Since 1970 the concentrations of CO2, methane, and other heat trapping gases in the atmosphere have increased globally due to a range of human activities. Altogether, this has caused temperatures to rise while also putting people and ecosystems at risk.
In fact, the contiguous United States has warmed two and a half degrees Fahrenheit since the first Earth Day celebrations took place back on April 22nd , 1970. During this time, Alaska has experienced the most amount of warming. Meanwhile, the southwest U.S. is warming the fastest which will likely worsen drought and the extreme bouts of heat.
So what’s Vermont’s standing in the battle against climate change? Well, the Green Mountain State ranks as the 9th fastest warming state in the country with more than 3 degrees of added warmth since 1970. In particular, Burlington is the 6th fastest warming city in the entire United States with more than 4 degrees of warmth added since the first ever Earth Day.
Luckily, we are a very progressive state when it comes to tackling and adapting to climate change. One of our most important climate goals within the Green Mountain State is to reduce the burning of fossil fuels as transportation is the sector leaking out the most carbon emissions. Solutions include making public transportation more widely available whether it be with electric buses or fuel efficient cars. Another angle would be to make our communities more walkable and bike-able. This would altogether reduce the demand for fossil fuels which, of course, would aid in making the Green Mountain State even greener.