BRATTLEBORO — When I was a kid in Vermont, I ran around in the woods all the time, and I'd never seen a tick. When I was a kid, it didn't rain after every snowstorm. Have you forgotten already how different it was back then, when I was a kid? I'm not even 30 years old.
When I was a kid, I read all the time. Fantastical adventure stories where the protagonists saved the world from certain destruction - a destruction brought by fire-breathing dragons or evil wizards or just their own mistakes.
I was always aware that my own world needed saving, too. But fortunately for me, my best friend was passionate and smart and charismatic and ambitious. I knew she would figure out how to save the world, so I didn't have to worry too much about it.
She tried. She canvassed for VPIRG and interned with Bernie Sanders and got Ed Markey elected in Massachusetts and sold solar panels with SunCommon and worked for Environment America. And in October 2016, she took two weeks off work and went door to door for Hillary Clinton.
But after the 2016 election, she said, “I give up. I can't do this anymore. I am so angry. I have no hope left for our future.”
But I was ready to take my turn, to start taking action for the future I wanted.
I want proper winters that I can complain happily about.
I want a Vermont where maple sugaring is still a thing.
I don't want to get Lyme disease.
I don't want to poison somebody's water when I turn on the stove.
I don't want to help jeopardize Vermont's future whenever I drive a car.
It seems daunting, I know. But, hey - when I was a kid, no one had LED lightbulbs. No one had an electric car. Hardly anyone powered their house with solar.
We're making progress. We just need to make progress faster.
Next week's Town Meeting ballot features a renewable-energy resolution that calls on the state Legislature and the town itself to commit to that faster progress.
It's a chance for all of us to stand up and call for the future we want, and start saving the world from our own mistakes.