It’s hard breathing all this ash, watching friends evacuate their homes, and wake up to a red, angry sun every morning and, at the same time, see four feet of rain falling in the wrong part of our country.

Climate is an equilibrium, a balancing of temperatures, moisture, wind, sun, land mass, and oceans. We’ve just encountered some 10,000 years of a very stable climate. So, I don’t know about you, but it’s disturbing when two diametrically different disasters happen 2,000 miles apart, one due to bone-dry conditions where a stray cigarette or a lightning strike soon endangers whole communities, and another where there’s so much rain Noah’s Ark might come in handy.

Here are two interviews that shed light on what’s really going on.

If you’ve been reading 350 Montana’s blog for very long, you know that retired NASA scientist, James Hansen, is one of our heroes. Today he talked about tropical storm Harvey and our warming climate. Watch full interview here.

Hansen surprised me because he says this about the President:

“Well, I think we need to educate him about the fact that the actions that are needed to begin to reduce emissions rapidly actually make sense from a conservative standpoint. We need to make the price of fossil fuels honest, by increasing—by including their cost to society. And if we do that gradually, it will actually improve the economy, create jobs, and do it in a way which is consistent with conservative ideas.”

The second interview is with Naomi Klein, who brings up the question of why, with all the media coverage of the Houston tragedy, there’s so little mention of warming temperatures. In Montana, we witnessed a case in point, where, just this week, three politicians stood in front of the fire information center for the 40,000-acre Lolo Peak fire and blamed “radical environmentalists” for the fires. Here’s the full interview with Klein.

The interviewer, Amy Goodman, makes the observation, “You know, we don’t have state media in the United States, but if we did, you have to ask how [the coverage] would be any different.”

Thank you for being part of the local climate movement.

Jeff Smith, Co-chair, 350 Montana

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