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Baucus says he’s hopeful about progress on climate change

Former Montana Sen. Max Baucus
Former Montana Sen. Max Baucus

During a conversation about climate change held Thursday night at the University of Montana between former Vice President Al Gore and former Montana U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, both men expressed hope.

Baucus, Montana’s longest serving senator, says a few years ago he thought efforts to talk about climate change would take a long time to materialize, if they ever would.

“I’m starting to change that view. I’m starting to believe that, hey, we can do this and it’s starting to happen,” he says.

Their conversation, held by the Baucus Institute at the university, comes days before world leaders meet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland.

Gore said it’s important for people to push their leaders to act with the urgency that the climate crisis requires.

The 2021 Montana Climate Assessment says the aspects of projected climate change of greatest concern to human health in the state are increased summer temperatures, reduced air quality from smoke and unexpected climate-related weather events like severe storms, flooding and drought.

A report from the U.N. released this year found human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Corin Cates-Carney is the Flathead Valley reporter for MTPR.