In Monday’s edition, The Gazette gave a "thumbs up" to Rep. Bryan Steil on the introduction of his first bill, holding it up as a welcome example of bipartisanship. Adjacent to that endorsement was a piece by Steven Walters on the effects of climate change on the state of Wisconsin as predicted in a 2011 study by the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. The effects include increases in precipitation, more frequent large-storm events and floods, soil erosion, a decline in brook trout habitat, the loss of biodiversity, damage to our roads and bridges and failures of our storm sewer systems. A UW climate scientist who is analyzing updated projections say they paint a similar picture.
The only upside to yet another bad-news climate story is that people in all political circles are growing alarmed about the changing climate and are looking to their leaders for effective solutions. Recent polls (Yale/George Mason Poll, October 2018; Luntz Global Survey, May 2019) show that the majority of Democrats AND Republicans understand the threat. In fact, the majority of Democrats AND Republicans support a carbon fee on fossil fuels to lower carbon dioxide levels. Our leaders at all levels must respond to the rising cries for bipartisan efforts to address the climate crisis. There are some issues that must transcend partisan politics, as Steil has shown us--and the people of this country believe that the livability of the planet is one of them.