The Only Future We Can Afford


First let me say, when it comes to climate change and the uncertainty of the future, leaders can inspire us and we definitely need things to change at the systems level, but I believe we make our own hope.

Now let me tell you how I got there and what you can do to make a difference.

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report in October 2018 that the worst effects of climate change may be upon us as early as 2040 if we fail to make unprecedented changes, I came apart.

According to the New York Times, “The authors found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the atmosphere will warm up by as much as 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial levels by 2040, inundating coastlines and intensifying droughts and poverty.” 

Then, they gave us until 2030 to turn this ship around to avoid the worst effects. They gave us until 2030 to decrease our emissions 45%, and our use of coal from around 40% to only 1-2% of the total mix.

In 2030, I thought, my daughter will be sixteen, and in 2040, she will be twenty-six.

After one very dark-night-of-the-soul, I came up for air quoting the efforts of Ghandi, the Freedom Riders, and Winston Churchill under the specter of Dunkirk. The sun came up and I knew I could not live in despair. I hugged my small daughter, and vowed to fight for a livable future for my family, and all families.

I was overwhelmed but I realized that the only way to make hope for myself—the only antidote to despair—was to take action.

Take Action, Make Hope

Right now, Montana families have the opportunity to take very concrete action to fight climate change.

In March, Montana’s primary supplier of energy, NorthWestern Energy, released its twenty-year plan to procure energy for our state—and they are planning on coal and gas-fired power plants to do 40% of the job.

Their argument is energy security. But there is nothing secure about a runaway fire season, smoke-choked skies, and failed crops.

They argue that renewables are cost prohibitive. This is inaccurate on the face of it (costs for renewables have plummeted and many other companies are leading and moving decisively in this direction), but also because, quite simply:

The ONLY future we can all afford is one with a livable climate—a future fueled by renewables.

Fight for Your Family’s Future - Comment Now

From now until May 5, all Montana families can choose action not despair, and comment on this plan!

Please take the time to learn more and submit your comments.

The future of all families depends on it.

”The future is made up of the present moment.” - Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

Winona Bateman