Southeast Michigan Environmental Issues: Climate Change, Clean Energy, Safe Water

Climate change. Renewable energy. Safe drinking water.

Candice Fortman

Environmental attorney Nick Schroeck is concerned about all of those issues when it comes to the future of the Great Lakes and southeast Michigan. “It’s not some far-off-in-the-future phenomenon,” Shroeck says.

A frequent guest on WDET, Schroeck was part of the “Our Environment, Our Waterways” event held earlier this fall at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial. A faculty member at Wayne State University Law School, Schroeck also leads the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center.

His overall assessment of Michigan’s response to environmental issues?

When it comes to climate change, I think the response has been very disappointing, woefully inadequate,” he says.

Sandra Svoboda

Schroeck calls for “common sense steps” for moving toward clean power plants, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, limiting fertilizer run off and increasing home efficiency. Part of that includes citizens reaching out to politicians and policymakers.

They really need to hear from people, they need to take action. They’re not going to do it on their own. They’ve shown they will not,” Schroeck says. “If 500 people show up chanting at a meeting, it has an impact. There are those opportunities for the public to be involved.”

Part of being “good environmental stewards” is recognizing failures too, like the Flint water crisis (see below).

 “Here we are in the midst of this freshwater resource and it is really good high-quality water and we’re not able to distribute it to our populations and get it to people who need it to live,” Schroeck says.

Here is some of WDET’s coverage of the Flint Water Crisis:

Report: State Officials Aware of Problem with Flint River Water

Snyder: Things That Were Not Fully Understood” on Flint Water Crisis

State Admits Mistake in Flint Water Crisis

Click on the link above to hear the full audio of the conversation.