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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, February 26, 2024
Resistance to renewable energy has serious economic and environmental ramifications

Letter to the Editor: Refusal to commit to renewables the real spooky season

It’s spooky season folks. But for those of you who aren’t scared of werewolves or vampires, take a closer look at what’s truly terrifying: UW-Madison’s reluctance to commit to clean energy and the economic consequences we’re facing because of their prioritization.

So the most common rebuttals you hear when someone says we need to wean our society off fossil fuels is “But that will hurt the economy”, or “That’ll cause job loss”. What these rebuttals fail to take into account is that our economy and our job market are already suffering the effects of fossil fuels, in ways that Wisconsinites need to see.

It isn’t just the national economy and job market that are suffering from the fossil fuel industry and the effects of climate change. Each community in Wisconsin is facing its own unique struggles.  

The economic damage from climate change is getting harder and harder to ignore. This past January, unprecedented storms over Lake Michigan caused over $30 million in damages. In 2018, the Baraboo River flooded and hit an all-time high in southwest Wisconsin, causing the governor to issue a statewide emergency. That same year, record-setting flooding caused over $154 million in damages to Dane County. I don’t know about you, but our county losing over $150 million to climate change induced flooding doesn’t exactly help me sleep well at night.

We’re not even taking into account the thing our state loves the most: dairy. Shifting temperatures will weaken the state’s dairy industry even more. As the weather gets warmer, cows eat less and produce less milk. No more Babcock ice cream for us. And that’s just one section of our state’s agriculture. Wisconsin’s crop yield will suffer due to changing seasonal trends and unprecedented heat waves within the next few years.  

The UW-Madison administration needs to step up and commit to 100% renewable energy immediately. If they don’t, these negative effects will continue to wreak havoc on our local economy and communities.

Maya Barwick is a freshman studying Environmental Sciences. 

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