Welcome, if you’re a new person getting these 350 Missoula alerts. 350 Missoula is a local affiliate of the international organization, 350.org. If you’re curious about 350 Missoula’s mission and perspective, please visit: www.350montana.org/about/

I was on a conference call last week with people from other 350 chapters throughout the country and right now, everywhere, people are coming out to support the climate movement as never before. So the question becomes, what’s our plan?

You are invited to a meeting of our action committee tomorrow, Monday, November 21, at 5:30 p.m. at the Imagine Nation Brewery at 1151 West Broadway.  This is the committee that guided our participation in a regional demonstration against building new fossil fuel refineries at Anacortes, Washington, last spring, and then did a great deal of public education about NorthWestern Energy’s (NWE)  plan to build $2.3 billion worth of new fossil fuel generators in Montana. We held a spirited demonstration in front of NWE’s brand new corporate office in Butte on October 10.

Here is some of the press coverage: www.350montana.org/2016/10/11/butte-climate-rally-press/

So . . . we entered unchartered territory last week, and I won’t belabor the point except to repeat what Bill McKibben, one of the founders of 350.org, says. Climate change is not a political problem. It’s a physics problem, meaning the way the earth is responding to greenhouse gases isn’t influenced by ignorance. We are a part of this earth, and the natural systems supporting life here are beginning to fail. It’s our actions that matter, not our words, and thus the name of our action committee.

Some people have been describing this current time as the meeting of two immovable forces, climate change and climate deniers, but that’s just not accurate. Both sides are amenable to action. Climate scientists are telling us the key is dropping carbon pollution six percent a year, something entirely possible if we put the right policies in places. (We have the technology, the workers, and the money.) On the other side, I see no mandate for ignorance and any new investment in fossil fuels must be resisted at every turn.

Thanks for being part of the global climate movement, and I look forward to seeing you at the action meeting tomorrow.

Jeff Smith, Chair, 350 Missoula

(One very specific action item is that two people from the Bitterroot Valley, Jim Stubblefield and Bill LaCroix, are driving out to the peace camp at Standing Rock next Sunday, November 27, and they want to fill the back of their truck with insulated coveralls and other arctic gear. You can drop off your donation at Wilderness Watch’s office, 208 East Main, on the third floor. Look for the sign on the stairway to the right of the Union Club Bar.)