Tom Boucher On Renewable Solutions In The Face Of Climate Change

Tom Boucher at Oak Ledge Park, Burlington, VT. Photo by Dorothy Weicker for the Vermont Folkife Center.

Tom Boucher, co-founder of renewable energy entities Sustainable-AG Services Co., Green Mountain Energy, and NativeEnergy, Inc., describes how Native Energy helped Greensburg, Kansas, rebuild as the greenest town in the U.S.—listen below—then read his response to the question: What will bring us to the next level in meeting the energy and environmental challenges we are facing today?

What will bring us to the next level in meeting the energy and environmental challenges we are facing today?

We are now experiencing a future predicted by climatologists over 20 years ago, mostly dismissed at that time as exaggeration and bad science by our political leaders and fossil fuel-based corporations. I vividly recall a board meeting I attended of an NGO here in Vermont that ridiculed the notion of increased storm intensity and extreme variations in our weather that would result within our lifetime.

With the growing number of extreme weather events, even the most reluctant deniers of climate change will need to accept the fact that it is in fact happening, and is being driven by our fossil fuel-based economy. Progressive corporations that have led the movement to reduce their carbon footprint are being joined by more mainstream businesses to drive change.

Choosing renewable energy over fossil fuels, whenever possible, is a trend that will continue and will escalate as consumers both drive and follow their favorite brands’ actions, as the societal costs of fossil fuel use is full recognized in economic decisions, and as the actual costs of renewable energy continues to fall. Businesses with vision are also actively engaging their customers and suppliers and investing in energy and carbon reduction projects that have multiple environmental and social benefits.

Linking farm methane production to nutrient recovery is a prime example of a new phase for Vermont: producing added renewable energy, reducing green house gases and nutrient runoff into our waterways, while improving dairy farm economics and protecting our rural landscape. I’m delighted to be now focused on this new frontier.
— Tom Boucher, Co-founder, Sustainable-AG Services Co., L.L.C Co-founder, NativeEnergy, Inc. Co-founder Green Mountain Energy

The above comes from the recent Vermont Folklife Center exhibit, Portraits in Action: Pioneers in Renewable Energy, Environmental Conservation, and Land Use Planning. The exhibit brings together the perspectives of a diverse cross section of twenty-five pioneers, activists, and leaders in renewable energy, environmental conservation, and land use planning, and invites them to speak to the issues at hand. It is both an oral history and a call to action.

See more from the exhibition - Portraits in Action.