Saturday, December 31, 2016

Trump = no grace. no class, no clue

These back-to-back Tweets reveal a man too small to do the real work of the Presidency, fix his flaws or stop his projections..

  1. Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!
  2. Russians are playing and for such fools - funny to watch, they don't have a clue! totally gets it!

Despite the scrubbing, climate science remains on DNR pages

The climate change censors at Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have been deleting, moving and otherwise dismissing known science, data and links from its agendas and web pages, but the reality of climate change and its scientific basis researched and contributed by so many sources across so many disciplines and sites means there are simply too many important and useful references for the DNR to censor.

Too much water over that bridge, so to speak, as life imitates politics echoes climate changes' extreme weather events in our state:
Case in point about flooding, with this text posted on a DNR page, and if you read to the end, you will see the encouraging news that the State Department of Health Services has a program called Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) which is already in force in some Wisconsin Counties:

Groundwater flooding is rare and little studied in Wisconsin. Given the extent of the damage to agricultural, residential, and commercial properties caused by the 2008 flooding, questions about the future likelihood of groundwater inundation naturally arose. Researchers at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and UW-Madison funded by the Wisconsin Groundwater Research and Monitoring Program (WGRMP) responded by developing a series of models that simulated groundwater hydrology in the low-lying areas near Spring Green under a range of climate scenarios through 2100. Findings suggest that years of extremely high water table conditions may still occur but will remain relatively rare in this century (Joachim et al., 2011). 

Higher evapotranspiration is likely to reduce groundwater recharge overall.

The 2008 floods also highlighted the need for improved mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery practices. Capitalizing on momentum, a GCC-sponsored conference, “From Sandbags to Sanity,” brought together policy experts, state and local officials, and nonprofit organizations in April 2009 to discuss the policy approaches that can minimize the risks associated with this type of hydrologic disaster (Moynihan, 2009).

These two responses to the June 2008 floods – investment in research to improve scientific knowledge and enhanced coordination among federal, state, and local actors – exemplify how the GCC carries out its core missions to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of groundwater management.

Other Projects in Other Places

Agricultural management in the Central Sands

In times of drought, the demand for agricultural irrigation increases substantially, especially in the Central Sands region of the state. For immediate relief, the Department of Natural Resources may approve emergency high capacity wells for irrigation or livestock supply, as it did during the 2012 drought. On a long-term basis, a more reliable strategy for farmers and water systems requires understanding water balance dynamics and crop biophysics at higher spatial and temporal resolutions so that process-based models can be used to evaluate the effects of different irrigation strategies and climates on water demand. To this end, a recent study funded by the WGRMP conducted an intense field measurement campaign to refine models and evaluate how climate and land management have impacted groundwater recharge and evapotranspiration in the Wisconsin Central Sands over the past 60 years.

Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE)

The Department of Health Services BRACE program has worked with seven local public health departments, or consortiums of health departments, to facilitate a climate and health community engagement process. Two of the seven local health department pilot projects have chosen to address public health impacts related to groundwater in a changing climate. 

One such consortium of local health departments (Eau Claire Co., Dunn Co., Pepin Co., and Buffalo Co.) is developing better policy regulating nutrient contaminants (e.g., nitrates, phosphorous). Activities will include increased testing and a collaborative group to problem-solve public health interventions. Another local health department pilot project in La Crosse County is working to increase public awareness of drinking water hazards and increase testing among private well owners. This project successfully received funding from the CDC for private well water testing.

Another aspect of the BRACE framework focuses on projecting disease burden related to a changing climate. One projected disease burden the BRACE program is investigating is gastrointestinal illness related to increases in precipitation from a changing climate in Marshfield. 

Kids climate change materials still available through WI DNR - - for now

I had blogged earlier in the week about the scrubbing of climate change wording, science and links by GOP Gov. Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from a key science and policy web page and I want to add some information about the fate of a environmental teaching unit which references climate change that the DNR  posted online.

You can still access it, here through the subject tabs on the page:

Nature Notes  |  Our Earth  |  Cool Stuff  |  Get a Job  |  The Riddler  |  Critter Corner

I'd quoted from and linked to it in 2013 and in this 2012 sample below - - and some of those links below are still good which means the censors haven't gotten to it yet, since it still clearly says what the DNR has gone to war with:

YOU can help slow global warming!  - - 

Global Warming is Hot Stuff!

