Hello, and TGIF. This was one of those weeks where I was a day ahead of myself, so today it’s nice to be on the right day.

This week’s must read: America needs a leader who can unite the nation on climate change (Deseret News) In this op-ed by Utahn Bill Rappleye, he writes: “It is now clearer than ever that we must rise above partisanship to advance an effective national solution. Utah’s economy and way of life depend on it. Between worsening winter inversions and summers plagued by triple-digit heat and wildfire smoke, our future as a great place to live, work and recreate is at risk.” 

But he doesn’t just deliver bad news.

“We can turn this situation around by applying a similar carbon price on imports at the border. This would grow our industries and reduce imports from high-polluting markets such as China. It also would compel other major economies to do their part to solve climate change. As Utah Sen. Mitt Romney put it recently, ‘We can negotiate with the Chinese, or we can simply have a border adjustment tax that recognizes that they put a lot more pollution in the air.'”

Idaho leadership: Faced with increased threat of wildfires that decimate Idaho forests, Governor Brad Little included in his state budget proposal adding $150 million for more firefighters and future firefighting costs.

“We talk about this a lot at the Western Governors’ (Association),” said Little, a rancher, who chairs the group of 19 governors and leaders of three U.S. territories. “About the deterioration of the resilience of the forest because of climate change.” The state has one of the worst wildfire season in 2021.

“The way we’re managing our state lands is different than we did even 10 years ago,” he noted.

2021, a heartbreaking, record-breaking year: Related, in sad news, 668 people were killed by natural disasters in 2021, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the highest number of fatalities in over a decade. 2021 also had 20 natural disasters that cost one billion or more to respond to. This annual NOAA graphic always makes me shudder.

Americans more alarmed than ever: Given recent news, it comes as no surprise that Americans are more alarmed about climate change than ever. As part of their continuing series Global Warming’s Six Americas George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication recently announced an update.


With six categories—Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful and Dismissive—and years of data showing where Americans fall, the most recent update shows the Alarmed (33%) outnumber the Dismissive (9%) by more than 3 to 1. About six in ten Americans (59%) are either Alarmed or Concerned, while only about 2 in 10 (19%) are Doubtful or Dismissive.

The five-year trend (below) is quite illustrative.

And this is where I leave you. In a turn of events, I will be cheering for the Bills over my hometown Pats only because I have a ton of Bills friends and I sort of feel bad for them that they’ve been so unlucky over the decades.

Have a good and safe weekend!