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Bill McKibben speaks at Sterling College

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copyright the Chronicle February 22, 2017


by Elizabeth Trail


CRAFTSBURY COMMON — “We all want the places we live in to remain unchanged,” writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben told a crowd of about 200 people at a Sterling College open house on Saturday. “But all over the world now, there are people paying enormous prices for our energy use.”

Mr. McKibben was answering a question about large-scale wind development. Behind him through the picture windows at the back of Simpson Hall, his audience could see the college’s new array of solar panels that were being dedicated that day.

Up to 100 million people are expected to die by 2030 as a result of climate change, Mr. McKibben said.

And he said that most of them are poor people in developing countries — people who have done nothing to contribute to the problem.

“Vermonters have a debt to the world, and we should be willing to make sacrifices,” he said.

But Vermont itself is not going to be unscathed by climate change.  Mr. McKibben said that computer models project cross-country skiing and snowmobiling becoming extinct in Vermont by the mid to latter part of this century due to lack of snow. And the forests that are the glory of the state will be sadly changed.

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