Montana Democrats Take the Coward’s Approach to Climate Change

by lizard

Data continues to confirm the worsening climate disaster. One stark example is the fact arctic sea ice is in steep decline:

Do not expect to see this story on the nightly news. This news story comes by way of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) obtained whilst comparing images of sea ice concentration on May 14, 2014 to June 2, 2014.

Confirmation of the NRL images comes from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC – Boulder) reporting that ice concentration values plummeted by more than 286,000 square kilometers, an area the size of the state of Nevada (286,351 sq km), which alarmingly disappeared over a period of a day, not weeks or months, leaving glaciologists flat-footed and startled.

One can only hope and pray this is not an omen for the entire melt season. At that rate, there’s not enough ice to hold on for very long.

Faced with this worsening climate disaster, what are our state’s politicians going to do? According to this Missoulian article, it appears our state Democrats have taken an incredibly cowardly approach and actually voted to NOT include climate change in their official party platform:

While the Obama administration is churning out rules to limit greenhouse gases that cause climate change, Montana Democrats on Friday resisted placing the words “climate change” in their party platform.

“We can sit here and talk about what we believe here as Democrats,” said Sen. Jim Keane, D-Butte, who argued against mentioning the costs of climate change in the platform. “I believe in the (coal) workers who work in eastern Montana, too.

“There used to be a ton of Democrats in eastern Montana and on the Hi-Line. There’s none left. When you put something like this in the (platform) … words do make a difference.”

A party platform committee considered the change, which would have said the party believes in protecting the environment rather than burdening future generations with the “extraordinary costs of climate-change-caused” effects, but voted against adding the climate change language.


  1. JC

    Competition for scarce resources in a shrinking global environment will inevitably cause the death of any environmental goal that has an economic cost.

    At some point in the not-to-distant future, the rush to liquidate carbon-based fuels and “manage” forests will collide with an atmosphere no longer resilient enough to support burgeoning human populations.

    Population dynamics 101 shows that any species that overburdens its environment eventually will have a major crash. That will be the legacy that today’s democrats are leaving to their end of the 21st century descendants. To hell with the current economic costs of energy conversion and carbon sequestration. It will be peanuts compared to the human costs of suffering that humanity will go through.

    Yeah, I’m feeling pretty bleak about this. It’s enough to drive one to quit voting. What’s the use? Any gains a handful of forward-looking politicians may gain will be dwarfed by the losses the oligarchs will impose on us.

    • petetalbot

      I’m not commenting as an apologist for the Democratic Party, believe me, but I was so disgusted when I read the story that I fired off some email to folks I know at the platform convention. Could the Democrats be so stupid as to not address climate change in their platform? Here’s what I got back:

      “Hey Pete. The article was ridiculous and lazy. There is a huge section on Climate Change and the language exists throughout the platform; we added more today. The reporter was publicly shamed. We’re in Butte. We had some room-packing going on. The biggest section is on page 29 here (2012 doc but language is in 2014):

      Click to access 2012%20Full%20Platform%20and%20Resolutions.pdf

      Hope that helps.”

      Well, I read the language and Lord knows it could be much stronger (sequestration? c’mon), but it is there. Hopefully, they added some more pith to this plank. But Dennison, usually a reliable reporter, really screwed up. I’d be asking for a retraction if I was the Democratic Party.

      By the way, Jim Keane, the state senator from Butte mentioned in this article is termed out after this session. Thank God.

      • Dennison’s story included this paragraph:

        “The Democratic Party platform, which is a statement of party positions and ideals, already has a complete section on climate change, saying the party recognizes that climate change is occurring and supports federal standards to reduce greenhouse gases like carbon-dioxide.”

        I thought Dennison’s report was mostly about Jim Keane’s outrageous comments, and was fair.

        My post on the issue quotes both Dennison’s story and the relevant sections of the Democratic platform.

        This is an embarrassment for the Democratic Party, who should be blaming the 18 platform committee members who cold shouldered the global warming plank, not the reporter who wrote the story about their deed.

        • petetalbot

          I appreciate the clarification, James, but the online story I read in the Missoulian completely skips the paragraph you mention above (“The Democratic Party platform … already has a complete section on climate change … etc.”). Plus the story’s headline screams out: “Montana Democrats vote against adding climate change to platform.”

          Maybe I was a little quick to call out Dennison. The retraction should come from the Missoulian editor.

          I agree, though, that the 18 committee members, especially Jim Keane, should be hauled out to the woodshed.

          • Turner

            I was one of the 16 votes on the losing side of the vote. I was disappointed in the number of delegates who don’t want anything in the platform that might annoy Republicans.

          • Pete, I quoted from the story published by the Montana Standard in Butte. I just checked the story in the Missoulian, and it does not include the paragraph I quoted. I suspect the story was updated, but that the Missoulian didn’t publish the update.

            The Missoulian is (ir)responsible for the headline, not Dennison.

            The Democratic Party needs to release the full text of the language that was rejected. I’ll publish it on Flathead Memo as soon as I get a bona fide copy.

