In Feb of 2023, an historical youth-led climate change lawsuit will go to trial in Montana. A similar lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, was filed in Oregon in 2015, but has not yet been given a trial date. Held v. State of Montana lawsuit was filed in 2020 by 16 young plaintiffs, survived a move to dismiss the case in 2021, and is scheduled to begin February 6, 2023. The youth have sued the state of Montana over its energy policy.
Montana is one of only 6 states that have environmental rights included in their state constitution. The young plaintiffs are contending that fossil fuel dependence accelerates climate change and infringes on the right to a clean and healthful environment.
Christi Cooper, a graduate of the MFA program at MSU, directed an award-winning documentary, “Youth v. Gov”. This film follows the multi- year journey of the original lawsuit, Juliana v. U.S.
These American youth claim that the U.S. government has violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty, personal safety and property through willful actions that have created the climate crisis.
Youth v. Gov has been screened around the world, and will now be available on Netflix beginning April 29th. www.youthvgovfilm.com
Ending the climate crisis in One Generation
book club with
BCAG & Chapter One Book Store
The next book that we will be dissecting is Regeneration: Ending the climate crisis in One Generation, by Paul Hawken. “Regeneration offers a visionary new approach to climate change, one that weaves justice, climate, biodiversity, equity, and human dignity into a seamless tapestry of action, policy, and transformation that can end the climate crisis in one generation.”
The book discusses everything from localization of food and energy systems to regenerative agriculture to social justice and more. Each topic provides tangible solutions that are both on a macro and micro scale. All solutions suggested are with technology and resources we have readily available, they just require the will and manpower to get them done.
As we witness our environment changing year after year, we can apply some of Hawken’s knowledge and resources to make significant impacts here in the Bitterroot Valley. It is of the upmost importance to preserve and protect the resources we interact with and rely on every day. It is also our responsibility to reconnect to each other, and to proactively build our community in a way that is equitable and fair.
Join us to create a collaborative and inclusive discussion about the climate crisis and how we can make our world a better place.
Don't miss the start of this new series. First session is Wednesday, May 11th, 7:30pm via Zoom. Contact Chapter One at (406) 363-5220 for the link.
And thanks to our friends at Chapter One, who donate a portion of the proceeds to BCAG.
Planting Your Garden?
Peat Moss Alert!
By Peter Reynolds
By 2024 the United Kingdom is banning the use of peat in products sold as potting soil or compost to home gardeners. Even though peat is not all that beneficial to plants, gardeners like peat because it holds moisture and air, and is generally void of pests. But peat, composed of the ancient remnants of plants and animals, is extracted from bogs, marshes and fens where it took millions of years to form. Most importantly to climate change, peat holds 5 timesas much carbon as forest land. Disturbing it releases all that carbon into the atmosphere.
Perfectly viable, alternative potting soil mixes have been sold since the 1970s, but because peat is a cheap option for manufacturers, US government action will be required to change this manufacturing practice, which destroys a vital carbon sink.
My casual survey of various outlets in the valley and Missoula did not turn up peat free compost (yet). Even organic products contain it. Read your labels! Yourganic Farm in Corvallis carries its own compost, and Soil Cycle in Missoula sells compost made from food scraps and other waste.
As an alternative, you can make your own potting soil with:
1 part mature compost
1 part garden loam or topsoil. (Purchasing organic garden soil provides a lighter mix)
1 part clean builder's sand
Restorative gardening is one way we can all contribute to a sustainable climate. Dig-free methods, use of mulches and cover crops and using sustainable materials all contribute to turning your garden into a carbon sink to absorb greenhouse gasses. Even though the US is far behind the UK on going peat free, we can still vote with our dollars and support industries and products that are attempting to make this shift. We can also urge our local nurseries and retailers to carry peat-free compost.
Improving the environment is one way we can take action toward the more a sustainable climate. Join us as we clean trash from our stretch of US 93.
We meet on May 4th at 10:00 am at the Wally Crawford fishing access. Frank Pelfrey will lead our team of volunteers this spring with organization by Diane Lee.
If you’d like to participate in this semi-annual outing with your climate-concerned friends and neighbors, contact us and mention this project.
Featured Video of the Month
Each month, we bring to you a video that we hope you'll find eye opening and relevant.
Climatologist Katherine Hayhoe
Although 71% of respondents in the US recently polled said that climate change is a “serious problem requiring urgent action”, only 35% of people in the U.S. had even one conversation about it in the last year!
Many experts agree that talking with others about what you care about being affected by climate change is among the most important things we as individuals can do. Talking about it changes how we view ourselves, how we view others, and moves us towards action.
This is what it will take to shift the culture in the US so that legislators, corporate executives, and other decision makers feel the public mandate to act on climate.
BCAG views Canadian climatologist Katherine Hayhoe as one of the most important voices today on what we can do about climate change.
Climate Solutions 101
In April BCAG completed three public gatherings featuring six videos from Project Drawdown of Climate Solutions 101. Each of the evenings included a presentation by a local activist and a question and answer session. These events were well-attended, with plenty of lively discussion - thanks to all who attended!
And of course we're hugely grateful to the wonderful speakers who brought insight and answers to tough questions.