To The Editor:
I am disappointed that Vermont’s media largely ignored the huge Moving Planet rally in Montpelier on September 24. With over 1,500 participants, this event was possibly the largest demonstration on environmental issues in the history of the state of Vermont.
The Moving Planet rally was organized by 350Vermont and was endorsed by many organizations including the Vermont Sierra Club. While the rally had an overall focus on turning back the clock on climate change, it keyed in on six major planks. These were:
· Green Jobs For All!
· Community Forests For All!
· 100% Renewable Energy For All!
· Green Transportation For All!
· Healthy Local Food For All!
· Energy Efficient Homes and Buildings For All!
In addition to Governor Peter Shumlin and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, there were many great speakers there such as Mike Morelli of the Iron Workers Local 7 and Luke Willard of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe.
Mr. Morelli, echoing the position of 350VT, the VT Sierra Club, the VT Building Trades Council and the VT AFL-CIO, called on the Public Service Board to refuse to issue Certificates of Public Good for major renewable energy projects, such as wind farms, when the developer refuses to commit to hiring local workers, ideally union workers, at family sustainable wage and benefit levels.
Mr. Willard spoke in support of the Our Forests Our Future campaign which is aimed at creating wildlife migration corridors across Vermont though the establishment of new town and Abenaki forests. What makes this proposal so compelling to so many is that these locally owned community forests would also benefit the communities that they are situated in by providing cheap or free firewood to low-income and elderly residents, a source of local public revenue through sustainable logging, sustainable logging jobs, a public place to hunt and fish, etc.
All told, the Moving Planet rally was a great success and was truly a historic day. I invite every Vermonter to join with us, the Vermont Sierra Club, 350VT, and our many friends and allies to carry the struggle forward.
David Van Deusen,
Vermont Sierra Club