Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Walker's repetitive disrespect for environment, climate change reality

I'd noted a few days ago that Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" Department of Natural Resources had for at least the second time scrubbed climate change science and educational links to outside sources from a DNR web page about climate change.

Note also that what the Walker-directed DNR is depriving the public of knowledge that has nothing to do with ideology or politics; the US EPA as long ago as the first term of GOP President George W. Bush was telling Great Lakes officials to plan for greater infrastructure spending because climate-change would induce flooding and other extreme weather events that would demand public sector action.

What's happening in Wisconsin is an extension of the Walker dismissal of science throughout the DNR and a coordination at the agency, and by WI GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel with the incoming Trump administration's announced contempt through pronouncements and cabinet appointments for climate science to justify their elevation of fossil-fuel development and use over conservation.

So expect the DNR to roll over when finishing its reviews of major, polluting-and-environmentally-destructive projects which include a giant dairy operation in the central sands area, a golf course on a Lake Michigan shoreline nature preserve which requires ceding some adjacent state park land south of Sheboygan to the Walker donor/project developer, and a precedent-setting 26,000 hog-feeding operation near pristine Lake Superior waters in Northwestern Wisconsin.

And now, we learn, the DNR is considering permitting a massive new sand mine which would create major wetland and woodland losses.

After having already rigged state law to allow more wetlands filling in a special-interest bill with statewide implications to a gigantic open-pit iron mine that was never dug, but whose owner quietly routed $700,000 to help Walker beat the recall election in 2012.

So are we surprised at the disappearance of environmentally-vital information from Wisconsin state websites?

Will we be surprised when major destruction of wetlands, dunes, forest, and the waters below and downstream, or the clean air above win a green-light from Walker and Trump-directed agencies?

Remember that Walker has held the EPA at bay for more than five years on water law compliance, and his administration is trying to figure out to further wriggle away from federal environmental law, so no wonder that Walker has asked Trump to free the state from federal oversight, no matter how crucial the issue.

If Walker gets his way, and Trump runs amok, scrubbed DNR pages about climate change will have been a harbinger of dirtier air, fouled water and damaged land.

Big win for the "chamber of commerce mentality," though don't those folks and their kids at some point breath the same air and drink the same water?

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