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.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:17 PM EDT2014-03-12 03:17:47 GMT
Town meeting day didn't bode well for dozens of school budgets across the state. Now the Burlington City Council is looking to cut costs after voters rejected school spending hikes. The council votedMore >>
Town meeting day didn't bode well for dozens of school budgets across the state. Now the Burlington City Council is looking to cut costs after voters rejected school spending hikes.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:28 PM EDT2014-03-12 02:28:52 GMT
The Vermont Senate has loosened restrictions on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill passed Tuesday allows an unlimited number of qualified Vermonters to access medical marijuana -- removing theMore >>
The Vermont Senate has loosened restrictions on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-03-12 02:20:41 GMT
A St. George man is behind bars accused of stealing from an elderly South Burlington woman. 43-year-old Craig Dubuque was arrested for the alleged financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Police sayMore >>
A St. George man is behind bars accused of stealing from an elderly South Burlington woman.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:35 PM EDT2014-03-12 03:35:07 GMT
"You know, people say you might not need it, which is true, but this way you get a choice. I don't have to go out tomorrow," said Lorinda Henry of Milton. Henry says she hit the grocery stores TuesdayMore >>
Parts of Vermont could get up to 24 inches of snow in the coming storm. And VTrans officials are warning drivers they may not be able to keep up with the storm rolling in Wednesday.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-03-12 00:02:07 GMT
"Seems like it was just yesterday. Doesn't seem like it's been two years at all," said Glenda Reandeau of Tupper Lake. Residents of Tupper Lake still have their eyes out for Colin Gillis, a now 20-year-oldMore >>
Colin Gillis of Tupper Lake, N.Y., disappeared two years ago. And authorities are still searching for him. They say the investigation now focuses on tips from the public and from those who were the last to see Gillis.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-03-11 22:17:43 GMT
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser. Authorities say Officer Adam Lucia was one of two officers responding to an aggravated assault call Monday at TopsMore >>
A Rutland City Police officer is recovering at home after a crash involving his cruiser.More >>