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

Austin Clergy Climate Connection

A Dialogue on Austin Clergy Response to Climate Change and the Environment

February 18, 2008, 8:00AM to Noon, Congregation Beth Israel, 3800 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Austin, Texas


Co-Chairs:

  • Rabbi Steve Folberg, Congregation Beth Israel
  • Reverend Sam Riccobene, First Presbyterian Church
  • Reverend Tina Carter, The Rock United Methodist Church


Sponsors:

  • Texas Impact/Texas Interfaith Power & Light
  • Austin Area Interreligious Ministries

Every day we see more information about the religious community getting involved in environmental issues. There are many who would say the environment is the defining issue facing faith communities today. But exactly how and where do we fit in?

Focus the Nation quickly approaching!

Focus the Nation logoFocus the Nation,
a national initiative to educate about and involve people with the fight
against climate change, is coming up January 30 – 31, 2008.

Click here for more
information on how you can involve your congregation. To find out if any churches or universities
in your area are participating, go to this
website
.

Dallas Morning News Coverage of North Texas Methodist Green Power Purchase

Methodist churches unite to buy green energy

180 North Texas UMCs will boost windmill-driven power

Hats off to Illinois Interfaith Power & Light

We're used to everything being bigger in Texas, but today TXIPL salutes our colleagues at Illinois IPL and the faith communities they work with for winning our friendly competition to see which state could generate the most sales on ShopIPL during our first six months of operation. Illinois IPL and their parent organization Faith in Place generated double TXIPL's sales on IPL's energy efficiency webstore, and they celebrated today by donating 500 CFLs to a congregational outreach ministry to be distributed to low-income seniors.

 

TXIPL members, don't let this early upset discourage you! Visit ShopIPL in 2008 for great deals on energy efficient products that will help reduce air pollution and global warming and reduce your electric bills.

 

Here's Illinois IPL's press release:

 

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.

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