Greg Dennis

01/23/2020
Many of you (by which I mean none of you) have been asking how things are going with my presidential campaign. Today I’m happy to announce that to avoid confusion with another candidate from Vermont —I think his name is Benji something — I am changing my name to “The Anti Trump.” More on that below, after I solve all the problems in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — states that I have chosen randomly and not in any way because they have an early caucus or primary. Well, I won’t really try to solve the problems in Iowa and Nevada. They have entirely too much corn and sand for...
12/26/2019
We’re accustomed to bad news about climate change. But as we round into 2020, the news ain’t all bad. While Vermont is nowhere near meeting its goal to reduce greenhouse-gas pollution — in fact our pollution levels are rising — we made some big political progress this year. Let’s start at the grassroots. In April, 350Vermont organized a dramatic 65-mile climate walk from Middlebury to Montpelier. The goal: Demonstrate to the Legislature and governor that Vermonters want meaningful, rapid action on climate. Hundreds of people did part or all of the walk — a surprising number walking every step...
12/19/2019
I normally read Greg Dennis’s opinion pieces with a wry smile, impressed by his ability to poke fun both at himself and others in a light manner. But not this time. Yes, partly it was because Greg in the guest editorial in Monday’s newspaper was skewering me and mine who oppose the development of college-owned land on South Street Extension for solar collection. But partly it was because this article was lopsided, mean-spirited ridicule of those who disagree with him. We could debate whether this is “greatly needed.” We could debate whether we are “small.” But what is not debatable is that we...
12/16/2019
It’s the season of joy and light. And among the most heartening local developments this year has been the proposal for a greatly needed solar energy field off South Street Extension in Middlebury.  Yet a small, vocal group of people warn us that we should see solar energy as dark and foreboding — if we can even actually see the carefully screened solar panels in the distance. These doomsayers claim that clean, green, locally produced energy might in fact destroy our local landscape. Maybe it’s better that we get our energy from “some other place,” such as fracked gas that releases dangerous...
12/12/2019
When I was a little 15-year-old, the powers-that-be in my small town decided to consolidate our schools. It caused a lot of anguish for many parents, who were suddenly faced with seeing their children schooled in a different building in a different town. Consolidation also prompted students to scream. Those of us on the basketball team didn’t want to exchange our proud blue-and-white uniforms for purple-and-gold, and neither did the cheerleaders. (No girls’ teams in those days.) But the financial arguments prevailed, and we went from being Blue Devils to Golden Eagles. Goodbye Clyde Central...
11/14/2019
My neighbor and I are at the northwest corner of my three acres, clearing out buckthorn. We stack that prickly invasive into piles of brambly cover for birds and other critters. We’re clearing out the buckthorn to provide a more gracious procession of big oak trees into our neighboring properties. But we also have other quarry, in the shape of dead elm trees that will fuel our woodstoves for a couple of winters to come. It’s a time-honored Vermont tradition: neighbors working together to keep themselves warm. But the emerging science suggests that burning wood may not be such a good idea. We’...
10/31/2019
I’ve been patient, I really have. I don’t bring it up with friends anymore. I no longer ask strangers for donations. But my campaign is going nowhere. So I figure it’s time to make some noise. Starting with this reminder to the Lamestream Media: I’m running for president. Of the United States. Close observers of my campaign, if there are any, will recall that I announced my candidacy right after Joe Sestak entered the race. Sestak was the 24th Democrat to run for president this time around. He’s a former Navy admiral and was a member of Congress from Pennsylvania. He said he delayed launching...
10/17/2019
A friend who works in academia told me that, having gained the job security of tenure, they have decided to write less about stuffy intellectual topics and more about low-brow subjects. (1) An added advantage to my friend’s new writing approach: They don’t have to cite their sources. (2) Which got me to thinking about — and being grateful for — the fact that columns don’t require footnotes. (3) Either you trust a columnist enough that they don’t have to list their sources, or you’ve decided they’re an idiot and you don’t care. But what would it be like, I wondered, if a column had not just...
10/03/2019
The old joke goes that the only time you need to lock your car doors in Vermont is during the summer, because if you leave your car unlocked someone will fill it with extra zucchini from their garden. Now there’s a new plant that’s becoming just as common. Of all the things I thought I’d never see in this life — gay marriage, the Red Sox and Cubs winning the World Series, Donald Trump as president — legal marijuana tops the list. Yet here we are over a decade into medical marijuana legalization and nearly two years into Vermont’s one-of-a-kind experiment with legal reefer. I grew up when pot/...
09/19/2019
In the race against time that is the worldwide effort to avoid the worst of climate change, there’s a lot to despair. Sometimes it seems every day brings more bad news about the seeming inevitability of global heating, food shortages and chaotic mass migrations. But for today, let’s look on the bright side.  A week of walkouts, rallies and other public events begins this Friday, Sept. 20, with the global climate strike. It will be the biggest-ever day of climate action.  If there is a day when we can begin to turn things around toward a safer and more stable world, it would be a good idea for...

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