• Two worth reading
    January 24,2013
     

    The year 2012 marked the year of the publication by Vermont authors of two outstanding books about the future of Vermont’s and the Earth’s environment. The first book is “Greening Vermont: The Search for a Sustainable State,” written by professional environmentalists Elizabeth Courtney and Eric Zencey. The second book is “Dancing to the Beat of the Great Green Heart: Musings of an Incorrigible World-Saver,” written by volunteer climate activist and artist Kathryn Blume.

    The two books are entirely different in length, style and content. “Greening Vermont” is a large, almost coffee table-size book, loaded with in-depth historical content and lots of wonderful photographs. It takes several hours to read and digest all of the important information contained in it. “The Great Green Heart,” on the other hand, is a short book that is a collection of essays, commentaries and speeches about both addressing climate change and working for a better world overall. It is full of wit and inspirational stories that can easily be read in a couple of hours.

    The books do have one thing in common, and that is a very deep concern about the future of our environment. Courtney and Zencey have the courage to say what I believe no other environmental leader has said, “Vermont is not now a sustainable state, but in the effort to achieve that goal, it has a head start.” Kathryn Blume says almost the same things when she writes, “We can move from living deeply unsustainable lives to living in harmony with the planet and each other with blinding swiftness. And the faster we choose sustainability, in all its forms, the sooner it happens.”

    Living sustainably is a relatively new concept that each of us needs to take to heart. Given the reality of global heating and peak oil, we each need to ask ourselves regarding almost everything we do, whether that activity is sustainable in the long run. More importantly we have to ask ourselves, do we have love and compassion for future generations and how might this activity affect them.

    I urge every Vermonter who cares about the environment and all life on this planet to buy and read these books. Buying “Greening Vermont” will support the important work of Vermont’s leading environmental organization, the Vermont Natural Resources Council (www.vnrc.org) and buying the “Great Green Heart” will help Kathryn Blume (http://bit.ly/O2R9FT) to just maintain her simple lifestyle of living as sustainably as possible while she volunteers so much time to working on the environment. Both books will help you increase your sense of moral responsibility and I believe make you a better person for it.

    George Plumb

    Executive director

    Vermonters for a Sustainable Population

    Washington

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