Global warming is a hot topic (no pun intended). The Earth is warming up. While that may be hard to believe in the middle of a Wisconsin winter, if it's true it could mean big changes for our planet. For more info on this topic, browse on! What is the greenhouse effect?
The greenhouse gases
What might happen if Earth heats up?
Global warming: It's more than just a game of up-and-down on a thermometer.
YOU can help slow global warming!

But you might want look at or copy from it now since the agency has said it intends to transfer it to the University of Wisconsin - - and who knows if and when that will happen, or what survives the transfer, and whether the DNR under Walker will publicize it.

Friday, December 30, 2016

No WI groups listed as Trump Inaugural parade marchers

I see none from Wisconsin on a list released by Team Trump and posted by Politico.
Trump at lectern before backdrop with elements of logo "TRUMP"
"There will be more than 8,000 parade participants representing forty organizations including high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, first responders, and veterans groups,” the [Trump Inaugural] committee said, adding that more information regarding the parade, such as biographies and the order, “will be forthcoming” and “[f]urther participants may also be announced.”
For the record, one Wisconsin organization marched in President Obama's second inaugural parade.

Participation in Trump's Inauguration has generated controversy. 

Some Washington, DC-area bands opted not to participate, members of the popular Rockettes dance troupe have been given permission to skip its performance, and Jan Chamberlin, a soprano with the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir, minced no words about quitting the famed group's Inaugural appearance rather than sing.
Citing Scripture and declaring that "tyranny is now on our doorstep," Chamberlin likened Trump to Adolf Hitler... 
"I only know I could never 'throw roses to Hitler'," she wrote. "And I certainly could never sing for him."

On The DNR's Climate Change Pages, All Hail Governor Doyle

[Update - - The Walker administration's climate change web page scrubbing much in the news of late actually began in 2012, and was noted in this June 10, 2012 blog posting I'll recirculate today, 12/30/16, as a way to highlight what the Walker people also deleted years ago. More also here.]:
Given our record-breaking heat, I Googled the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' web pages to get the latest information and thinking about climate change on the agency's climate change web page.

You know: What's current? What's the buzz, especially for the Midwest and Wisconsin in this year of wild weather?

And under a new Governor with a record that has favored polluters at the expense of public water, air and land management.

It was worth checking because just a few weeks ago the Natural Resources Defense Council found Wisconsin among states back-sliding on climate-related programs:
Water preparedness activities appear to have “slowed or stalled” in four of the nine best prepared states – Alaska, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Duly-noted as stalled by The Badger Herald.

And I didn't see this discussion on the DNR's web site, where no one posted this hot-off-the press report and findings:
According to "Poisoning the Great Lakes: Mercury Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants In the Great Lakes Region," Ohio emits the largest amount of mercury from coal-fired power plants (21 percent of the total in the Great Lakes region), followed closely by Pennsylvania (20 percent) and Indiana (16 percent).  The remaining five states in the region rank as follows:  Michigan (14 percent); Illinois (11 percent); Wisconsin (9.5 percent); Minnesota (6.5 percent); and New York (2 percent). Plants from outside the region also contribute to mercury pollution in the Great Lakes.
A few things jump out off the DNR pages:

Read more here:*  The phrases "latest information" and "DNR's web pages" do not belong in the same sentence. 
*  Jim Doyle must still be Governor.

* Items are cited for that are years old, and about which the Walker administration would likely have opposed on ideological grounds, like Doyle-era alternative energy plans, a Midwest Governors Initiative dating to 2007, and international green summits back to 1992 that were trashed by US conservatives.

* Offering the public dead url links and out-dated information exposes the low-to-zero priority on this matter for the Walker administration.

Let's begin with the agency's main Climate Change page, under "Currently in our State,' where you find three short bulleted entries with citations to information released in 2010 or early 2011, including a link to a key Legislative Council Study pdf since removed from the website, and a line about a Jim Doyle task force that produced bill never brought to a vote in the Legislature. The page does not indicate when it was last updated.

So "Currently" is a bit oxymoronic. Read on...

The Basics page was last updated January 14, 2010.

