Earth day, the Green New Deal, and Wisconsin’s carbon “hoof prints”

Claire Gelhaus, Editor

 Earth Day was started by Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson, and as many posted vacation pictures and urged others to create change, New York state Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’ Green New Deal became relevant once again.

  Nelson grew up during the New Deal policies that AOC modeled her proposal after, and Nelson was always confident in the political power of everyday citizens, similar to AOC’s bartender origins and argument that government offices should be accessible for all.

  “As a senator, Nelson contributed to important liberal reforms but struggled for years to interest his colleagues in environmental protections,” says the official website for Nelson, run by the Wisconsin Historical Society. “So he turned instead to the people, proposing April 22, 1970 as a day for Americans to speak out about the environmental crises they faced.”

  Following this, Congress and the newly founded Environmental Protection Agency banned Agent Orange, a request from Nelson, and the Clear Air Act of 1970 included Nelson’s amendment setting a deadline by which cars must include emissions-reducing technologies. The Clean Water Act of 1972 included Nelson’s pollution control and sewage treatment plants amendments. He banned the dumping into the oceans and great lakes, made the Apostle Islands a National Park, and helped protect marine animals and predators in the 1973 Endangered Species Act.

   Similar to the origins of Earth Day, the Green New Deal was created by in an attempt to prioritize climate change policy.

     Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markley (D-MA) have committed to reducing the United States’ effect on climate change with the proposed Green New Deal resolution.

  The bill stated ambitious goals for lowering emissions and restructuring the economy, but also eliminating racial inequality and supporting labor unions. While many of these were met with specific quotas and alternatives, others were left more ambiguously, leading top Republicans such as President Trump and others to claim AOC plans to eliminate cows and airplanes.

  “I think it is very important for the Democrats to press forward with their Green New Deal. It would be great for the so-called “Carbon Footprint” to permanently eliminate all Planes, Cars, Cows, Oil, Gas & the Military – even if no other country would do the same. Brilliant!” tweeted the president Feb. 9.

  The Green New Deal itself doesn’t address any of these issues but unfinished notes and documents about the deal were released by AOC’s office which name “farting cows.”

  For America’s Dairyland, reducing dairy and beef would affect Wisconsin’s agriculture and image of itself.

  According to a review of the Wisconsin Dairy Industry by the Milk Marketing Board, there were 1,279,000 dairy cows in Wisconsin in 2017, and dairy is the largest segment of Wisconsin agriculture, with a total of 43.3 billion dollars.

  However, reducing emissions would affect agriculture dependent economies, with the

  According to the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations, livestock accounts for 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases each year.