A Wisconsin state government land board recently voted to bar any discussion of climate change from their official documents and communications, becoming the second state to enact such a policy after Florida.
The campaign to remove climate change from the board’s agenda was reportedly spearheaded by Wisconsin’s State Treasurer, Matt Adamcyzk, who is known for having very conservative views about environmental issues. The board’s actions fly in the face of the attitudes of Wisconsin residents. According to polls, a significant majority of voters believe that global warming is real and that environmental regulations are needed to combat it.
The political ramifications of the climate change debate continue to be felt, as many prominent Republicans continue to deny that man-made climate change exists, despite the scientific evidence that it does. According to the NOAA, 2014 was the warmest global year in recorded history, and climate scientists predict that the Earth will grow even warmer in the years and decades to come. Most scientists believe that the evidence for global warming is conclusive and overwhelming, but many Republican politicians remain publicly skeptical.
The land board’s decision reflects an increasing trend of U.S. state governments choosing to ignore the potential problems posed by global warming. Many conservative politicians appear worried that even a hint of support for global warming will lead to an ouster in the next election. Their fear of alienating their political base will likely lead to severe and costly environmental problems for future generations.