Hot enough for you?

It’s so hot that it’s time for President Joe Biden to leave the White House, tour the West and focus the nation’s attention on the climate crisis.

The crisis needs more compelling and concentrated publicity from people who have the power to lead the world to take the steps necessary to end it.

Another scorching heat dome is on deck for the West this weekend. The unrelenting heat is causing another summer wildfire epidemic.

Scientists know what’s causing it and for decades have warned about the consequences of human-caused climate change. Despite being minimized and denied, climate change has arrived and is making its presence known with more fury each summer.

The things America needs to do to roll back climate change will not happen until more of us are scared out of our socks.

Nature’s resilience is frayed. In some places, it’s near collapse. The evidence is everywhere.

Locally, the Big Wood River has never been so low. Farmers are fighting over water. Penny Lake’s upper pond has become putrid with algae. The leaves of water-loving aspen trees are wilting.

The normally chilly waters of the major Sawtooth Mountain lakes have warmed to tub-water surface temperatures in places.

Northern Idaho is aflame. Gov. Brad Little has called out the National Guard to help fight fires. Cities are beginning to call on residents to conserve water so that farmers can keep crops from withering.

Fires in every Western state are increasing the threat of power outages and their cascading damage.

So far, the West has managed to avoid the worst, but how much more can it take?

A University of British Columbia marine biologist who examined the coastal carnage in the late June heat wave told The New York Times that it looked like “one of those postapocalyptic movies.”

Dr. Christopher Harley said he saw millions of dead blue mussels, shells open as if boiled. Shriveled sea stars and lifeless barnacles, hermit crabs, worms and sea cucumbers brought his estimated death toll to a billion creatures.

Inland, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game captured sockeye salmon at Lower Granite Dam on the Lower Snake in Washington and trucked them to hatcheries to try to keep the endangered species alive.

The climate crisis is here. America and the world need crash programs and focused leadership to stop it and to ensure the planet remains habitable.

Anyone who’s not scared enough yet to clamor for both just isn’t paying attention.


“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to editorialboard@mtexpress.com.

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