Janesville22.3°

Your Views: Republicans must get serious about effects of climate change

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May 20, 2014

I planted most of my vegetable garden May 12. It was about a week early for me, but the 10-day forecast looked OK to get some seeds and plants in the ground.

I’ve gardened here in southern Wisconsin since 1978, but it has been these last six or seven years that our spring climate is getting chancy. There were those heavy rains in June 2008, then the warm March of 2012, followed by the worst drought in 50 years. Last year in June, we got 20 inches of rain, a whole summer’s worth. I can no longer count on the steady spring/summer rains and temperatures we had in prior decades. The article of May 7 by Taylor Anderson about climate change’s affect on Wisconsin crops predicts a grim future for our state.

I think it is time for Republican leaders such as Paul Ryan to stop playing politics with our grandchildren’s quality of life and environment. Mr. Ryan should support legislation to curb carbon fuels. A revenue-neutral carbon tax would help spur renewable energy and nudge us all to conserve more.

I graduated from Craig in 1969, six months before Mr. Ryan was born. We both claim Janesville as our hometown. Addressing climate change is about protecting our country, defending our Constitution, and setting a course now that will return to Janesville a stable climate that we all grew up in, so our grandchildren can have a safer life.

TOM UMHOEFER

Stoughton



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