          • Turner

            Here’s the platform statement on climate change. It was never actually discussed in committee. The discussion, and the vote, was of an earlier reference to climate change.

            Climate Change
            We recognize the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community that global warming is occurring and accelerating, that it is to a significant degree caused by human activities, and because of the consequences for Montana’s economy, environment, culture, and public health, it should be effectively and promptly addressed.
            Because the problem is global, it can best be addressed by the United States through national solutions. Thus, we support the call from industry and environmental groups alike for the adoption of federal standards for reducing atmospheric levels of CO2 by, among other things, establishing strategies and protocols concerning capture, transportation, sequestration and liability for disposal of CO2 with priority to create and conserve sustainable jobs.
            Being a state with immense land resources, Montana can contribute to the solution and also economically benefit state lands and private business through terrestrial (land and plant-based) and geological carbon sequestration. Thus, we support market-based approaches, such as that conducted by the Chicago Climate Exchange, as an effective means to decreasing carbon emissions and providing economic opportunities for Montana. This kind of proactive approach for reducing CO2 will create additional, sustainable, and desirable jobs in Montana and invigorate our state economy.

  2. To recap….The Montana Democratic Party and their state-wide elected officials have worked – or are working – for:

    • More mandated public lands logging ‘categorically excluded from the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act;’

    • More coal development, including coal trains (for export to China) through our communities;

    • Support of the Keystone XL (export) Pipeline and Dirty Tar Sands Oil Development;

    • Thousands of dead wolves killed by undercutting the ESA and allowing hunters/trappers to kill up to 5 wolves at a time, including with the use of electronic calls;

    • Secret no public notice, no public input meetings (that allegedly violate the Montana Constitution) to nominate 5 million acres of public National Forest lands in Montana (including amazing pockets of native, unlogged forests and critical wildlife habitat).

    Ironically, the Montana Republican Party also supports all of this, so I guess these are all ‘bi-partisan’ issues.

    Honestly, how do the people working to GOTV for Montana Dems at organizations like the Montana Conservation Voters, Montana Wilderness Association and Forward Montana feel about the Montana Democratic Party’s support of these incredibly backwards environmental policy positions?

    And just as importantly, how can anyone who claims to be an “environmentalist” work so hard to help the Montana Democratic Party?

    Finally, if the Montana Democratic Party had similar, incredibly backwards policy positions related to equality, women’s rights, education, equal pay, choice and access to affordable health care would people on the left say and do anything about it? Why or why not?

    Sure can’t wait to see how the MT Dem Party cheerleaders spin this latest MT Dem Party abandonment of core, sensible, mainstream environmental policy. What a complete abomination!

  3. Billings Dad

    You guys still don’t get it? The powers that be in the Dem party know that they’re going to get lib votes anyway, no matter what’s in their platform.

  4. Craig Moore

    Steep decline????? Really??

    In fact for this summer NOAA is forecasting above average Arctic sea ice extent.

    Now compare this summer’s forecast with NOAA’s last summer prediction.

    Now look at the NOAA 2013 prediction for Feb 2014 and NOAA 2014 prediction for Feb 2015 What do you notice?

  5. Big Swede

    Andrew Kalvan’s rant.

    “It’s time to take an hysterical and panicky look at fake global warming. Fake global warming is one of the most serious fake problems not actually facing our nation today. According to smarmy billionaire Al Gore, we must take useless and expensive actions immediately or the polar ice caps will be completely melted by two thousand and thirteen… which will be catastrophic when last year arrives.

    And the polar bears — oh, the polar bears! Studies reveal that over the last twenty years, as computer models of the climate have progressively damaged computer models of their habitat, the polar bear population has steadily increased. But that’s only in real life! In the computer models, the poor creatures are dropping like flies.

    Let’s examine the distorted facts. Between the years 1950 and 2000, the earth’s temperature increased approximately nine tenths of a degree Centigrade. Over the exact same period, the price of butter in Morris County New Jersey rose from 77 cents a pound to nearly four dollars. According to climate change logic, this means that if we give government the power to lower the price of butter in Morris County, the temperature should once again sink back to the levels of the 1950’s. And weren’t the 50‘s a fine old time! Who wouldn’t want those temperatures back again?

    I realize there are some superstitious troglodytes who don’t believe in science. They insist we have to go on powering our country with oil and gas instead of using sustainable energy from the holy Vitraya Ramunong tree from that great, great movie Avatar. We’ve explained to them that 97 percent of scientists believe in global warming, but it means nothing to them, even though the number 97 percent has been scientifically selected as the most panic-inducing random number available.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

    Miles on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    success rate for In… on Thirty years ago ARCO killed A…
    Warrior for the Lord on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Linda Kelley-Miller on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Dan on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    Former Prosecutor Se… on Former Chief Deputy County Att…
    JediPeaceFrog on Montana AG Tim Fox and US Rep.…
  • Recent Posts

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,693,002 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,735 other subscribers
  • June 2014
    S M T W T F S
  • Categories

%d bloggers like this: