December 3, 2011
By Lauren M. LoSchiavo
Did you know that 47% of the population in the United States, including those “running” our country, do not believe that the changes in our climate are a result of our carbon emissions? Despite the irrefutable data given to them by unbiased scientists, many of our leader’s remain unwilling to implement policies that will move us toward a sustainable, environmentally sound future.
The people in attendance of this conference are all aware of the truth and work tirelessly to bring about the awareness of we what all need to be doing. There were workshops and round table discussions on all major areas where efficient, environmentally sound, and sustainable progress needs to be made. Some of these included information on weatherization on a tight budget, Ambassador programs to assist small businesses in becoming more energy efficient, biomass, micro-hydro, wind, and solar projects. Round table talks on Idle Free Zones to lessen carbon emissions, how to start a grass roots movement in your community, sustaining and mobilizing volunteers, progress in alternative modes of transportation, to include; trains, carpooling, and bus transportation.
There were individuals from varied socio-economic backgrounds and age groups. All were in support of local communities and the theme most prevalent was, Our planet is in Peril, and we must all act NOW to affect change, and make every effort to reduce our carbon footprint.” Near zero emissions are what we must work toward.
Vermont Representative, Bernie Sanders spoke of the recognition this state is getting in Washington. Vermont, and Governor Peter Shumlin, is a national leader in environmental awareness, progress toward sustainable communities and implementation of sound practices. Vermont is being hailed as a “model” to follow.
Environmentalists are no longer being perceived as right-wing trouble makers, but more looked upon as sober, progressive, “smart” thinkers.
If you did not have the opportunity to attend this important event this year, I would highly recommend that you do so next year. The amount of information and knowledge you will gain is invaluable. No matter what role you play in your community, what state, or where in this world you are from, there are lessons you will take away that can teach you how to make a difference. Thank you VECAN for holding this inspirational conference and to Lake Morey Inn for providing such a beautiful, environmentally conscious, facility.