For most Vermonters, this balmy December is just another confirmation: global warming is real and it’s happening now. At the Tractor Supply parking lot last weekend, Chronicle reporters found similar opinions among several local shoppers:
“I think it’s time we all got serious about making changes in how we live, and adjust to this new reality,” said Rich Waynesboro, of Berlin. “It’s scary to me, having grown up in Vermont, seeing my kids grow up with green grass on Christmas.”
Calais resident Krista Jensensen, also waiting in line, agreed. “This year we’ve finally realized that winter isn’t going to come like it used to, and we need to take action before it’s too late.”
Another shopper, Todd Poupon of Middlesex, went further. “Honestly it bothers me when some of us are willing to make the tough choices, while others coast along like nothing’s happening.”
These three local shoppers have more than their politics in common; they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is and make real sacrifices to combat global warming. All three were in line to purchase a “Whitewash 5000,” the latest in home snowmaker technology.
The home snowmaker, connected to a regular garden hose and running off a 7,000 watt gas generator, can cover a quarter acre of property with a foot of snow overnight, and comes with optional attachments for colors and flavors for the holidays. Home Depot and Tractor Supply are both reporting a bump in sales in snowmakers this month, with the warm weather pushing some environmentally-minded Vermonters to take matters into their own hands.
Mr. Poupon, who was out to buy a replacement flavor nozzle for his snowmaker, urged other Vermonters to pitch in. “Listen, all my neighbors’ kids have been over after school, playing on our snow hill, since Halloween. And I don’t resent it– I don’t. But we’ve had to make snow almost every day more than six weeks, and I’ve put a lot of money into parts and fuel for my outfit. It would be good to see us all commit to tackling climate change together.”
The Whitewash 5000, with a $500 price tag and a $100 dollar tax rebate from the Environmental Protection Agency, offers the consumer an affordable opportunity to do their part for the earth and at the same time give their kids a good old-fashioned Christmas.
Ms. Jensensen put it best: “It’s good for your kids, and it’s good for your conscience.”