The Climate Trends page was last updated May 11, 2010.

The Impacts page was last updated January 19, 2010.

The Adaptations page was last updated February 14, 2011.

The Government Initiatives page was last updated on October 7, 2011, but contains a link that goes nowhere, gets you to links supposedly referencing work at the US Environmental Protection Agency - - that actually brings you a gloomy assessment because of GOP-led efforts to block EPA clean air work - - and takes you back to the DNR "initiatives" page that features information from the Doyle administration:
In 2007, Governor Doyle convened a Task Force on Global Warming. In July 2008, this task force approved an extensive set of policy recommendations to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases in three steps, culminating in a 75% reduction by 2050 from a 2005 baseline. The Task Force report outlined these policy recommendations, which included many significant actions such as:
  • Expanding the state's existing energy conservation and efficiency programs
  • Adopting California vehicle standards for greenhouse gases
  • Developing an emission cap and trade program
  • Establishing a formal process to track progress, evaluate existing policies and recommend adjustments
The Wisconsin Legislative Council prepared summary documents related to the Task Force recommendations, including:
Finally, at the Roles page, the DNR defines itself again through the work of the Doyle administration, leading with, at "What The DNR is Doing": 
Along with other important Wisconsin initiatives, Governor Doyle has set important energy efficiency goals including having 25 percent of Wisconsin's power come from renewable resources by 2025. Additionally, the Governor's Global Warming Task Force has recommended reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions by 75 to 80 percent by 2050.
Oh - - if you click through to the link "Wisconsin initiatives," you're referenced right back to a DNR page that also led with work from the Doyle era:
Public officials are developing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These reductions occur through improvements in vehicle fuel economy, renewable energy purchases, increased energy efficiency, and other actions.
In 2007, Governor Doyle convened a Task Force on Global Warming. In July 2008, this task force approved an extensive set of policy recommendations to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases in three steps, culminating in a 75% reduction by 2050 from a 2005 baseline. The Task Force report outlined these policy recommendations, which included many significant actions such as:
  • Expanding the state's existing energy conservation and efficiency programs
  • Adopting California vehicle standards for greenhouse gases
  • Developing an emission cap and trade program
  • Establishing a formal process to track progress, evaluate existing policies and recommend adjustments
The Wisconsin Legislative Council prepared summary documents related to the Task Force recommendations, including:

WI toll roads would be road-builders' perpetual jackpot

Creating a tolling collection system in Wisconsin would send the worst possible signal to the habitual state over-spenders and false reckless stewards of the public's money.

It would enable and accelerate all the negative consequences of unchecked major highway construction and expansion - - suburban sprawl, urban disregard and the separation of workers from jobs, the loss of wetlands and woodlands and open space in and near transportation corridors, the starvation of transit as the population ages and millennial eschew car ownership, the deepening of the road-builders' sway over state officials, budgets and policy.

Do you know that the state has already been caught cooking the books to justify spending unnecessary millions to widen State Highway 23 near Plymouth and 164 north of I-94 through Waukesha County into Washington County?

Had there been a bottomless pot of toll dollars to tap, those unneeded new lanes and fancy exits built on taxable property and private land taken through pressure or eminent domain would have already been laid down with very little traffic to use them instead of being barred by a federal judge after litigation

Do you hear one word about any transit commitment from the current regime which has already killed Amtrak to Madison, a connection with Midwest High-Speed Rail and regional transit authorities which could coordinate such things and give the public some options?

And from what source would come the three or four hundred million dollars needed to create the tolling system?

You steal several dollars from every motorist driving every time in one direction alone from Milwaukee to Madison, or Waukesha to a Packers game in Green Bay, or Elkhorn to the Wisconsin Dells and Wisconsin's politicians will let the road-builders spend it on more concrete and highway add-ons that you can imagine.

