Two recent events will give the gentle reader a good idea of where Scott Walker stands on the issue of climate change. If one thought that Walker would take the educated position backed by science, one has not been paying much attention.
First, Walker wants to appoint his former head of the Department of Administration, Mike Huebsch, to the Public Service Commission, which regulates everything from power rates to construction of power plants and other energy related issues.
When being questioned for the confirmation of this appointment, Huebsch put his foot into it:
The question came up during the end of Huebsch’s April 7, 2015 appearance before the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy. State Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) asked Huebsch for his views about "whether or not our activities in terms of energy generation are contributing to climate change?"
Huebsch responded that humans have can have an impact on climate change, but said he didn’t believe it is "anywhere near the level of impact of just the natural progression of our planet."
He added: "You know, the elimination of essentially every automobile would be offset by one volcano exploding."
When questioned about it, Huebsch quickly backtracked:
When we asked Huebsch for his evidence, he responded by forwarding us an email he had sent to Miller after the hearing.
"I answered a question you put to me inaccurately and I want to set the record straight," Huebsch wrote. "To your question regarding global climate change I indicated global volcanic activity can equal the emission output by the automobiles in the United States. That is inaccurate and I apologize for the error."
He added: "While the scientific community recognizes the natural impact on climate change due to carbon (CO2)and sulfur (SO2) emissions from volcanic activity, those emissions do not equate to the annual emissions from United States automobiles and other fossil fuel based transportation. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused."
Despite getting caught red-tongued in a brazen lie, the corporate media still couldn't give Huebsch the "Pants on Fire" rating that this statement so deservedly earned.
But that wasn't the most egregious example.
Taking after the ignorance of Florida's Rick Scott, Wisconsin Republicans are also trying to ban the words "climate change," like that is going to make the problem go away:
Discussing climate change is out of bounds for workers at a state agency in Wisconsin. So is any work related to climate change—even responding to e-mails about the topic.
A vote on Tuesday by Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, a three-member panel overseeing an agency that benefits schools and communities in the state, enacted the staff ban on climate change. “It’s not a part of our sole mission, which is to make money for our beneficiaries,” said State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, a Republican who sits on the board. “That’s what I want our employees working on. That’s it. Managing our trust funds.”
Adamczyk raised his concern at a public meeting on Tuesday that the board’s executive director, Tia Nelson, had spent on-the-job time working on global warming. Nelson did indeed work on climate change a bit in 2007 and ’08—at the request of the governor. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, who stepped down in 2011, appointed Nelson as co-chair of a global warming task force (PDF). “It honestly never occurred to me that being asked by a sitting governor to serve on a citizen task force would be objectionable,” she said.
Adding insult to injury, Adamczyk has regularly been harassing Tia Nelson, who is the daughter of Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day.
This type of willful ignorance isn't just a virtue for Wisconsin Republicans, but more of a necessity. If they had to face reality in regards to most topics - whether it be climate change, their failure to create family-supporting jobs or the rampant racism - they wouldn't have a chance.