Thursday, January 30, 2020

Evers' DNR revising climate change web pages which Team Walker scrubbed

There is good news to report about the WI DNR and its improving approach to climate change.

You may remember that in December, 2016 I'd noticed that Walker's DNR had stripped data, links and science from the agency's principle climate change page. 

The story went national.
Under Wisconsin’s Walker, a Climate Website Scrubbed of Climate Science
I will post the original web page text, and what Team Walker had replaced it with, below.

But now, progress.

Not long ago, Gov. Evers and the DNR under Secetary Preston Cole announced a climate change task force, and I can report today that Sarah Hoye, a DNR spokeswoman, provided me with this response by email after I noticed the Walker-era sham climate change page was no longer on the agency server:
"We are currently undergoing a major website re-design that will include the roll out of new, easily accessible climate webpages that is coming soon (tentatively set for spring)." 
This upgrade by a more involved and science-based DNR is certainly a timely development, as the planet is warming, the GOP-led legislature and Walker had cut the DNR's budgets and staffing, the state was hit repeatedly in 2017 and '18 with severe flooding, and recent gales pushed an already-rising Lake Michigan - - 
That tree and the shoreline north of Bradford Beach are not supposed to be underwater on a calm Thursday, 1/30
- - and led to this mess on the lakefront this week:
Several miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline in Milwaukee are still littered with downed trees and other debris from violent storms earlier in January. There are numerous downed trees and massive logs washed ashore north from Bradford Beach, above, to the Linnwood Water Treatment Plant, while there was extensive damage in the opposite direction at the South Shore Marina in Bay View.
- - leaving behind sights like this:

All of which makes this language which Team Walker deleted from the DNR's once-informative web page more than merely ironic:
Changes in rain and snowfall patterns (including more frequent and severe storms) could change water flow in streams and rivers and increase stream bank erosion and runoff pollution. 
In this December, 2016 posting I'd laid out what Walker's DNR staff had done to the climate change information and data which had been on its website for some years:
Here are the full edits the DNR is sneaking through without fanfare to unsuspecting readers on that webpage - - changes caught by a webpage monitoring service.
[12/22 Update. In my haste to write the original post, I left out the obvious: that the changes remove the words "climate and "climate change."] 
Deletions are shown with a black line through them, words which were untouched remain in normal print, and the highlighted wording becomes part of the new text sandwiched together into what appears on what is a heavily-censored page, but without any way for the reader to spot the edits and altered meaning.
The Great Lakes and a changing world Earth´s climate As it has done throughout the centuries, the earth is changinggoing through a changeHuman activities that increase heat–trapping ("green house") gases The reasons for this change at this particular time in the earth's long history are the main cause. Earth´s average temperature has increased 1.4 °F since 1850 being debated and researched by academic entities outside the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 1998Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 
Increasing temperatures have led to changes in rainfall patterns and snow and ice cover. These changes could have severe The effects on of such a change are also being debated but whatever the Great Lakes causes and effects, the plants, wildlife and people who depend on them. While no one can predict exactly what climate change will mean for DNR's responsibility is to manage our Great Lakesstate's natural resources through whatever event presents itself; floodscientists agree that the following changes are likely if climate change patterns continue. Increased summer and winter temperatures will cause increased evaporationdroughtlower lake water levels and warmer watertornadoesresulting in reduced habitat for cold water species and a loss of critical wetland areasice/snow or severe heatDecreased winter ice cover will also contribute  
The DNR staff stands ready to increased evaporation and lower lake water levels which could have severe economic consequences for adapt our valuable shipping industrymanagement strategies in an effort to protect our lakeslakeshore recreationwaterwaysplants, wildlife and coastal businessespeople who depend on themChanges in rain and snowfall patterns (including more frequent and severe storms) could change water flow in streams and rivers and increase stream bank erosion and runoff pollution. The good news is that we can all work to slow climate change and lessen its effects. To find out For more about climate change and how we can all help, please visit the following links. Wisconsin DNR Climate Change information Global Climate Change Climate Change Wildlife and Wildlands Toolkit [exit DNR] Climate change is mainly on the result research conducted by the University of rising CO 2 levels in Earth´s atmosphere. Check out the most current CO 2 level and what it means: Wisconsin-Madison CO 2 Now [exit DNR] General climate change information and actions we can all take to help (includes a special section for teachers and students): EPA Climate Change [exit DNR] Climate Change and the Great Lakes International Assn. for Great Lakes Research Climate Change The Nelson Institute [exit DNR] Union of Concerned Scientists [exit DNR] Water Sustainability and Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region [exit DNR] (Sea Grant materials) National Wildlife Federation – Great Lakes Report [PDF exit DNR] 
Readers were left with these insubstantial and obfuscatory few words instead on the page which the Evers' DNR now has under construction:
The Great Lakes and a changing world 
As it has done throughout the centuries, the earth is going through a change. The reasons for this change at this particular time in the earth's long history are being debated and researched by academic entities outside the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 
The effects of such a change are also being debated but whatever the causes and effects, the DNR's responsibility is to manage our state's natural resources through whatever event presents itself; flood, drought, tornadoes, ice/snow or severe heat. The DNR staff stands ready to adapt our management strategies in an effort to protect our lakes, waterways, plants, wildlife and people who depend on them.
Missing were references to:known "human activities contributing to a warming planet; warming's contributions to changes in rainfall and snowfall patterns; extreme weather events, drought, species and economic losses as a result - -  among other truths whitewashed off this official, taxpayer-financed website.

Chillingly, this entire line - - with its positive message and a call to action - - was deleted:

The good news is that we can all work to slow climate change and lessen its effects. As are multiple links to climate change resources, many specific to the Great Lakes materials - - despite the title of the page - -
"The Great Lakes and a changing world."

1 comment:

Maynard McKillen said...

The deletion of all references to humankind's role in global warming and climate change was the work of infantile hacks in the Walker Administration. These willfully ignorant tools were actually paid taxpayer money to perform this exercise in propaganda and Big Brother-Speak.
Recall Walker's attempt to alter the wording of "The Wisconsin Idea."
Now sane Wisconsinites must overcome the GOP's gerrymandering and elect a Democratic-majority legislature, so that state resources are directed toward mitigating the damage done to the environment, and toward intelligent, soundly-researched means of living sustainably within this altered environment.
New tax brackets for Wisconsin residents and corporations at the top of the income spectrum are just one necessary reform. Minnesota did exactly this, to end pointless and regressive welfare for one-percenters.
Just as urgent will be a law requiring psychiatric evaluation of all candidates for elected and public offices, to weed out sociopaths, narcissists, and all who possess deficits which prevent them from acting for the wellbeing of others. Were such a reform enacted, the ranks of the GOP legislators and State Supreme Court Justices would be decimated. Government efficiency, accountability, and transparency would skyrocket.