Copeland-Hanzas: Climate change-fueled weather demands action now

Photo by Genaro Servín

by Sarah Copeland Hanzas

Vermonters have always rallied to protect and care for our friends and neighbors in a crisis.  I am grateful for Governor Scott’s calm and measured response when Vermont is in crisis. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Governor Scott followed the science and took the appropriate steps, despite considerable opposition, to keep Vermonters safe and to prevent a greater tragedy. Now, we need the same courage and focus as we grapple with flood recovery and take action to address the underlying forces of climate change that drove its severity.  

So far this summer, Vermont has seen a record heat wave in May, the state’s worst air quality in history in June, and recently a record rainstorm that dumped as much as two months of normal rain on towns around the state in just over a day. 

And this is clearly the new normal for Vermont as the impacts of global warming hit us. Nolan Atkins, the former chair of the atmospheric sciences department at Vermont State University said: “In a warmer world and a warmer climate, [we should expect] these more frequent and more intense weather events,” 

Yet despite the science, and clear evidence of increasingly severe weather, the Governor has vetoed every major piece of climate legislation the Vermont Legislature has put before him in recent years. We need Governor Scott to direct state agencies to recognize the climate emergency and treat climate action with the same emergency response and focus we are seeing right now during the floods, and that we did during Vermont’s Covid response. 

As the former co-chair of the Legislature’s Climate Solution Caucus, I traveled throughout the state listening to Vermonters’ concerns about the looming impacts of global warming and the urgent need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. I heard over and over that if we don’t act on climate and curb our emissions we will run out of time; we will be too consumed by the effects of climate change to focus on transitioning to renewable energy. 

I have seen our pragmatic Governor do a policy pivot when faced with an emergency. After the shooting threat in Fair Haven High School, he was a constructive and supportive partner for meaningful gun safety reforms.     

It is time for the Governor to pivot on climate policy. There are a few simple things the Governor can do right now to make a difference and help Vermont be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And more importantly, prevent greater tragedy.

First, the Governor should direct his appointees on the Climate Council to shift to an emergency response. The most immediate and constructive action he could take at this moment is to make sure Vermonters whose heating systems were destroyed in the flood are encouraged and incentivized to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.  Let’s help provide loaner heating systems to get through the upcoming heating season and accelerate our investment in our green energy workforce. This will not only speed up Vermont’s green energy transition but also create jobs; we can combat climate change and help Vermont’s economy at the same time.

Second, direct his Agency of Natural Resources and Department of Public Service to become willing partners in implementing the Clean Heat Standard to help all Vermonters transition from fossil fuels for heating and cooling their homes and businesses. Over one-third of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heating and cooling our homes and businesses. Despite this, Governor Scott and his administration have inexplicably been an anchor in getting this groundbreaking initiative into action.  

And third, support legislation to ensure Vermont gets 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by the end of the decade. With the passage of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, wind and solar power are cheaper than ever and price competitive with new natural gas. Vermont needs to do its part to clean up its electric sector and end our environmentally unjust practice of importing our power from oil- and natural gas-burning plants in low-income communities in Massachusetts and Connecticut.  

I’m not saying it’s simple and easy, I understand firsthand the challenges rural Vermonters face in heating their homes and getting to work. But if we think transitioning to renewable heating and transportation is inconvenient or possibly a little more expensive, just look around at what we will be facing if we don’t. Can we afford not to?  

Sarah Copeland Hanzas was a Vermont House member for 18 years before being elected as Secretary of State in 2022.  She lives in Bradford with her husband and has three adult children. 

Categories: Commentary

44 replies »

  1. “The real motives of liberals have nothing to do with the welfare of other people. Instead, they have two related goals — to establish themselves as morally and intellectually superior to the rather distasteful population of common people, and to gather as much power as possible to tell those distasteful common people how they must live their lives.” Thomas Sowell


    The number of false assumptions that you make in this are all pulled talking points from lying entrenched financed CIA run media. You have no research to back up your claims and only repeat the same dribble over and over and over again. We’re tired of it. We’re tired of the climate being changed ON US and we want people like you to take responsibility for your actions as you claim we need to.

    If there’s zero chance that what we do will make an effect or change and yet it hurts us economically, why should we do that? To make you feel better? To make you say you did your job?

