Climate change, Health of WI featured on Capitol City Sunday - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Climate change, Health of WI featured on Capitol City Sunday


MADISON (WKOW) -- A forum on climate change earlier this week raised a number of questions about whether or not Wisconsin is prepared to handle the consequences that are being projected, even some of the more mild ones.

Rep. Fred Clark (D-Baraboo) hosted that forum with what he describes as a very rational, problem-solving approach.

"What we wanted to do was get people to realize there are real people in Wisconsin - farmers, people managing forests, people managing wastewater and sewer systems that have to make important decisions about capital investments based on what we know and what the predictions are about climate change," said Rep. Clark.

Clark said even conservative estimates of the potential changes will transform the types of farm crops Wisconsin grows and could even lead to fewer of the state's main species of trees, such as Aspen.

"Its a keystone for our pulp and paper industry.  Its also a key habitat for game species like rough grouse, which is an iconic game bird in Wisconsin.  So, those are the kind of charges that would have a pretty fundamental effect on lots of different aspects of our natural resources," said Clark, who is the featured guest on Capitol City Sunday this weekend.

UW Population Health Institute Director Karen Timberlake is also on the program.  She talks about the overall outcomes of the Institute's 2013 Wisconsin Health Report Card.

"Our children and young adults and our working age adults, so now we're talking ages 1 to 64 in total right?  In those two groups, we get a grade of B," said Timberlake.

While the state ranks slightly above average overall, it only gets a grade of D in the area of health disparities.

"We see those gaps, we certainly see them in racial and ethnic groups, but we see them in the split, for example, between how people in the suburbs do versus people in rural and urban communities," said Timberlake.

Capitol City Sunday airs at 9:00 a.m. on WKOW.


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