With a nice percentage for themselves - - some of which will find its way to the politicians who set the casino into motion.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

WI DNR scrubs online climate science, MN DNR goes all in

I'd blogged about the wholesale scrubbing by the Wisconsin DNR of climate science data, links and other information about climate change from its main remaining web page about climate change - - a story picked up by several other online sites - - but for comparison, take a look at how Minnesota - - our neighbor to the northwest with a very similar climate - - deals with the issue on its DNR website:

In fact, here's the page content in full:

Climate Change and Minnesota


More crime guns funneled to Milwaukee via the 'burbs

When you see Milwaukee's daily crime recorded on the TV news - - 

just for the record...keep this nasty regional reality in mind - - 
A Watertown woman who repeatedly lied to buy guns for criminals has agreed to plead guilty to federal straw buyer charges... 
Milwaukee police arrested Eric D. Jackson last August after he ran from officers on the north side. As he fled, he threw away a .40-caliber Glock with an extended magazine. Police traced it to [the suburban straw buyer], who had purchased it and another gun in March from JD Rifleworks in Watertown.
- - and remember that it's nothing new, as these multiple examples show:
City-hating GOP legislator forgets suburbanites' ties to crime, guns
Just for the record. 

Expect further WI DNR scrubbing of climate change information

I had noted recently on this blog another episode of the scrubbing of climate change science, data, information and links to outside sources by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from its climate change websites:
The ideologues intent on scrubbing science off these pages and sowing doubt and confusion about the consensus view of experts worldwide about climate change have edited, deleted and otherwise compressed to whitewash long-standing concepts and facts off a climate change page about the Great Lakes - - the same way, I will add, that Walker edited and watered-down the Wisconsin Idea, which has for decades had been the University system's historic mission statement.
And I also noted in a followup posting that there was one remaining DNR web page that continued to supply climate change information, and I said I'd keep checking to see if that page underwent its own sanitizing, or disappearance.

To date, nothing - -  but here is why I think it's just a matter of when, not if.

* The page - - the contents of which I copied into my posting in full just in case the censors got to it quickly - - states "global climate change" as a fact and implies its human causes by underscoring that there is a lot we can do to confront and mitigate it:

Global climate change poses serious threats to public health, to the economies of the United States and Wisconsin and to the natural environment. We now have a clearer understanding of the role waste and materials management plays in global climate change and, most importantly, the opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the waste and materials management sphere.
* The page cites US Environmental Protection Agency information - - and Walker's DNR has been at odds with the EPA over clean air and water obligations for years, so right there is the equivalent of an intergovernmental act of heresy.

And the DNR page says there are steps people can take to ease climate change - - more heresy at the DNR these days - - such as saving trees from cutting because trees naturally capture carbon dioxide, a climate change contributing greenhouse gas: 
If trees are left standing rather than being cut down, those trees remove and "sequester," or withhold, carbon dioxide from the air, thereby reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere. In other words, reducing paper use and recycling used paper not only saves much of the energy required to harvest, transport, digest and convert wood to paper, it also helps preserve the carbon sequestration capacity of the forest.
Devil's Lake State Park
"Reducing paper use" and leaving trees standing "rather than being cut down" fly in the face of Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" DNR, and undercut measures Walker has signed which were passed by Wisconsin's GOP-controlled Legislature to give forest owners generous tax breaks and also to expand intensive timber cutting in publicly-owned state forests
Wisconsin officials are earmarking nearly 40,000 more acres of state forestland for intensive logging — a move pushed by the Legislature to provide a fresh source of timber to the forest products industry... 
In 2015, lawmakers working on the state budget directed the DNR to increase acreage eligible for the most intensive timber cutting to 75% of northern state forests. That’s up from the current level of 66%.
* I had also posted information a few weeks ago about Walker and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp adding another private sector executive to the ranks of senior management - - a forestry operations owner and trade association leader to replace a career DNR employee as state forester atop the Forestry Division.:
I'd posted items earlier today about feedlot and manure producers winning big in the WI Department of Natural Resources 'realignment' announced Wednesday morning, as well Team Walker thumbing its collective polluting nose at federal clean water monitors , so let me post a third significant item from what DNR managers told staffers at an agency-wide meeting.
In a nutshell, there is another Wisconsin industry winner other than feedlot operators and big ag in the reorganization - - forestry - - from which Walker just inserted a key insider into a top-level DNR position - - which I recently noted based on a DNR news release:
Fred Souba Jr. has been appointed Chief State Forester by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The 40 year forest industry veteran will also serve as administrator for the DNR Division of Forestry...
Currently the owner and Senior Consultant of ProVision Forestry LLC... Souba has been the chair of the Wisconsin Council on Forestry (exit DNR) for seven years.
So I figure it's just a matter of time before the new state forestry manager at the DNR aligns that web page and its language about tree-cutting and climate change with the Legislature and Team Walker & Stepp's climate change denial mentality - - and thus also with the incoming Trump administration's belief that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese to advantage their exports.

