Climate change is such a difficult subject to engage in. It is so hard to really believe that our regular, ordinary activity – what we eat, how we get to places, how we live – is undermining the bright future we all wish for our children. The science can also be so confusing, and it all happens so slowly, (mostly) in the background and far away. It is not surprising that we all want to believe that it’s not happening and it’s not us.

But it is. Every major scientific organization and national academy of science on earth concludes that the climate is changing, that we are responsible, and that action must be taken to address the severe risks to people and the planet. If we consume fossil fuels at the rate projected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the level of warming will be devastating – coastal cities will be flooded, many species will go extinct, political turmoil caused by mass migration will be intense.

This scientific consensus is extraordinarily powerful given the contentious nature of science and the acclaim that accrues to scientists who find compelling evidence that overthrows an existing paradigm. So, what are we to do?

Last week, the nonpartisan Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office released a strategic road map for actions Vermont policy makers can take to address climate change and achieve the goals set out for Vermont in the Paris climate accord.

The researchers conclude that a price on carbon is essential and that “the combined climate and health benefits of the carbon pricing policies would exceed the economic costs for every carbon pricing scenario considered.” What are we waiting for? Urge your Vermont Legislator and Governor Scott to put the recommendations into law with the sense of urgency that the climate crisis demands.

Andrew Chalnick

South Burlington

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