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Voices / Letters from readers

Let us make smart choices to prioritize our future

I’m raising a young Vermonter who we may very well see in the Statehouse in the future.

It’s this time of year that my daughter goes into the woods and reports back to me that she saw thousands of mouse tracks, one rabbit, and a few squirrels.

It is also this time of year that I mourn most deeply for what Vermont and our children are losing to climate change. Winter days are in the 50s — and 75 degrees one recent day. We have April rain in February, less snow to enjoy skiing and snowshoeing, shorter winters for animals that require long ones.

We can observe these changes by looking closely.

We are seeing other things, too: the deconstruction of the administrative state on the federal level, including clearing of environmental rules, regulation, and laws.

I want to reiterate what is important to me as a Vermonter and as a parent. I want clean air, clean water, clean land, preservation of open space, electric school buses, investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. Fewer fossil fuels. More composting. Fewer plastic bags. More time outdoors on our common land.

As a Vermonter and a mother, I want to make sure that Vermont is not complicit in “climate silence,” especially since our way of life and our values are connected to our great land.

While our vision and ideas for the future are large, we must make careful decisions with our limited resources that prioritize the youngest Vermonters.

Even so, we should be leaders, and our budget should reflect our leadership on climate justice and pursuing every avenue we can to ensure that we will not look back and say that we did nothing or that we did not do enough.

Vermont is a place others look toward — we show other states how to create change. Let our investments reflect our vision; let us make smart choices that prioritize our future.

Katie Wilson

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Originally published in The Commons issue #448 (Wednesday, February 28, 2018). This story appeared on page D3.

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