We’ll be Vilified, if There’s Anybody Left


I know, I know, one unusually hot and dry summer doesn’t confirm global warming. However, these recent news stories certainly can’t be ignored.

Close to home, there’s this article on a report from those radical environmentalists at the U.S. Forest Service. After sifting through decades of international climate and fire data, researchers say we’re going to have longer wildfire seasons and more frequent fires “with the greatest increases observed in the temperate coniferous forests of the Northern Rockies.”

Then there’s this snippet from High County News’ Heard Around The West:

On June 11, Glacier National Park celebrated its 100 millionth visitor. Tourists might want to visit the glorious park soon, says Montana Magazine. Out of 150 glaciers counted at the turn of the century, only 25 remain, and by 2030, not a single one is expected to survive.

From my own personal experience last weekend, the grandkids had a little farther to walk to splash in the waters of Flathead Lake. It’s down about a foot from full pool, meaning the shoreline is two or three feet further out, depending on where you are. Not a big deal for the kids but according to another radical environmentalist, John Hines, Northwestern Energy Vice President of Energy Supply:

Northwest Montana, often the wettest part of the state, has in recent weeks been torched by temperatures that have cracked the 100-degree mark. The lack of moisture and heat caused early run-off of an already below-normal snowpack. Now we are faced with persistent low flows in the Flathead River drainage.

He adds that “farmers and ranchers, river guides, recreationalists, fish and wildlife, and all aspects of our economy are being hurt.”

Skeptics will point to record cold and snowfall on the East Coast in 2015 or the “Antarctic vortex” that brought snow to Southeastern Australia and coldest temperatures to Antarctica in five years.

That’s why scientists have replaced the term global warming with climate change. There’s irrefutable evidence that the planet is gradually heating due to anthropogenic (manmade) activities, but it’s being accompanied by bizarre weather patterns, desert floods, droughts, dying oceans, cyclones …

The U.N.’s chief climate scientist says the world is at “five minutes before midnight” when it comes to the deadline for averting severe climate change.

It will be around 2070 when my grandchildren, who I referenced earlier, reach my age. Assuming they survive, they’ll be vilifying our generation for our failure to address the warning signs. The time to act was yesterday.

TRANSPARENCY: After getting some grief about using snowcapped peaks as the title photo, I changed the image to the above drought shot.



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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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Craig MooreBig SwedePete TalbotJames ConnerRob Kailey Recent comment authors
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David Katz

It’s worth checking out the positions of the 2016 presidential candidates on climate change. Too many of them think it doesn’t exist.


Matthew Koehler
Matthew Koehler

Good post Pete. Of course, it’s worth pointing out that right now in Montana those people who call on the politicians and land management agencies to do things like: protect old-growth forests, protect all the remaining roadless wildlands, protect critical wildlife habitat for threatened and endangered species, protect public lands from ‘fast track’ logging schemes and mandate logging, etc are vilified pretty much equally by both republicans and democrats.

Rob Kailey

As closely paraphrasing as I can, a social justice and environmental activist I met at NN ’11 from Arizona told me this: ‘Neither Democrats nor Republicans like activists. They piss on us all the time. But if we’re honest with ourselves, a lot of the times it’s because we’re being jerks. When we’ve pissed on ’em right back, they still run the sh**.’ Good post, Pete. I do suggest this, as my friend above suggested to me. The whole point of climate change denial is not to get us to where we choose to do nothing, but rather to get… Read more »

James Conner

Flathead Lake is at 2892.20 today, which is seven or eight inches lower than the 1965–2014 median for the summer recreation season. Although the license for Kerr Dam allows its operator to fill the lake to 2893, that seldom happens because exceeding 2893 violates the license. Therefore, the lake is kept two or three inches below 2893. On 8 June, I placed online a short post, with graphs, on this: http://www.flatheadmemo.com/archives_2015/june_2015/2015-06-08_flathead_lake.html I have more recent graphs, which I hope to post later this week. Northwestern Energy predicts the lake will fall to 2892, then come up a few inches as… Read more »

Rob Kailey

Any statistical prognosis on what that means to irrigation from the lower river?

James Conner

A good question. Water from the Flathead River is pumped from above Kerr Dam to reservoirs in the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project. All of the project’s reservoirs are low, so overall, there will be impacts on irrigation. But I haven’t seen any good numbers. Most irrigation projects have one, perhaps two, big reservoirs. The FIIP has numerous small reservoirs, and draws its water not only from the Flathead River but from many alpine lakes and streams. Because of the need to quantify water resources for the FIIP, we have over 100 years of streamflow records for the Flathead River below… Read more »

Rob Kailey

~heh~ I was too dim to notice before, but the snow tipped peaks in the background of the post header are completely ironic given context.

Big Swede

New and exciting taxes will bring those glaciers back.

You might want to check out the rest of MT’s reservoirs, they’re running bank full like the river in your header.


Craig Moore
Craig Moore
Craig Moore
Craig Moore

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