Letter to the editor: Storms make need to switch to renewables clear

As your excellent Aug. 10 editorial A different kind of flooding makes clear, there is a direct connection between climate change (global warming) and the massive rainstorms that have disrupted Vermont life this summer. 

As we humans overheat the atmosphere, warmer air holds more water in places like Vermont and produces much heavier rainfall. This in turn is causing extensive damage to infrastructure and many homes and businesses.

What to do? For starters: Get off fossil fuels and use solar, wind and battery storage to electrify everything we can. We also need to build in climate resilience in the form of stronger infrastructure. Let’s protect all Vermonters (not just rich ones) as we make a “just transition” off fossil fuels. 

A key piece of this effort will be to rapidly clean up Vermont’s energy sources. Because it’s a myth that we have already have clean electricity. 

The state’s current Renewable Energy Standard and Affordable Heat Standard are far too lax. They encourage dodges such as phony greenwashing of “renewable” natural gas; wasteful burning of wood to produce electricity (the McNeil plant); and the expansion of hydropower with new flooding that will produce massive amounts of dangerous methane.

Amid all the coverage of this summer’s rotten weather, few media outlets have noted the connection between climate change and the more intense storms that are now “the new normal.” I hope your editorial will remind other journalists, businesses and elected officials that we need to address the root causes of all the rain. 

Greg Dennis


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