Climate Change Interview 12: Nature Photographer - Madison, Wisconsin

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

Live interview: Joe Lynde - Boomer - Nature Photographer and former teacher Madison Area Technical College


Grand Canyon
Photo by Joe Lynde

1. What are your thoughts about the claims that the climate is warming, the environment is being destroyed and that humans are the cause?


Well, I think about the oil and gas industries and all the power and money that drives our economy and how that ends up driving all the CO2 into the air. And then there is the fracking business. Just take our own state here, the sand that is needed is a special kind of sand and it is harvested or mined in the northern part of Wisconsin and is very desirable for fracking. Look at Oklahoma and how fracking in causing a hundreds of earthquakes across the State.

At the same time, there are scientists in Antarctica that are saying there is a particularly disturbing temperature under the ice glaciers that does not bode well for the the rise of the oceans. This is all happening faster and accelerating faster than climate scientists originally thought.


It’s all very disheartening for sure. Of course it’s a political issue. It’s also a national security issue as the Pentagon has said. Global warming is going to create all this migratory activity driving people away from where you can’t grow food anymore or find water.


I want to make a point that there is one party that is particularly beholding to the energy industry and that’s the Republican Party. It’s not that Democrats aren’t also bought and sold but its institutionalized in the Republican Party. They get a lot of dark and dirty donor money working against the climate. So we should investigate our politicians to see who is being paid to promote all that is happening and repeal Citizens United.


2. In your mind what are the driving forces of climate change and environmental degradation?


First of all, with the Trump administration there has been a relaxation of the regulations and standards that protect the environment. California, our most populous state, has said that it is going to adhere to the standards and EPA regulations like exhaust standards and so forth. That’s where the initial push came for electric cars. GM put their money into R&D out there and were committed to the whole thing.


We had a good start back in the 70s and 80s. Government had tax credits that drove the solar industry and the automobile industry. That has pretty much stopped. We bought a Volt in 2016. There was a $7,500 tax credit on a $36,000 car.


Consumerism, greed, poor leadership, no global effort and the influence of mega fossil fuel companies are stopping whatever progress we could have made.


3. Has your life been affected in any way? If so, how?


Well, right in our own condo association we think about the chemicals we use on the grounds. Then there is the daily recycling battle and also we worry about the water we use and how we care for it. In Madison we have well issues on the west side. There’s lots to think about.