Thursday, December 29, 2016

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...


Anonymous said...

You know when Republicans are taking heat when Jay Weber plays offense for the Walker administration on his show. This is a hot button issue with the general population, not just the left, and Republicans have significantly underestimated the political ramifications.

Anonymous said...

I am so much less concerned about Walker scrubbing anything than I am about the never-ending "down-the-memory-hole" that is perpetrated by the media, Scott Walker's BFFs. Anyone that comes by here regularly knows who they are.

Walker and his cronies may be scrubbing the documents, but this tactic only works with a compliant media. You may be able to find scattered reports about this now, but they are all fairly neutral as if climate change is actually controversial so that this is why the scrubbing is done.

Controversial?!?!?! Not at all. It isn't Walker that is really doing the scrubbing. This type of disinformation is only possible with the help of the state's noooze echo chamber.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Yep. When righties are angrily reacting and trying to diminish things, you know they're being hit. Great work, James.

On a related note, can we check to see if Weber and Icki are violating FCC Payola rules by taking Koch/WisGOP money without reporting it on their shows?

Anonymous said...

Would be nice if FCC had some backbone or even did its job. Check out Sue Wilson Reports ( to see her work. There are no posts there since 11/8.

Unfortunately, waiting for FCC (or any action that, you know, enforces the law) has failed us. Good suggestion, just saying that it will take organized action against the media to make a difference.

And that isn't gonna happen because otherwise well-meaning folks think it is somehow "unfair" to do the only thing that makes a difference, which is vote with the only "vote" we have that is accurately accounted for: OUR DOLLARS

Anonymous said...

What else are they scrubbing from state websites?