climate change

The state of Montana has a new set of proposed options for reducing how much carbon dioxide the state’s coal burning power plants release. Those options, released by Governor Bullock Friday, have won praise from both the Montana Environmental Information Center, and PPL, the company that owns the Colstrip power plant, which is the state’s largest C02 emitter.

Colstrip power plant
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

Montana's coal-fired power plants emit as much carbon dioxide as Mongolia, a country of almost 3 million people. That’s according to a new study from Environment Montana’s Research and Policy Center.

It says PPL's Colstrip power plant emits the majority of CO2 in Montana, about 13 million of the state's more than 15 million metric tons.

Word-Play As A Solution To Western Wildfires

Aug 15, 2014

The 2014 Western wildfire season got an early start with large fires in Washington and Oregon that left those living in Western Montana gagging on the resulting smoke that seemed to be continuously recycled through our valleys. As the summer progresses, we all have our fingers crossed that our own home-grown wildfires will not re-create the “nuclear winter” of thick smoke blocking out the sun at mid-day that we have had to live through in summers past.

Tribal - NASA Project To Teach About Climate Change

Jul 23, 2014

The Salish Kootenai College is one of four tribal colleges or universities, nationwide, to receive a grant from NASA to develop climate change curriculum. The grants come from NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project, and range from $413,000 to $1,009,000.

07/28/2014 - When it comes to climate change the operative word is “hot” with “record” and "unprecedented" closely following. UN conferences on climate do little beyond the powerful issuing grandiose proclamations about how green they are and then it’s back to their destructive policies. The Guardian, captures the hypocrisy,  “governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority.” Rome is burning.

Yone Fernandes

6/22/14: This week on "The Food Guys:" Greg reports on his recent trip to Florence, Italy, where he investigated (and sampled) high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, prosciutto,  Tuscan pistachios, and other regional delicacies. Greg and Jon reveal why pine nuts grown in Italy and elsewhere have become so expensive: climate change.

06/19/2014 - Today we are talking about our green future – green energy and greenbacks. The news for business is good: When companies use less energy, they save money and create more jobs. Our guests include an eminent economist and a U.S. climate negotiator, both looking for ways to protect the planet while keeping the world economy on track. We will also look at how Walmart is going green to boost to boost their bottom line.

As the incumbent, John Walsh has an apparent advantage over his two opponents - John Bohlinger and Dirk Adams - in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Former Republican state legislator and lieutenant governor John Bohlinger wants to be Montana's next democratic U.S. Senator.

Bohlinger is an ex-Marine and former Billings businessman who served five terms in the legislature and two terms as the Republican lieutenant governor with democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Ray Huey has been studying lizards for a long time - but he's finding fewer of them to study. The University of Washington biology professor's research into the evolutionary physiology of lizards and tortoises, especially in the tropics, is finding dramatic impacts from climate change.

Huey was recently a guest lecturer at the University of Montana, and took time to sit down in our studios with News Director Sally Mauk to talk about the evolutionary and ecological effects of our warming climate.

04/14/2014 - A steady stream of reports on the deterioration of the environment is issued. There is a brief flurry of media coverage. The corporate-funded climate change deniers make counter claims. We wake briefly to the crisis then most of us lapse into a couch potato stupor. Neoliberal dogma and an almost mystical belief in capitalism makes almost certain that little will be done to avert coming calamities. Charades called climate summits offer nothing more than photo ops of smiling world leaders and vacuous press releases. We blithely turn our heads away from reality.

Adapting to Climate Change

Apr 10, 2014

04/17/2014 -No matter what you believe about climate change, we can all agree that extreme weather events -- tornadoes, hurri canes, fires, droughts -- are occurring more frequently. These massive natural disasters upset lives and devastate property.  The costs of clean-up and reconstruction are enormous.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report at the end of March.

The panel, established by the United Nations, continues to point to the vast majority of scientific research indicating human activity is a primary driver of our warming global climate.

In Montana, research suggests a future with lower mountain snowpack, hotter drier summers, and more severe wildfires.

