Bee Moorhead recently wrote a guest column for the Waco Triubne-Herald about steps that faith communities in Texas are taking to respond to global warming. She highlights the outstanding work of several Texas Impact and Texas Interfaith Power and Light member congregations. To read the full article, click here.
If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.
--Lyndon B. Johnson
When Friends Meeting of Austin purchased the house of worship formerly occupied by St. James Episcopal Church in East Austin, they saw an opportunity to go green in a big way. For the sixty-year old congregation, becoming more energy efficient and environmentally conscious was simply an act of faith.
Gulf Coast Cool Cities Campaign!
Team Formation Meetings in Greater Houston Area
During a speech yesterday in Washington that commemorated the 20 years since his declaration to the Senate that global warming had already begun, Jim Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, spoke out about cutting the level of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. Hansen argued that in order to stabilize the world's climate, the US must cut carbon dioxide emissions to 350 parts per million. This is 30 percent lower than a Senate bill that calls for a cap at 450 ppm, and lower than our current output of 385 ppm.
"I have greater than 99% confidence—99.9% confidence—that the dangerous level is no higher than 350 ppm, and that means we've already passed it," Hansen said.
Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, or CFLs, have been touted as a way to greatly reduce our electricity consumption.
Mercury in CFLs vs. Power Plants
There has been concern lately about mercury found in CFLs. While mercury is a concern, it is important to note that by using these bulbs, we are in fact helping to reduce our mercury output.
Currently, the amount of mercury released into our landfills from CFLs is negligible. Because of these bulbs’ long lifespan, only after 2010 will a majority of the CFLs currently in use need to be disposed of. At this time, it is estimated that roughly 80 to 100 million CFLs will be disposed of improperly. This number may sound considerable, but when you do the math, the amount of mercury in this large number of CFLs is only about 500 kilograms, or the
What’s the big deal about faith and the environment?
The news these days is full of “congregations caring for God’s creation.” But with all the other issues facing our world, is the environment really a top priority? How does environmental concern flow from a religious life? Do faith communities have a role to play in environmental policy? How can we maintain hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable environmental problems?
Let’s talk about it over lunch!
Come to the 7th Annual Peace with Justice Luncheon of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for a conversation with Bee Moorhead, Executive Director of Texas Impact and Texas Interfaith Power & Light. Joining Bee will be former Texas Public Utility Commissioner Karl Rábago.
12 noon – 2pm
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
THE LOFT, THE WOODLANDS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
2200 LAKE WOODLANDS DRIVE,
THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS
This year marks the first year that Texans can save money in two ways: in the short term thanks to a sales tax holiday on purchases of Energy Star products, and in the long term through energy savings from their use. The Texas Legislature established Texas' Energy Star sales tax holiday in 2007 as part of HB3693, a comprehensive energy efficiency bill which Texas religious communities helped to support.
On April 24-25, solar industry leaders and policymakers from around the nation and beyond met at the Texas Capitol to chart a course for Texas' solar future. The event, sponsored by a number of organizations including Texas Interfaith Power & Light, drew more than 400 attendees. Keynote speakers included former Texas Public Utility Commissioner Pat Wood, who is widely credited with spearheading the development of the Texas wind industry through Texas' unique renewable portfolio standard, and Alexander Karsner, Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Without exception, speakers at the event stressed the urgency of climate change and escalating prices for conventional power, and the need for Texas to move quickly to deploy significant solar projects at both the utility and consumer scales. "The technology, the economics, the opportunity are all on our side," said Karsner, "and time is not."
Worried about the trace amounts of mercury in compact fluorescent light bulbs? The bulbs save energy and help the environment. It's unllikely yours will break--but if you do accidentally end up with a broken bulb, there are a few simple steps to cleaning it up properly.
What to do if a CFL breaks:
--Open a window, turn off the air conditioning and leave the room for at least 15 minutes.
The "Green Crush" issue of this week's Austin Chronicle contains an article that features Bee Moorhead, Executive Director of Texas Impact/TXIPL. The article discusses the efforts made by Texas Interfaith Power & Light for our environmental sustainability by reaching out to the faith community of Texas. Take a look at some of the things congregations and people of faith are doing around Austin to really build an ongoing relationship with creation!