As the Amazon burns toward a tipping point which will effectively desertify the region (and lead to global climate catastrophe), we here in Bozeman are enjoying a mild summer, unless you count road construction. It’s tempting in these lazy late summer days to disregard the dark clouds on the horizon, the storm coming for us all as our excessive lifestyles continue altering climatic patterns.

Things seem so great here that many Bozemanites don’t pay attention to the dire challenges blowing our way. This trend needs to shift if the Gallatin Valley is to build the resilience necessary to meet the coming changes.

As many as 71% of Americans report believing in climate change yet almost no meaningful action is emerging from that majority. Allowing that the other 29% will most likely not change their opinions even as crop failures and food price hikes begin happening regularly, this letter is directed to those who acknowledge reality. That’s most of you. The fact is that the situation is substantially worse than mainstream news is reporting.

“Bystanderism can be defined as the phenomenon that an individual is less likely to help in an emergency situation when passive bystanders are present.” We are all being the people we feel enraged by in internet videos who stand and watch someone get mugged or beaten and don’t jump in to help. Please understand that this emergency is real. Every voice matters.

On Sept. 20, The Sunrise Movement is hosting a strike, march, and rally to demand climate action. Beginning at Cooper Park at 1 p.m., and marching down Main Street to Bogert Park, this is a chance to act on what you already know, to care for the planet, and an opportunity to fight for everyone’s future. Don’t miss it.

Kristopher Drummond