Many thanks to the 35 people who endured the cold weather, walked all or part of the way from Middlebury to Montpelier and the 300 more who gathered at the State House to request the Legislature to take strong action on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. I had hoped to go on part of it, but my hip pain was too much to bear.

However, what we really need is personal action instead of political action. I have been to the marches and rallies in Washington and New York City and to many of the actions in Vermont. I was even one of the first citizens, not a paid professional, to initiate actions in central Vermont. These were a 2007 rally on the green in Barre and a 2009 bicycle ride starting from Barre and Montpelier and joining on the mid-Barre-Montpelier Road to call attention for the need to have a separate recreation path connecting the two cities so we could walk or bicycle between the two cities – which sadly still hasn’t happened.

But all these actions and rallies have been a total failure as Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions keep on rising. What we really need is a change in personal lifestyles but the climate change activists never talk about that. Even “environmentalists” continue to jet plane around the world for their own personal pleasure. Although 82, I have flown in a jet plane for recreational purposes only once in my entire life and that was before I knew that global warming was such a potentially catastrophic problem. Next to going on a cruise, which is the worst single action to generate carbon emissions because a cruise ship only goes a few feet on a gallon of diesel, is jet plane travel which generates 53 pounds of CO2 per mile. And the most popular vehicles now are the huge, empty, pickup trucks. I just went to Hartford, Connecticut, and was amazed to see that the vehicle sales places have large lines of pickup trucks for sale. Driving back to Vermont in my all-electric Leaf doing 50 mph to save battery energy while pickup trucks continuously zoomed by doing 70 mph, was very disconcerting.

It is very critical that we begin to address the real solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and not just the feel-good actions that are being held. There are many more personal actions we can take in addition to the two that I mentioned and it long past time to have that important discussion.

George Plumb

Washington

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