Susan Millar has been concerned with the impending effects of climate change since she was a teenager. Over the last few decades her sense of urgency about climate change has steadily increased. With this frame of mind, she has become a trailblazer when it comes to energy efficiency.Read More
On September 28, 2020 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the 2021 Green Power Leadership Awards. There were just five winners – Boston University, the University of California system, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Dane County, Wisconsin.Read More
I’m really glad I got to spend my summer working with the Office of Energy & Climate Change (OECC). This internship has been fulfilling and it has taught me a lot about environmental work.Read More
It’s been a pleasure to serve as a Climate Action Intern for these past three months. As a lifelong resident of Dane County, the work I’ve done has felt additionally rewarding as I am actively able to help the community that I call home transition towards a climate friendly future.Read More
The vast majority of Dane County residents understand that climate change is happening. So what does it take to move folks to action?
Local Girl Scouts are hoping that they can spur action by showcasing an issue we do not talk about a lot, the carbon embedded in our buildings.Read More
As our nation emerges from the pandemic, some folks are asserting that governments at all levels should get back to addressing the climate emergency.
I hope local stakeholders understand that here in Dane County we never paused in our efforts to address the climate crisis. Even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dane County was making progress on its ambitious countywide climate agenda.Read More
There is a lot of talk about the ‘new normal’ as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. That “new normal” terminology is deliberate, recognizing that whatever happens next will be different from the pre-pandemic normal, the “old normal”.Read More
It always seems impossible until it is done.
Nelson Mandela, 2001 speech.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the pace of change. I think about how quickly the world shifted to wearing face masks to reduce the risk of COVID-19, about the speed at which a clever meme travels the internet...Read More
If every day is Earth Day then every day is an EV (electric vehicle) day in Dane County.
Indeed, Dane County is home to more EVs than any other county in Wisconsin. And the local array of EVs were on full display at the Second Annual Earth Day EV Parade in Madison on April 22, 2021.
This Earth Day let’s embrace the numerous tools and activities available to address climate change.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how some climate advocates are one-solution advocates.
In February Dane County and the City of Madison hosted a virtual meeting of the Sustainability Leadership Collaborative (SLC).
Created in 2019 the SLC brings together local governments from across Dane County.
Of the various chores that come with adulthood, I like shoveling snow.
I appreciate the sense of accomplishment I get when I look back at a clean sidewalk. Shoveling is a good form of exercise. I also appreciate that I can think about other stuff while I shovel without jeopardizing the quality of my efforts; whereas cooking means I have to be attentive, nobody complains if I daydream while I shovel the driveway.
Dane County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) is enormously ambitious and profoundly practical. As a private citizen, I was delighted to play a small role in helping to create some of the recommendations in the CAP and I was proud of Dane County’s outstanding leadership on climate action.
Today I am even more delighted to be the Dane County staff person leading efforts to implement the CAP...Read More
Amid all of the election news this week, it is plausible that you might have missed the important climate milestone. On November 4, 2020 the United States officially withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement.Read More
“Adaptation and Resiliency” is one of the six guiding principles of the Dane County Climate Action Plan. But what do these words really mean? From an ecological perspective, adaptation and resilience are a natural system’s ability to adjust to change and bounce back from a disturbance.Read More
Climate change is already impacting organic vegetable farmers in our area according to Claire Strader, Organic Vegetable Educator for Dane County Extension.
Strader should know. A former organic farmer herself, she currently works with organic vegetable farmers across Dane County.Read More
Deep into a summer during which multiple of our society’s wicked problems seem to be coming to a head, I sought inspiration in a webinar...
The message that we need to move away from framing environmental issues as fatalistic problems resonated with me...Read More
The County cannot reduce all emissions unless all stakeholders—businesses, nonprofits, farms, individuals—are part of the solution. So engagement is an important part of our strategy.
Indeed, we are hosting a virtual meeting on August 20, 2020 to engage one really important set of stakeholders—the people who are part of green teams at their workplaces.Read More
“There's an old African proverb that says ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ We have to go far — quickly.”
- Al Gore, March 23, 2016
Communities across Dane County aim to address climate change—they aim to go far and they aim to go fast.
It is good, then, that we are all working together.Read More
It has been a long and fun journey to Madison and my work at Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change (OECC). I grew up in a city in South Korea and I traveled around the world thanks to my uncle and aunt who lived in Australia and France. This wonderful opportunity gave me a chance to experience different kinds of nature compared to South Korea, including this interaction with a baby kangaroo.
I think my kangaroo encounter was the start of my interest in the environment.Read More
The murder of George Floyd has prompted thousands of protests around the US and the world as well as millions of conversations about racism. Everywhere I look I see conversations about policing and community justice. I am hopeful this is the beginning of a long-overdue discussion about racism in the US. And I’m hopeful that we’ll address a comprehensive set of issues affected by racism, that we’ll address everything—including climate change.Read More
I cycled through the Ozarks last fall with a friend who is a fisheries biologist from Washington state. We camped out on mountain peaks and refueled in small towns. Overall, our dietary preferences were extremely compatible. Motivated by hunger, we efficiently re-stocked our panniers off the shelves of mom-and-pop gas stations and Super Walmarts - we were in rural Arkansas - without much debate.
Our joint mission ground to a halt, however, the first time we encountered seafood.Read More
COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, has quickly become a global health crisis, a pandemic. It deserves everyone’s full attention, collaboration and cooperation. I truly hope that you, your family, friends and co-workers are exercising extreme caution, are supporting one another, and are safe and healthy over the coming days and months.Read More
Without overlooking the devastating impacts of coronavirus, perhaps we can embrace the opportunities afforded by a slower rhythm of life to better care for ourselves and our planet. In the past several weeks, our worlds have shrunk dramatically while impressing upon us the fragility and resiliency of life.Read More
When I moved into my house four years ago, catalogs and junk mail flooded my mail stream. Most of this mail wasn’t even for me! The bulk of it arrived addressed to members of the previous household, and even the owner prior to them.
The average American receives 41 pounds of junk mail a year.Read More
As our office shifts into engagement mode, I am spending more and more time talking with different groups about our work here at the Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change. I am privileged to talk about Dane County’s leadership and the hundreds of people that contributed to our Climate Action Plan, for example, and I also get to see the momentum that’s building around our efforts to take action to reduce emissions.
In these conversations it’s common for someone to ask me whether our efforts will be jeopardized by climate deniers.Read More
Climate change can often feel overwhelming. In the face of a global crisis, our individual actions may seem inconsequential. Maybe rinsing out a can of refried beans before placing it in the recycling isn’t going to “Save the World,” but our consumer choices are significant. The impact of any given action is additive when it becomes a habit, and multiplies when we share our climate hacks with friends and family. To that end, I hope that this blog will provide actionable steps that support your journey toward living more lightly on our planet and that you, in turn, will share them with others.Read More
Creating a science-based county-wide, economy-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP) that can get us on a path to deep decarbonization is a big task. Really. It's the sort of thing that can keep you up at night--trust me, I know. Luckily I didn't have to do this task alone. One of the great things about Dane County is the people and A LOT of people contributed to our soon-to-be-released CAP. In so many ways the CAP already belongs to the people of Dane County because so many people helped to create the CAP..Read More
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