iOS app Android app

Brian Kahn
Brian Kahn hosts the award-winning public radio program, Home Ground. He is a recipient of the 2009 Montana Governor’s Award for the Humanities. An author and lawyer, his background includes work as Montana ranch hand, Cal Berkeley boxing coach, politician, Director of the Montana Nature Conservancy, and documentary filmmaker.

Brian’s writings on conservation and politics have been published by The Los Angeles Times, McClatchy Syndicate, Moscow News, Field & Stream, Fly Fisherman, Northern Lights, The Nation, and others. In 2007, Brian provided typing and editorial services to his Labrador Retriever, Tess of Helena, on her book, Training People: How to Bring out the Best in Your Human. (Chronicle Books, 2007). It has been highly praised by dogs and severely criticized by cats. His most recent book is Real Common Sense: Using Our Founding Values to Reclaim Our Nation for the 99% (Seven Stories Press, N.Y. 2011), will be released in paperback in June.

Brian and his wife, artist Sandra Dal Poggetto, live in Helena, Montana.

Entries by Brian Kahn

Heart of the Nation

(3) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 12:41 AM

The iconic view is gone, unsettling mind and heart: The Capitol Dome has vanished under scaffolding and white sheets. Corroded in more than its cast iron roof, the foundation was laid by still-unacknowledged human slaves. Can it really be repaired?

I walk east to west through Capitol Hill. Across the...

Read Post

Coral Reefs Could Soon Fall Silent As Ocean Acidification Ravages Ecosystems

(1) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 3:07 PM

This story originally appeared on Climate Central.

Doug E. Fresh may have some competition in the beatboxing arena from unlikely source. It’s not from some underground phenom but rather an underwater rising star, or well, fish.

Take a listen to this beat laid down by a...

Read Post

Title Fight in Montana: Champ Joe Louis vs. "Peek-A-Boo" VanDyke

(4) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 1:10 PM

Heavyweight champion Joe Louis said of an opponent. "He can run, but he can't hide." Montana Supreme Court candidate Lawrence VanDyke hopes to prove Louis wrong: He's running for the Court while trying to hide his record, beliefs and positions he taken to get support. It's an attempt involving national...

Read Post

Severe Drought Leaves One of Sao Paulo's Biggest Reservoirs Nearly Dry

(1) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 9:57 AM

This story originally appeared on Climate Central.

Drought is taking its toll on the water system that quenches the thirst of Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, to such a degree that it is visible to orbiting satellites.

Sao Paulo is facing water rationing as the worst drought to...

Read Post

World War II, Through the Eyes of a Red Army Medic

(4) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 4:27 PM

Yevdokia Ivanovna Syemchonok was small, somehow reminding me of an aging falcon, her sharp eyes fading as she blinked in the bright light. Ninety-four, she stood straight and resisted my attempt to take her arm. In the Moscow apartment we sat at her daughter's table, her grandson Alexei on her...

Read Post

Baby Lessons

(1) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 2:50 PM

The new mother sits, her days-old infant at her breast. He suckles silently, tiny eyes closed. Thomas Wilcox Volz: unique, beautiful, inspiring and wondrous.

"He's six pounds fifteen ounces", his father says proudly. One week old, he'd gained back all but one ounce of his birth weight.

I had forgotten...

Read Post

Forest Fires In Northwest Canada Burning At 'Unprecedented' Levels

(7) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 5:03 PM

This article originally appeared on Climate Central.

For the past few weeks, dry and warm weather have fueled large forest fires across Canada’s remote Northwest Territories. The extent of those fires is well above average for the year to-date, and is in line with climate trends of more...

Read Post

Weather And Climate-Related Disasters Have Cost The Planet $2.4 Trillion, WMO Report Finds

(53) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 5:47 PM

This story originally appeared on Climate Central.

Weather- and climate-related disasters have caused $2.4 trillion in economic losses and nearly 2 million deaths globally since 1971 according to a new report. While the losses are staggering, the report also shows that we have learned from past disasters, lessons...

Read Post

'Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project' Outlines Cooperation, Ingenuity Needed To Halt Climate Catastrophe

(5) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 1:04 PM

This story originally appeared on Climate Central.

Carbon emissions have been rising since the start of the Industrial Revolution. But they’ll have to be curbed soon, and sharply, to keep the globe from warming above “safe” levels. A new report lays out avenues to get there...

Read Post

As Brazil Hurries World Cup Preparations, Country's Climate Changing Just As Fast

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 4:13 PM

This story originally appeared on Climate Central.

When the Brazil and Croatia national sides kick off the World Cup on Thursday, the players on the field won't be the only new things since the last time Brazil hosted the World Cup in 1950. Cleats, the stadiums and even...

Read Post

Niche Market

(1) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 1:22 PM

She was slim, young and attractive, sitting in the window seat as our plane lifted off for Minneapolis. We'd talked before takeoff -- selfishly hoping the empty seat between us would not be taken.

Anne was a salesperson for a Maryland corporation, eager to move up. "I'd like to...

Read Post

The Picture Worth a Thousand Words

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 2:43 AM

As a lawyer, I long ago learned an important lesson: If you want to settle an argument, take time to figure out how the other side sees the facts. You're asking for trouble if you don't. Especially if you're dealing with Russia, a nation that has several thousand nuclear weapons.

Read Post

The Ghosts of Kursk

(10) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 4:31 PM

President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and western leaders have expressed strong concern about possible concentrations of Russian troops on that nation's border with Ukraine. Andrew Roth of the New York Times went there to assess the state of mind of everyday people in the Russian border town of Belgorod....

Read Post

Climate Change A Growing Concern For Winter Olympics Hosts

(2) Comments | Posted February 8, 2014 | 10:24 AM

From Climate Central's Brian Kahn:

Climate change became an official Winter Olympic issue in 1998 in the wake of the Nagano Games. The four subsequent host cities, including Sochi, have made strides to address climate change and reduce or offset their greenhouse gas emissions. However, the Games and...

Read Post

El Nino Patterns Could Become Twice As Likely In A Warming World

(851) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 9:23 AM

From Climate Central's Brian Kahn:

The question of how global warming will influence El Niño has been a challenging one for scientists to answer. A new study suggests while the overall number of El Niños is unlikely to increase, particularly strong “super” El Niños are likely...

Read Post

Meeting Medicare Again, for the First Time

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 8:09 AM

I sat down at the computer with quiet anxiety. I've never warmed to the cold, iridescent screen, somehow removed from the flesh and blood life I have lived for a month short of 65 years. But the insurance consultant had said that is how it's done -- signing up for...

Read Post

Butte, Montana Goes to the Polls

(3) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 12:08 PM

Election day: it was six in the morning and pitch dark as I passed the Berkeley Pit mine. A mile wide and half as deep, its terraced walls leach metal into the toxic lake below. The mining has stopped, but pumps will run forever to treat the effluent. Still, there...

Read Post

Attack Campaigns Debase Our Democracy

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 10:57 PM

It's not often that our Montana elections make national news two days running, first in a New York Times editorial, then in a PBS Frontline feature. The thrust? That secret outside money, perhaps illegally, is trying to buy our elections. But, legal or not, something else is involved: an assault...

Read Post

Interview: Mariela Castro Espin Opens a Window Into Today's Cuba

(6) Comments | Posted April 24, 2012 | 12:59 PM

It is clear that Cuba has entered a process of major economic and political reform. As a journalist in the mid-1980s, I covered some of Gorbachev's perestroika process for McClatchy News and the L.A. Times. We are, I think, seeing the Cuban variant. Obviously, the Cuban government is not interested...

Read Post