Julie Moore: Successful climate action will require each of us to do our part

This commentary is by Julie Moore, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

Climate change is all around us and yet, at times, can be hard to see clearly. The Earth’s climate is a complex, noisy system and is influenced by many factors, including human activities. Because of this, changes in our climate can feel small, or far away, while other threats feel more imminent. But the simple fact of the matter is the earth’s climate is changing, and Vermont’s climate is changing. These changes are complicated further by the fact that they are slow-moving and at times, hard to directly observe.

For example, do you remember the last two years when Lake Champlain completely froze over?

Julie Moore, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

Although the surface of Lake Champlain froze over nearly every year in the early 1900s, it is now freezing much less frequently.

According to the Lake Champlain Basin Program, the Lake currently freezes about once every four years. Modeling suggests that by 2050, the Lake may freeze fully just once every decade. (And as far as the two most recent years, it was 2015 and 2018.)

Climate change is also affecting the composition of our forests. Northern hardwood species such as maple, yellow birch, and American beech are threatened by warmer and drier growing seasons, as well as pathogens, that can stunt growth and shift forest compositions toward warmer-climate species like oak and pine. Further impacts to our natural and working lands will be felt by changes in the water cycle, resulting in drought conditions in some areas while at the same time producing more frequent and intense rain events in other places.

This summer, both conditions were found in different parts of Vermont. Windham County experienced the most significant flooding since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, while the East Berkshire Fire District in Franklin County was hauling in bulk water after its well ran dry.

These examples are the sorts of changes that can be hard to gain perspective on absent long-term datasets that demonstrate clear trends over time. But these trends are real. They are generally consistent with the predictions scientists have made about the changes we would expect as greenhouse gases trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, producing warmer seasons and increasingly extreme weather.

It is also noteworthy that the impacts of climate change often fall disproportionately to the most vulnerable Vermonters — such as housing built on “less expensive” land because of its flood susceptibility. For example, during Tropical Storm Irene, 15 mobile parks and 561 mobile homes in Vermont were damaged or destroyed. Mobile homes make up a little more than 7 percent of all housing units in Vermont but were approximately 40 percent of homes affected by Irene.

The path that lies ahead will be challenging. It will require us to make changes in our lifestyle that are hard, or at least inconvenient, and will cost money. It will require coordinated action at the federal, state, and local level. Our individual emissions are the proverbial drop in a very large bucket — the global atmosphere. Yet, each of our inconsequential emissions become consequential when aggregated.

Last year, the Vermont Legislature passed the Global Warming Solutions Act. This Act codified requirements to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 26% below 2005 levels by 2025, 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below by 2050. The law also established the Vermont Climate Council, charged with the responsibility of drafting the Climate Action Plan.

While efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution will be an important component of the Climate Action Plan, cutting our emissions is only one part of the multi-pronged approach that is needed. In addition to required emission reductions, the Act directs the Council to identify opportunities to make the Vermont landscape better able to withstand continued changes in climate. This is likely to include everything from strengthening roads and bridges to withstand heavier rains to conserving and enhancing the health of forested tracts and farmland so they can capture and store precipitation and carbon emissions in our agricultural soil and our trees. Cumulatively, each year Vermont’s 4.5 million acres of forestland sequester, or take in, about half of the state’s annual CO2 emissions. Our strategies and actions will include ways to both conserve and enhance these benefits as a necessary component of comprehensive climate action.

This Fall, the Vermont Climate Council is hosting a series of public events both online and in person. At each event, the Climate Council will invite the public to share how climate change is affecting them personally and ask them to weigh in on proposed strategies for the Climate Action Plan. This feedback will help further shape and refine the Action Plan that the Council will adopt on December 1. If you’re interested in joining an upcoming event, or if you’re not able to make an event but still want to share your feedback, visit www.climatechange.vermont.gov/getinvolved (link is external).

Successful climate action will require each of us — at the individual, local and state level — to do our part to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help prepare Vermont to respond to the impacts that a changing climate will have. The Climate Action Plan will help guide that work.

Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR

22 thoughts on “Julie Moore: Successful climate action will require each of us to do our part

  1. I guess Julie Moore has no familiarity and/or interest in exploring “whoever controls the weather controls the world” as uttered by LBJ?

