Too often candidates for office traffic in carefully scripted evasions and Sugar Plum Fairy promises. For democracy to work, the people need to make office seekers defend their record and tell what they will do ‘once elected. As our Constitution declares, “all officers of government, whether legislative or executive are the people’s trustees and servants, and at all times, in a legal way, accountable to them.”
Listening to the presentation to the Climate Council on the cost savings they are claiming will be associated with the Climate Action Plan (CAP), I was reminded of the classic scene from Caddyshack where Bill Murray’s character tells the story of his compensation for a round with Dalai Lama: “Oh, there won’t be any money,” says the Lama, “But when you die, on your deathbed you will receive total consciousness.”
Over the past fifty years affordable housing for working families has been thwarted by a growing web of regulation at the behest of a wide range of interests. If Vermonters want more such housing – and that’s a debatable proposition – we’ll have to backtrack to give home builders a fair chance to deliver their product.
At the VPIRG 50th anniversary celebration last week Climatologist Katharine Hayhoe explained how to sell the climate catastrophe narrative to listeners who don’t want to believe it. Her use of scary weather events on television screens poses a serious question of being effective or being honest.
In 2020, about 20% of Black citizens voted in Vermont’s general election, well short of a Census-estimated 70% of white Vermonters. That’s the second largest gap in the country.
A rule progressing through the Scott Administration will require that all Vermont cars, SUVs, minivans and light duty trucks sold or registered in Vermont must be “California compliant”, that is, be electric or possibly fuel cell powered, by the 2035 model year. The state’s environmental machine believes getting rid of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles will somehow arrest the menace of climate change. It won’t, but it will exterminate consumer choice of what to drive. And of course there’ll be no legislative vote.
Our collective mind burns with images of the Twin Towers collapsing on September 11, 2001, thousands running for their lives from billows of noxious dust, and New York City shrouded in black smoke and ash. This cataclysm of terror has been imprinted in our cultural memory by gut-wrenching personal stories, videos, photographs, vigils, and memorials. But memories and artefacts alone do not constitute the brutal legacy of 9/11.
The Left has made “saving our democracy” a leading election year national concern. But democracy is safe – what is threatened is the Rule of Law, and it has been endangered by Presidents Obama, Trump and Biden alike.
Back in the mid-2000’s when I was co-teaching environmental science courses, I discovered “Will You Join Us?” (WYJU) an online game developed by Chevron, where players had to power up a simulated city drawing on a variety of energy sources. The game’s scoring system required players to evaluate each energy source on three distinct criteria: “Affordability,” “Security” and “Environment.”