Vermont Governor Shumlin: “There Is Nothing More Important You Can Do on this Planet Than Join this 350 Movement”

“We will not join the others in the denial, in the pretend, in the ‘let business happen as usual,’ because our kids and our grand kids mean more to us than our own greed. And we’re going to get off oil and move forward as quickly as we know how.”

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin got the crowd fired up at’s “Moving Planet” event at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier last week.   Shumlin spoke about the recent impacts of global climate change on Vermont, how Vermont has taken a leadership role in doing something about it, and how the state can do even more to overcome this challenge in the future:

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin at’s “Moving Planet” event from Ben B on Vimeo.

Vermont was devastated by the 1-in-100 year deluge from Hurricane Irene:

Masters:  Record flooding continues in the Northeast from Irene’s torrential rains. Hardest hit was Vermont, where heavy rains in the weeks prior to Irene’s arrival had left soils in the top 20% for moisture, historically. Irene dumped 5 – 8 inches of rain over large sections of Vermont, with a peak of 11.23″ at Mendo. The reading from Mendo was the greatest single-day rainfall in Vermont’s history…. beating the 9.92″ that fell at Mt. Mansfield on 9/17/1999 during the passage of Tropical Storm Floyd.

Here’s more of what Shumlin said:

“There is nothing more important that you can do on this planet than to join this 350 movement….”

You can join here.

On the Tar Sands Action:

“When our brothers and sisters from this great state, whether its Bill McKibben or all the people next to him, stand in Washington and are willing to sit behind bars for our future, we stand with them.”

On Corporations polluting our politics:

“When Wall Street and the oil companies want to drill and dig and dredge for tar sands and oil all over the world. And build pipelines that ship it to places that refine it and make sure that our kids live an unlivable future on this planet. We’re gonna say NO: Not on our watch. Turn it back. Stop the plan. Go renewable. Re-build with wind and solar and biomass. We can do this right.

Governor Peter Shumlin (D-VT) spoke last month about the danger human-caused climate change poses to his state and others:

I find it extraordinary that so many political leaders won’t actually talk about the relationship between climate change, fossil fuels, our continuing irrational exuberance about burning fossil fuels, in light of these storm patterns that we’ve been experiencing.

We had storms this spring that flooded our downtowns and put us through many of the same exercises that we’re going through right now. We didn’t used to get weather patterns like this in Vermont….

We in the colder states are going to see the results of climate change first…  Myself, Premier [Jean] Charest up in Quebec, Governor [Andrew] Cuomo over in New York, we understand that the flooding and the extraordinary weather patterns that we’re seeing are a result of our burnings of fossil fuel. We’ve got to get off fossil fuels as quickly as we know how, to make this planet livable for our children and our grandchildren.

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17 Responses to Vermont Governor Shumlin: “There Is Nothing More Important You Can Do on this Planet Than Join this 350 Movement”

  1. catman306 says:

    I wish Georgia was in Vermont, the Green Mountain State, where educated, intelligent people hold public office.

  2. Michael Tucker says:

    He doesn’t have a plan either. All Shumlin has is talk. I like the talk but it is devoid of any kind of actionable plan. He is upset about all the flooding and that has produced this fiery language but Shumlin will not close Vermont gas stations. He will not turn back the tankers. He will still get electricity from his local utility and he has no plan to alter the fuel used to produce that electricity. Many progressives have used fiery language in the past but I am no longer impressed by anything less than action. It would be fun to see an argument between Perry and Shumlin on which state has suffered “the results of climate change first” though.

  3. Peter Mizla says:

    You are right- but he is talking the talk like no other politician nationally has done thus far.Shumlins rhetoric is a start.

    In Connecticut, I have called our so called ‘Democratic’ Governor- and voiced my concerns to one of his clueless aides. Got no response.

    Connecticut was also hit hard by Irene- and last winter the ‘enhanced precipitation’ in the form of snow caused roof cave ins, to homes and businesses, water damage to homes (Including my own) flooding in the spring.

    Texas may be burning up- but this year in New England we have been hit with two events that caused severe damage. Also some towns in western Massachusetts with devastated by several tornadoes.

  4. Pangolin` says:

    Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska, Vermont, Nebraska, Tennessee, Louisiana…… climate related weather disasters have only 43 states left to ravage.

    Of course, that’s just off the top of my head. I’m pretty sure i’m missing a few.

  5. Michael Tucker says:

    He could be like Putin…very upset and alarmed at first only to have that sentiment replaced with protracted inaction. “Political leaders won’t actually talk about…climate change” unless you listen to those who have been working for Years, many years, to fight against climate pollution like the Republican and now the Democrat who govern California. Isn’t it amazing that the state that has not experienced any “results of climate change” has established such strict climate regulations? Joking…It is easy to find climate change results from all 50 and all our territories. It is the public (not anyone here), the politicians, and the pundits who need to lift up their heads and take a good look around. I’m glad Shumlin has finally had that wake-up call. Now Shumlin, what are you going to do? Wait for the useless federal government or march to your own drummer?