Stay tuned...

WI's censorship of climate change is clumsier than you thought

Let's not miss one amazing irony in the expanding story which began on this blog last week and is carried on multiple news outlets about GOP Gov. Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" Department of Natural Resources scrubbing climate change information, data and electronic links from a web page about climate change.

Leading up to my posting, I reminded readers that Wisconsin had earlier gone through a farcical climate change episode when Wisconsin's right-wing state treasurer had forbade state employees managing a public lands commission on which he sat from discussing climate change.

The absurdity of this attack on science and climate change information in particular in Wisconsin is made even more tragically-comedic because when the extremely-far rightwing Wisconsin State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk banned staffers on a state forest management commission from discussing climate change - - and let that craziness sink in for a moment - - his justification was that it should be the DNR that was doing the discussing.
The DNR has 2,000 employees. If there’s one agency that’s going to work on global warming and climate change, it shouldn’t be us, it should be the DNR,” he said.
So clearly in Wisconsin these days, the right hand does not know what the farther right hand is doing - - or at least doesn't check DNR websites too often.
A point proven by the DNR's failure "to work on global warming climate change." except by deleting the information it had posted for the public on its website.

So I say again:

So clearly in Wisconsin these days, the right hand does not know what the farther right hand is doing...

Twitter alert: Walker flip-flop on prison visits looming

Wisconsin's place-holding GOP Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was happy to disclose the other day that he'd never set foot in the Lincoln Hills youth detention center which has devolved on his watch into an assaultive,  dysfunctional nightmare.

In fact, he said hadn't visited any state prison during his governorship, and surely that includes the Milwaukee County Jail run by his rightwing buddy David Clarke where four deaths in a six-month span have taken place this year.

But we've learned that Walker will jet off Thursday for a quick, two-day junket to the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - - and that's where Walker could break his no-visits-to-prisons behavior because the US military maintains an infamous prison there and the photo-op optics are probably good good to turn down.

Besides, Walker might be able to see some of the very sort of terrorists he said during his 15-minute run to zero in pre-Iowa caucus polling he could defeat .

Because he'd conquered placard-toting union teachers, state retirees, and various office workers who possessed dangerous insider knowledge of such subversive tools as copy machines, state credit cards, pdf conversion software and HR manuals.

No details yet on Walker's itinerary, but there are Wisconsin MP's at the Naval Base whom Walker is to visit, so keep an eye on his Twitter feed for dramatic prison snapshots and video posted  before Walker returns Friday in time to set up Twitter pictures of game snacks and Green Bay Packers garb.

As for that State Transportation billion-dollar shortfall, the Lincoln Hills scandal, the state's crumbling roads, a stalled and weak economy and his continuing new jobs-promise fail now entering year seven?

Later for that, Bucky, because it's sunny and 88 degrees in Cuba, baby.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Media spreading word about WI environment harm under Walker

Glad to see that what originated on this blog a week ago - -

More Walkerite/Orwellian censoring of WI DNR climate pages

- - being referenced by or reposted at Urban Milwaukee, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,, EcoWatch, The Wisconsin State Journal, Esquires's Charlie Pierce, Raw Story, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Wonkette so far.

The coverage gets the word out to the nation about six long years here of GOP Govenror Scott Walker's intentional damage to the DNR, weakened environmental protection, diminished public water access and rights, dismissal of the US Clean Water Act, attacks on federal clean air initiatives... 

Smoke stacks from a factory.
...and other rightwing, ideological depredations which began serving private interests at the expense of the public interest on day eight of his administration.

And which spring from one party, corporately-focused GOP rule across all three branches of Wisconsin government and which are also being aligned with the incoming Trump administration.

As Journal Sentinel reported recently

Air quality. The governor also wants the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to lift limits on smog-causing pollutants in Wisconsin counties along Lake Michigan.The limits increase costs on area utilities and industries but also cut respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.