Abby Huseth

Every year, as fall signals its arrival with shorter days and cooler temperatures, I breathe sighs of relief – I can say goodbye to worries about wildfire smoke and 100 F days. And this year, autumn seems right on time for Missoula.

Yet any glance at the news and this isn’t the case around the U.S. The hottest summer on record globally isn’t relenting -- right now, schools across parts of the country are being forced to close because of heat even as the academic year is just beginning.

The Canadian fires are still sending smoke across parts of the US. Hot temperatures are keeping sea waters warm and fueling hurricanes.

What to make of all this topsy-turvy weather-climate news and how are we supposed to catch our breath?

Worsening impacts are simply not the whole story - not by a long shot.

What’s missing is a pretty important piece: climate solutions are winning.

As recently as 2019, climate models projected that globally we were on a trajectory toward over 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) - a truly catastrophic amount of heating. But today, we’re on a trajectory toward less than 2.5 degrees C. Still too high, but going in the right direction, and our actions today can further bend that curve downward.

This is an incredible shift, and it’s due to countless examples of climate “wins” over the past few years, large and small, local and global, from the streets to court rooms to kitchen tables.

That brings me to one more critical part of the climate story: us! This is the most hopeful part of all, because there are opportunities for everyone to be part of meaningful climate solutions today. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

That’s why we’re collaborating with partners across our community partners - businesses, nonprofits, and local government - to host Missoula’s first Climate Solutions Week and 5th annual Climate & Clean Energy Expo! From September 16 - 23, join us for a week full of events and activities to spark your involvement in local climate solutions. Here’s a quick run down of the events, but be sure to check out our calendar for full details.

Saturday 9/16

  • Home ReSource’s Spon Con kicks off the week with their annual celebration of creative reuse. The most climate-friendly (and cool and creative) stuff is the stuff we don’t have to buy in the first place!

Sunday 9/17

  • The Magic of Chemistry and Climate Solutions, 12:30pm at MIssoula Public Library: A climate magic show?! Don’t miss the famous G. Wiz. Not just for kids!

Monday 9/18

  • Coffee, Climate & Codes, 8:30-9:30am at Liquid Planet downtown: Learn about the Our Missoula growth policy update and code reform project, how it relates to Missoula’s climate initiatives, and how you can get involved! Drop in anytime.

Tuesday 9/19

  • Indoor Air Quality & Cooling workshop for MDA members, 8:30am, First Interstate Bank. Learn how to maintain good indoor air quality during wildfire smoke events and incentives for installing efficient cooling systems.

  • Local Research for Global Change, 5:30-7pm, Goodworks Ventures. Hear from UM researchers about their diverse climate research and its global implications.

Wednesday 9/20

  • Financing Home Solar & Electrification Projects, 12-1pm at Missoula Public Library. Learn about incentives for going electric, from tax credits to rebates and more!

  • Climate Solutions in the Workplace, 4-6pm at Cognizant’s campus. Join panelists for a collaborative discussion on how to implement climate solutions into everyday work.

Thursday 9/21

  • Decarbonize Your Money, 5:30-7pm, Headwaters Foundation. Learn about the importance & feasibility of moving your retirement and investment accounts out of fossil fuels.

Friday 9/22

  • Climate Conversations workshop, 9:30-10:30 at Missoula Public Library. Featuring Winona Bateman with Families for a Livable Climate, come learn and practice skills for more meaningful and effective climate conversations with friends, family and colleagues.

And, don’t miss the big event, the 5th annual Climate and Clean Energy Expo at Caras Park, 10am-2pm on Saturday, September 23rd. Featuring local solar installers, climate & sustainability orgs and businesses, an electric bike & car show, creative engagement opportunities, fun activities and games for all ages - there’s something for everyone!

Find all the details about these events on our website.

We hope that Climate Solutions week sparks new energy for building a Missoula and world that’s vibrant and livable for all. Climate action is winning. Join us, find your place, and help accelerate the unstoppable momentum.

Abby Huseth is the Deputy Director at Climate Smart Missoula. Climate Smart Missoula brings this Climate Connections column to you two Fridays of every month. Learn more about our work and sign up for our e-newsletter at