Do More to Address Climate Change

Climate change is affecting all of us, whether we choose to admit it or not

By Margaret Roche

Recently, the Flathead Beacon ran an opinion piece from several members of rural electric co-ops across the state, including two from the Flathead Electric Co-op. The signers of the opinion piece noted the impacts of climate change on rural Montana and criticized the state’s co-ops for denying that climate change is a problem and that REC members have a responsibility to act to limit carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.

I wholeheartedly agree with their sentiments and thank them for submitting the opinion piece.

Climate change is affecting all of us, whether we choose to admit it or not. Our choice of energy sources reflects our commitment (or lack thereof) to do something about climate change, and our rural electric co-ops, as providers of electricity, should be leaders in addressing the problem.

The costs for rural Montana will be astronomically higher the longer we wait. Who’s going to pay for more and more crop losses? Who will pay for damage from increased flooding and hail? We have already witnessed increasing aridity and warmer water that has changed the environment in which our wildlife and fisheries depend. It is irresponsible to sit back, deny it’s happening or say it’s not our problem. I encourage all of us, including our rural electric co-ops, to do more to address the challenge of climate change.

Margaret Roche