Vermont could lead the way. But it doesn’t.

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Vermont. The state where everyone lives in a yurt and drinks organic maple syrup. Bernie Sanders is their Senator and I’m pretty sure the Dalai Lama lives there. Or, at least, the yurts are lined with Llama fur.

You’d think that Vermont could get its act together to reduce greenhouse gasses more than most other states, but in fact, that has not happened, and it is probably important to know why.

Vermont had implemented one of the more aggressive greenhouse gas reduction plans, but it turns out, the state’s greenhouse gas emissions have gone up by about 16%. Like this following figure from this report shows:

Figure 1. Vermont Historic GHG Emissions Estimates and Future Emissions Reduction Goals.

From the Boston Globe:

“It wasn’t just disappointing and ironic, it was surprising,” said Sandra Levine, a senior attorney based in Vermont for the Conservation Law Foundation. “Many thought we were at least moving in the right direction. But we weren’t just missing the target, we were moving backward.”

The main reasons greenhouse gas emissions went up is because people, for the most part, did everything backwards. They did not buy electric cars, and they did buy bigger gas guzzling cars. They figured that as long as gas was cheap and easy to get, who cares about the planet?

Also, “Much of the blame falls on the aging pickup trucks, the state’s most commonly registered vehicles, which many residents often drive alone. The state also has a disproportionate number of tourists who clog its mountain roads on their way to ski resorts or leaf peeping.” (Boston Globe).

So much for the yurt people saving us all.

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In Search of Sungudogo by Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback

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3 thoughts on “Vermont could lead the way. But it doesn’t.

  1. There is no State subsidy for electric cars in Vermont. No plan, I believe, for any charging infrastructure on highways. I do not believe (I could be wrong) there are State subsidies for energy reductions. All of these things are offered, if at all, by local entities, like municipal gas or electric utilities. If the State of Vermont is subsidizing these things, it is not immediately apparent.

    Since 2003, we have had three governors – two of them Republican, and a Democrat who may as well have been. Howard Dean was governor before then.

    1. The BG article mentions state subsidies for home improvement. Perhaps there are such programs, administered through the utilities, I just don’t know. It is not easy to find out where these monies come from. It is not a huge amount of money, though.

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