Hey Wisconsin DNR, where'd all that climate change info go?

They now say the cause of climate change is up for debate.
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Wisconsin's DNR has changed its stance on climate change.

Environmental writer James Rowen was one of the first to notice that the state's Department of Natural Resources had changed a lot of the information about climate change on its website.

The website used to say that human activities and greenhouse gases are the major causes of climate change, but now says that the cause of climate change is debatable. Also gone is information about how changes in temperature and weather could have negative effects on the Great Lakes.

Snopes confirmed that the website's information had been changed by finding an archived copy of the site from this October – here's what it used to say, and here's what it says now.

Why did they change it?

Republican Gov. Scott Walker controls the DNR, and he and other Republicans have been pretty critical of Obama's climate change initiatives.

In his op-ed piece, Rowen says this isn't the first time Walker's administration made politicized changes to state-sponsored websites – they've already removed information put together by former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's global warming task force and a teaching guide on climate change, Rowen said.

"It lines up with other policies of the Walker administration to turn the role of the Department of Natural Resources from a conservation and environmentally in-tune agency to what Walker described as the 'chamber-of-commerce mentality,' — that's his phrase — that he wanted atop the DNR through the selection of Cathy Stepp," Rowen told WPR.

GoMN has reached out to Wisconsin DNR spokesman James Dick to see what prompted the change.

He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the “updated page reflects our position on this topic that we have communicated for years, that our agency regularly must respond to a variety of environmental and human stressors from drought, flooding, wind events to changing demographics."

“Our agency must be ready to respond to each of these challenges. Adaptation has been our position on this topic," Dick said.

And in case you're wondering, Minnesota's DNR page still contains plenty of information on climate change.

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