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

Religious Coalitions Call Global Warming Bill “A Significant Step” in Addressing Global Warming

In a joint letter to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D - Calif), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, four major religious coalitions, representing millions of Americans, welcomed the work of lawmakers to highlight the urgency of global warming and take immediate action to address it. The National Council of Churches, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Association of Evangelicals and Jewish Council For Public Affairs/ Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), emphasized some of the bill's key provisions regarding international security and climate change adaptation strategies. The letter describes the bill as "a significant step" toward protecting the "voiceless and the vulnerable."
Read the full text of the letter below:
December 3, 2007

The Honorable Barbara Boxer
Chairman
Environment and Public Works Committee
United States Senate

Senate Committee Approves Landmark Global Warming Legislation

The first global warming bill taken up by Congress in more than 20 years passed out of committee yesterday with a vote of 11 to eight. Bill authors John Warner (R-VA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) staved off attempts by opponents to weaken the historic legislation during a committee mark up session Wednesday. More than 150 amendments were offered in an effort to protect both the environment and the economy.

Exciting Energy Efficiency in Our Capitol City

The city of Austin is undertaking some far-reaching energy efficiency goals for new home construction. Here is an except from the Austin-American Statesman:

 

By 2015, Austin plans to tighten its building codes so new homes will use 65 percent less electricity and gas than those under construction today. "I haven't seen any other city ... with such a long-term vision as this. It's aggressive, but it looks very doable," said Aleisha Khan, executive director of the Building Codes Assistance Project, part of
the Washington-based Alliance to Save Energy...

The objective of Austin's plan is to make homes "zero-energy capable": energy efficient enough that it is cost-effective to install solar panels or other on-site electricity generation such as wind turbines. Without the energy efficiency improvements, the benefit of on-site generation is lost through leaky ducts and windows.

DIY Holiday Lightbulb Kits for Hanukkah and Advent

The first Sunday of Advent is December 4, 2007. Hanukkah begins December 14. Deepen your observation of Advent or Hanukkah by connecting these ancient candle-lighting traditions to environmental stewardship with Texas Interfaith Power & Light's study guides, One for Each Night (Hanukkah) and Preparing for a New Light (Advent). Each study guide includes scripture passages, prayers, and information on energy and the environment.

ShopIPL Challenge 2007: Beat Illinois!

It turns out energy efficiency IS a competitive sport!

We told you about ShopIPL.org, our new online energy store that makes EnergyStar products available to your congregation and its members at a discount. Now we want to tell you about a little competition between TXIPL and our good friends at Illinois Interfaith Power & Light.

The winner of this competition is the state that generates the most ShopIPL sales (and thus the most energy efficiency) between now and the end of the year. TXIPL will donate 500 compact fluorescent lightbulbs to the food pantry of choice for whichever congregation racks up the most sales (measured in dollars) from ShopIPL.org.

Tired of hawking breakfast tacos to raise money for mission trips? Sell energy and water conservation products instead through ShopIPL’s congregational fundraiser program. Contact brooke@texasimpact.org to find out how.

Breath of Fresh Air: North Texas Annual Conference Chooses Green Power

The North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church helped make environmental stewardship a reality for its member congregations through a new electric aggregation contract with Hudson Energy Systems.

Under the contract, which takes effect January 1, 2008, all participating congregations will be receiving 10 percent of their electricity from Texas renewable energy generators. The contract allows individual churches to request an even higher percentage of green power from Hudson Energy at a small additional cost.

Deadline Extended! Texas Environmental Excellence Awards Applications Due October 26

TEEA SealDoes your faith community do something special to conserve, protect, or preserve the Texas environment? If so, it’s time for your group to apply for the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards (TEEAs).

The TEEAs celebrate the bold efforts of citizens, communities, businesses, and community and faith organizations to preserve and protect the Texas environment. By honoring these winners, the TCEQ hopes to encourage other citizens to initiate like-minded projects and reinforce a spirit of environmental stewardship.

Environmental Action and the Culture of Despair


What social workers--and we must count environmentalists among such--find difficult to understand is that the trashing of the land is always preceded by a trashing of the soul. Pollution and despoilation are always political, ethical, before they ever become environmental. No one trashes, willfully wastes, or purposively neglects to clean up the immediate world of house and yard and field--no one accepts with dread fatality the present disorder--unless there has already been a prior disordering of the spirit.


--from "On Not Cleaning Up Battle Creek: Environmental Action and the Culture of Despair" by Gerald L. Smith

 

Cool Cities Training in College Station October 13

Local environmental organization Brazos Environmental Action Network (BEAN) will be launching the Sierra Club Cool Cities campaign in College Station in October to urge the City of College Station to cut local greenhouse gas emissions. A Cool Cities ( http://coolcities.us) informational workshop, open to all concerned residents of the Brazos Valley, will be held on the following date/time:

Sierra Club "Cool Cities" Workshop

With Ann Drumm, Dallas Cool Cities Campaign Coordinator

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

9am to 12pm

J. Ringer Library

1818 Harvey Mitchell Pkwy

College Station , Texas

Baptist General Convention Environmental Coverage in Wall Street Journal

We are all so excited about the great article in last week's Wall Street Journal on evangelicals and the environment that focused attention on the Christian Life Commission and CLC Policy Director Suzii Paynter.

At Texas Impact, we've had several calls and emails from folks commenting especially on the article's thoughtful treatment of the issue of the sovereignty of God.  

Split Over Global Warming Widens Among Evangelicals

Texas Christians Cite Conflicting Scripture; Staying ‘On Mission’

By ANDREW HIGGINS

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