  2. This is all nonsense. The CO2 part per million mean nothing without upper atmosphere evidence of warming. Satellite and weather balloon data tells us that has not changed in 50 years. — The global warming religion cannot explain why, nor can they explain what is causing the warming they believe in when the actual readings don’t show the it.

    the atmosphere is made up of; 78% Nitrogen
    21% Oxygen
    0.9% Argon
    0.1% Everything else, including CO2 and cow flatulence.

  3. Here is a VERY SIMPLE calculation regarding CO2 in the atmosphere

    Assuming atmospheric CO2 is the culprit, this calculation uses internationally recognized data,

    Atmospheric CO2 levels in 1850 (beginning of the Industrial Revolution): ~280 ppm (parts per million atmospheric content) (Vostock Ice Core).

    Atmospheric CO2 level in 2021: ~410ppm. (Manua Loa)

    410 ppm – 280 ppm = 130 ppm ÷ 171 years (2021 minus 1850) = 0.76 ppm/y, of which MANKIND is responsible for ~3% = ~0.02 ppm/y.

    That’s every human on the planet and every industrial process adding ~0.02 ppm CO2 to the atmosphere per year on average.

    At that rate MANKIND’s CO2 contribution would take more than 20,000 years to double which, the IPCC states, would cause around 2°C of temperature rise. That’s ~0.0001°C increase per year for 20,000 years, due to MANKIND.

    One hundred (100) generations from now (assuming ~ 25 years per generation) would experience warming of ~0.25°C more than we have today.

    Mauna Loa CO2 observatory (and others) can identify and illustrate NATURE’s small seasonal variations in atmospheric CO2, but cannot distinguish between natural and manmade atmospheric CO2.

    Mankind’s CO2 emissions are so inconsequential, this ‘vital component’ of Global Warming, cannot be presented on the regularly updated Mauna Loa graph.

    It’s independent of seasonal variation and would reveal itself as a straight line, so should be obvious.

    Not even the global fall in manmade CO2 over the early Covid-19 pandemic, estimated at ~14% (14% of ~0.02 ppm CO2 = 0.0028 ppm), registers anywhere on the Mauna Loa data.

    Even accepting that CO2 emissions are higher now than in 1850, the time taken to reach 2ºC of warming is still thousands of years away.

    This is assuming Mother Nature’s ‘contributions’ to CO2 are constant, which likely would not be the case, because the planet has been warming starting about 1700, which means increased biomass and increased CO2.

    ‘Natural’ sources of CO2 will vary their contribution for a variety of reasons, with some of those variations being small and others quite large.

  4. Julie Moore should read this

    As you will recall, the Paris Agreement of 2015, set a target of 2C warming from pre-industrial levels, but parties agreed to do better, i.e., pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. These were only “wishes”, and the Agreement contained nothing of substance to meet either of these objectives.

    Nevertheless, the upcoming COP26 is increasingly being presented as an opportunity to get global warming down from 2C to 1.5C. Even if you accept the basic premise of GHGs, this is a nonsense. As already pointed out, the national pledges made at Paris implied that emissions would carry on rising rapidly up to 2030, meaning that even 2C was not achievable. Now a new paper in Nature reveals just how far and how quickly emissions would have to be cut to meet the 1.5C target

    Emissions in 2019 were 34 GtCO2, giving the world another thirteen years with a budget of 460 Gt. If emissions continue to rise as they have since Paris, that figure will reduce to maybe just ten years.

    Even the developed countries are unlikely to cut CO2 by more than 10% in the next ten years, so to meet the 1.5C target at that time would effectively mean zero emissions after 2030, plainly an absurd proposition.

    To meet that carbon budget would imply reducing global emissions by FIFTY PERCENT DURING THE 2020s, and then reduce global emissions by ANOTHER FIFTY PERCENT DURING THE 2030s.

    There is simply no way this is going to happen ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

    But that won’t stop the myth of the 1.5C target being kept alive.

    I predict COP26 will come up with a last-minute, “save the planet” deal, just as Copenhagen and Paris did.
    Such a “deal” will of course do nothing of the sort.
    Instead, it will be a smokescreen to disguise the utter failure of the whole charade.

    My guess is that China will offer up some minor concession, probably centered around carbon intensity, but absolutely no commitment at all to reducing emissions this decade.

