The second of my weekly political letters since Donald Trump's election. Phil Scott is the governor-elect of Vermont, where I live.
46 Three Mile Bridge Rd.
Middlesex, VT 05602
21 November 2016
Congratulations on your recent election. I have to tell you I voted for one of your opponents, but as a Vermonter (since 2009) I'm offering my opinions and help anyway. I'm concerned about how you might lead Vermont, particularly through the ongoing long emergency of climate change.
I'm worried that you don't seem to see the urgency. Hurricane Irene was a disaster. I worry about more and worse Irenes, more frequently, with less help available in the future. I see the fragility of our systems and how dependent they are on unsustainable resource extraction around the world, and I'm frightened.
But I think Vermont is in position to prepare for that frightening future. In the U.S.A. we now enjoy more resources, technology and knowledge than nearly any present or past culture. Vermont is small, wealthy and well-supported, surrounded by friends. I'm confident that with focus and leadership, we could solve our own problems-- of energy and land use, of housing and jobs-- and be able to offer help to our world neighbors, most of whom face the same problems with fewer options.
I suspect we need more than the current half-hearted pushes for clean energy. I'm glad you take pride in listening. Please listen to our fellow Vermonter Bill McKibben, whose sense of urgency is as strong as I could wish. You can read Bill's articles online, or just call him up-- I imagine you have friends in common.
You'll be in an excellent position as a Republican Vermont governor to explain environmental solutions from the point of view of sober, long-sighted caution. It's a question of budgeting resources and building resiliency against future need. I think you already hold those principles.
Last week I wrote a letter like this (though with less hope) to Donald Trump, and invited him to our next gallery reception at The Front* in Montpelier. He hasn't replied yet, but it might save talking time if you both come. It's on December 2nd, 4-8 PM at The Front, 6 Barre Street in Montpelier. We'd all be pleased to see you there. I'll send a note to Bill McKibben in case he can come too.
Glen Coburn Hutcheson
*The Front isn't a political organization but simply a cooperative gallery. Its members don't necessarily agree with this letter, which is entirely mine.