    I’d say go ahead and comment on that video but I know you won’t watch it and wouldn’t understand if you did anyways.

  3. What a load of Bull****
    Sustainable ? No
    Affordable ? No
    Renewable ? No
    Efficient ? No
    Recyclable ? No
    Who benefits ? A monopoly

    Here’s a thought 💡 Let’s plant more trees, then we cut.

    Here’s a fact: The mining of minerals for batteries is devastating the planet and causing more green house gases from the coal operated facilities used to process them, also depleting water sources in rainforests and causing major pollution in Indonesia not to mention much of the slave like labor and child labor associated with this industry.

  4. I totally agree G. L. and Mr. Thomas Sowell! How many trees on mountain and hill tops and cool grasses in pastures are we losing to wind and solar? Renewable, what an oxymoron! We can’t and don’t have the ability to regenerate wind (where does it come from and when??) and solar (which works wonders during cloudy days!). We spent so many years being told to save on electricity and so we didn’t update our grid and now the same yahoos want us to go ALL electric. It makes no sense.

    What we can do is to take care of the resources we have to the best of our ability. We use to have the greenest energy going with Vermont Yankee, but no! we had to get rid of it because it was getting old. I’m sure we have the technology to build a better nuclear plant and avenues to use the spent fuel better – and why not? Hydro is also another greener energy maker.

  5. It is profoundly sad that the words of Ms. Copeland Hanzas, our Secretary of State demonstrate so precisely the lack of critical thinking skills, education and the level of brainwashing that has gone on in this country. Indeed, the world.

    Maybe there is a reason, Ms. Copeland Hanzas, that our governor has not jumped on the Climate bandwagon or been indoctrinated into the cult! Because he has the perspicaciousness required to be a voting adult in our state and more importantly, in our government. Instead of criticizing him, maybe you should ask yourself, if he has not signed on hook, line and sinker, maybe there is good reason and I should find out more. Better yet, when not read Bjorn Lomborg’s book, “False Alarm, How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet”. Or the one of the many other books in this genre… you know, the ones using critical thinking and evaluating skills to look at real information thoroughly.

    You and your cohorts are destroying our fine state and indeed our civilization and culture with your nonsense. You are the swarm of locusts of our time.

  6. Anyone surprised the selected, belligerent occupiers come out swinging with their climate change baseball bats? Sarah received her WEF/DNC/UN memo and marching orders to demoralize and rub dirty flood water into open, gaping wounds of flood victims and upended communities. Along side her, the climate cult is embolden to screech the same talking points over piles of destroyed debris lining the streets. Hands out, red flags up! The spiteful, resentful, dead eyed, dead souls these politicians publicly display is beyond the pale. Proof positive they don’t care one bit about Vermont or it’s residents. They only care about their agenda and their Master’s approval. They are evil and dispicible to the core. Above all, they are well compensated for being evil and corrupted. Calling them all down to the ground like the pharaohs of old.

  7. Maybe the SoS should put her efforts to improving Vermont’s Election Management System, as it is garbage… Ask any overworked Town Clerk. And now they want to implement ranked choice voting too… SoS really has her hands full already to be taking on speeding up the demise of rural residents.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more Vic. IMO-we have gone from bad to worse with that office, which I was afraid of.

  8. The commenters are exactly on point. It was too unbelievable that governmental elites want to cull the population instead of sustaining the population. Everything that is being done in the name of saving the planet is being exposed as killing the planet. Any dissenting views on “climate Change” are still censored. Professors are being fired, scientists are losing their funding and the schools join in to brainwash our children. There are technologies available to steer weather patterns to create floods and droughts which is devastating our food supply. To this end airplanes are equipped with aerosolized particulate that is released into the air to dim the sunlight causing more crop failures. That’s why jet fuel condensation trails no longer dissipate in the sky. Many people have woken up to this fact. Once there is starvation the government will have full control to ration everything you want to buy, energy, food, housing, and especially money. The day is getting near that the plan to destroy the dollar will enslave mankind. A digital dollar is their aim but first they need to make the dollar worthless, and the governmental elite are making that happen by printing fiat currency to fund the Ukraine war, black reparations, college loan forgiveness and any other frivolous endeavor they can. To that end, the rest of the world is dumping dollars and next month more than half the world’s nations will be changing the banking system to digital currency backed by precious metals that will put a stake in the heart of the US economy. Our “elected” officials are criminals or idiots. Either way our lives are about to change for the worse and it was all engineered by an elite class that is tired of taking care of you. The first step is to realize that it is happening and that you are being lied to.

