Home Commentary Letter to the Editor, April 27, 2022

Letter to the Editor, April 27, 2022

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A Focus on Earth’s Resources

To the Editor:

Four days this time of year are becoming increasingly important to Vermonters as well as all inhabitants of the Earth. 

April 22, Earth Day, began in 1970. This day focuses on protecting the Earth and its resources. An event was held at the Statehouse that drew a good number of people.

Vermont has Green Up Day, also begun in 1970, and this year falls on May 7. 

Earth Overshoot Day recognizes when people have used up all the biological resources that the Earth can renew during the year. In 1970 it fell on December 30. In 2021 it fell on July 26. 

World Population Day focuses on the urgency of population issues. It is held on July 11.

When I moved to central Vermont in 1964, the population of Vermont was 390,000. It is now about 643,000, a 64% increase. Central Vermont is very different now. As one example, there was very little development or traffic on the Barre-Montpelier Road compared to now. 

Worse, the world population was about 2.3 billion and is now 7.8 billion. The Earth has become more crowded, while its beauty has been taken away, causing quality of life to diminish and conflicts of all kinds to become more prevalent as nations struggle getting resources they need. We are now also sadly causing the “sixth great extinction” of wildlife.

The underlying common message of these four days is that we must reduce our population as well as reduce our consumption of resources. This means reducing our carbon emissions, limiting the amount of “stuff” we buy, and growing our own food when possible.

George Plumb, Washington, board member of BETTERnotbiggerVERMONT and also Buddhist Peace Action Vermont

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