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Making Hay Out of Climate Change - Forum Tuesday

Tuesday, September 12, 6-8pm @ 118 Elliot, 118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, Vermont

Climate change has been called the global issue of our age.  George Harvey, host of Energy Week on BCTV, talks about the fossil fuel industry dying a quick death over the next 10-20 years, but there is also the potential to create two jobs in renewable energy for every one lost in natural gas, oil and coal.  Climate change may be the biggest economic development opportunity that Vermont – and the world – has ever seen. But only if we act now to make sure our response is strong, equitable and done right.

We need your help to make sure Vermont acts on climate. Join us for a panel discussion and audience-engaging conversation about how Vermonters can seize the economic opportunities in climate change. Hear from a respected Vermont business owner, a low income advocate, and legislators about the kind of equitable and exciting opportunities climate action provides.

Speakers include:

  • Steve Geller, Director of Southeast Vermont Community Action
  • Michael Knapp, founder and CEO of Green River Software in Brattleboro
  • Representative Sarah Copeland-Hanzas
  • Representative David Deen
  • Representative Valerie Stuart
  • Representative Mollie Burke
  • Dan Barlow, Public Policy Manager of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR)
  • Johanna Miller, Energy & Climate Action Program Director of Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC)

This event is hosted by the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and the Vermont Natural Resources Council with local sponsorship and support from Mocha Joes, Home Energy Advocates and members of the Brattleboro Energy Committee and Brattleboro 350. Panelists will frame the current context of climate (in)action in Vermont and outline the policy responses that they are developing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, grow our economy, and ensure that all Vermonters benefit from the transition off of fossil fuels. By attending the event you can offer input, ask questions, and find meaningful ways to engage.

The event is FREE and open to the public. Snacks provided, and coffee courtesy of Mocha Joe’s Roasting Company.

We are asking that people RSVP, submit a question for the panelists in advance, and find more information at: bit.ly/BrattleboroRSVP

Tad Montgomery


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Everything we use

I don’t think we’re really talking about the “fossil fuel industry dying a quick death over the next 10-20 years.” Although, granted, I’m sure we’re talking about in terms of the energy industry, but even the energy industry will continue to use fossil fuels for a long time.

It’s really more of a question of reduction, and it’s a question degree, not dying.

Petroleum products are not only used for transportation fuels, fuel oils for heating and electricity generation, but used to produce kerosene, “asphalt and road oil, and feedstocks for making the chemicals, plastics, and synthetic materials that are in nearly everything we use” including medicines.


"I don't think . . ."

re: "I don’t think we’re really talking about the 'fossil fuel industry dying a quick death over the next 10-20 years.' "

That would be a logical assumption based in a belief system that technological change generally does not happen rapidly.

A similar belief system in 1908 might have said that the automated vehicles appearing on the roads could never replace horses.

George is writing a thorough background article on this subject that will appear in Green Energy Times, as well as likely Clean Technica and possibly the Reformer.

A comprehensive lecture on major looming disruptions in the energy and transportation sectors can be found here:

Tony Seba, Nordic Energy Summit


Products Derived from Petroleum Unrelated to Energy Uses

Of course, I can't and wouldn't speak for the belief systems of the speed of technological change. You'll have to look elsewhere for that. Nevertheless, there are:

10 Products You Won’t Believe are Derived from Petroleum Unrelated to Energy Uses

The soft, chewy quality of chewing gum comes from an oil-derived base that includes waxes, petroleum, stearic acid, glycerin, lanolin and other ingredients all housed under the ingredient “gum base.

Tights, nylons, pantyhose. These little tights are made from nylon, a textile fiber that is actually a petroleum-derived thermoplastic.

Many cosmetic products like lipsticks and lotions are made with petroleum derivatives. Paraffin wax, for example, is used to help tube lipsticks keep their shape and then go on smooth. It might be time to replace that lipstick, considering how much product a woman swallows over the course of her life.

That Teflon-coated pan you love so much is actually made from a combination of chemicals called PFCs or perfluorinated chemicals which are petro-derived. These are lipophobic and carcinogenic, and have been linked to many diseases like cancer and liver damage.

Every single crayon found in that Crayola box was made from paraffin wax, a solid that comes straight from petroleum. Paraffin wax is also used to make candles, add a shiny coating to apples or make chocolate look glossy.

Most wrinkle-resistant clothing items are made from polyester—a substance that gets its origin at the oil refinery. However, in this case it’s not all bad. Polyester fabrics can be easily recycled to produce new, high quality polyester fibers.

Aspirin is easily one of the most reliable medications discovered over the past few decades. And its uses are widespread! Most aspirin manufacturing today begins with benzene, a hydrocarbon that is usually derived from petroleum.

Golf balls, basketballs, tennis racks and skis are all made with petroleum in some form or another.

Modern dentures are dyed with carbon-based pigments that are manufactured using coal and petroleum resources. Want to avoid getting a fake set colored by fossil fuels? Try flossing instead.

Toothpaste makes use of more oil-based ingredients than just about any other product. Poloxamer 407, for example, is a substance that helps oil-based ingredients to be dissolved in water. Toothpaste manufacturers also toss in a number of dyes made from petroleum: D&C Yellow #10, DYC Red #30, and FD&C Blue #1, Red #40.

For Big Corporate interests, there are many more non-energy related products derived from petroleum. Many of us work hard to reduce oil demand by cutting down on our use of fossil fuels, limiting how often we drive, taking public transportation and trying to do away with plastics. The problem is, oil-derived products have infiltrated much more than just transportation.

Petroleum jelly, for example, is a byproduct of the oil drilling and refining process. It’s a result of one of the most environmentally degrading processes on earth!

Petroleum products like mineral oil cannot be metabolized (which means once it ends up in your body it will never leave), and some studies suggest they may be carcinogenic.

While the beauty industry claims it removes all of the harmful components from its petroleum-based products, yet still worried about your beauty products? Check your labels to see if any of these are present: mineral oil, petrolatum, liquid paraffin and paraffin oil.



A tangible way to create jobs

"Climate change may be the biggest economic development opportunity that Vermont – and the world – has ever seen."

As an economic issue, the reduction of fossil fuel use for energy is important because it provides a tangible way to create jobs here at home. Too many jobs have been outsourced and hopefully the "corpse" won't find a way to outsource these jobs.


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