The Billings Outpost

Scientist cheered by Paris agreement

By BARBARA BRYAN - For The Outpost

Climate scientist Steve Running of the University of Montana thinks the world has turned the corner on climate change and fossil fuel use. His optimism is rooted in the unanimity of the recent international climate agreement, a projected decline of global carbon emissions in 2015, and a growing base of financial titans, financial institutions, climate activists and world leaders ready to get to work.

“What COP21 illustrated,” said Running, referring to the international climate change conference that concluded in Paris this month, “is that we now see momentum on climate change way beyond any given country, company or presidential candidate. A worldwide momentum has coalesced, and I don’t think it’s going to get turned back by anything.”  

In Paris, each of the 196 participating nations pledged future reductions in carbon emissions. 

Running finds the sentiment behind the pledges encouraging.

“For more than a century, it’s been carte blanche for the fossil fuel industry,” he said. “Anything they wanted to do in any country, they pretty much did it, with very little resistance and often with enthusiastic support.  From now on, though,

Last Updated on Monday, 18 January 2016 17:46

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2 tough lives out in Wild West - Owen Wister

“Owen Wister and the West,” by Gary Scharnhorst. University of Oklahoma Press.

By WALLY McLANE - For The Outpost

In “Owen Wister and the West,” Gary Scharnhorst, professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico, brings you, the reader, the man behind the legend.

Wister’s goal was to write about the West before it disappeared. He would do this with two major handicaps: one being his health, which going West did not improve, nor would it ever; the other being his elitist upbringing, which was always there.

Wister’s venue would be short stories in magazines. His style would be historical fiction, with, if he wanted to sell his material, a romantic involvement.

As a result of his affluent upbringing, he was able to make his sales “pitch” to the right contacts. With journals and writing instruments in hand, out West he went. He would research events, interview people and make copious notes. With his talent for building a “story” around a particular event or involving some people, the short stories began to flow.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 January 2016 17:45

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2 tough lives out in Wild West - Gustavus Cheyney Doane

“Yellowstone Denied: The Life of Gustavus Cheyney Doane,” by Kim Allen Scott. University of Oklahoma Press.

By WALLY McLANE - For The Outpost

Yellowstone National Park: Gustavus Cheyney Doane saw it, touched it, traveled through it, mapped it and guided in it.  Always the bridesmaid, never the bride - superintendent of the park – no matter how hard he courted and campaigned for it.

In “Yellowstone Denied: The Life of Gustavus Cheyney Doane,” Kim Allen Scott, a professor and university archivist at Montana State University, describes the traits that more or less plagued Doane from the time he was a little boy – hatred of Indians, expecting due recognition and reward, dislike of discipline and conformity, and a lackluster appearance – would be his “problems” in whatever career he worked at, primarily the military. On the positive side, his father taught him to have a great deal of mechanical ability; while at the University of the Pacific, his writing skills were enhanced.

Born in Illinois, Doane and his family also lived in Missouri and other parts, including California, before settling in Oregon. Would be interesting to know where his folks got the nickname of “Cheyney” and what was its meaning or significance.

Prior to joining the Civil War, Doane tried some business dealings in a quasi-military operation in California. When those did not work out and he had an opportunity to join the Army, he took it.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 January 2016 17:46

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