When I first heard that 350 VT was planning a five-day walk from Middlebury to Montpelier beginning in April of 2019, I immediately decided to join it. A few months later I was asked to help organize the walk, so my walk began long before the opening ceremony on the Middlebury green. Wolfger Schneider, another Charlotter, joined me for the first (and last) day as Bill McKibben ended the ceremony saying, “We’re all going to have to go on strike in one way or another, to disrupt business as usual, because it is precisely business as usual that’s wrecking the planet.”
We often hear about climate change and its implications, but what does it actually mean for Lake Champlain and the communities around it? Lake Champlain has already seen drastic increases in lake temperature.
Last July, shortly after president Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate accord, I wrote a piece for The News bemoaning the slow progress that has been made in addressing global climate change and controlling greenhouse gas emissions (charlottenewsvt.org/2017/07/26/health-matters-time-new-climate-change-message). Since I wrote that column, Scott Pruitt, the current EPA administrator, has followed through on the president’s threat to roll back the Clean Power Plan reducing carbon emissions from coal fired power plants, announced plans to delay rules aimed at setting fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, attacked rules limiting methane emissions from oil and gas wells and attacked efforts to set appliance efficiency standards. This has occurred with little if any adverse political consequences for the protagonists and only a tepid response from environmentalists and public health advocates.