We all need to act on climate change
The disruption of the planet’s climate patterns by the combustion of fossil fuels is among the most urgent and critical challenges facing humanity. Sustainable Woodstock encourages everyone in our community to take whatever actions are appropriate in your own situation.
1. Learn about the issue and the range of perspectives on it. There are many books on the subject; a compelling new title is Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, and a recent, very thoughtful overview of the topic is Reason in a Dark Time by Dale Jamieson. Some good online sources include these websites, among many others:
2. Evaluate your own lifestyle and consumption choices. Can you reduce gasoline use by carpooling or simply driving less? Is your home well insulated to prevent heat loss? Can you buy fewer things made in distant places and shipped long distances? You can do a relatively simple calculation of your carbon footprint here and try to lower that impact over time.
3. Support local and regional efforts to develop public transportation, walkable communities, community solar projects and other programs. In our region, the East Central Vermont Sustainability Consortium is working with towns to craft a comprehensive plan. Across Vermont, the Energy Action Network is building an effective collaboration for replacing fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy sources. Learn about this work and support it.
4. Put your savings and investments to work for climate solutions, not supporting coal and oil corporations, tar sands mining, fracking and pipelines. There is a growing divestment movement among institutions and individuals who recognize that fossil fuels are not a good long term investment. And you can take your savings, checking and credit card accounts out of large distant banks that invest in climate-damaging industries and put your money into local banks and credit unions that invest in communities.
5. Support public policies that provide incentives for renewable energy rather than fossil fuel extraction. Currently, governments give massive tax breaks and subsidies to corporations that add carbon to the atmosphere. Engage with elected officials to change policies like those. For example, there is now a campaign to establish a carbon pollution tax in Vermont. See energyindependentvt.org for details.