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I’ve been scared lately, and when I’m scared I can be a real know-it-all jerk. I’ve got the Facebook posts to prove it.

I’m writing this late at night when I am trying to sleep but can’t, which is usually when my reactivity settles enough for some clarity to seep in. Tonight I’m recognizing that the way I seek answers and something to comfort the growing anxiety I feel about the future leads to anger and blame. And more importantly, I’m actually recognizing that all the people I judge whose opinions and life experiences differ from mine probably feel something similar.

As I write, a massive, unseasonable heat wave is moving through the Arctic. It’s 18 degrees above average for this time of year, and has been for almost a week. This will lead to a cascade of feedback loops that directly affect us this summer and beyond. Another data point: The Bay of Bengal is, right now, swirling with the largest cyclone ever recorded in that area, Cyclone Amphan, with almost five million people being evacuated. One more time with feeling: Scientists have reported that due to climate change, a dust bowl is almost twice as likely to occur as it was in the 1930s. This is leading somewhere.

As the purported abstraction of climate crisis shifts from “fake” to “over there” to “someday” to “uh oh,” it won’t matter who wore a mask or drank bleach, whether you were an R or a D, if you marched or stayed home. When climate breakdown eviscerates denial with stark, dark reality, we will all be here, together, with big work to do. We’re all scared, but blame and hatred can’t save us from what’s coming. Neither can money. The currency of the future is relationship. Let’s grow Bozeman toward respect.

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Kristopher Drummond

Bozeman