  6. Mike Roddy says:

    I was going along with it until he got to the “sustainable biomass” part. No such thing. That switch would be worse than what
    biofuels have already done to our corn supply, though for altogether different reasons.

    You can only get large amounts of biomass from trees- lots of which, coincidentally, are in Vermont. The “feedstock” comes from clearcutting plantation trees. That means adios to wild forests, as well as to pasture and agricultural opportunities.

    Maybe he just didn’t do his homework, but we need science to govern which green technology to choose, as well as to prove the fact of dangerous warming. Duh, that was done a long time ago.

  7. Recently an acquaintance of mine from work came returned from his home state of New York, and he found some of the changes unbelievable. The flooding from the hurricane, the lateness of the turning of the leaves (things were still green), the explosion in the mosquito population, etc..

    This made me think… We had 24 Hours of Reality recently, but it might help if we did something that focused more on the regions of the United States and even the individual states themselves.

    However, it might be better if we got the stories of people who left their home states a couple of decades ago only to return recently and see what has changed with fresh eyes. My reason is this: if you have lived in the same state for the past few decades the changes come only gradually, and as a matter of habit what was new becomes normal since this is what you live with day in and day out. But if you return home after a long absence you can more clearly remember the way things were. Plus you probably asked a few questions while you were there about when things changed of people who may not have given it much thought until you brought it up.

    People will recognize the changes when they return home after a long absence, but that is their home. They aren’t likely to know how much things have changed elsewhere. But with this project it should be possible to paint how greatly things have changed across the United States.

    Furthermore, with a book/website devoted to this, people would be able to refer to it when they want to call attention to the way that things have changed anywhere in the United States. Particularly when they talk with family members, friends and colleagues who aren’t necessarily paying that much attention to climate change and how much it has changed the places they grew up and the places that they remember. To call attention to the fact that they can never really return home, at least not the home that they remember.

    It might help make climate change personal.

  8. Richard Heckman says:

    You’re certainly missing Alabama and Missouri for two.

  9. Sasparilla says:

    Nice to see any politician in the US saying such things, kudos to the governor of Vermont.

  10. Ray Duray says:

    HALLELUJAH! Finally some good news. The “Dane-Is-A-Pain” climate bribery king, Bjorn Lomborg has just had his happy holiday in denialism cut off by the State:

    Let’s make this the season of “shearing frauds”.

    Occupy Everything:

    No One Can Predict The Moment Of The Revolution:

    But we can certainly help push things along.

  11. Peter Mizla says:

    The autumn colors here in Connecticut this year are thus far very muted. Too much rain so says the University of Connecticut. The summer was warmer then average- with every month, June, July, August above the norm. Septmeber thus far has been warmer then average.

    Perhaps the biggest change is over night lows in the winter. On average around 3-4 degrees higher then 30 years ago.

    Transforming what was once a borderline zone 6 USDA agricultural zone, to a near zone 7 today. That is a big jump- aka as ‘zone creep’ among botanists.

    The change in growing zone,invites invasive species in. But allows plants like Crepe Myrtle, Giant Sequoia, Bamboo, and cold tolerant fan palms to be grown. My garden has 2 Trachycarpus Fortunei (Windmill palms)- both in the ground (one going on 5 years)growing in a protected location with minimal plastic covering- no heat. Exotic looking to be sure- in Connecticut? Subtle changes that add up over time.


  12. BillD says:

    It’s really important to develop polical leadership and critical mass, such a seems to be happening in Vermont. This will spread to other states and will make it more (and hopefully)more difficult for denialists to spread lies. Thirty five years ago I was doing experiments in a small Vermont lake. My experiments would have been washed away if I had been working in Vermont this summer.

    Last Sunday, my local newspaper in Vermont had a really hard hitting, straight forward article on climate–very grayifying.

  13. Mike Roddy says:

    A lot of us have a soft spot for Vermont, even if (like me) we’ve never been there. Oregon is the western equivalent. Now, what do we do about all those states in the middle?

  14. Mark says:

    I don’t know the VT gov, but from his pic he looks young enough to still be around quite awhile…. maybe long enough that global warming will be beating down everybody’s door. If he’s starting to campaign for pres in 2020 or 2024 he’s on the right track so far.

  15. dick smith says:

    Vermont looks pretty good from where I sit. Wisconsin used to elect people like gov/sen Gaylord Nelson. Today, we’ve got the Koch brothers’ buddy, Scott Walker, who wants to sell off the state’s power plants in “no bid” contracts that he negotiates.

  16. Chris Winter says:

    From where I sit as well. They’ve got Pete Shumlin, Bernie Sanders and… who’s that other guy? Oh, yes: Howard Dean.

  17. Jan says:

    Maybe some kind of project
    “The 50 states of reality”
    with text/video documentation about one key impact in each?
    Maybe that sounds bad, I’m not a native speaker.