David Brynn

Any economic system consists of many interacting parts. They can be boiled down to three key elements: capital, land, and labor. We all know examples of each. Different political constructs put varying weights on the three elements. Capitalists think it is primarily, if not all, about the capital. Socialists think that the key element is the people. Environmentalists believe that the ecology is the most fundamental and, that without it, there can be no economy or community. Vermont’s original human inhabitants saw the land as being alive and enchanted and humanity and its associated labor...
Vermont’s forest-based economy generates roughly $3.8 billion annually. This figure varies from year to year. A little less than half of that revenue is associated with the timber and maple industry. More than half is generated by forest-based recreation. Vermont currently incentivizes the timber side of the equation while doing very little for the forest-based recreation side. Vermont depends upon her forests to produce clean water, sequester carbon and provide habitat for a rich array of wildlife species. The values of these commonly-held (i.e. we the people hold them) elements is more than...
An article entitled “The Coming Collapse,” which appeared in the left-leaning CommonDreams.org explains why Bernie is getting zero press coverage. More importantly, it helps to explain the craziness we are witnessing across the planet. The article is a frightening and deeply disturbing look into what, deep in our hearts, many of us know is true. Democracy is being consumed by unbridled capitalism which the Pope has called “the dung of the devil.” This is not a fight between the GOP and the Democratic Party. This is a fight between Corporations, Consumerism, and Colonialism and The Real People...
I recently attended a Wild Forest gathering at the SHO Farm in Huntington. On the way to the meeting I heard on NPR the latest news on the climate crisis we are in. The outlook is bleak but there is still hope that we can reduce the suffering that is unfolding. What is Vermont to do? It is time to tax pollution and invest 100 percent of the raised funds into: 1. Permanent conservation of wild forests; 2. Solarizing our infrastructure; 3. Converting sawmill residues into state-of-the-art wood-clay insulation instead of burning them; and 4. Insulating our buildings. There were many of the...
The article titled “In a Warming World, New Thinking Imperils Vermont’s Wood-Fueled Energy Market” in the Oct. 9 edition of Seven Days did an excellent job of portraying two contrasting visions of Vermont’s two primary human relationships with forests. One vision sees forests as resources that need to be managed and used. The other vision sees forests first as ecosystems that require lots more space from human intervention to preserve their inherent, continued, capacity for self-renewal. The article features two publicly held enterprises, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and...
A message by a commoner inspired by Charles Koch and Donald Trump: We the people hold the water, the air, and the wildlife. They are our natural commons. The responsibility for their care falls on us. When there is a failure to account for an ecological cost resulting from an associated action, the planet suffers. When human populations are low, externalized costs are not as consequential. There are a lot of us now and what each of us does to degrade the planet’s health and capacity for self-renewal matters. A whole lot! Self-serving, greedy people degrade the commons and apparently still...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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