Jessie Haas

  Wood pellets are fed into the EvoWorld boiler at the Vermont Farmer’s Food Center in Rutland.

We are life, too, and we need to stay warm

We have a responsibility to cause as little harm as possible, which is why I hope the Affordable Heat Act puts real muscle behind the effort to insulate all Vermont buildings well

Regenerative farmers like to say, “It's not the cow, it's the how,” when people tell them animal agriculture is overheating the planet. I'm not clever enough to think up a saying like to defend wood heat, but the same concept applies: If we do it dumb, it's bad. If we do it smart, it isn't.

So in response to Rick Cowan, here are a couple of thoughts about the Affordable Heat Act.

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Postcarding: a small step to help elect candidates who reflect popular opinion

You know what? There really was a vast right-wing conspiracy. I've watched it play out over my lifetime, and with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, now it's achieved one of its major goals. It would have been better had we prevented that, seeing as we vastly outnumber those...

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How does a snarky takedown of almost all the candidates help?

Since you ask, Dan DeWalt, I do think your column is an exercise in cynicism, and very poorly timed. We are at a moment in history when we can either support the institutions of our democracy or stand a good chance of losing them. How does a snarky, superior-sounding...

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The greens still left on the field

A picture says a thousand words, and it was a recent photo in The Commons that caught my attention. I saw a bountiful field full of green plants which, on closer inspection, proved to be lamb's quarters. Hidden deep in these weeds, as in my own garden, was a second crop, red lettuce. Eagerly, I looked at the caption and was delighted to discover that this was at one of the Harlow farms. Wow, their gardens look just like mine.

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Circular firing squad

Circular firing squad, anyone? Personally, it's the FBI, the Russians, the white supremacists, and the self-righteous, self-indulgent folks who were just too good to vote for Hillary Clinton whom I'm most concerned about - pretty much in that order.

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A vote is not a protest

A lot of people post-election think that the old saying “You're so sharp you'll cut yourself” applies to Peter Shumlin. The governor has withheld his single-payer health-care plan until 2015, the reasoning goes, to avoid taking a political risk; doubting his resolve, the left stayed home or cast a protest vote. I don't know the true reason for Shumlin's actions. He says the plan isn't ready yet and that the Vermont Health Connect experience has taught him not to bring...

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What if there are more than two choices?

I couldn't disagree more with your editorial on Peter Shumlin's State of the State message. It's sad to see The Commons, a model of innovation in media, standing up for the same old way of thinking. Yes, a proper caution must be exercised, and we'll need to intelligently review what went right and what may cause problems later. But I find it inspiring that we repaired roads and bridges at a third the projected price. Can we do that elsewhere...

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We have every right to talk about nuclear power

We are a free people. Our free speech rights under the First Amendment were not revoked by the Atomic Energy Act. Neither were the rights of the Vermont Legislature. So what's “pre-empted?” We and our representatives are free to discuss nuclear safety, if any, and take it into account in our decision-making. We are free to note that the nuclear hazard is so extreme that (a) we are forbidden as a state to regulate it, and (b) no nuclear plant...

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