A group of legislators and others gathered for a news conference in South Burlington on Wednesday to call attention to the continuing urgency of the climate crisis and to focus attention on actions to address it.
One of the important unfinished tasks of state government is to enhance efforts on the problem of thermal efficiency in homes and other buildings in Vermont. It has been a priority of Gov. Peter Shumlin, but problems in funding an ambitious weatherization program have slowed progress.
The reality of the climate crisis is that action must occur on all fronts in order for humans to maintain hope of averting the worst effects of the changing climate. As speakers noted Wednesday, some of the negative effects of climate change are already upon us. The droughts and wildfire plaguing the West and Midwest, as well as the floods that have hit the East — these are indicators that climate change is already here and that talk of coping with change is no longer theoretical.
The nature of our response to these threats has changed over time. Early in President Obama’s first term there was much focus on international climate policy, leavened by the hope that the nations of the world could strike a grand bargain for curbing carbon emissions.