    • Bravo Don. Well said! I’ll add the whole fauxvid nonsense to your list. It wasn’t about any “virus”, in actuality no worse than the flu. It was about scaring and then culling the population via the death jabs.

    • I won’t mind being enslaved as long as I have enough to eat and a warm place to sleep. Universal healthcare would also be nice.

  9. Yup. The second tiniest state in the Union will never see another heavy rainstorm as long as citizens have heat pumps and not oil burners – storms in the Mid-Atlantic will skip right over us.

    And the worst flood in VT history? 1927. When nearly 100 Vermonters lost their lives.

    Alas, it was ALL because heat pumps hadn’t been invented yet – along with that damned Henry Ford who introduced the Model A. All eight of them in existence in Vermont that year caused that ’27 flood!!

    BTW, is this br*** a climatologist in addition to being Secretary of State?

    • Another factor contributing to the 1927 flood was that people had stopped wearing face masks after the Spanish flu panic. Fact. Also, the first talking film had just been shown.

      • What about the baseball scandals that rocked the major league?? Purportedly, games had been thrown to allow White Sox victories! Did it occur to anyone that that deviance directly caused the flood of 1927??? If not, it’s about time! Ms. Hanzas – your studied opinion, please…

  10. Dear Ms Copeland Hanzas: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Better get a different playbook. The old one ain’t working no more!

  11. Well alright then!!!!

    I’ll hasten to install a heat pump – after rebate, just a few thousand! And I’ll scramble to buy an EV. rebate, just $45,000! And that cobalt in the car, mined in Africa by child labor? Ah, well, a sacrifice that’s got to be made.

    And I’ll call my local SunCommon rep. and arrange to install some Chinese-made solar panels. They’ll pay for themselves after 15 years! And I’m sure they”l find a way to dispose of the dangerous chemicals and heavy metals in the used-up panels by then.

    And I’ll beat the rush to comply with Joe’s mandates – upgrade my stove and fridge…just a few thousand after rebate! With chips from China to boot!

    And new light bulbs, of course.

    And, oh yes….almost forgot, I’ll take my air conditioner to solid waste! Yep, I’ll do my part and sweat for the Earth.

    It’s all good! Ah yes, the livin’ is good here in The Hanzas Reeeeepublic.

    • You forgot your woodstove. That’ll be the next thing they come after. But don’t worry. There will always be plenty of bugs you can eat.

  12. Why is our Secretary of State blabbing about “climate change” and fake “school shooter” concerns when our voting system is such a mess that it is impossible to trust election “outcomes”? Maybe she should do her job.

    Oh, I forgot. Her party designed the voting system to make it easy to rig and impossible to audit. So she will talk about lots of things that don’t matter instead of doing her job.

    “Climate change” is a communist hoax.

    • By totally ignoring the election/voting system in VT – she IS doing her job!

  13. Well said, every single commenter here. Gives me hope for my beloved state. Good for Guy Page giving this souless witch a platform on which to show her true colors.

  14. if you follow this line of thought … every thing that ” farts ” will have to be enthused…RIGHT DOWN TO YOU..the cows the sheep the pigs the dogs the cates humm do fish fart..?

    • Doesn’t matter if fish fart. “Climate Change” (Reeeeeeeee!) will boil them all anyway.

  15. The climate has been changing as long as earth has existed, we give ourselves to much credit ( as usual ) for causing the change.

