Weekly vigil highlights bank's role in climate crisis

PUTNEY — What an inspiration climate activist and author Bill McKibben was, as he gave his talk at Centre Congregational Church on Jan 15.

His main message was that, as important as it is for us as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible, it is extremely important - primarily because of the critical time factor - to confront the big banks in their role as primary lenders to corporations involved in extreme extraction and infrastructure of fossil fuels.

One of the big banks that he mentioned was TD Bank, a local branch of which is located right here in downtown Brattleboro.

Our small group has kept vigil from noon to 1 p.m. every Friday outside the Brattleboro TD Bank for more than five years, with our appropriate signs and banners, while passing out information that explains that bank's role in climate destruction.

Our vigil is not meant for the local TD Bank employees, who might also be our next-door neighbors and are simply providing for themselves and their families. Rather, we hope that our message eventually gets to the top financial decision-makers.

However, a large TD Bank sign on Main Street - combined with an unending stream of traffic, sun to warm us in the winter and trees to shade us in the summer - are factors that are just too hard for a potential vigil-er to resist. We call attention locally to an unprecedented issue of national and global importance.

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