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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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home : opinions : opinions June 27, 2017

1/7/2017 7:29:00 AM
Wisconsin: Forward or backward?

To the editor:

It's a new year - time to evaluate events from the last several years. As I ponder the direction our state is moving, I am disturbed. I am disturbed by the regression that Wisconsin has experienced in so many areas because of the policies and actions of the Walker administration. Our state motto is "FORWARD." But Wisconsin has suffered so many assaults on our institutions and quality of life that our motto could be described as "BACKWARD."

There have been many attempts over the past few years, either by legislation or neglect, to degrade our higher education system, stall infrastructure upgrades, restrict voting rights for some groups, secretive efforts to gut the Wisconsin Open Records law, to name just a few.

The latest crusade by the Walker administration concerns the DNR website. On Dec 21, the webpage devoted to the Great Lakes was rewritten, removing references that climate change is human caused. The DNR also removed other materials, including a teaching guide on climate change and much of the information from the 2008 Wisconsin Task Force on Global Warming.

The goal of these changes is to cast doubt on the human activities responsible for climate disruption, in spite of the 2014 United Nations report that surveyed the latest science of climate change, finding "human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history."

The DNR website needs to reflect the reality of climate change and the risks to Wisconsin's industries, environment, and our irreplaceable way of life. Allowing the governor and his administration to cast doubt and question the facts about the climate issue is a big step "backward." And why?

As citizens of Wisconsin, we should all join together and demand that the DNR website be returned to its former text. We should also demand that our government adopt policies and programs that will make Wisconsin great again. FORWARD!!

Linda Herscher


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