Former Champion Silver Maple on Lake Road

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to Rep. Mike Yantachka’s commentary from Nov. 1.

It is apparent that human beings are at a critical point in our life on Earth. We are confronted with a significant number of challenges to our well-being and even our future. Of all of the realities that threaten our existence, the global climate crisis is the most compelling. Changes to the Earth’s atmosphere and to the delicate balance of its ecosystems are putting the life of the planet itself at risk. Science has demonstrated that human use of fossil fuels is the most significant contributor to the warming of the atmosphere and the upheaval of the climate forces that affect Earth and all of the forms of life that dwell on it. It is also true that we have the capacity to stop the progress of climate damage and begin a process of restoration for all of life.

As a person of faith and as a religious leader, I am convinced that the physical crisis we face is also a spiritual and moral one. We who are responsible for the damage done by carbon emissions into the atmosphere bear the weight of responsibility for changing our behavior and the effects of that behavior on our earthly home and all of the other forms of life that share that home with us. The question is whether we have the moral resolve to do what is necessary.

As the Governor’s Climate Action Commission explores our state’s responses to the climate crisis, it will be necessary for them to consider significant actions to influence and change human behavior. It is time for us to consider the cost of carbon on our world and our lives. I support an approach that will address the cost of carbon through a balanced and proactive tax on carbon. Vermonters deserve leadership that will acknowledge the cost of carbon and find ways to assess a tax on that cost where the revenues can be used to address our climate future. Sometimes, the practical action can reflect our moral and spiritual responsibility. This is one such time.

Rev. Richard H. Hibbert,
Burlington, Vermont