One of the essential understandings nearly 200 nations shared when they signed the Paris climate accords was that the Earth has a carbon budget beyond which we cannot go. As a New York Times articles states, “That means we can’t send more than 2,900 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere.”

Stay with me here. We’ve already poured 2,100 gigatons since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

“Staying under the budget requires large emission cuts starting immediately,” the authors, Andrew P. Jones, Stuart A. Thompson and Jessia Ma, conclude. “This is the point climate scientists have been trying to make for some time — that countries must commit to aggressive reductions in carbon emissions to prevent disastrous effects of climate change.”  The article is here:

Today in The Billings Gazette, the editors reach the same conclusion, mindful of Montana’s fires and the tremendous costs incurred this summer. And they actually go a step further, citing both Montana’s fires and the tropical storm that devastated Houston, and then advocating that Montana make the Great Transition away from the Colstrip coal-fired electrical generators and towards a fossil-fuel-free future.

The editorial says: 1. climate scientists predicted these extreme weather patterns, 2. Montana politicians need to address climate change with “honest talk and quick action” if we are to continue “being able to live in the Last Best Place.” Wow. The editorial is here:

Montana’s climate movement is beginning to find allies in places of power.

Jeff Smith, co-chair, 350 Montana