Whiskey Is For Drinking And Water Is For Fighting

Whether mark Twain said it first or not, truer words have rarely been said. Across the drought stricken West they’re more appropriate now than ever, despite this year’s unseasonably wet summer. If you’ve spent much time outside this year, it’s hard not to recognize that something strange is going on.

In the last three months I’ve spent more days wearing long underwear and casting in the snow than I have throwing hoppers while my neck burns under a blistering sun. In the last three years where I live, we’ve set records for the coldest day in August, the most snow in October, the driest spring, and the worst fire season. I’m not a scientist or a betting man, but the odds on that seem long.

Lacking expertise or smooth talking, climate change means two things to me. The world is warming on a global scale and creating more frequent extreme weather events at the local level. My summer on the water may not have the predictive power of a super computer’s statistical model, but it’s been powerful enough to start a fight or two and encourage a few sips of whiskey.


August, Photos by Steven Brutger


4 Comments on “Whiskey Is For Drinking And Water Is For Fighting

  1. Please don’t go there, Steve. The climate is always changing/cycling/adjusting. Neither your lifetime experience so far and my lifetime experience at twice as many years and more are anywhere close enough to allow us to draw conclusions on what we think is happening. And the information we get from those with power and $$$ skin in the game on both sides and from the media that foment them has been far too politicized to be scientifically valid. I would love to get a true assessment on climate change from folks who really know what they are talking about… but that ain’t gonna happen for folks like you and me as long as this remains a political issue rather than a scientific one. Physical geography was one of my favorite subjects in college, as we live on a quite amazing and adaptable hunk of solid, liquid, and gaseous material.

    • Ralph, thanks for the thoughts as always. I’m certainly not an expert and understand the the whole debate is a mess. I think it’s time folks like us start having conversations about complex issues and call out those that are politicizing them. Maybe over time you, me, or my grandkids, can then get the type of true assessment you speak of.

    • Ralph A. – You wrote: “I would love to get a true assessment on climate change from folks who really know what they are talking about…” Looks like your lucky day.

      I’ve spent thousands of hours studying climate change, and I run an organization dedicated to sharing factual, non-partisan climate information with sportsmen.

      I’m also a hunter, an angler, and an outdoor writer.

      Here’s what you need to know. There is no debate on climate change within the scientific community. It’s real, it’s happening now, and it’s a major threat to our hunting & fishing, and to our kids & grandkids.

      Here’s a link that will show you what the experts think. It’s clear, concise and easy to understand:

      Or, if you want to see something written specifically for sportsmen, you can look at a piece I penned for the current issue of Fly Fisherman magazine:

      Either way, you’ll get information that will help you make a rational, informed decision.

  2. Steve, Thanks for talking about the single most important issue for sportsmen. It’s impossible to be out on the landscape and not see the changes taking place. We all notice the chaotic patterns creeping into our day-to-day weather. Climate change is a huge issue, and its vital that we drop our CO2 emissions while there’s still time.

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