Brenda and Dan Baughman, RED LAKe/Nolalu

Brenda and Dan Baughman
 
 
"It's pretty depressing. What I worry about is our kids and our grandkids. Geez, they don't have much to look forward to. And when you look at the real scenarios, it's so depressing you can't really talk about it, you know? We're not optimistic about it. I think not believing like climate change is like not believing in gravity. I mean, can't you see what's going on around us? The thing that stresses me about it is the fact that we're doing nothing about it. If we were working on it, I'd think, 'Well, great, that's something.'"

 

Brenda and Dan Baughman, REd Lake/NOlALU

Brenda and Dan Baughman operated a fishing camp on Red Lake for more than 30 years. They recently retired to Nolalu. Dan worked for many years as a reporter before takin over his family's fishing business. He has trapped, hunted, and fished all his life. 

Brenda and Dan have noticed a lot of climate-related changes, both at Red Lake and in Nolalu. They no longer see caribou at Red Lake, and also see very few moose (they recognize there are many contributing factors to this decline in numbers). They have also seen significantly more ticks, and noted warming winters, changes in ice-out, flooding and significant weather events, increased cloudiness, and increased winds. They have also been working with researchers at the MNR to better understand the decreasing lake trout population in Red Lake, and suspect that warming water temperatures are a contributing factor. Dan says that this research has highlighted the world's interconnectedness, "So that shows you how fragile some of these ecosystems are, eh? If it's warmer in the fall by one degree, in the water [it can affect fish populations]."

These changes have affected Dan and Brenda. Dan says, "It's pretty depressing. What I worry about is our kids and our grandkids. Geez, they don't have much to look forward to. And when you look at the real scenarios, it's so depressing you can't really talk about it, you know? We're not optimistic about it. I think not believing like climate change is like not believing in gravity. I mean, can't you see what's going on around us? The thing that stresses me about it is the fact that we're doing nothing about it. If we were working on it, I'd think, 'Well, great, that's something.'"

Brenda agrees, but feels less hopeless. She says, "I shut out all of the arguments or discussions or articles that have to do with 'is it really happening?' because to me, that's rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. You now? So then, when i get to part about what are we going to do about it, it comes to what am I going to do about it? What can I do about it." Brenda says that she is an optimist, and that she is excited for the "opportunities for transformation that climate change will bring our society and economy."