Thirteen years later, Karen and I found ourselves living on Admiralty Island, Alaska - a fisherman’s paradise! Only then did I learn that with a spinning reel you simply catch the line with your finger, flip the bail* and release the line as you cast. Then smile as your lure sails out to where the lunkers are hungrily waiting.
Now, back in Wisconsin, I don’t do much fishing anymore. But perhaps Chucky’s dilemma offers a lesson about the future of Wisconsin’s fisheries, energy use, and more.
In Wisconsin we import most of the energy we use. So we’d especially benefit economically, employment-wise and environmentally by transitioning to home-grown renewable energy. Observant folks will notice that some changes are indeed happening. Neighbors are installing rooftop solar, and solar group-buy opportunities (essentially temporary buyers’ clubs) are increasing.
But the annual Community Power Scorecard (CPS) by the Institute for Self-Reliance demonstrates how similar Wisconsin is to ten-year-old Chucky and his struggles with casting. The report scores how well each state enables communities to expand their own local ownership in renewable energy. Unfortunately in Wisconsin, we haven’t yet learned to flip the bail.
Wisconsin placed 9th from the bottom of the list of fifty states and earned an “F.” We only passed in 2 of 9 categories. Yup, we’re not even flippin’ our line out to where the lunker opportunities and benefits are. State legislative assistance would enable us to reduce our current hemorrhage of energy dollars and give our local communities more control over energy options. Watch this blog for more information about how Wisconsin could go after those lunker benefits.
So let’s go fishing! But please don’t settle for pint-size pan fish. After all, this is the only pond we’ve got. We’re here forever… Earthbound.
*Thin, U-shaped, hinged strip