LETTER: VT has lowest carbon emissions in state, can’t afford $1 million for H688

To the editor:

The Vermont Legislature, in passing bill H688,  the Global Warming Solutions Act, will be committing 1 million dollars of state money to set up this bill. The General Fund is facing a 400 million dollar shortfall, and it will only get worse. 

Our income from taxes is way down, the fuel taxes, rooms & meals etc. straight across the board. We have more and more people relying on state money to just survive. Our state Reps and Senators have an obligation of fiscal responsibility to us, and right now, in these uncertain times, that million dollar commitment does not make sense. 

Global warming is a very real and serious threat. Vermont, the lowest carbon producing state in this nation, must be doing something right. As citizens of this state, we need to pay attention to where the legislature is spending our tax dollars, and definitely check out the very serious repercussions of H688. Rural Vermont will cease to exist as we know it. 

Cheryl Cote

Categories: Opinion

2 replies »

  1. Beware statistical bias.

    Clearly, Vermont, as a State, has the lowest CO2 emissions in total metric tons because it’s one of the smallest and least populated States in the country. But, to put it in perspective, on a per capita basis, New York, California, Rhode Island, Oregon and Massachusetts have lower CO2 emissions than Vermont, with Maryland and Connecticut very close behind.

    On a per square mile basis, Vermont ranks 9th lowest despite its small size. Not surprisingly, Alaska, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico and Maine have lower CO2 emissions per square mile.

    As a country, the U.S. has one of the highest per capita CO2 emission rates. On the other hand, on a percentage per capita basis, total U.S. CO2 emissions have dropped more than most other countries. But that’s because U.S. CO2 emissions were relatively high in the first place.

    The larger question is, of course, what effect does human made CO2 have on global warming in the first place. As it is, total atmospheric CO2 is about 4/100ths of one percent of our total atmosphere volume and has increased by about 1/100th of a percent (from 3/100ths of a percent to 4/100ths of a percent) over the last 100 years. In other words, yes, that’s a 30% increase. But as a percentage of our total atmosphere, the percentage increase is almost too small to calculate. CO2 is, after all, a ‘trace gas’, and computer models of its effect on temperature vary widely, despite claims that ‘the science’ is definitive.

    Another interesting phenomenon relates to Covid-19’s effect on CO2 emissions. With significantly lower CO2 emissions in the U.S. and the world because of the economic shutdown, we don’t see commensurate changes in global warming. Yes, it may be too early to tell. But if such a draconian decrease in emissions now has so little immediate effect, one wonders what it will take to actually reverse global warming…if we even can.

Leave a Reply