climate change

09/18/2020
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,...
09/10/2020
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...
09/10/2020
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...
05/28/2020
I was pregnant with my third child when I picked up a copy of Bill McKibben’s “Eaarth.” All my life I’ve been hugging trees, growing food, and collecting rocks. I became an educator so that I could teach children about the joys and wonders of the natural world in the hopes of nurturing in them a connection to place and to each other so that we might build a sustainable and just world together. So when Bill told me that the world I knew was irreparably broken and the climate of my Vermont childhood was a ghost, dread filled my body. I was too late. I put the book down unfinished and turned...

GREG DENNIS
05/11/2020
While the world remains under threat from the coronavirus and COVID-19, one tiny piece of silver lining has been the reduction in carbon emissions. According to a recent report by Shannon Osaka on the always-excellent Grist.org, the world may be looking at a 5.5% reduction in carbon pollution this year. It’s just supposition at this point, but Vermont — where transportation is normally responsible for over 43% of our carbon emissions — may see an even greater reduction than 5.5% this year. But the latest U.N. assessment is that we need to cut carbon emissions by 7.6% per year — for some years...
05/07/2020
Small men — it’s rarely a woman — can wreak havoc on a large scale. Whip together ambition, guile, and ill-will with a little luck, and such men can do outsized damage. Great women and men leave their mark at every scale. They not only shape the lives of tens of thousands of people — sometimes more; they love their neighbors and fellow citizens, tending with those around them to the fabric of community.  Tens of thousands of people around the world — surely more — appreciate the greatness of Ripton’s own Bill McKibben. For over three decades, Bill has sounded the alarm about global warming...

FARMER SPENCER BLACKWELL speaks as part of a panel of business owners that convened at Danforth Pewter in Middlebury last month to talk about their approach to addressing climate change. Shown from left are Sarah Keack, Bram Kleppner, Blackwell and Amy Sheldon. Photo by Gregory Dennis
04/10/2020
MIDDLEBURY — What is the return on investment for businesses that adopt measures to reduce their impact on climate change? Economically that can be hard to measure, said Danforth Pewter CEO Bram Kleppner during a public discussion at his company’s Middlebury headquarters on Seymour Street last month. “On the other hand, it’s almost infinite,” he said. “I mean, the value of the planet is enormous compared with the cost of heat pumps.” Besides, he suggested, the consequences of inaction are becoming increasingly clear. “Climate change is going to destroy everything you care about.” Kleppner...
03/19/2020
Across the religious spectrum, climate change is becoming a place where people with varied faith traditions can find common ground for interfaith work. There is no governing body for this trend. That makes it a unique window onto what motivates humans to come together to respond to this global challenge.  A notable local example is the new ACORN Energy Solar2 project on Watch Point Road in Shoreham. Credit for the output of 249,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year from the 612 panels in the 150 kW array is going to seven Addison County congregations working together as the Addison...
03/19/2020
I look forward to hearing the sweet whistle of the White Throated Sparrow every spring, but am increasingly worried about losing their beautiful voices from Vermont. The White Throated Sparrow and many other forest birds like the Scarlet Tanager, Hermit Thrush and American Woodcock are at risk of leaving Vermont as a result of the combined impact of forest habitat loss and the excessive emissions of carbon dioxide associated with burning fossil fuels. We are lucky in Vermont to still have significant blocks of healthy forests. These forested lands are a vital contributor to Vermont’s economy...
03/12/2020
We need to stop climate change, because greenhouse gases are overheating the Earth. In cold places glaciers are breaking and melting so sea levels are rising so more floods can happen. Climate change also affects rainfall, because warm air holds more water than cold air and there will be more rainfall. More rainfall is a problem because more floods will happen and floods get higher. In hot places, the water is evaporating quicker so living organisms are dying because they can’t get enough water for drinking or fishing. A drought is when the ground dries up and there is no water for organisms...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100