State Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Adam Jarchow did a commendable job explaining the economic reasons why they take on the environmental left. However, environmental policies must also be based on what is truly occurring in our world.
Sen. Tiffany recently stated that it was appropriate for the Department of Natural Resources to remove references to human-caused climate change from its website "because climate change is a theoretical construct."
But climate change isn't hypothetical. In June of last year, 31 leading U.S. scientific organizations, including the American Meteorological Society, sent a letter to Congress calling for climate action and stating that climate change impacts in the United States already include greater threats of extreme weather events, sea level rise, water scarcity, heat waves and wildfires. The American Association for the Advancement of Science states the letter "reaffirmed the reality of human-caused climate change."
Warmer air holds more water, and according to the National Climate Assessment, heavy precipitation events increased by 37 percent in the upper Midwest from 1958 to 2012. Record rainfall and flooding in Northern Wisconsin this past July and in Western Wisconsin in September caused millions of dollars in infrastructure damage and two fatalities.
In the aftermath of the flooding in Western Wisconsin, friends from my hometown of Sparta commented that it was the first time they had seen school called off because of rain.
Climate impacts are expected to increase substantially in the coming decades.
To deal with climate-driven threats, we first must recognize them. It's essential for the DNR's website to represent the best available science.