Helena climate conference says warming changes in Pacific Northwest are already huge

There was a gathering of climate experts this week in Helena, MT. The effects of global warming in Montana were described with more and greater wildfires being just one of the most obvious.

There has been a furious debate in recent years whether the increase in forest fires is due to bad forest practices, not enough logging, too much logging, the wrong kind of logging, etc. No doubt these questions are relevant, but trees in the Rocky Mountains are having to endure longer summers almost everywhere. Regardless of the size of the winter snowpack, the period of summer drying is longer and the warmer winters allow endemic tree killing insects to build to greater levels.

Seminar: Effects of warming are huge. AP. Billings Gazette article.

Related to this is an article on forest thinning in the Taylor Fork of the Gallatin River. This is immediately adjacent to the NW corner of Yellowstone NP. Article.

Added on Sept. 25. Public Doesn’t Understand Global Warming — By Dr. David Suzuki, David Suzuki Foundation. This is part of the problem in addition to deliberate efforts to confuse the public. I know that among my students it takes about a half hour lecture to explain the difference between the ozone hole and the the greenhouse effect. The average person doesn’t get a note-taking required explanation.







  1. Alan Gregory Avatar

    The lack of visible concern on the part of Americans toward this very real threat to the planet’s well-being is astounding. From the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Laguna Madre in Texas and Miami-Dade and Mobile and San Diego and . . . It’s business as usual.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The lack of concern doesn’t surprise me. It’s the kind of problem our social institutions don’t seem to be able to deal with.

    Of course, there are specific individuals too, like George Bush, who stand out, as well as others like the airline billionaire who gave $3-billion the other day to fight global warming.

    It is the classic and most dangerous example of the tragedy of the commons.


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Ralph Maughan