Search Results for: man on the moon

Where is Montana’s “man on the moon” leader?

In 1961 President Kennedy announced the US would put a man on the moon within a decade. The power of this vision, and the resources that accompanied it, enabled Neil Armstrong to take “one giant leap for mankind” eight years later.

In Hawaii, visionary leadership by Governor David Ige has led Hawaii to pass legislation that mandates that the state’s power grid must deliver 100 percent renewable electricity by the end of 2045, just 30 years away.

Where is that leadership in Montana? While state agencies are doing everything they can to protect the fossil fuel industry, our leaders happily promote an “all of the above strategy” that fails to explain how the state will transition from coal, oil and gas to renewables over time. We need man on the moon leaders who will put a stake in the ground saying what Montana will look like in 20, 30, or 50 years.

The means ruffling feathers. That means offending Big Oil and Big Coal. That means having a grown up conversation within the state about the future of energy.

We need a “man on the moon” leader to step forward. Continue reading

Posted in Community Organization, Politics and History | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Steve Daines joins the carbon reduction bandwagon! Wait a minute…

No sooner did we get the exciting news from Paris about the international climate agreement than my good friend Steve Daines sent me an invitation to attend the third annual Montana Energy Conference in Billings on March 30-31. According to Senator Daines, it’s an opportunity to “continue the discussion on state and national energy opportunities and provide an all-encompassing look at Montana’s energy potential.”

I was really excited to see that our junior Senator has jumped on the bandwagon to transition Montana’s energy portfolio from fossil fuels to clean energy. This kind of leadership is exactly what’s required to help us meet the treaty’s ambitious goals for reducing carbon emissions.

I went over to the event web site, where I discovered that the conference will have a “fresh new look and perspective,” and that “energy professionals, policy and decision makers at all levels” will take “an all-encompassing look at Montana’s energy potential.”

This is exactly what we need!

If you’re a regular reader, you know there’s more to this post. Click to read what this conference is really about. Continue reading

Posted in Community Organization, Politics and History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Montana elected leaders’ response to Keystone XL decision is unanimous, but not visionary

Say what you will about President Obama’s decision last week to reject TransCanada’s bid to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, it brought unity to Montana’s elected leaders. They were unanimous in their displeasure.

In their bipartisan agreement they claim to be fighting for jobs and economic development, which is admirable, but they are failing to lead in a way that will point Montana to long-term energy viability. Continue reading

Posted in Community Organization, Politics and History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Billings Gazette Editorial: Montana can’t stake its future on coal

There was an interesting and unexpected editorial in this morning’s Billings Gazette, entitled “Montana can’t stake its future on coal.”

The central argument of the editorial is that US coal-fired power generation will continue to decline and be offset by an increase from renewable sources, so it makes no sense for Senator Daines and others to accuse the Administration of “killing coal,” as Daines did this week in Billings. Instead “Montana must look forward….We don’t want anyone to lose jobs, but in a dynamic economy jobs are lost and new jobs are created. Any Montana workers who will be displaced by changes in the coal and electrical industries deserve training and support to land good, new jobs.

“Montana’s leaders in government and business should host summits on energy diversification. Let’s figure out how to provide what energy customers want and how to best transition out of the energy they don’t want.”

This is an argument that we have been making on this site for years. Montanans need to recognize that the battle to prop up fossil fuels is lost. The transition to a clean energy economy may play out over years or decades, but it is time for the state’s leaders to step forward to put Montana at the forefront of that transition, not, as Senator Daines would have it, trying to beat a dying horse. Continue reading

Posted in Clean energy | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Developing countries are moving fast to create clean energy capacity. Time for the US — and Montana — to step up

Some politicians characterize policies to address climate change as a choice between economic growth and the environment. What’s more, even if we were to take action on climate change, anything we do will make no difference because countries like China are “drilling a hole and digging anywhere in the world that they can get a hold of.”

Problem is, that just isn’t true.

New data just released shows that developing countries, most notably China, are far outstripping the United States in investing in and developing clean energy capacity. This trend is expected to continue and intensify over the next 25 years.

In advance of the critical international climate meeting about to take place in Paris, it’s time for the United States to step up its commitment to controlling carbon emissions. And in Montana, where our leaders blithely promote an “all of the above” energy policy, it’s time to wake up. The future is going to be built around transitioning to clean energy, not extracting fossil fuels from the shale underneath the Beartooth Front..

They understand this in Pakistan, Tunisia and Mexico. Why not Helena and Washington DC? Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

American acceptance of climate change growing rapidly, opening opportunities for action

American acceptance of the problem of climate change and the need for action is growing rapidly. A New National Survey on Energy and the Environment (NSEE) from the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan shows acceptance of mainstream science near an all time high. For the first time since 2008, at least 7 out of 10 Americans indicate that they believe there is solid evidence of global warming over the past four decades.

For a discussion of the findings and their implications, go to the post. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Montana temperatures have risen 2.6° over the last century

Click to see a chart from the Montana Climate Office at the University of Montana depicting the temperature rise in the state from 1895-2012. Continue reading

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