Montanans are getting accustomed to smoky summers, as our fire seasons have gotten longer and more intense in recent years. Get ready for things to get worse. A recent report on the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems says the number of acres burned by wildfire will at least double this century. The report is part of a National Climate Assessment presented to Congress and the President. Forest service research scientist David Peterson is one of the three editors of that report.

Land managers from Montana, Alberta and British Columbia are gathering in Missoula this week to talk about managing the Crown of the Continent ecosystem for climate change. Participants include government agencies, non-profit organizations, academics and tribal representatives.
    The executive director of the Seattle-based nonprofit organization known as "EcoAdapt", Lara Hansen, is one of the forum's featured speakers.

Living On Earth

Feb 26, 2014

02/26/2014 - Kerry: Climate is WMD

Secretary of State John Kerry called global warming a weapon of mass destruction during his climate change speech on February 16th in Jakarta, Indonesia. His fiery words may be a sign of increased U.S. climate ambitions heading into the important global climate negotiations next year in Paris.

Fluoride and Other Chemical Risks

New research finds a detrimental relationship between exposure to chemicals, including fluoride, in early life and diminished brain function in children.

Saving Monarchs

As U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack is in charge of a lot more than the nation's food policy. His agency also oversees management of our national forests, and as a member of the Cabinet, he advises the president on everything from the farm bill - to the impacts of climate change.

In this feature interview, Vilsack talks with News Director Sally Mauk about those issues and more - starting with why he thinks the Affordable Care Act is a good deal for rural Americans.


Porter Fox

It's safe to say that these days many Montanans are either watching the Winter Olympics, or out skiing a local mountain themselves. We live in a snow culture, and it's one of the things we love about Montana.
    But that snow is disappearing, not just here but around the world.

University of Arizona

A leading environmental scholar and climate change scientist, Diana Liverman, is in Missoula this week to lecture at the University of Montana.

Liverman teaches geography at the University of Arizona, and is co-director of the Institute of the Environment there. She's written several books and articles on the impacts of climate change, and how to adapt to it.
    In this feature interview, Liverman talks with News Director Sally Mauk about her 30-plus years' interest in our changing climate and what we should be doing about it.

Chris Hedges has seen fascism and war up close. For nearly 20 years he was a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans - for both print and broadcast media, including National Public Radio and the New York Times.

As we told you earlier this week, at least 43 Montana public officials recently signed a letter supporting actions within the President's National Climate Action plan to address climate change.
      Some of those actions include adopting pollution controls, investment in renewable energy research and development and creation of climate adaptation strategies.  
     Democratic  state representative Doug Coffin, of Missoula, is one of those to sign the letter. Coffin is a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Montana.

Sally Mauk

A recent article in the journal "Science" investigates whether decreasing winds in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies are contributing to declining precipitation.

Pomona College

2013 has been a deadly year for wildland firefighters, including the loss of 19 members of a hotshot crew on a fire near Yarnell, Arizona. Their shocking deaths raised new questions about firefighting policy - and about the proper response to our changing climate and growing wildland urban interface.
    These are issues renowned environmental historian Char Miller has been pondering and writing about for some time.

Edward O'Brien

Farming is a tough and unpredictable business. It requires hard manual labor and quick responses to complicated problems.

During this program, Christopher White talks about and reads from his book The Melting World: A Journey Across America’s Vanishing Glaciers.

About The Book:

William Marcus

As part of Montana Public Media's "Climate Week", climate change is the focus of our nightly features this week during Montana Evening Edition.

10/24/2013 - A Climate Change Week Documentary – While all coastal cities face real trouble, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says Miami is the most vulnerable in its assessment of threats to 50 major cities worldwide. Parts of Miami will be permanently flooded in as few as 15 years.

Sally Mauk

One of the resources most directly impacted by climate change is water.

Dan Boyce

The first comprehensive report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2007 will be released this week

Doctor Wendy Ring is bicycling across the country, speaking to various groups about the impacts of climate change.