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As I See It

Science, not politics, should guide climate change decisions



There are plenty of people who believe our climate is changing. And there are plenty of people who believe global warming is a myth. Both sides can cite plenty of science to bolster their claims. But the fact is, we don’t know whether our climate is changing, much less if it is caused by human behavior. So some in the Wisconsin legislature think that is reason enough to try to shut down anyone who espouses the idea that the earth’s climate is getting warmer. That seems to be what is behind a provision in the state budget that eliminates more than 17 full time positions from the Department of Natural Resource’s Science Services Bureau. That is the portion of the agency that two years ago released a plan calling for study of how climate change has affected Wisconsin’s rivers, lakes and forests. Worrying about climate change is only a small part of the agency’s research, but it seems even suggesting we study the possibility of climate change is too much for some lawmakers. This certainly seems like political payback for those who even dare suggest our climate may be changing. Especially since the agency’s work was already approved by DNR Secretary Kathy Stepp, a Walker appointee. Given that we don’t know for certain whether our climate is changing, or whether humans have something to do with it, it seems at least worthy of study, instead of sticking our heads in the sand.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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