Environment


Take time to shape the future of conservation in Wisconsin tonight

Wisconsin state flag
The annual Conservation Congress spring public hearing starts tonight at 7 p.m. Traditionally, each county holds a hearing at the same time in a designated location. Last year, the hearing went virtual, and once again, this year, people are welcome to vote and submit resolutions online beginning at 7 p.m.Visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website to take part.

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Contaminated brownfields: how did it come to this in America?

Photograph of brown field with run down brown building
The business is long gone, the buildings removed but the aftermath is not.  Left behind is a “brownfield,” a nice word for a site contaminated with deadly poisons, and no one left to pay for clean-up if that’s even possible. And what to do with it once it is cleaned up? Another industrial site, another fence line community in the poorer part of town where the people of color live. There are thousands of brownfields all over America. How did it come to this? No one intended to damage the Earth and make humans sick. We blundered into it.

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America the Beautiful

The same short-sighted, profit-centered thinking that opposed creating the National Parks hinders creating the “good change” we need today.

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Video: Norfleet and Kilian Discuss Environmental Justice in Wausau

norfleet kilian environmental justice
A video discussion on the "Brother2Brotha Who's Talking" podcast with guests Chris Norfleet and Tom Kilian. Recorded November 7, 2020, it touches on local topics such as the East Riverfront, the Wausau Mall Redevelopment, Thomas Street, and the overall need for local frameworks that foster an inclusive democracy and equity for all.Note: Tom Kilian has served as a volunteer on Middle Wisconsin's digital efforts since 2013

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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 ...

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WAUSAU CITY COUNCIL APPROVES ACCESS FOR CCW TO TEST PARK

After a year and a half of community concern and deliberation at City Hall regarding Riverside Park, on Tuesday, October 22, the Wausau City Council approved the request of Citizens for a Clean Wausau (CCW) for access to the park to take soil samples and analyze them for dioxins and furans.Results from 2006 private soil samples near a culvert area in the park revealed Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) direct contact soil exceedances for dioxins and furans. The samples were taken in relation to a lawsuit involving WAULECO and Sentry Insurance. Plaintiffs ...

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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 ...

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Asian Carp: Too Little Too Late

“It is time that a permanent and effective solution be implemented to prevent the spread of this invasive species. The Great Lakes are the crown jewel of the Midwest, and the potential damage both environmentally and economically from Asian carp is too great to risk, which is why we have asked the corps to close the Brandon Road Lock.”   Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong”  Murphy's Law Wisconsin Public Radio recently had a story on the latest public statement on the Asian carp problem. The take ...

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WIND POWER: HOW SAFE IS IT FOR BIRDS?

Wind power is one of the sources of energy for our future. But how safe is it for birds and bats? Before I talk about the birds and bats, here are some other foes of birds. Pesticides kill 67 million birds a year. Autos kill 200 million birds a year. Outdoor cats kill 2.4 billion birds a year. The biggest long-term threat to birds and other wildlife is climate change. All of these foes are part of our current fossil-fuel society which is in the process of changing. Wind now supplies 6 per cent of our nation’s electricity which is ...

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Climate Change is Real

LETTER TO THE EDITORBy James A. LewisI recently reached the age of ninety. I have lots of hope that people coming after me will be able to live happy and healthy lives. But my hopes are under threat.I pray that Americans will soon realize that climate change is real, that it will persist and will intensify unless we act quickly. Climate change is the result of our worldwide use of coal, oil and gas. Our government must--without delay – adopt the standards set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.We must again assume leadership in the worldwide effort to ...

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