  16. I’m sorry to have to inform you ma’am, but every one of your arguments are based on facts that have been proven wrong. The facts are in, but I suppose you wouldn’t be interested in knowing what they might be. Personally, every time I read or hear a person say what you have written about the “Climate Change”, it makes me shake my head. First, it is extremely arrogant to think we humans can completely kill our planet (minus the nuclear option). Secondly, going all electric is not only just plain stupid but is suicidal. You need a diversity of sources of power. You never, ever rely on just one source. What the Vermont Legislature has passed is a series of laws that we either will rescind just prior to our total ruin or what we all will referred to as the point where it all went terribly wrong as we sit in the ashes. To be completely honest, you remind me of the 60’s when Vermont was invaded by hippies from the cities all “getting back to nature”. We Vermonters kept warning them that they had to be careful what they ate from nature’s garden. But we were brushed aside as they harvested poisonous plants and ended up in the Emergency Room or worse. Maybe this time you should listen to some of those crusty old Vermonters and not the paid lobbyists who are constantly in your ears.

    • Imagine if the USA had to fight world war two and transport everything around the world with electric vehicles. What if the USA has to fight world war three and the grid is taken out by our enemies. This is the realistic stuff that these airheads do not think about. They want to disarm Americans, same stupid idea. We haven’t been invaded because the average man and woman in America can have firearms for defense of the nation. Fire these people!

      • Think Nuclear warheads for WW3. There won’t be anything left to worry about but dust.

  17. WOW! So much hope for Vermont with all of the above RIGHT ON comments and observations!!

    Why is the Vermont Secretary of State involving herself with the climate? As many have already said: Vermont’s Election System is a corrupt and chaotic mess! Taking over from the damage done by Condos for years, she is still allowing our state voter checklist to be controlled and manipulated by a non-governmental corrupt organization called ERIC. Why?

    What business does a private non-governmental organization have in accessing and/or working on our state voter checklist?

    Hanzas would be best serving the “People of Vermont” by fixing Vermont’s Election System to make it a free and fair system without corruption as our constitution declares it should be.

    To restore trust and confidence in our election system we need: voter ID’s, local town control of ballots, ballot chain of custody, no ballot boxes, no ballot harvesting, one day voting and citizen counting of ballot votes.

    • Her whole article appears to be a run up for candidate for governor. She criticizes the gov throughout then praised him for signing unconstitutional gun laws. Why would the SOS write an article about so-called climate change? It has nothing to do with her job. In her mind she’s ready to be the Gov, even though she has been SOS for two years when the election rolls around.

  18. Climate Change is a hoax, a political tool, a scam. It is a brainwashing, propaganda weapon for the WEF, WHO, NWO and all the Globalists. Anyone who is willing to use their brain and think logically can see right through all this evil garbage. CO2 is not pollution, People, plants and animals all need CO2. We actually need more CO2.

  19. You can tell by the picture of the SOS that she thinks very highly of herself! She is in charge of the election laws not the earth’s climate. I’m glad about the climate part, but the election part, not so much. The Twilight Zone wasn’t as crazy as life in the new Vermont. With all the talk of UFOs and aliens (not the illegal kind) it could be Vermont’s political class is a rerun of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If climate change is responsible for this last rain storm, what caused the 1927 flood?

  20. Well, Vermont is responsible for 0.01% of the alleged problem.

    Who wants to tell her about China, India and Indonesia?

    Oh, also, the “air quality,” issue this Summer was smoke from widespread, and likely coordinated arson.

    These people. 🙄

  21. I replaced my gas furnace and gas water heater 5 years ago. Can’t afford to do that again, so I am praying for enslavement or death before then.

  22. I gave testimony in numerous committees chaired by Ms. Hanzas. I have found her to be polite, professional but dismissive. Any populous opinion that differs from her expert opinion is stalled and sees no light of day. Govern from the top down is not representative government. Why doesn’t she support LENR technology that is proven to be available for mass production by a company in California? There site is at this link Decentralized energy is what they provide and what we demand! No longer will a corrupt bureaucracy control our standard of living. They hate you to be energy independent. Because we will no longer need politicians like Ms. Hanzas to “save” us from ourselves.

  23. I would encourage everyone to look up Erik on the internet. They have been dumped from states for a reason. This organization is run by the US Gov. of Education it is a reference data base for Educaion and research of all kinds. I wonder where the ideas come from for what is being taught in our schools? Check out why the state of Virginia left it! I came away with the feeling it is not a trustworthy organization so why are we going to use it? Maybe Ms. Hanzas could answer that question. Maybe because our esteemed socialist Senator Sanders is now envolved with Education?

