This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

Maya D.

I remember well a Missoula morning in early September, 2017. I awoke to a yellow sky and the familiar smell of a campfire burning. My breathing was shallow, my asthmatic lungs hard at work. And while I thought my house was on fire, I discovered the hazardous air quality had only seeped in through closed windows.

Montana is serving as a battleground for climate change. In recent years, Missoula has broken records for the lowest amount of precipitation and high temperatures. Disaster drought has been declared in dozens of counties and six of the seven Indian reservations in the state.

With firefighters losing their lives, homes burning to the ground and livelihoods lost, we have the responsibility and duty to respect not only those whom we have lost, but to protect what we still have. It is an insult to not address the overarching issue of climate change and to blame fires on forest mismanagement and "frivolous lawsuits."

Yet too many of our elected officials and leaders in government fail to acknowledge the role climate change is playing and refuse to take responsibility for an issue that marches ceaselessly on to claim more lives. Climate change is real and it is here.

First published: December 18, 2019

Red button with telephone
Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
Red button of two hand prints
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

Button of turquoise LUNG FORCE swirl
What is LUNG FORCE?

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.