    India will offer even less, probably only some extra pledges on renewable energy, tied to hundreds of billions more in climate aid from the US and other advanced countries;

    JUST LIKE THE BERNIE/BIDEN $3.5, socialism-remake-America pork + $1.2, infrastructure pork = $4.7 TRILLION, FOR STARTERS.

    Everybody will pat themselves on the back.

    We will be told that the world has finally committed to keeping temperature rise below 1.5C, and we must therefore play our full part by destroying our economy.

    Meanwhile China, India, and the rest of the developing world will carry on regardless.

    We were told the same lie in 2015.

  5. The problem is Julie Moore, and others like her, have never performed any analysis of energy systems, mainly because they have no relevant education, training and experience.

    Most of them just blabber generalities and slogans, such “All to the pumps to save Mother Earth”, Fight Global Warming”, etc.

    They know NEXT TO NOTHING ABOUT ENERGY SYSTEMS, other than what they are told by EAN, VPIRG, VEIC, etc., plus a special group of enviro/energy “RE consultants”, who write reports, that, de facto, appear as sales literature for RE systems.

    Any experienced engineers at EAN, VEIC, VT-DPS, VT PUC, etc., certainly know the real story, because they are given EXCLUSIVE ACCESS by bureaucrats to inside information that is very hard to obtain by lay people, who pay the taxes for their salaries and benefits.
    Often they hide behind proprietary, business secrets, or other such shibboleths.

    Only experience energy system analysts, say 30 to 40 years of relevant education, training and experience, are able to comb through the obfuscating jargon of the “reports” and read between the lines.

    The lay public and legislators are mostly kept out in left field, or informed in an inadequate manner.
    The insiders get away with it, because lay folks do not know what questions to ask.

    By the time lay folks realize what is happening, the horse is long gone from the barn; projects were built, subsidies are being distributed, Vermonters are getting screwed over and over.

    BTW, the “consultants” were selected, because they present obfuscation and double-speak really well; I haver read many of their glossy reports over the years.

    You may want to read this to become much better informed


    • It seems to me that since CO2 warming is such obviously fiction to anyone who takes a close look, then this disaster scenario is most likely part of the long-range plan to submit the world to a new order run by China and the WEF, wherein we’ll all be monitored and managed according to the designs of those sitting at the very top. Most likely huge amounts of money have been thrown at research to find global warming under every rock; the money thrown at this “science” is the only reason so many think that it’s really science and not deliberate propaganda.

      Once we spend trillions on infrastructure and solutions to global warming catastrophe, our government will be bankrupt and forced to submit to a digital currency controlled by a central bank. Then the real fun begins because all our transactions can be traced and controlled to ensure that we’re spending properly and for the greater good (to save the planet and “stay safe”)– just like what’s happening now in China. Dissenters can then be easily punished through fines automatically imposed on their accounts.

      It’s coming unless we stand up and say “no.”

  6. “Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth
    Blowing down the back roads headin’ south
    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth
    You’re an idiot babe
    It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.”

  7. Julie Moore–another progressive liberal Vermont politician who frequency parades her ignorance for all to see. And Randall is right. The last Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago, deposited 5000 feet of ice on our small, green state and carved out Lake Champlain, in addition to the Great Lakes. The world is still warming up from that icy blast, and humans haven’t had anything to do with that. Are you paying attention, Ms Moore? There might be a test later…

  8. Did these people who constantly blab on and on about “man made climate change” ever learn about the earth’s naturally changing climate? I remember learning about it in middle school for god’s sake! I do a lot of reading about the indigenous people and how they constantly needed to “adapt to their changing climate” (long before man had ANY impact on his environment). This was and still is a common theme in many publications on the subject. They somehow survived it..or didn’t.. the climate change freaks don’t give a damn about facts or common sense.. they want complete control over every aspect of our lives and can’t handle the thought that there are some things we just can not control. The earth is going to do what the earth is going to do and we’re going to have to learn to adapt. Work to clean up our land and water, do our best to be good stewards of our environment, but don’t lie to me about something that only a fool would think we can manipulate.

  9. When I visit Lake Champlain I always think about how the area was at one time covered with 5,000 feet of ice. The earth has been warming and cooling long before humans were burning fossil fuels.

