Letter to the editor: Ripples of climate movement grow beyond Middlebury

In his spot-on coverage of the five-day march for Climate Justice, Christopher Ross has documented a core truth of the global climate movement: It has deep roots in Addison County and at Middlebury College.
In his coverage, Christopher kindly harkened back to a 2005 class at Middlebury that I helped lead, suggesting that it “gave birth to a new  climate movement” (March 25, 2019). This is an overgenerous take. Our class was an antecedent to the student-led Sunday Night Environmental Group, which was in turn an antecedent to Step It Up and then 350.org, co-founded by Bill  McKibben and seven Middlebury students.
As I noted in a 2014 Burlington Free Press article about our class, “The key thing for 350 was obviously the kind of energy and the passion of the students, to be connected to the wisdom and the brilliance of Bill McKibben. Everything that has happened since the course has been the result of the students and Bill getting together.”
I am proud of the pebble that students and I threw into the climate-movement pond during that memorable class. But if our pebble created a ripple, it was the good founders of Step It Up and then 350.org who have created a tidal wave. As the climate walk winds down, I join others in Addison County to celebrate that.
John Isham

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