By Rob Roper
During their July 1 meeting, the Vermont Climate Council’s Just Transitions subcommittee spent some time debating what role individual responsibility should play in the plan that will ultimately be put forward in December 2021. Their discussion point noted: “The majority of work needed in Vermont to reach our GHG emission goals will require changes by individuals (how we get around; how we stay warm and keep cool).”
The group overall seemed uncomfortable with the idea that individual responsibility should be mentioned at all. As committee member Chirs Campany said, “We’re tasked with crafting policies that frankly guide and also limit — and empower also — individual, business, government decisions.” This sounds like a kinder, gentler version of David Ismay’s “we need to break the public’s will” comments to the council of some months back. After all, if this unelected council is dictating how people can and can’t “get around; stay warm and keep cool,” individual responsibility really doesn’t factor into it. You will obey.
But it was subcommittee member Kiah Morris, a former representative from Bennington and currently Movement Politics Director for the far-left group Rights and Democracy, who was most adamant. She said: “I am super leery of placing individual responsibility on folks because we have not been a state that has supported individual actions and it again creates a very White-centered values – it’s a very White, capitalistic, it’s-my-individual-work-that-does-it when it is a whole.” (51:45 – 53:55)
So to recap, the greenhouse gas reduction plan we’re going to get in December from the Climate Council will be anti-individual responsibility, anti-capitalist and anti-White. Can’t wait to see it.