In the winter of 2016, Morse Farm Maple Sugar Works tapped its trees on January 31, the earliest day in the East Montpelier farm’s 148-year history. Sugarmaker Tom Morse explained to reporters that the trees were ready about three weeks “too early,” catching he and his fellow sugarmakers across the state off guard. Vermont was far from the only place experiencing record-breaking warm temperatures. Temperatures across the United States were the warmest on average since record-keeping began in 1895. El Nino, which causes warmer ocean currents to warm up the earth’s air every three to six years, drove a small part of the spike, but climate scientists explain that almost all of the warming is a result of carbon pollution in the Earth’s atmosphere. The news about climate change can be disheartening. But we also know that as we prepare ourselves for change and develop a clean energy economy, we will bring new jobs and economic activity to Vermont, and our families and communities will continue to thrive.