Posts Tagged ‘global warming’

Indian tribes and global warming

January 12, 2010

It is rare to see a local interest mobilize so effectively on a global issue as the Potowatomi Indian Tribe has for climate change.

Tribal Attorney General Jeff Crawford said the support will include a media campaign to support the legislation as well as a lobbying effort as lawmakers consider it. Gov. Jim Doyle helped unveil the “Clean Energy Jobs Act” earlier this week.

“The more people are detached from the environment, the more they become a user and not a protector, and they don’t understand the balance that is necessary,” Crawford tells WisPolitics in a new interview. “You cannot continue to use all of the resources without it having a negative impact. People need to be able to understand it’s a good idea to close the door, turn off the light, insulate your house and that would be good for you in terms of your pocketbook. It would also be good for the environment.”

Crawford said the tribe has a longstanding connection to the environment and a long held belief in that connection. It’s part of the reason why the tribe has been trying to implement more green policies in its various businesses.

Obviously, the worst effects of climate change will negatively impact every corner of the earth. It’s important for Americans and localities to take responsibility for this issue and not leave it up to national and international governance. Although the latter will be the most effective, the process of enacting meaningful change at that level is often slow and arduous. The American system of de-centralized government allows for states and cities to, excuse the cliché, be the laboratories for change.

Granted, it might be tough convincing Americans to pay attention to the Powatomi when ignoring the pleas of Native Americans is one of our nation’s favorite pastimes – it’s what this country was built on.

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Feingold dubious on cap and trade

September 13, 2009

Feingold, in a surprising move, is voicing skepticism of the “Cap and Trade” bill moving through Congress.

“I’m not signing onto any bill that rips off Wisconsin,” Feingold declared, arguing the bill’s mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions could put the coal-dependent Badger State at an economic disadvantage compared to other regions and nations.

That position runs contrary to both his party leadership and the Obama administration, which recently dispatched Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to Saginaw, Mich., to meet with Govs. Jennifer Granholm and Jim Doyle on the energy bill. Doyle came away from the clean energy economic forum convinced that cap and trade would “put some octane, so to speak, in the green energy economy.”

Feingold, who is generally very straightforward in discussing his positions, nevertheless was “troubled” by how many of his constituents refused to accept the science behind global warming.

Although Feingold is perhaps the most effective intellectual liberal in Washington, he has always been in very close touch with his constituents and their interests. He sticks up for dairy farmers on trade deals and was a big proponent of investing in a variety of public works in Wisconsin with stimulus money. However, this position he’s taking is too provincial. If Wisconsin is overly reliant on coal, than there’s going to be a painful day when the reliance is going to be broken, and unless Feingold proposes an alternative to reduce emissions, we might have to pay more than some other states.

Also, the point of the Cap and Trade legislation is that the United States is taking a step that some other countries probably won’t. India and China are not going to take the environmental steps that we should take to reduce fuel emissions, but as members of the developed world, it is our duty to lead, especially given our awful track record environmentally vis-a-vis other first world nations.