EARTH DAY SHOULD BE EVERY DAY
It’s been eight years since anyone in our executive branch of government uttered the words “climate change.” Thankfully, Governor Tony Evers brought science, common sense and the term climate change back to Wisconsin.
Since the 1970’s, Wisconsin Governors have shaped our nation’s conservation legacy. In my office, over my desk, hangs a poster from Governor Gaylord Nelson’s campaign. The man from Clear Lake was ahead of his time. He did all he could to raise awareness that the earth is worth protecting.
We recently celebrated Earth Day. From recycling to burning less fossil fuels, we in 1970 already felt responsible to preserve and protect our world from our destructive behaviors. Governor Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day as a reminder to us all that we need to do our part.
The 1970s was a decade marked with milestone environmental changes for our country. President Richard Nixon proposed the creation of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
Congress passed the Clean water Act and amended the Clean air Act. At the same time, oil companies were conducting research about how burning fossil fuels affect our climate.
Analysts at Shell Oil predicted a disappearance of specific ecosystems or habitat destruction, an increase in runoff, destructive floods, the need for new sources of fresh water. They predicted how changes in air temperature would drastically change the way people live and work.
Wisconsin is also feeling the effects of climate change. Floods that appeared once every 100 years are now appearing annually. Our country is facing fiercer tornadoes, hurricanes and long droughts. Globally there are more earthquakes and tsunamis.
It is encouraging that many municipalities are adopting the Paris Climate Agreement even if the White House withdrew USA from that group. Governor Evers has included provision for climate change in his budget, giving a goal of !00% carbon-free electricity in Wisconsin by 2050.
Governor Evers proposed that Volkswagen emissions settlement funds be used to buy new public buses and install more electric car charging stations.
We are all part of the Earth and we must all play a part. If we err when making decisions on education or health care or transportation, we can fix it. But if we poison our water, air and earth, we cannot fix it. Think about how we leave this earth for generations to come. Every day needs to be Earth Day.