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Vox Pop - Think of the environment when making voting decisions

Vox Pop

Earlier this year, members of the Chequamegon Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) attended a Work Party in Stevens Point with CCL-ers from across Wisconsin to develop strategies for turning out environmentalists to vote in this year’s elections. The idea is to use our democratic system of government to address climate change.

Prior to the Work Party, northern Wisconsin had been experiencing a pretty mild winter, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who heard others say, “I don’t miss the snow.” There was less to shovel, it was easier to walk the dog, and heating bills were lower; all good! Some of the warmer weather was caused by El Nino—and some of it was undoubtedly caused by climate change. And the thing is, if we don’t act now to reduce our carbon footprint, the climate is going to continue to change. It’s not like the climate is going to warm to a temperature that’s convenient in northern Wisconsin and then stay put; it’s going to keep warming! The result will be more extremely hot days, a longer pollen season for allergy sufferers, more extreme weather events, increased frequency of floods, increased wildfire risk, more algal blooms in our lakes, less ice and less ice-fishing, and more challenges for the winter tourism industry.

I left Stevens Point with a “Vote like the Earth depends on it” pin. As you consider who to vote for in upcoming elections, it is my sincere hope that you will pay close attention to candidates’ positions on the environment. It is our chance to vote for national leadership to address climate change. And the future of northern Wisconsin depends on it! — Liz Fentress, Bayfield