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 did not vote unanimously for climate action, we need to applaud the six who did. There are times when our leaders are called upon to act decisively on behalf of an uncertain constituency. This is certainly one of those times.
The members of the local Rib Mountain—Marshfield chapter of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby applaud the loudest and are grateful to Mayor Mielke and the City Council. We hope the City of Wausau, the city we know and love, now steps forward into the exciting world of renewable energy and sustainable technology. We will all reap the benefits.
As tensions over the vulnerability of Saudi oil grow in the wake of an attack by the Houthi-Iranian alliance, drivers around the world recognize they have a personal stake in the outcome. Almost immediately both President Trump and Vice President Pence made it clear to the world that the USA has its finger on the trigger and will pull it to protect the flow of oil.
But when almost every climate scientist and many world leaders tell us to stop using oil, coal and gas if we want our children and grandchildren to have a livable planet the idea of a bloody war over oil seems more than a little incongruous.
To those who drive electric cars, the idea seems more than incongruous, war over oil seems downright pointless. To think that more lives will be lost, more people will suffer so that we can continue to drive headlong over the cliff of climate disaster leads to total dismay. The truth is that we no longer need oil.
In the United States, transportation is the number one source of the greenhouse gases that are juicing up the growing climate crisis. Earth’s ice melts away. Slowly, but steadily, the seas are flooding coastal cities, inundating islanders and turning precious ground water salty.
As I sit here in southern Marathon County, our record-setting rains soak the land, swell the streams and rivers and paint our lives with mildew. Fortunately, unlike much of the rest of the country, we’ve had little serious flooding…yet. Meanwhile, the Arctic has been aflame all summer long. People living close to the equator have begun to flee the unbearable heat. Unless we act soon, it only will get worse.
We, and especially our political leaders, must decide to leave the oil, coal and gas in the ground. We need to dramatically expand our clean renewable energy portfolio. Electric cars, as their owners know, are great. Plugging in, instead of filling up at the gas pump, is clean, simple and convenient.
China and cities around the world are using electric buses. Mowing the lawn with a lighter, quieter rechargeable electric lawnmower is as close as the local big box store. Were we to make the decision to quit oil, the well of American innovation would transform our lives in ways we can hardly imagine today.
What is needed to inaugurate this clean, climate-friendly, sensible and politically sane way of life? What do we need to avoid another war over oil? The answer is this: the political will to pass legislation that increases the cost of oil, gas and coal and keeps raising the price until we adopt a way of life based on the carbon free energy provided in abundance by our creator.
Once again, congratulations to the Wausau City Council for recognizing the need to enter the age of renewable energy and sustainable technology. All of us will reap the benefits.