Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Don’t distract from the real issue

Small men — it’s rarely a woman — can wreak havoc on a large scale. Whip together ambition, guile, and ill-will with a little luck, and such men can do outsized damage.
Great women and men leave their mark at every scale. They not only shape the lives of tens of thousands of people — sometimes more; they love their neighbors and fellow citizens, tending with those around them to the fabric of community. 
Tens of thousands of people around the world — surely more — appreciate the greatness of Ripton’s own Bill McKibben. For over three decades, Bill has sounded the alarm about global warming and reminded readers everywhere to treasure the natural world. For over 15 years, he and hundreds of fellow leaders have created a global climate movement that folks in the future will revere, as so many today revere the civil rights movement.
In Addison County, we are the luckiest. We know Bill at the scale he loves best: at the farmers’ market, the Middlebury Coop, the Ripton Coffeehouse and in Middlebury College classrooms. And during winter’s finest hours, on snowy backwoods trails.
Two weeks ago, Michael Moore — a small man — came after Bill with something called “Planet of the Humans,” a shabby work of cinematic sophistry (don’t bother). Alas it’s gotten around: as one climate activist wrote to Bill, “The problem is, this movie is all over the place … it’s like [Moore] detonated a bomb in the center of the climate action movement.” 
Throughout history, small men have been steamrolled by movements they don’t understand. Who can doubt that the vision and grit of the climate movement’s leaders will prevail? 
In the meantime, let’s raise a Double IPA in Bill’s honor, thanking him for being our steadfast, joyful friend and neighbor. Be assured, Brother: We Vermonters have got your back! 
Jonathan Isham, Jr.
Cornwall

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