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Williams Lecture

This evening, Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board came to VLS to speak on “Sustainable Communities for a Sustainable State: California’s Efforts to Curb Sprawl and Cut Emissions.” The lecture lasted nearly an hour, and Ms. Nichols updated the students on California’s current efforts to cut emissions and move towards a more sustainable state. To me, the lecture was highly significant, being a Southern California native, and thus much of what she referenced probably meant more to me than students who’ve never visited CA. I thought it was a great speaker to invite, since California has many obstacles to overcome in the race to address and halt climate change.

I asked about the high-speed rail plans in California, and was delighted to hear that since my time as an undergrad when petitions were being passed around, funding has been secured, and plans made. It’s an exciting step for Californians who commute from South to North, since the alternative is either a long car ride, or a short commuter flight – neither are doing wonders for our carbon footprint.

A good speaker for me personally, but I hoped that many VLSers felt the same, in Vermont we can get quite wrapped up in local legislation – Vermonters are very proud of their state – but states like California are big-hitters in the push toward a greener America, and being kept abreast of their activities can only prove beneficial for us all.


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