The EAI Blog is a forum for our members and followers to post and share a variety of perspectives on topical issues. We encourage diverse, and civil debate. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the position of the Institute.

Liberty International Leaves California for Texas

One of the few organizations I’m a life member of is Liberty International, a group that organizes summer camps and study groups around the world for young people interested in the theory and practice of liberty. Last week news came from LI that they’re relocating from San Francisco to Texas.

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Legislators Seek to Avoid Accountability for Disastrous Energy Bill

Since January, the House Energy & Technology Committee has been batting about a bill that would impose a “Clean Heat Standard” on consumers of fossil fuels used to heat our homes and businesses. In other words, pretty much all of us.

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Fact Check: ‘Heat Standard is good for fuel sellers and homeowners’

Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee March 9, Rep. Tim Briglin (D-Thetford) showed why he believed the Clean Heat Standard (H.715, likely to be voted on next week) could greatly assist Vermont in meeting its carbon reduction goals, set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) of 2020. Briglin testified that the Standard could benefit fossil fuel dealers, business owners and homeowners who rely on fossil fuel to heat their homes and businesses. Quite a statement given the backlash there has been!

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VT to Ban Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035

In 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order banning the sale of most internal combustion engines (ICE) by 2035. The ban will impact 15 other states including Vermont that are legally tied to California’s emissions regulations.

In response to California’s executive order, a new multi-state coalition – represented by the Ethan Allen Institute in Vermont – has formed to raise awareness about these CA-derived regulations and the ICE ban that will negatively impact most of New England.

 

At the March 10 virtual press conference, EAI President offered the following remarks – 

"First, Vermont is not a colony of California. It is anti-democratic and irrational for Vermont lawmakers to cede regulatory authority over our vehicle standards to another state. In 2000, The State of Vermont adopted California’s Low-Emission Vehicle criteria and Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations. Minimizing air pollution by regulating tailpipe emissions is one thing, but imposing a blanket ban on the dominant vehicle technology is another.

Second, technology bans and mandates cannot succeed in the absence of affordable alternatives. Banning gasoline-powered vehicles cannot and will not force a transition to zero-emission vehicles because ZEV technology is not affordable or easily available at present. Electric vehicles (EV) have miles to go before they can compete in the market without the aid of government subsidies and tax credits. Real solutions would focus on improving EV technology, which involves giving the process the time it needs and the space to fail and evolve. Commanding that ICE vehicles become obsolete by 2030 or 2035 achieves nothing but political points.

Finally, in the face of record high gas prices and inflation, Vermont policymakers need to expand choices and not limit our ability to commute to work and put food on the table. The vast majority of Americans don’t have disposable income to ride inflation waves and stick to the (Russian) man – as many in positions of power and influence are demanding. Speaking of moral imperatives, we should not implement policies that will make the average Vermonter poorer.”

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That Big Climate Rally – Opposing the Clean Heat Standard?

Three weeks ago supporters of bold action to defeat climate change, led by Bill McKibben’s 350 organization, held a rally on the state house lawn.  All the terrors of climate change and the plight of our grandchildren were trotted out to prod the legislature to act. What was interesting was that some of the climate warriors present weren’t too keen on what has become the centerpiece of the Climate Action Plan, the Clean Heat Standard.

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John Kerry on Climate during Ukraine Crisis

Former Senator and Presidential candidate John Kerry has long been one of my least favorite people. He is now the high level Biden climate ambassador charged with persuading the world to join in the war against climate change. Let me share with you one of his recent pronouncements.

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EAI's Dialogues with Meg Hansen

The Kids Are Not Alright

 

The rise of cancel culture in recent years parallels the institutionalization of catastrophic thinking (e.g. “The world is going to end in 12 years”). These toxic thought patterns and behaviors wreak havoc on our psyche and all the more on that of young people. Then came COVID-19.

Public health leaders and politicians pretended that the disease is equally deadly to all age groups. It allowed them to enact indiscriminate policies – lockdowns, school closures, and mask mandates – that exacted a heavy price on the youngest Americans. In a nationally representative survey of 941 K-12 educators, 97 percent reported academic and social-emotional learning losses in their students because of COVID-related disruptions in schooling.

Over the last two years, children have been experiencing emotional and mental health crises. Cases of self-harm, panic attacks, phobias about contamination, eating and sleeping disorders, screen addiction (computers and mobile devices), and teen substance use have surged. In many instances, young children are losing previously achieved developmental and behavioral milestones. Finally, schools continue to mandate masks even though cloth/ surgical masks offer poor protection from COVID, and the harms caused by extended mask use have been well documented.

Suffice to say, the kids are not alright.

Exposure to chronic, recurrent traumatic events during one’s early years has been linked to poorer physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. It also correlates to severe social and emotional dysfunction that compromises interpersonal relationships at home, in the workplace, and in the community. 

In this episode of EAI’s Dialogues with Meg Hansen, we explore why so many truths about early trauma are considered taboo by the public health establishment. Our guest Anna Runkle is the creator of the popular YouTube channel, “Crappy Childhood Fairy,” which has 239,000 subscribers. A living proof expert in trauma, she reaches a global community of 300,000 people with her teachings on how to recognize and heal Complex PTSD. Runkle holds a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and spent thirty years in the field of public health.

We address difficult questions like how a two-parent, child-centric family structure affects child development. How does hookup culture hurt young women and men? Why don’t public health authorities call out cancel culture for what it is – a cult of narcissistic abuse? We connect trauma at an individual level with large-scale societal happenings, and examine how an epidemic of untreated trauma is affecting the American body politic.

 

Watch the conversation on YouTube or Facebook. You'd rather listen? Subscribe to EAI's Dialogues with Meg Hansen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify so you never miss an episode.

 

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Ethan Allen Institute Names Meg Hansen New President

The Ethan Allen Institute is excited to announce that Meg Hansen will take over as president on March 1. Hansen, who joined EAI’s Board of Directors in January, has been active in the fields of public policy, grassroots advocacy, and related media initiatives since Vermont became her home over a decade ago. She fell in love with the region (and her now husband) while earning a graduate degree in the humanities from Dartmouth College (2014).

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Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and it’s a very good time for non-Black Americans to gain a full appreciation of the centuries of slavery, segregation, persecution and oppression that the white majority of our country imposed upon a people brought here in bondage and abused in every imaginable way, in some cases right up to the present day.

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Senate Rental Registry Debate Colored by Visions of Ideal Government

Senator Michael Sirotkin’s testimony last week in favor of a rental housing registry (S.210), was quite illuminating. “I think what this really comes down to is a philosophy issue. One person thinks that government can do good, and in some cases it needs to do good. And other people feel like when there's government involvement it can't do any good. I think their lies the crux of the difference of opinion. We have a rental housing inspection system that does not work, it hasn't worked for 30 years now we have a big problem and it's time for us to step up and fix it.”

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