Forum, Dec. 21: Moving toward a clean energy future

Published: 12/20/2021 10:00:19 PM
Modified: 12/20/2021 10:00:04 PM
Moving toward a clean energy future

With the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2020, Vermont committed to meeting significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, 2030 and 2050. The Vermont Climate Council was established to create a plan to guide the Legislature in setting policy to reach those reduction goals. The Vermont Climate Action Plan was released on Dec. 1.

(More information can be found at

While the Climate Council was hard at work, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its 2021 report. Despite the dire information in this report, the panel was clear that the level of future emissions will ultimately determine the level of future temperature rise and the subsequent severity and impacts of climate change. In other words, the choices we make to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will never be more consequential than they are in this moment.

As the Vermont Legislature convenes in January, it will take up a number of significant recommendations from the Climate Action Plan. Moving toward a clean energy future will require weatherization at scale, transportation innovation, establishing a clean heat standard and working to increase renewable energy sources within the state.

We must also establish an environmental justice policy that outlines methods to protect and prioritize Vermonters who bear the brunt of climate change and may experience hardship as we transition to new climate policies.

These steps and more will reduce climate pollution and support the health and well-being of the people and communities of Vermont, as long as we all do our part to make them happen.

Vermont has long been a leader in environmental policy. Our legislators are poised to continue that tradition by enacting far-reaching emission reduction policies. It is our role to insist that our elected officials continue this critical work until each of us enjoys the safe and prosperous future that we all want for ourselves and our families.



The letter was submitted on behalf of Norwich Congregational Church Climate Action Group.

Need signs in time

I have two related situations regarding the placement of traffic notice signs:

■ Speed bumps. Lebanon has several speed bumps, all well-placed and needed. But the signs announcing the speed bumps are placed right at the bumps.

If the purpose is to let drivers know that a speed bump is coming up, the signs need to be placed at some distance before the bump. Truck springs and the top of my head will appreciate it.

■ Lane closures on the interstates. Over the past few months, there have quite a few necessary planned lane closures on Interstate 89, especially just after the on-ramp at Exit 18 North. Again, the closures are needed but the sign is not displayed until one is already on the highway.

If one “lane closure — merge” sign was placed 25-50 yards before the on-ramp on Route 120, a driver could decide to take an alternate route and therefore lessen congestion on the highway and reduce my rants at those who continue in the closed lane and then expect to be let in.

It seems to me that these are both common sense changes, which would require little or no expense. Why not do it?



When donating, please include the hardware

People who donate items like kids bike tagalongs and trailers to places like Listen should please remember to include all the hardware. These items, which kids ride on or in, are often missing the connectors that attach the tagalong or trailer to the adult bike, which makes the item useless to buyers unless they do hours of research and spend a bunch more money online for the appropriate connectors.

There may be many adult bikes out there with the part the second consumer needs to make the tagalong or trailer usable. Either that or the part is sitting in a junk drawer in the garage. Either way, that doesn’t help me any.

I’m about $72 dollars into said useless items because I failed to notice the missing connectors until I got home. So again, please include all hardware when donating an item. Thank you.



Responsibility to wider community

Haverhill, like the rest of Grafton County, is experiencing the largest surge of COVID-19 to date. With a rate of 1,439 cases per 100,000 people, cases in the Haverhill school system are ballooning. Every day, it seems, another positive COVID-19 test comes up in each of the Haverhill schools.

With concerns about the emerging omicron variant, schools from Middlebury College to Cornell University have returned to educating their students remotely to protect public health. Towns like Hartford, Norwich and Hanover have reinstated mask mandates. But in Haverhill? Masks in schools are totally optional. (“Amid surge, board axes mask mandate: Haverhill School Board honors member who died while in hospital for COVID, then ends student face covering rule,” Dec. 15)

These are masks were talking about — painless, simple protection from communication of a deadly virus. Haverhill Cooperative School Board member Michael Aremburg said, “Let the parents decide what’s best for their kids.”

I say Aremburg has a responsibility for the wider community, and to each of the students and their teachers, one of whom is my 28-year-old son.

There will be tragedy this Christmas season, as children bring COVID-19 home to their families for the holidays. Shame on him.



Corruption is destroying America

In the movie The Godfather, a cardinal at the Vatican tells Michael Corleone that politics and crime are the same. The corruption in today’s politics is leading the country down the road to destruction. It is said that America will never be destroyed from the outside, only from within.

I am an American, not left, right, middle, liberal or conservative, just a good old flag-waving person who loves his country. My freedoms were put in place to not only protect me, but all the people in the U.S.

But there are some who want a change.

I would advise everyone to watch The History Channel’s documentary The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler. Because of Hitler and a few followers at the start, millions were sent to the grave throughout the world. After the war, Germany and much of Europe was left in total destruction.

I believe Donald Trump and his extremist Republican followers want everyone to follow them until we are under complete control with no rights or freedoms.

Remember, thousands of Americans in the military gave the ultimate sacrifice to assure our freedoms. People in dictator countries like Russia, China and North Korea have no freedom. They are all under complete control.

How many people in Russia, China and North Korea died from COVID-19 and were not reported, just like some Republican governors in the U.S. are doing? God only knows. Is this what the American people want, a bunch of liars and lowlifes controlling them?

A lot of these people were looking for a good life, which was cut short by corruption, lies and politics.

I don’t have any use for Trump or his followers. Just a handful of liars and power-mongers can take this country down.

It’s happening right now. To everyone who loves our country and our freedoms, stand up and be counted. Don’t lay down or stay silent. It’s your only life.



Ever-pleasant worker makes a positive impact

Thank you for the front-page article about Ed DeNike, who just retired from the Lebanon landfill (“Leaving a hole at the landfill: Scale operator calling it a career after decades of helping people with waste,” Dec. 18).

I didn’t know his name, but I certainly knew him as an ever-pleasant worker. In the gloomy time we are living through, it is delightful to read a story about a person who makes a positive impact on life.

Good luck to Ed DeNike. it was a pleasure to know him.


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