climate change

This week’s writer is Marie Audet of Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, founding member of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives. We are all suffering on so many levels, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead takes a toll. While news of the vaccine brings us hope, it will be months or more before we are safe. Hopefully the summer will bring back a sense of normalcy in our daily lives and renewed energy for another fight: the fight against climate change. At Blue Spruce Farm, we are adapting to the immediate impacts of COVID-19 while remaining...
With the release of the report of the Climate Economy Action Center of Addison County on greenhouse gas emissions we have been presented with a snapshot based on generalized “book” values of what the situation was a certain point in time, 2017. The report provides a very general indication of the state of affairs with reference to methane in Addison County. It does provide a baseline from which to work into the future, which has not been done before. It is important though to recognize certain points. Enteric production of methane by ruminants can vary extensively based on the diet that they...
ADDISON COUNTY — Farming accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions in Addison County than any other sector, according to a study released last week by the Climate Economy Action Center (CEAC) of Addison County. The report estimates emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide released by Addison County in 2017, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available. “This in-depth inventory draws on numerous data sources to provide a baseline estimate of local climate change emissions,” said CEAC board member Richard Hopkins in a Dec. 3 media release. “The analysis...
ADDISON COUNTY — Farming accounts for more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Addison County than any other sector, according to a new study released Thursday by the Climate Economy Action Center of Addison County (CEAC). The report estimates emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20) released by Addison County in 2017, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available. “This in-depth inventory draws on numerous data sources to provide a baseline estimate of local climate change emissions,” said CEAC board member Richard Hopkins in a Dec. 3 media...

This map shows the amount of solar in each town in New England. Southern New England is way ahead of Vermont in the amount of solar installed, although Maine and New Hampshire are further behind. Source: ISO New England
What, isn’t Vermont “Green”? Of course it is, right? Wrong. Green Mountain Power, which is owned by a Canadian natural gas distributor and supplies 70% of Vermont with electricity, claims that their energy supply is 94% carbon free and more than 63% renewable. This sounds great, except that 95% of this electricity is produced in 20th-century facilities, many of which (particularly hydroelectric dams) are 50 to 100 years old or more. Do we really think we can solve the climate change crisis without building new renewables? It is magical thinking, or really worse, as both the state and the...
This election cycle, I plan to vote for Jubilee McGill for the Vermont House seat to represent the towns of Bridport, New Haven, and Weybridge. Here’s why: Jubilee’s opponent is Harvey Smith, my current state representative. He has shown this session that he is no friend of our climate. He voted against the Global Warming Solutions Act in the Vermont house, a bill that was passed in spite of him, Governor Scott, and his Republican colleagues in the Legislature. Vermont farmers are hurting because of unpredictable changing weather patterns — record rainfall last year and record dry spells this...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury officials are considering a series of steps for reducing carbon emissions created by municipal operations by 80% during the next 10 years, a game plan that would include converting building heating systems to cold-climate electric heat pumps, and transitioning to electric for town vehicles. The ideas being considered in Middlebury could be replicated or modified for use in other Vermont towns. The idea was recently pitched to the selectboard by the Middlebury Energy Committee, led by Howard Widelitz. He and fellow committee member Richard Hopkins outlined a plan...
The Vermont House voted Thursday to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act, legislation that would legally require the state to meet carbon emission reductions targets in the coming years, and allow individuals to sue the government if it fails to do so. Two days after the governor vetoed the bill, H.688, the House overturned Scott’s decision on a vote of 103-47 — surpassing the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. Rep. Jim Harrison, R-North Chittenden, said he was disappointed that the House was ending its special legislative session with an override,...
The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) comes up soon for final approval in the Vermont House and I urge the continued support of Addison County’s legislators. Thanks for earlier support go to Reps. Robin Scheu and Amy Sheldon of Middlebury, Peter Conlon of Cornwall, Mari Cordes of Lincoln, Caleb Elder of Starksboro, and Matt Birong and Diane Lanpher of Vergennes.  Thanks also to Senators Chris Bray and Ruth Hardy for their ongoing support. For too long, Vermont has had aspirational greenhouse gas emission reduction goals that we have consistently failed to meet. The latest data indicates...
I am writing to thank Senators Chris Bray and Ruth Hardy for their vote earlier this year for the Vermont Global Warming Solution Act (GWSA). I am wondering where my Representative, Harvey Smith, stands on this bill since he was absent the day of the vote. I hope all of our legislators, and Governor Phil Scott, can see the Global Warming Solutions act as an opportunity to revitalize our state and economy. Passing the Global Warming Solutions act will put us on the road to renewed economic activity. The benefits of acting on climate change are many. Acting on climate now helps keep more of...

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Addison County Independent