Tubers make global warming statement

01/05/07 12:00AM By Susan Keese
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(Sounds of tubers in the water)

(Host) The sounds of people tubing could be heard today out on the West River near Brattleboro.

The tubers were making a statement about global warming, on this unusually balmy winter day.

VPR's Susan Keese has more on the story.

(More sounds of tubers)

(Keese) Four inner tubers, wearing wetsuits, put in just above the covered bridge on the West River in Dummerston.

One of them had a sign that said, I'd rather be snowshoeing.'

(Male tuber) "We're tubing in Vermont in January. This is absurd. Global warming is happening."

(Keese) They said they were headed to Brattleboro, several miles down stream. But they stopped enroute to talk.

(Janisse Ray) "We're making a statement about our worries about global climate change. We're just four individuals who are absolutely worried."

(Keese) Janisse Ray is a writer who lives in Brattleboro. Jonathan Crowell lives in Dummerston.

(Crowell) "We're all here because we love winter in Vermont. We love snow, we love wintertime activities. So many things in Vermont are going to be affected by global climate change including our agricultural system, maple syrup production, the ski industry. Many things that Vermonters love and depend on for their livelihood are impacted by global warming."

(Keese) Ray praised Vermont Senate President Peter Shumlin for making global warming a top priority.

(Ray) "And we're asking Congress to do the same thing."

(Keese) Ray says there's plenty that can be done.

(Ray) "We could set an emissions cap right now on automobiles. We could make laws that say new buildings have to be energy efficient. We could use all the money that we're spending for missiles and put it into alternative energy. We could invest in our rail system, which is in shambles."

(Keese) Before heading back into the water, Ray suggested it might even be possible to establish a personal carbon emissions quota for each person or each family. According to her it isn't such a far-fetched idea - not nearly as unlikely as inner tubing in January in Vermont.

(More sounds of tubes splashing into the water)

(Keese) For Vermont Public Radio, I'm Susan Keese.

(Sounds of Ray floating out of range)

(Ray) "Let it snow!"

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