Mild winter here is bad for world — Carol Phelps

Mild winter here is bad for world — Carol Phelps

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On Christmas Day, our outdoor thermometer read a balmy 55 degrees when we took a stroll. What’s not to love about that? It was as if we’d moved from Wisconsin to Oregon, without packing up.

True, I missed a white Christmas. And with extra warmth and moisture in the air, it’s been damp, gloomy and icy, with the snow that falls being heavy and wet, even in mid-January.

Wildlife and plants are getting messed up, and insects spread fast, targeting trees stressed by weird weather. Invasive emerald ash borers have wreaked devastation in our state, and bark beetles such as the mountain pine beetle have killed millions of acres of trees in the western United States and Canada. Without long enough and cold enough winters, nothing keeps destructive bugs in check.

Look a bit farther away, and my cheering for tropical weather in Wisconsin stops abruptly. The Philippines, where our daughter used to live, got hit by a typhoon on Christmas Day. Australia is tinder-dry and up in flames.

I take it back. I’d rather have the powdery snow, blue skies and crisp air of the Wisconsin winters we used to know. Let’s stop climate change.

Carol Phelps, Middleton

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