We are hearing about problems in the supply chain.
Goods are tied up in ports, on ships, and through component and labor shortages.
Not to minimize any of that.
And I would argue that Wisconsin, and others, continue to abuse and further jeopardize an even more-critical supply chain - the clean air, fresh water and life-giving lands we should be guarding and repairing to improve, attract and ensure life here itself.
A lot of what is tied up in the transportation and manufacturing supply chain isn't going to be worth much if people buying these products don't have clean water, fresh air and adequate open space to enjoy and live their lives.
And unless we pay closer attention to this Big or Basic Supply Chain we'll have less of what has given definition and meaning to Wisconsin and its antecedents because selfish special interests aided by complicit government are increasingly breaking, paving, filling, polluting and otherwise handing it over to the rich and powerful for their control and narrow benefit.
Here is a quick list of 10 foundational and interwoven elements of The Big, Basic Supply Chain which needs our fuller attention.
The grandkids are already watching.
Feel free to add more:
1. Clean air. SE Wisconsin's smoggy air would not improve with the nearly 800 annual tons of pollutants quickly awarded Foxconn.
2. Safe rural groundwater. Kewaunee County and the Central Sands water continues to be toxified by nitrate-laden CAFO discharges.
3. Lake Michigan water. Foxconn still has the right to a massive daily draw of Lake Michigan water. Wisconsin continues to award diversion requests while the other Great Lakes states remain mute. And Wisconsin is so used to diverting Great Lakes water that the latest effort began without the required prior authorizations. Who is surprised?
|Lake Michigan north of Milwaukee. @James Rowen photo.|
4. Urban well water. Eau Claire's is contaminated, for sure. Madison's wells have their problems, too. The so-called 'forever contaminants,' know as PFAS compounds, are ubiquitous and Wisconsin legislative Republicans are obstructing rules and regulations that are the legal antidotes.
5. Clean Rivers. The Menominee River could become a mining pollutant-laden supplier of drinking water because Wisconsin intentionally weakened its mining controls.
6. Wetlands. Foxconn has the right to take and fill wetlands more or less as it pleases.
7. Public land. Popular Kohler Andrae State Park may will see acreage inside and at its entrance handed over to a golf course developer. What kind of precedent is that?
8. Endangered species. More Milwaukee County Grounds public green space is slated for 'development,' threatening the sliver of Monarch Butterfly habitat which is all that's left to help this species hang on to a tenuous migrating site here.
9. Threatened species. The state's recent science-snuffing-wolf-killing binge is an abomination. Wolves are the most important forest predator which keeps the natural order in balance. Trapping and shooting the adults during breeding season after teams of dogs have been set against them as was sanctioned by the state less than a year ago was pure cruelty.
10. Respect for elder, Native cultures. You can't miss the pattern of what's under pressure and outright attack - whether it's the vital Menominee River, ancestral artifacts and burial mounds inside Kohler Andrae State Park, or at the expense of wolves considered sacred by Ojibwe tribes who had spent years protecting from seizure their treaty rights to walleye and life-affirming wild-rice estuaries.
You could de-congest all the ports and unload Wisconsin's share for super fast delivery to businesses and homes in the Badger State, but Wisconsin and our future as the climate crisis unfolds will continue to degrade until policy-makers put Public Trust water, air, land and wildlife first.