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.
Friday, December 6 2013 7:24 AM EST2013-12-06 12:24:22 GMT
Vermont state employees will be getting paid more. The State Employees' Association say workers will see 2.5 percent pay increased each of the next two years. The tentative deal also calls for increasedMore >>
Vermont state employees will be getting paid more.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:31 AM EST2013-12-06 11:31:48 GMT
A welfare check turned into a dangerous situation in Brattleboro. Officers were called to Valley Street Thursday to check on a 39-year-old woman. While on the scene, police say the woman grabbed a largeMore >>
A welfare check turned into a dangerous situation in Brattleboro.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:28 AM EST2013-12-06 11:28:49 GMT
A plea deal may be in the works for the man who police say torched a Burlington bell tower. The College Street Congregational Church was badly damaged back in October by a fire investigators say was arson.More >>
A plea deal may be in the works for the man who police say torched a Burlington bell tower.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:22 AM EST2013-12-06 11:22:45 GMT
A Vermont family is homeless after fire destroyed their Concord home. Officials say the fire broke out Thursday afternoon on Ladd Road just before 4 p.m. By the time fire crews arrived on the scene theMore >>
A Vermont family is homeless after fire destroyed their Concord home. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:14 AM EST2013-12-06 11:14:08 GMT
Dozens of Vermont nurses are headed to the Philippines to help victims of a deadly storm. Last month, a typhoon tore across the eastern Philippines, killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands. TheMore >>
Dozens of Vermont nurses are headed to the Philippines to help victims of a deadly storm.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:09 AM EST2013-12-06 11:09:59 GMT
For years, Vermonters have described their favorite maple syrup with a letter grade or as Vermont Fancy. But beginning next year, those grading rules will change. Producers will begin labeling VermontMore >>
New regulations coming next year will change the way you shop for syrup in Vermont.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:03 AM EST2013-12-06 11:03:14 GMT
Prosecutors are calling for stiffer probation penalties for a Vermont publisher who swindled retirees out of their life savings. Last April Peter Campbell-Copp pleaded guilty to more than a dozen felonyMore >>
Prosecutors are calling for stiffer probation penalties for a Vermont publisher who swindled retirees out of their life savings.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 5:56 AM EST2013-12-06 10:56:32 GMT
There are new developments in the search for a missing New Hampshire teen. The FBI now confirms that the mother of 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez has had contact with her daughter since she vanished twoMore >>
There are new developments in the search for a missing New Hampshire teen. More >>