Climate change hits home


I strongly urge both Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester to support the Kerry-Boxer climate bill with the current provision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 2005 emission levels by 2020. Climate change is a well-researched phenomenon with the support of America's and the world's scientific community. It is a mistake for Americans to turn our backs on our scientists at a time when a discovery such as global climate change is already impacting America and Montana.

The most salient examples of global climate change in Montana are the melting glaciers in Glacier National Park and reductions in annual snow pack and stream flow throughout the state. At least 10 million tourists visited Montana in 2008 and spent approximately $2.8 billion dollars supporting about 48,000 or 10 percent of the jobs in Montana. Many of these visitors come to Montana to enjoy activities such as skiing, fishing and sight-seeing, all of which will be severely hindered by a loss of glaciers, snow pack and stream flow.

Who will want to visit Glacier National Park when it has no glaciers? Who will ski on bare mountains? Who will fish in dry streams?

Losing Montana's natural beauty will destroy a huge part of Montana's tourism industry and cause the Treasure State to hemorrhage jobs. Supporting strong science-based climate legislation like the Kerry-Boxer climate bill will preserve our tourism jobs and keep Montana a beautiful place for generations.

Thomas Bassett


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