Saturday, August 17, 2019

After 8 years of official contempt, a refocused WI is addressing climate change

The climate for science is getting better here.

After eight years of Intentional Ignorance - - led by The Great Climate Change Ignoramus himself - - whom karma, a protester and a photographer discovered unhappily and unsuccessful shoveling his way out - -  

Judith Davidoff photo, after one of 2018's damaging floods
- - Wisconsin is finally promoting a climate change agenda that puts people and science first.

Remember that Wisconsin-specific warnings published in 2017, and certainly far earlier, while Walker's egregious contempt for climate science and hamstringing of state action produced his DNR's infamous 2016 climate change information scrub - - documented here - - and which got national attention and accurate framing:

A recent reworking of language concerning climate change on a Wisconsin government website could be replicated under a Trump administration.
So while Trump and his Walker-seeded EPA are indeed taking the country backward, there are signs of commonsense progress in Wisconsin where Walker had done his anti-science, pro-polluter best right up until his last days of that eight -year celebration of special-interest-rewarding ignorance:
Newly released emails show that Environmental Protection Agency scientists raised strong objections to a 2018 decision by Scott Pruitt, who was head of the agency at the time, to exempt most of southeastern Wisconsin from federal limits on smog.  
The decision by Mr. Pruitt was notable because it came as Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, was campaigning for a third term and trying to bring a Foxconn factory, and thousands of new manufacturing jobs, to a part of the state where pollution levels already exceeded federal limits. 
So note these signs that things are changing in Wisconsin:

* Action by now-Gov. Tony Evers, who after defeating Walker is using the levers of power - - 
Tony Evers sets 100% carbon-free goal, creates new office promoting clean energy
- - to do more than tweet photos of curds, custard, half-eaten sandwiches and cool sporting events in the big city which Walker told upscale exurbanites they should fear.

* Action at the local level, here and here by leaders, pushed by citizens, all of whom were tired of being sand-bagged by GOP and Walkerite subservience to corporate influence that also enabled the discriminatory implications of the status quo: 

Milwaukee officials announce local effort to address climate change and economic inequality
* Pressure from the grassroots. A Milwaukee example, below. Check your local listings for efforts near you.
SEPT. 20, 2019, NOON - SEPT. 20, 2019, 3 P.M. CDT Milwaukee Climate Strike 
Gather at Milwaukee City Hall at noon. #Climate Strike 
* Science is trumping Walkerism in the courts
State judge rejects DNR approval of environmental permit for luxurious Kohler golf course
During a five-day hearing, a wetlands expert who worked on the project before retiring testified that Kohler’s project would have the most significant harmful impact of any she reviewed in 37 years at the DNR. 
Pat Trochlell also told the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Reporting in a story published in November that superiors at the agency said the permit had to be approved. 
Final thought: The DNR really needs to get rid of the scientifically-and-intellectually dishonest climate change page it posted after the Great Deletion. 

The before and after texts are here.

The garbage page has been there now for close to three years and Walker's team at the agency has been replaced by good people pledged to honor science.

I know they have a long list of things to do, but that page should be easy to repair.

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