Climate Matters: McKibben says transitions unleash creativity

16th in a series Most of the time I’m writing about vested interest as the key obstacle to making the energy transition. And it is — without the endless campaign of delay, denial and disinformation from Big Oil and its friends, we’d have started making big changes long ago. But there’s another force at work alongside Interest, and that’s inertia, defined as the force that has kept you from, say, cleaning the coil on the bottom of your fridge, even though doing so would cut your electric use considerably. BI … (read more)

Climate Matters: Honor and tend our waterways

I’ve been directing Addison County River Watch Collaborative for about 10 years, and I still feel like a beginner. I’m only starting to get to know the six rivers we monitor.

Climate Matters: Hard lessons in healing the climate

Studying our failures is as important as celebrating our triumphs.

Climate Matters: Our agriculture must be transformed for survival

By now, most people have seen headlines from the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: This is our “do-or-die” moment.

Climate Matters: The self education of a would-be activist

Climate change used to be a topic I thought of irregularly and in abstract terms.

Climate Matters: Vermont’s disingenuous energy portfolio

As Vermont pursues one of the most ambitious climate action plans in U.S. history, the state continues to mislead its constituents on just how clean Vermont’s electric energy sector really is.

Climate Matters: When climate change gets personal

The threat of climate change was put into sharp focus for my wife, Fran, and me with the arrival of our first two grandchildren in 2007.

Climate Matters: Learning to love ugly

This summer several tons of steel, glass and silicon will arrive near my side yard. This will be assembled, noisily, into a 30-acre power plant that will reduce my employer Middlebury College’s reliance on the electricity it currently buys from Green Moun … (read more)

Climate Matters: No free lunch for energy production

All methods of producing and distributing energy have costs, or downsides. We need to be clear-eyed about what these are, and to incorporate costs that are hard to quantify in dollar terms into our public discourse about our energy future.

Climate Matters: A lament for vanilla

In a few decades it is possible that vanilla, real non-synthetic vanilla, might be gone, or at least extremely rare.

Climate Matters: Safeguarding our green lung

I found myself in a climate change conversation with an engineer recently.

Climate Matters: Information and its roots

For those of us still toiling to bring awareness to the same systemic problems, it is notable that Donella Meadows and her colleagues were struck by the same curse we still wrestle with, the Cassandra Dilemma.

Climate Matters: Paying more to heat your home?

Despite the recent rises in oil and propane prices, my wife and I are not paying more to heat our home this winter. That is because we use cold-climate heat pumps.

Climate Matters: Turn to the sun, not ‘treewashing’

It pains me a bit to say, massive tree-planting campaigns are under assault as a climate tool, and that the assault seems to have some real merit.

Climate Matters: Listening while the world burns

I felt sick watching the sun rise above the mountains: the hazy orange light, the smell of barbecue, the dry rasp in my throat. I had experienced this all before, out on the West Coast.