Earth Day turns 50 this year. What has been its legacy? Gaylord Nelson, born in Clear Lake, was called the first conservation governor. He served two terms as governor during which time Wisconsin became the first state to require environmental education in elementary through high school. Think of all the dedicated people now serving in our Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that started learning about environmental challenges in a Wisconsin elementary school.
In 1969, as a U.S. senator, he proposed a "national day for the environment" that evolved into Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to celebrate the first Earth Day. This was the first day of "The Environmental Decade" where bipartisan legislation made us safer and healthier. See National Geographic's list of " 49 Environmental Victories Since the First Earth Day."
Now we're facing another environmental crisis. Wisconsin is stepping up on climate change. "Renew Wisconsin" is an excellent source for information on all things renewable. Seven Dane County cities and villages have committed to reduce carbon emissions. Eight Wisconsin municipalities have passed resolutions supporting carbon pricing.
Wisconsin has 24 Citizens' Climate lobby chapters. CCL is a grassroots nonpartisan organization advocating for passage of H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.
If you agree we need action on climate change, please take the time to call or write (emails work, too) your members of Congress (Sean Duffy in 7th Congressional District) and urge them to support bipartisan action on climate change. Together, we can make Wisconsin the environmental leader it was 50 years ago.