTOS BY ALTON STRUPP/THE COURIER-JOURNAL

CHANGES: Kentucky tries to connect conservation islands
WHAT CAN KY. DO? Continued from Page A1 Mark Marraccini. The department didn’t
want to get involved in any “back and
» Allow state tax credits for people Climate change threatens to disrupt the forth” on global warming, he said.
who donate their property for state’s natural heritage even more, said Natural areas are also important eco-
conservation easements. Thomas Barnes, an extension professor nomic engines for outdoor recreation, in-
» Dedicate sales taxes from hunting, and wildlife specialist in the University of cluding hunting, fishing, camping, horse-
fishing and outdoor recreation, Kentucky Department of Forestry. back riding and boating, said Hugh Archer,
potentially about $20 million a year. He said it will make it that much harder a former Kentucky Department of Natural
» Sell bonds. A $30 million bond for some plants and animals to survive, Resources Commissioner who has run the
issue could raise that amount over while encouraging other non-native spe- Kentucky Natural Lands Trust since 2005.
10 years, with annual debt service of cies to move in and take over — including Outdoor recreation, for example, gener-
about $3.9 million. some that aren’t wanted, such as cogan- ates about $8.4 billion in annual consumer
Source: Conserve Kentucky, grass, one of the 10 worst weeds in the spending and employs 105,300 people in
Trust for Public Lands world that’s been moving north from the Kentucky, according to a 2013 survey by
Gulf states, reaching into Tennessee. the Outdoor Industry Association.
“If it moves north into Kentucky, that Ben Begley, education director of the Pine
KENTUCKY may be one species that gets people’s at- Mountain Settlement School, stands in front KENTUCKY LAGS BEHIND REGION
HERITAGE LAND tention,” Barnes said, adding, “there will of his herb collection. "Over the last 25 years, Conservationists have big dreams but
CONSERVATION FUND be winners and losers,” he said. the plants have begun to emerge after the few resources. Kentucky lags significant-
And while Kentucky’s billion-dollar rec- winter almost a month earlier," he said. ly behind the rest of the region in conser-
Established in 1990, the Kentucky
Heritage Land Conservation Fund is
reation and tourism industries depend on vation spending and acres conserved, a
the primary source of state money to the state’s heralded natural habitat, its 2011 study by the San Francisco-based
buy natural areas for enjoyment by conservation efforts lag far behind most green spaces and migratory corridors be- Trust for Public Lands for the Nature Con-
this and future generations. It gets its neighboring states. Moreover, portions of tween two large blocks of protected land servancy concluded.
revenue from a portion of unmined the money Kentucky has earmarked for south of Louisville: Bernheim Arboretum In all, between 1998 and 2008, Kentucky
minerals tax, environmental fines, land conservation have been raided by the and Research Forest and Fort Knox, had the sixth-lowest state spending on land
sale of Kentucky nature license plates legislature, slowing efforts even further. which, despite the war games played conservation of seven neighboring states
and interest. Though state Fish and Wildlife officials there, has an abundance of native species. examined by the group, ahead of only Mis-
Not all the revenue goes to land have been forward-thinking enough to Combined they could keep as much as souri. Kentucky’s total was $46.9 million
conservation. By statute, $150,000 draft a “climate-action” report that exam- 281 square miles in a relatively natural spent to conserve 52,830 acres.
goes to environmental education and ines the potential impacts of climate state, said Bernheim boss Mark Wourms. By comparison, North Carolina topped
$400,000 goes to promote coal.
change on Kentucky’s habitat, officials “The beauty of it is it gives wildlife and the list by spending or agreeing to spend
The remaining is divided this way: from that department are reluctant to plants room to move and escape and find $1.08 billion to conserve 795,000 acres. Vir-
!10% Department of Fish and even acknowledge it, let alone discuss pol- new niches as the climate changes and de- ginia was second, spending $844 million to
Wildlife Resources icy, because global warming is a political velopment changes occur,” Wourms said. conserve 558,000 acres.
!10% Department of Parks landmine in the state. And Gov. Steve Be- It’s all about using various tools — out- Kentucky’s funding “is just not going to
!10% Division of Forestry shear has been reluctant to spell out any right purchases or buying easements that get you very far, when you are talking
!10% Kentucky State Nature land-conservation goals. restrict development, for example — to ex- statewide, and in a large state with a lot of
Preserves Commission By many accounts, Kentucky has for pand and link protected large areas that es- open and available land,” said Tom Gilbert,
!10% Wild Rivers Program now doomed itself to an inefficient, piece- tablish corridors for plants and wildlife, author of the report.
!50% Local governments, state meal approach to land conservation. and connecting enough natural habitat to The study also found problems with the
colleges, universities and other public Unless something is done, Kentucky’s let nature to survive and adapt, Dott said. Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation
agencies. plant and wildlife communities could see a Black bears, for example, are believed Fund, a key cash source for conservation.
TOTAL REVENUE sweeping transformation within a human to have traveled through the forests of Revenue from the sale of the fund’s na-
lifespan, with invasive species taking over, Pine Mountain on their return to Kentucky ture license plates has declined as motor-
In millions, fiscal years “and people will not like a lot of the mem- in recent years, after being gone from the ists have more options for specialty plates.
6.99 bers of the mix,” said Albert Meier, a West- state for much of the past century. The legislature raided the fund, taking
ern Kentucky University biology profes- Wildlife corridors are essential, but $500,000 during recent budget shortfalls,
$5.91 sor and co-director of the WKU Green Riv- they won’t work for all plants and animals. plus an additional $17 million from in 2009,
5.74 er Preserve near Cave City. The showy and popular three-petaled replacing it with bond revenue. That
4.37 5.03 “We will probably have fire ants and ar- trillium woodland wildflower, for exam- switch caused a six-figure drop in annual
4.74 4.33 madillos and Burmese pythons,” he said, ple, depends on tiny ants to disperse its interest income, the report concluded.
