From: La Crosse Tribune letters , October 26. 2022
Ashland Daily Press letters, October 27, 2022
During the only gubernatorial debate, Republican challenger Tim Michels was asked about climate change and the evidence that more frequent extreme weather events tied to climate change are disrupting the wild rice beds, a source of food and culture for the Ojibwe people in northern Wisconsin. Wild rice, also called manoomin, grows in water, and Wisconsin’s Great Lakes region holds part of the largest and last remaining extensive coastal wild rice beds in the world.
Michels, a multi-millionaire businessman who owns a construction company that routinely does work on major oil pipelines, said he had never heard of it. Despite never hearing about it, he said he was sure it was not because of climate change. Michels’ denial is at odds with more than 99% of scientists who say that human-caused carbon emissions from fossil fuels are causing climate change.
This would be an inconvenient admission, given that Michels’ company is currently the mainline contractor to reroute Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that would go through northern Wisconsin carrying up to 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids per day.
The Bad River Ojibwe and environmental groups say this project further threatens the wild rice beds. It’s no surprise that Michels has pledged to “make sure Line 5 gets built” if he becomes governor. He also suggested breaking up the Department of Natural Resources into separate agencies: one for business regulations and the other for hunting and fishing. A climate denier should not be entrusted with protecting Wisconsin’s natural resources.
Al Gedicks, Executive Secretary
Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, WNPJ member group