  10. Well Ms. Moore, if Lake Champlain isn’t freezing over why is global warming bad? The goal is to reduce fossil fuel usage. If the earth is warming that means less fuel needed to heat our homes and businesses, right? I would like an answer to one question. Do you really believe that you and the climate religious cult that you belong to can affect and change the worlds weather or climate from a state the size of a postage stamp on the geographical landscape of Earth?

    While China builds coal fired electric producing plants all over their country, you want Vermonters to sacrifice for what, so you can feel better about yourself while elderly and the poor choose between heat, food and medications? Who are you people? Maybe it boils down to the most normal answer, follow the money. This is about money and control, right? Please go back to where you came from. Your message doesn’t resonate with people who can actually think on there own!

    • Heard on a news report earlier today that China will be building a new coal-fueled power plant every week for the next four years.

      The US could completely stop use of all fossil fuels tomorrow and it wouldn’t matter one bit.

  11. Gimme a break.
    Vermonters could all be living in mud huts and eating roadkill and it wouldn’t be enough sacrifice for these crazy people.
    Remember: 14 days to flatten the curve.
    How’d that work out for us?

  12. Au Contraire Ms Moore. You are sadly mistaken and along with rest of fellow fools belong to a Jim Jones-style religious cult which requires all – rich, poor, bond and free to drink the EcoFascist Fool Aid. And you want everyone to join just as he did. This screed abides in the province of EcoFascism, Climate Alarmism and twin sister Climate Hysteria.

    Ms. Moore’s missive is therefore another worthless and empty Diktat in it’s attempt to fo require everyone to accept the tenets of their Chicken Little mythology supposedly based on “settled-science” which doesn’t exist. And with it’s climate predictions which have proven it all a lie and so-called examples which have proven to be demonstrably false.

    Diktat is empty because businesses and families will leave the state – bankrupting it. A flood of 4000 ppl left VT in a period of 5 years and that number does not include all who have fled following the DemocratMarxist takeover of our state – personally believe number is double and could be more – this will further open the spigot.

    Keep up the great work loyal fascist footsoldiers 😀

    • Stardust,

      There are plenty of Afghanis, who multiply like cluster flies, to make up for any “despicable” Vermonters, who are leaving for greener pastures elsewhere.

      The first 100 will arrive soon, with their extended families, blood-related or not, to follow after. They will be instructed what to say to make the PC impression

      After a while, as their numbers swell, they will demand Sharia Law, because it is soooo superior to all that Western infidel garbage, just as happened in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

      The men cannot find a Vermont woman to keep in bondage, so they insist on child brides from Afghanistan, which sets the ball rolling for THEIR extended family, just as happened in Germany

      I lived in Germany for three years and in Norway for three years.

      • US including VT will rue the day they admitted mass amounts of ppl whose religion rests upon premise “There is no son” and that followers taight Islma should take over the world and kill the Infidels.

        Foreign military installations were subjected to the screams of little boys raped by Afghan ‘soldiers’ throughout the night. Enemies are routinely sodomized before beheadings or other horrors. Marriages with child ‘brides’ occur enmasse. It is a rape culture singed into the psyche and a part of their world – if it walks and talks – fair game. We are all Infidels now and sex-crime targets.

  13. On December 31 2030, for all the taxes collected, fees imposed, people displaced, business disrupted, the climate will not have changed. Zero. We know this as fact, the climate gurus even admit it as fact. What will have changed? Some will be richer, most will be poorer and state government will be ever larger and more intrusive of our freedoms and rights. All in the name of “science”.
    On 12/31/30, or 12/31/50 CO2 will remain but 0.04% of earth’s atmosphere. Exactly as it is today.

    • Frank,

      You mean: Spending TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, FURTHER BLOATING THE SOCIALIST STATE GOVERNMENT, all in the name of “all doing our part”, will have ZERO EFFECT on the climate of Vermont, by 2030, 2040, 2050

      Every man, woman, and child, in lockstep, to the pumps to save Mother Earth?

      Vermont’s best approach is increased energy efficiency; R40 walls, R50 roofs, R20 basements, R5 windows, R10 doors.

      Northern Europeans have been doing that for more than 30 years, per government mandates.

      My brother-in-law, just outside Oslo, put in a geothermal heat pump system, and his wife is crowing about it never having been sooo warm in winter and sooo cool in summer.

      Norway gets 98% of its electricity from reservoir hydro

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