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By Katy Spence

Montana’s first city-based climate week occurred in Billings during the week of June 4, and what a week it was! Hundreds of people came to more than 10 events over the course of a week. MEIC was a proud sponsor and participant in many of these events, and we hope it’s the first of many climate weeks in Montana.

Here are a few of the events that MEIC attended at this year’s Climate Week.


Panel on Energy Production and The Montana Rate Case

MEIC’s Derf Johnson joined a panel with Dr. Steve Running, Monica Tranel, and Steve Loken to discuss how the energy system impacts our climate and how energy policy and the clean energy transition in Montana can help. The panel also discussed NorthWestern Energy’s ongoing rate case currently before the PSC.

This conversation was recorded and is available on MEIC’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/@MEIC2596


The Main Event

Dr. Steve Running spoke at MSU-Billings about the climate crisis. This talk covered everything from carbon to energy generation to what we can do in our own homes. Dr. Running is a world-renowned climate scientist and has contributed to IPCC and NASA climate reports.

This is a great talk for anyone looking to learn more about the climate crisis and how to talk about it. This event was recorded and can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/RunningClimateTalk


Garden Party

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian hosted Dr. Steve Running and members of the community for a tour of their community garden and a delicious lunch. The community garden serves many families in the community. Dr. Running also spoke about how there are many ways that sustainable gardening can help mitigate the climate crisis, from reducing the need for large factory farms to composting.


Showing of Youth v Gov

On Wednesday night, Forward Montana, MEIC, Families for a Livable Climate, Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council, and Sierra Club hosted a movie night with a showing of Youth v Gov. This film documents the national youth climate trial and set the stage for the following week, when the Held v State of Montana trial would begin. One of the Held plaintiffs, Rikki Held (pictured here), joined the event and spoke words of encouragement to those gathered.


Clean Energy Fair on Aug. 12

As a bonus, Montana Renewable Energy Association held its annual Clean Energy Fair in Billings on August 12. Our team met dozens of people interested in getting clean, affordable energy to Montana. Pictured here: MREA Executive Director Makenna Sellers, MEIC Executive Director Cari Kimball, and MEIC Community Organizing and Event Coordination Contractor Katie Harrison.




This article was published in the September 2023 issue of Down To Earth. 

Read the full issue here.


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