    • Better living through technology. The Vermont election system is controlled by a third-party vendor in New Hampshire owned by Dominion. The vendor controls the elections data of other States in New England. Our corrupt representatives (i.e. Condos/Scott/Zuckerman) sold out our elections to the highest bidder. No way of knowing how many hands are on the buttons or how much data being shifted over networks on election day and thereafter. Safe and secure! Lies, lies and if that were not enough, even more lies!

  24. I agree with Ms. Copeland Hanzas that climate change deserves action now. It is funny I was just thinking about this on Monday when I went to Burlington to take a family member to the hospital for a morning of tests. I hadn’t been to Chittenden County in quite some time and did some errands in Williston, Winooski and Colchester. I was amazed at all the building, traffic and smell of tar in the air as I had my coffee at Taft’s Corner. Bit different from where I live in the NEK. So, I have come up with some ideas that I think Sarah and the folks at the legislature can act on immediately. I think these ideas will be more effective than trying to charge low and fixed-income people in the NEK an extra 70 cents for oil to heat their old poorly insulated homes, or shell out significant dollars (which they don’t have) for electric vehicles, solar panels, and storage batteries. Here goes and please feel free to add additional idea.
    – As the Vermont Climate Council recommends, shut down the McNeil generating plant in Burlington. I understand it is the biggest single polluting source in VT.
    – Stop the immediate use of all gasoline and diesel vehicles in Chittenden County. There is a lot of public transportation. Make it the law that people in cities like Burlington and Montpelier be required to use public transportation.
    – Stop all new road development in populated areas of the state. Will encourage walking, biking and public transportation use.
    – Stop all commercial and residential development in Chittenden County immediately. It was quite sad to see all the development in what I remember as farm fields and wooded areas. No need to have more development and people.
    – Stop all in person meetings of the legislature and move to remote sessions. No sense in having all these people driving to and from Montpelier day in and day out, especially given the legislative sessions have been getting longer and longer and there is talk about it being full time. Will save lots of money too.
    – Stop all flights in and out of BTV. If you need to come or leave Vermont, take Amtrack or a bus.
    – Get rid of the marinas. No need to have all those petrol-powered boats going up and down the lake. Sail boats would be ok.
    – Immediately stop sending trash to the NEK. Don’t need all those trucks going back and forth from all points in VT. Make it a requirement that each county be required to have a landfill and that no trash can be shipped over county lines. “Think Global, Act Locally”
    – Stop all online shopping in cities that have public transportation. No need to have all those delivery trucks driving around. Have people get on public transportation and shop local, or just buy less stuff.
    – Put windmills on the hill section of Burlington and on the UVM campus.
    – Cover the waterfront in Burlington with solar panels. Great access to sun there!
    – Put roadblocks on all road leading into VT. Do not allow any visitors to enter our state unless they are using public transportation.
    – Tax all the people in these populated areas with a surcharge that will be used to develop public transportation and fund renewable energy projects for low and moderate income people in rural parts of our State.
    – Make it the law that you must keep your mobile phone for a minimum of 5 years before getting a new model.

    I may have more ideas as I think about it. I think if Sarah and the legislature take the actions above, we will immediately start to see a difference. Plus, we can be first in the nation implementing many of these ideas.

  25. With so many people like her (either paid propagandists or indoctrinated idiots) being elected to crucial positions of power in our state, it is clear we are in for hard times. Dear God, have mercy on us, our children and grandchildren.

  26. I would like to add to Mr. Millazo’s climate reduction ideas. Maybe Ms. Hanzas should gift her home to at least three families of the flood victim’s and just settle for a tiny home, they are easier to heat!

  27. Can you imagine every household in Vermont purchasing a Brillouin Inc. LENR boiler system to heat their house? The fuel lasts for ten years before needing to be replenished. And it costs pennies to refuel it. The system is available but why is Ms. Hanzas not asking for the Govenor to deploy it? Think about it. Carbon neutral. Zero pollution. The answer is clear, the system wants to control you and they lose that leverage if you are self sustainable. There are many patriotic entrepreneurs inventing systems from energy to internet communications that are uncensorable by governments, and this will free humanity from totalitarianism at every level. The establishment will do what they need to do to prevent this from happening. we live in interesting times.

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