7.16.2007

What state's that in?


There’s been a lot of talk in VT about climate change legislation, with all the divisiveness that’s come to define the state’s political goings-on of late. Douglas, as promised, vetoed the energy bill and was predictably – and justifiably - lampooned by those left of right-center.

To be sure, we needed that bill and so much more. But we should be equally sure that we’re crafting and passing bills for the right reasons, none of which have a damn thing to do with crowing that we’ll be heralded as the cutting edge of the green revolution.

Don’t you get it? Most American’s don’t even know what state Vermont is in. And those that do associate it with gay marriage (yeah, yeah, it ain’t marriage. But to most Americans, that’s a pesky detail), Howard Dean, and cows. Vermont is quaint. Vermont is pretty. Vermont is progressive (sorry, JD, but it’s true). What Vermont ain’t, to the 300-and-some million Americans that don’t live here, is relevant.

So let’s stop wasting breath and print space arguing for a role as environmental leader and get down to the brass tacks of becoming environmental doer. This is not about the pride of being first or setting some sort of standard; to pretend so is to dilute the importance of the message, and to wallow in the same sense of self-importance that got us to this sorry crossroad in the first place.

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