VNRC, Van Jones, and McKibben

I went to Shelburne Farms Saturday night to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC). VNRC is a member-supported organization which seeks to protect and restore Vermont’s natural resources. Many VLS students have interned at VNRC, and a few staff members have a connection to VLS.  Professor Gus Speth also serves on the advisory board.

The night was a celebration of Vermont’s many forward-looking environmental policies and practices which protect and utilize Vermont’s resources thoughtfully including: Act 250,  Farm-to-Fork imitative, and emerging town energy councils.

It was also a call to action. Keynote speaker, and  co-founder of Rebuild the Dream , Van Jones, talked about putting young people to work doing the jobs that need to be done to shift America’s economy from one that is fueled by “death” (oil) to one that is fueled by renewables. Jones said that every young person in America under the age of 25 should be able to get a job with a government funded “green jobs corps” that would allow allow them to do this important work. Jone’s book The Green Collar Economy explores this topic further.

Vermonter and activist Bill McKibben spoke about a grassroots, global movement to end the climate crisis. If you need inspiration, and the structure to get involved, this is it. The library environmental collection also has all of McKibben’s books.

Our generation is huge–young people can make a difference with our voting, consumption, and actions. So, let’s go!