Last week, Vermont’s House of Representatives passed the Global Warming Solutions Act by 102 - 45 votes. The historic climate bill requires Vermont to reduce its climate-damaging emissions while simultaneously creating jobs, improving community resilience, and reducing energy burdens for rural and marginalized communities.
Unfortunately, the entire Franklin County republican delegation voted against the measure that take steps to mitigate harmful climate change, promote public health and the health of the state itself.
This vote is just one more example that shows that Republican representatives don’t listen to their constituents. In a recent poll by Energy Independent Vermont, 81% of Vermonters think global warming is happening; 63% understand that global warming is primarily human caused; and 70% are worried about global warming. Moreover, 78% of Vermonters support renewable energy and 75% support our greenhouse gas reduction goals.
In Vermont, climate change is affecting businesses such as the maple sugar industry and farming; causing more frequent and severe storms that damage our roads and bridges; wildfires, more invasive species, and serious health issues. In fact, Vermont had the highest rate of Lyme cases in ALL of the United States in 2017. There is also a solid relationship between rising temperatures and increasing fossil fuel emissions and cardiovascular and respiratory health plus the rapid spread of infectious diseases like what we are experiencing world wide.
These issues are why the climate solutions bill was supported by businesses, low income advocates, public health organizations, faith organizations, environmental and climate justice organizations, social workers, and physicians, to name a few. Recently, the American Academy or Family Physicians joined over 100 health organizations declared climate change a public health emergency!
We need to thank Democrats and Progressives for supporting common sense legislation that will help to protect Vermont’s air, water, and soil and all the beings that live here. We must re-elect them in 2020 and retire the Franklin County Republicans who just voted against addressing the largest public health and environmental emergency of our lifetime.
Cindy Weed, former state representative