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Tag Archives: climate change

New West Daily Roundup for Aug. 26, 2016

whitebark pine mount washburn 2015

Today in New West news: UI researchers link climate change to beetle outbreak in Yellowstone, Arrow Electronics offering $1M to Indiegogo startups, and Big Sky Resort announces $150M improvement plan.

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New West Daily Roundup for Aug. 16, 2016

Courtesy of the Billings Gazette

Today in New West news: One Big Sky Center proposed for downtown Billings, methane “hot spot” in New Mexico, Xcel Energy poised to strike big renewable energy deal with Colorado, and Canyon Country Discovery Center opening in Monticello, Utah.

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New West Daily Roundup for June 27, 2016

Photo courtesy of Ed Gilliland, Glacier Photography

Today in New West news: Whitefish photographer preserving Montana history through negatives, Vail’s $25M investment reaping rewards, and an update on Arch Coal.

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New West Daily Roundup for May 13, 2016

MSU, Montana State University

Today in New West news: Montana State University receives $8 million pledge from Greg and Susan Gianforte, Pleasant Revolution bike/music tour planned for Pacific Northwest/California, and Denver-area housing development sells final unit after 58 years.

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New West Daily Roundup for Dec. 28, 2015

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Today in New West news: climate change and Idaho agriculture, renting vs. buying in Colorado, beer prices in Bozeman, and the merits of Livingston’s Murray Hotel according to Anthony Bourdain.

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New West Daily Roundup for Dec. 16, 2015

downtown bozeman 2013

Today in New West news: Christina Henderson of the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, the Paris climate talks and Wyoming, and checking up on Denver’s commercial real estate market.

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My Climate Scientist is Smarter Than Your Climate Scientist

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I happen to believe global warming is real, not just as something that naturally occurs as our planet hurtles through space over the course of billions of years (yes, I said billions), but also as a process being expedited by our own hell-bent-on-consumption lifestyle. It doesn’t take a scientist, or a Google search, to figure out that as “the global economy” brings more eager mouths to suck at the swollen teat of consumption, stuff is going to get burned through that much quicker. Just look out your window. If you happen to live in a place that more and more people think looks like a great place to be – as we do here in Montana – you can watch, like one of those time lapse movies, the views and resources and access rights get gobbled up faster than we can say, “the last best place!”

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In The Petri Dish: The Plight of our Energy-Sucking Species

An iteration of Bacteria by physicist/artist Eshel Ben-Jacob

This is not the decade of global warming or even climate change. It is one of ensuing ecological destruction. When the energy runs dry, all of the systems we have so carelessly created to gulp that energy down will be worthless. We can build tiny houses (less than 100 square feet), rip up our lawns for edible estates, drive a Prius, sell carbon credits on the Chicago climate exchange, or refocus our energy policy on biofuels and ethanol, but as Wes Jackson from the Land Institute argues, “We aren’t going to invent or grow our way out of this thing.” No amount of human innovation can stop the ensuing ecological destruction. To even begin to do that, humans will need to cut their energy use in half, in just ten years. This was the sobering theme of the 2007 Sopris Conference: Innovative Ideas for a New West, held in Missoula this weekend.

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Idaho Leaders Should Address Climate Change

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The scientific evidence is compelling – global climate change poses a serious threat to Idaho’s public health, natural resources, and environment. It threatens some of our most vital industries including tourism, agriculture, recreation, and forestry. Addressing climate change requires interstate and international cooperation. At this point, Idaho is not a team player. For example: Six western states and two Canadian provinces have established the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, agreeing to collaborate in identifying, evaluating and implementing ways to reduce greenhouse emissions. Idaho is not a participant.

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Idaho Governor Otter Signs on to Global Climate Challenge

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Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has signed an executive order to have the Department of Environmental Quality coordinate efforts by state agencies to track greenhouse gas emissions. I applaud this effort by my governor. It's a refreshing change of pace from the business as usual approach many Idaho political leaders have been taking on this critical issue. Those of you who have read my comments elsewhere on New West know my position on this issue. It is one that I have come to after reviewing the scientific basis for anthropogenic climate change. Many out there are still skeptical, and that is an understandable position to take. The Earth’s atmosphere is a very complex system, with multiple forms of equilibria interacting simultaneously. However, there are a few things that are crystal clear to me. First, by examining the Keeling curve, which has measured the concentration of atmospheric CO2 since the late 1950s, it is clear that there has been a constant trend upwards over that time. It is rising at a rate of 1-2 ppm each year and has risen in absolute terms about 20% over the last four decades of the 20th century. If we also look at the paleological data (page 31 of linked PDF file) acquired from ice cores drilled in Antarctica, we see that the present day observed levels of the gas far exceed anything that has been naturally occurring over the past several hundred thousand years. The only reasonable explanation for the current increase is

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