GREENING VERMONT: The Search for a Sustainable State

“Vermont has to help take the lead in getting the whole planet off the fossil fuels that cause climate change and towards some kind of reasonably soft landing.” –  Bill McKibben, from the Afterword

Greening Vermont is a compelling tale of one small state’s modern environmental movement.

The book follows that movement from its beginnings in the revolutionary 1960s, when the arrival of interstate highways brought dramatic economic changes—both wanted and unwanted—to one of the most rural states in the country.

It proceeds to chronicle how the people of Vermont confronted those issues, through decades of protest, legislation, litigation, and compromise, in an effort to preserve and protect their beloved landscape and small-town culture.

And it looks at how environmentalism has evolved over time into major and growing concerns over questions that can no longer be resolved within a single state's borders: renewable energy, ecosystem protection, and climate change.

By implication, how Vermont has dealt and is dealing with those matters has broader implications for the rest of the country and the rest of the world.

(Photos above, clockwise from top left: Mason Singer, Wayne Fawbush, VNRC, Wayne Fawbush)


“Readers who care about Vermont will flock to Greening Vermont — the photographs, artwork and personal histories are alone worth the price of admission — but everyone who thinks carefully about environmental issues should read it, as well. Vermont has provided, and the authors have illuminated, a creative and constructive template for how the rest of us need to move toward sustainability.” Michael Fortunato Professor of Economics, Williams College and SUNY Empire State College

“If Vermont succeeds in the search for a sustainable state, the rest of the nation will have to pay attention.” Willem Lange author, commentator

“Greening Vermont makes me proud to be a Vermonter. This book is an incredible story of the brave and dedicated people who developed the policies and passed the laws and created the partnerships, the initiatives and the innovations that protect the natural resources of our beautiful Green Mountain State.” Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin

“Vermont is proud of its environmental ethic. This important book reminds us of the steps we need to take to keep it alive.” Former Governor Madeleine May Kunin

“By measuring social change and environmental policy against a new yardstick — the yardstick of what they call ‘finite planet thinking’ — Courtney and Zencey point us toward a new understanding of environmental history— and the absolutely crucial role that the environmental movement has played and must play in the future.” Tom Prugh Worldwatch Institute

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