$4.33 warning that these changes are already in seeds, Meier said, adding, “Some species And the legislature requires it spend
motion and it will be hard to stop. will need assistance, especially if they $400,000 each year on coal education.
have been reduced to patches of habitat.”
PRESERVING AN ANCIENT FOREST Building resilience allows “something ‘A LACK OF GOALS’
Yet, there have been some successes. to bounce back ... (after) some particular One of the biggest problems, said Terry
Pine Mountain is one of several places type of disturbance,” said Meier’s wife, Cook, director of the Nature Conservancy
in Kentucky where state and federal gov- Ouida Meier, an adjunct biology professor in Kentucky, is that recent state gover-
ernment agencies and private groups are at WKU and co-director of the preserve. nors, including Beshear, have not set any
focusing on large-scale conservation. And climate change, she said, is likely to conservation goals, which “prohibits us
The long ridge rises to 3,273 feet above bring major disturbances. from thinking about what’s needed.”
’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12 the Cumberland Plateau. Geologic forces Beshear declined to be interviewed, in-
FISCAL YEAR pushed it up and over other land 200 mil- EXTINCTION’S RIPPLE EFFECTS stead issuing a statement that the state is
lion to 320 million years ago, according to While there is still uncertainty on just “always open to considering ways to en-
Where the money the Kentucky Geological Survey. how climate change may affect Kentucky, hance and protect Kentucky’s natural
comes from Coal was exposed and eventually erod- experts anticipate that torrential rains lands, and setting a land conservation goal
In millions, fiscal years ed away, leaving it undesirable for mining, could erode river and stream banks even could be one of the many ways to enhance
LICENSE PLATES said Ben Begley, education director of the more, clogging waterways with more sedi- that effort.”
Pine Mountain Settlement School, an envi- ment and dumping more pollution that has Adding to the problems: conservation is
$0.57 ronmental education center. run off farms and cities. delivered by numerous state agencies, lo-
$1.11 1 0.9 0.78 0.69 0.68 “It’s been pretty much left alone,” he Extended drought and heat could dry up cal governments, universities and private
said, producing a largely uninterrupted wetlands, which are nature’s kidneys and groups that don’t always work together, ac-
’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12
forest 120 miles long and 15 miles wide, in- are used by many animals for survival. cording to a 2006 land conservation task
cluding the largest forest in Kentucky to And early warm spells could disrupt polli- force created by the General Assembly.
UNMINED MINERALS TAX have been spared from logging, with trees nation, an essential process for survival. A new group called Conserve Kentucky
dating to the 1600s. “There really is noth- That is already happening, said Joyce with some of the task force’s former mem-
$2.87 ing else like it.” Bender, a biologist who manages the bers helped persuade legislators to pass a
1.92 2.02 2.06 2.1 Yet only about 30 percent of Pine Moun- state’s network of 61 nature preserves. bill in March to allow private land trusts to
$1.521.39 tain, or about 53 square miles, is protected, For example, pink lady slippers, a Cum- seek matching grants from the state.
such as the state’s newest nature preserve: berland Plateau woodland wildflower, are “This will ... hopefully allow more com-
1,864 acres along Laurel Fork in Whitley sometimes blooming earlier than the petitive and innovative projects to
’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12 County, which cost nearly $1 million. emergence of the bees they depend on for emerge,” Cook said.
Dedicated March 14 as the Archer pollination, she said. “When that timing is Conserve Kentucky also is studying
ENVIRONMENTAL FINES Benge State Nature Preserve, the site con- off, you are missing the entire year’s re- state tax breaks for those who donate con-
tains globally rare species of plants and production for that species.” servation easements, issuing tens of mil-
two federally threatened fish, the black- When some species die out, there can be lions of dollars in bonds, raising the sales
2.28 $2.2 side dace and Cumberland arrow darter, as a ripple effect. tax, or tapping sales tax revenue from
1.94 1.92
$1.3 1.36 well as federally listed mussels, said Don For example, White-Nose Syndrome hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.
0.89 Dott, director of the Kentucky State Na- has killed millions of bats in the Eastern But lawmakers won’t like new taxes or
ture Preserves Commission. “We look for United States, and a new “climate action” more tax breaks, warned Sen. Robin Webb,
’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12
areas with the greatest concentration of report by the Kentucky Department of a Grayson Democrat and former co-chair
rare or endangered species. That gives us Fish and Wildlife Resources found that of the 2006 task force — even though she
INTEREST a bigger bang for the buck.” warmer fall temperatures could allow recognized Kentucky’s unique nature.
more time for the syndrome to spread or “People in Kentucky take a lot for grant-
0.73 $0.27 SIZE OF AREAS MATTERS change hibernation patterns. ed when it comes to the bounty of our re-
$0.4 0.41 0.64 0.19 0.07 Conservationists are also working on Many kinds of bats eat mosquitoes, sources, until they are threatened and
’05 ’06 ’07 ’08 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12
large-scale conservation along the Green which can carry diseases such as the po- sometimes it’s too late,” she said.
River, considered by the international Na- tentially deadly West Nile virus. “I hope to keep the issue raised.”
SOURCE: Kentucky Heritage Land ture Conservancy to be the most biologi- Fish and Wildlife Commissioner John
Conservation Fund cally diverse tributary of the Ohio River. Gassett declined to to be interviewed Reach reporter James Bruggers at (502) 582-4645
THE COURIER-JOURNAL And they are also seeking to protect the about their climate plan, said spokesman or on Twitter @jbruggers.