In an informal meeting of the Vermont House of Representatives, Speaker Shap Smith welcomed environmental activist Bill McKibben to speak on the issue of climate change.
Those with opposing views did not receive the same opportunity.
McKibben spoke of shrinking ice sheets and global temperature rise before turning his attention to the Green Mountains.
"Let's think about Vermont for a minute," he said.
McKibben asked legislators to support proposed thermal efficiency legislation. He says he appreciates the concerns of those proposing a wind moratorium, but says temperature rise poses more of a threat to majestic ridgelines. He concedes the Vermont efforts will not reverse warming.
"You can't control everywhere else, but you can try to provide some leadership," he said.
Earlier in the day, business leaders and state staff testified before multiple House committees to explain how they're affected by and adapting to climate change.
"It has caused us to spend money; it has caused us to save money and it offers us opportunity to make money," said Joe Fusco, vice president of Casella Waste Management.
Spokespeople for Casella say they treat climate change as a resource sustainability issue. The company has lowered emissions, in large part by capturing landfill gases, cutting the equivalent output of 182,000 cars.
Others spoke of climate's effects on tourist industries like the skiing
Farmers from both sides of the aisle said they've already adapted harvest cycles.
"Ideologically it's not a bad idea, but in reality, people in the state are suffering. They're having trouble paying their bills," said Rep. Ron Hubert, R-Milton.
Hubert says climate change should be dealt with at the federal rather than state level. He says Vermonters will absorb the cost of change without benefit if the rest of the world sits idle.
McKibben says humans have caused global temperature to rise about 1 degree Celsius. He says enough carbon has been pumped into the atmosphere to raise it an additional degree, and says a 4 degree rise would lead to mass extinctions.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:54 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:54:35 GMT
Cornwall is the latest town saying no to a plan to bring natural gas to the International Paper Mill at Ticonderoga. "I will fight you tooth and nail, I don't want this for any of us on any level," saidMore >>
Cornwall is the latest town saying no to a plan to bring natural gas to the International Paper Mill at Ticonderoga.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:12 PM EDT2013-06-19 22:12:23 GMT
A big drug sweep in Springfield this morning targeted drug dealers.More >>
Dozens of alleged drug dealers are behind bars after police conducted a large drug sweep throughout Windsor County. WCAX's Jennifer Reading was with police and got exclusive access during Wednesday's roundup.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 4:36 PM EDT2013-06-19 20:36:22 GMT
Burlington police are investigating a hit-and-run accident. Police say Monday at 4:10 p.m., a woman was walking in the crosswalk at College St. near the Waterman Building at UVM, when she was hit by anMore >>
Police are asking the public for help identifying the suspect in a hit-and-run accident on College Street in Burlington.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 10:03 AM EDT2013-06-19 14:03:21 GMT
A former Customs Agent will sell more more than 150 guns that were seized from his Brattleboro home during a 2011 raid. Special Agent Richard Bernholz pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to filingMore >>
A former Customs Agent will sell more more than 150 guns that were seized from his Brattleboro home during a 2011 raid.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:54 PM EDT2013-06-19 22:54:38 GMT
A propane leak forced evacuations in St. Albans Wednesday. Investigators say someone was operating a hydraulic lift at a property on Lakeshore Drive when the top of an underground tank was clipped, causingMore >>
Several homes in St. Albans were evacuated Wednesday after an underground tank was damaged and started to leak.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:48 PM EDT2013-06-19 23:48:02 GMT
"At 0.05 you are already impaired. The danger of being on the road is real," said Rep. Bill Lippert, D-Hinesburg. State Representative Bill Lippert thinks the current standard to determine if someone isMore >>
A Vermont lawmaker wants to cut the legal limit for drunk driving nearly in half. Proponents say the proposal will save lives; opponents say it will kill business.More >>