Archive | April 2013

3. State of Wisconsin Losing Its Environmental Ethic

Gaylord NelsonOther states in the country use to look to Wisconsin to see how best to protect their air, water and other natural resources from human exploitation and adverse environmental impacts. After all, Wisconsin is the home of naturalist John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Senator Gaylord Nelson, today’s Earth Day founder.  But things have changed in Wisconsin since the beginning of the new century.

Wisconsin’s current Governor and the heavily Republican dominated Wisconsin Legislature have placed a higher priority on such things as more highway expansion, iron ore mining, and frac sand mining, rather than adopting policies that protect our environment, such as policies that help reduce global warming or add to the state’s already existing land and water resource Stewardship Program.

For a Wisconsin Public Radio call-in hour discussion of this subject on the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day in Wisconsin, click on The Ideas Network, enter the date of April 22, and then scroll to the 3:00-4:00 pm program.

Guest: Mike Ivey, reporter for The Capitol Times. His article is called “Has Wisconsin’s Proud Pro-Environment Tradition Faded?”.

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2. Watch “Do the Math” Movie

Global Warming 1/2

Global Warming 1/2 (Photo credit: lamazone)

In November 2012, Bill McKibben and 350.org hit the road to build a movement strong enough to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis. The Do the Math Tour was a massive success, with sold out shows in every corner of the country.

The tour is now over, but the campaign it launched is just getting started.  The “Do the Math” movie was screened at house-parties and screenings across the country on April 21, 2013. At 42 minutes, it tells the story of the rising movement to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis and fight the fossil fuel industry. 

View the trailer at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zfinOCgRQ0&feature=youtu.be

1. Dane Country is Planning for Climate Change

Rather than ignoring global warming as the very real problem that it is and that requires major governmental action now, Dane County is accepting the scientific reality of the problem and is preparing for the continuing threats that climate change will bring. According to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi: “we are taking a step back and looking at how the climate is changing and the types of events that are likely to happen”, he said in a Wisconsin State Journal(WSJ) article (April 14, 2013). “We’re going to assess our readiness”, he said.  University of Wisconsin-Extension climate change expert David Lieble agreed:  “Wisconsin has seen  — and probably will continue to see — more heavy rain and flooding in spring and fall, and longer heat waves and dry spells in summer.”  So Dane County has  initiated a major study aimed at ensuring local government in Dane County will meet the new challenges posed by more extreme weather that climate change (global warming) will usher in.

“There have been more days with temperatures of  90 degrees or hotter, a steady decline in the length of time when lakes are frozen, and significantly higher rainfall totals along with more individual storms dumping more than 2 inches of rain”, Parisi said. The county could conclude that more cooling shelters are needed in certain area on sweltering summer days, or that lake levels need to be lowered to accommodate sudden, heavy rains, Lieble said.

Representatives from more than a dozen county government departments will be led by Dane County Emergency Management Director Charles Tubbs in what has been billed as “the first comprehensive effort of its kind” addressing Wisconsin’s changing climate, according to the WSJ report. The report is due by September, 2013.