20 results for author: Dan Barth


COMING TOGETHER

 We have become human high-tension wires stripped of our protective insulation. We crackle and arc with fear and anger all because the illusions of stability, like the assured continuity of our majority rule democracy, in a changing world are popping around us like soap bubbles. We blew them off the front porch when we were kids, safely tucked under the warm comforter of our childhood naivete.  We watched them trail off on the breeze hoping they would float high and away and last forever.  Like our illusions, pop they did but with soapy water we just blew more. It is in the nature of human beings to blow out from ...

CLIMATE VOTERS NEEDED NOW

 A recent news feed brought the likelihood that summer sea ice in the Arctic will be gone in 15 years.  Almost a lifetime ago I remember reading dramatic, sometimes horrific, stories of hardy explorers trying to find the legendary Northwest Passage and the North Pole.  These were the stories of men like Franklin, Nansen, Peary and many more who wrestled with blinding snow, frigid winds and treacherous ice sometimes struggling to their achingly cold deaths. Soon, I can almost see it now, someone will be the first to water ski the Arctic Ocean.  What will be the weather consequences?  Our children and grandchildren will know.  ...

ENERGY INNOVATION ACT

 On May 29 over 20,000 tons of fuel oil spilled into a pristine river in Arctic Siberia. A fuel storage tank built on what had been solid permafrost collapsed when for the first time the frozen footing beneath it thawed and settled. The damage to fragile Arctic waterways has been called catastrophic. Its impact will be felt for years. Since then, the toxic flow has reached the Arctic Ocean. Across the far north, temperatures are soaring, outdoing traditional hot spots like Miami. When was the last time temperatures here in Central Wisconsin topped 100 degrees: it did in Siberia on June 20, just one more hot day in the latest ...

A SIMPLE WALK IN WONDERLAND

 This morning, like most mornings, I will walk this plain, little country road. Typical, it carries a few cars, more pickup trucks, a tractor now and then and the occasional bike, motorized and pedaled. The road arouses little interest in the eyes of many who clearly see only a trash can to fill up with what they toss out the window or that blows out of the truck bed. Out of car, out of mind; a road not much remembered. And yet this unremarkable road correctly walked often leaves me speechless with awe and gratitude. Great music dances out of the woods and across the fields. The rattling sandhill crane’s saxophones brazenly ...

FIFTY EARTH DAYS LATER

Photo by Dan Barth Wisconsin and Earth Day go back a long way together. Truth be told, without Wisconsin, Earth Day might not even exist. Horrified by a disastrous oil spill off the coast of California in 1969, our own Senator Gaylord Nelson conceived and set in motion the gears that made Earth Day 1970 a phenomenon to be reckoned with. Twenty million Americans marched proudly in their streets and parks that first year to protest the piecemeal destruction of the beautiful, life-nurturing planet we had so recently seen from space for the very first time. We could finally see how finite Earth was, floating in the ...

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WAUSAU CITY COUNCIL

(Dan is a member of Citizen’s Climate Lobby Rib Mountain—Marshfield Chapter) On the evening of September 24, 2019, the members of the Wausau City Council stepped up and voted in favor of a resolution in support of State and Federal action on climate change. In doing so, Wausau joins a steadily growing list of over one hundred cities and counties in Wisconsin and the rest of the country who recognize the dangers we face. There are now five cities in our own 7th Congressional District who have done so. The pressure on our State and Federal legislators to act ratchets up another notch. While the members of the Council ...

THE CASE FOR A FEE ON FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS

As I type this article, a voice on the radio reports in an unemotional monotone on yet another natural gas explosion. This time it is in Kentucky and took another vibrant human life and injured five other people. Sun Prairie exploded not that long ago from another gas leak. Another life taken. Coal dust clogs the lungs of today’s young coal miners creating a generation of high school students in mining country whose fathers will likely not be alive to watch them receive a diploma. More lives sacrificed unnecessarily for the dirtiest fossil fuel we can easily do without. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ...

Come Out and Celebrate Earth Day in Wausau

Alarmed over yet another disastrous oil spill, this one fouling Santa Barbara, California beaches, our own Senator Gaylord Nelson pioneered the first national Earth Day on April 22, 1970. That day, 20 million Americans joined hands with the citizens of Wisconsin to celebrate our one and only home planet.Each year since then, our friends and neighbors across the country, and since 1990 around the world, have made Earth Day an opportunity to joyfully acknowledge our determination to live in harmony with the natural environment on which we all depend.On Saturday, April 27, local members of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby invite you to a celebratory ...

Wisconsin Fish Tales

It was a real eye opener for those of us who fish Wisconsin's waters last week when retired DNR fisheries biologist Frank Pratt spoke at the UW Center for Civic Engagement. He told us how our changing climate already affects the fish in our rivers, lakes and streams, and what is yet to come. The news could hardly have been worse.Careful monitoring and diligent record keeping reveal that the waters our fish live in are warming. Numerous factors determine just how much, but the temperature rise ranges between half and one and a half degree Celsius - as much as almost three degrees Fahrenheit. Seems small, but for the fish and other denizens of the ...

OUR CHERISHED FISH

Despite the fact that scientists from around the world warn us, almost daily now, that we are witnessing the unraveling of the climate we depend on, their message hasn't turned our heads in sharp alarm. If you're thirty or less you might have an excuse because it's been that long since we've had a year with normal temperatures.The earth is heating up. But for the rest of us, well, we just ought to know better. We sure didn't grow up in Wisconsin with regular winter rains, or growing seasons that went past Labor Day weekend. Now we're eating fresh tomatoes from our garden's in late September and even into October, while winter rains are raising havoc ...