Monday, July 23, 2012
In a weekend editorial the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted RENEW's executive director Don Wichert:
While national leaders dither, local officials and families can start doing things to reduce human impact on climate change
It's possible that this summer is just a fluke; that the heat waves and drought that are wreaking havoc for farmers and others are an anomaly, and that the weather will return to "normal" next summer or maybe the summer after that. That it's just summer and it's hot, and that this really isn't part of a trend that climate scientists have been predicting.
But that's not the way to bet. . . .
"The extreme weather and heat waves are costing lives, hurting farmers and families, and inaction is wasting tax money," said Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison), member of the Assembly Energy and Utilities Committee in a news release. "We need to take cost-effective steps to reduce greenhouse air pollution, create jobs and protect lives like my Jobs, Energy and Tax Savings Act (AB 117) to reduce energy costs at the 9,000 state facilities by 30% to 75% and cut the risk of extreme climate change."
"We know that using more renewable energy and more energy efficiency creates more jobs here and produces far less green house gases than the fossil fuels they replace," said Don Wichert, P.E., Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin. "Access to renewable energy can be increased by reducing upfront costs through private ownership, by creating fair and consistent electricity policies, and by reinstating utility renewable energy commitments."
It's also the message being pushed by a retired Marine colonel and former strategic adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who argues that sustainability and climate change are national security issues. Local leaders need to start the shift to more sustainable practices such as regenerative agriculture techniques and advanced manufacturing because "D.C. isn't going to do anything," Mark Mykleby, author of "A Natural Strategic Narrative," he told the Editorial Board Thursday.
The science says climate change is happening now, not just in computer models or overactive imaginations but in the real world. From rising sea levels to droughts to tornadoes and wildfires, there is a growing list of anomalous events that indicate climate change is already upon us. And the safe bet is to start acting now to mitigate the human effect on climate change at the international, national and local levels.