Keeping Pace: Confronting the Quickening Pace of Climate Change




Lessons from Marshfield, Vermont 

Climate change and ecological collapse are advancing far faster than any of the climate models predicted. Vermont is a case in point. Vermont experienced some of the worst flooding in recent memory this summer that left catastrophic disaster in many communities in the central part of the state. These calamities came as much of a shock to the scientific community as it did to the communities in central Vermont. According to most of the climate change models, Vermont was projected to be one of the most climate stable and resource secure states in the lower 48 states of the United States. And while it was projected to become warmer over the next 25 to 50 years, it  was projected to have greater productive yield as it relates to western agricultural practices, with an increase in portable water access. However, none of the models projected that it would start suffering from the combination of droughts and deluges that it has experienced the last 5 years. 

So the question is, what can and must we do to adjust to the advancing pace of climate change on a community level? We will seek to address this question by looking at the case of Marshfield, Vermont and how the members of Cooperation Vermont and the Marshfield Village Cooperative addressed the flooding crisis in July and its aftermath. We will be speaking with Michelle Eddlemen McCormick, one of the chief officers of Cooperation Vermont and a worker-owner at the Marshfield Village Cooperative, about what she learned from her experience coordinating mutual aid efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina that were applied in Marshfield, and what she learned from the recent relief experiences in Marshfield. 

Michelle Eddleman McCormick is a mother of two and has been active in revolutionary change for the last twenty years.  She currently serves as; the General Manager of the worker-owned Marshfield Village Store in rural Vermont, a member of the Board of Directors of Cooperation Vermont and the CVT Land Trust, a coordinator of Regeneration Corp, a Trustee of the Jaquith Library and a member of the Planning Commission for Marshfield, VT.  When she has a spare moment she enjoys fly fishing, kayaking and traveling.