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

Take the 2013 Cool Congregations Challenge!

It's time to enter the 2013 Cool Congregations Challenge, a national contest to recognize “Cool Congregations” that are becoming energy efficient and sustainable role models within their communities!

This year, cash prizes will be awarded to First and Second Place winners in each of five categories: 

  • Cool Congregations Planner
  • Energy Saver
  • Renewable Role Model
  • Sacred Grounds Steward
  • Community Inspiration

In addition, cash prizes for honorable mentions will also be awarded!

So You've Got Climate Change: Living In A Warmer World

The diagnosis is in: we have climate change. Even if we were to stop all greenhouse gas emissions today, our world will continue to warm as a result of the excess gases we’ve already pumped into the atmosphere. Like a person diagnosed with a chronic condition such as heart disease or diabetes, we now face a choice: change our lifestyles to manage the condition and minimize damage, or do nothing and suffer the consequences.

Free, Upgraded ENERGY STAR Performance Tool Launches July 17th

On July 17, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will launch a significant upgrade to the free, online Portfolio Manager tool with which voluntary program partners can generate EPA’s 1 -100 ENERGY STAR score. With new user-friendly features and functionality, including a major redesign of database architecture, system processing, Web services, and user interface, Portfolio Manager includes a module designed especially for worship facilities.

Portfolio Manager is the nation’s leading energy performance benchmarking and energy performance tracking tool, now used by over 70,000 account holders for more than 300,000 commercial facilities, and was recently adopted by the Canadian government. The familiar blue and white ENERGY STAR is now recognized by 87 percent of Americans.

Support a National Climate Action Plan: Information and Resources

On Tuesday, June 25, 2013, President Obama unveiled a historic Climate Action Plan that speaks of our moral obligation to address climate change on behalf of future generations. The President spoke about our "need to act" and asked "whether we'll have the courage to act before it's too late." 

The President's speech gives all of us the opportunity to highlight our concerns about climate change, and to advocate for action on the local, state, and national levels. Here are some resources to help you take action in support of a national Climate Action Plan and to educate others in your community.

See the Climate Action Plan

Cool Off in Community this June! Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, San Marcos, & San Antonio IPL Forums

Many of our local TXIPL groups will take a summer break in July and August, but before they do, they have great forums lined up for the month of June! Read on for more info about June programs in Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, San Marcos, and San Antonio.

Want to learn more, or help start a local TXIPL group in your area? Great! Please email us.

Tuesday, June 4th - Austin

"Coal, Health, and You" - Featuring Chris Masey, Executive Director of Austin's Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Dr. Elliot Trester, speaking about the effects of environmental degradation--especially coal and global warming--on human health. 7:00-8:30pm, Highland Park Baptist Church.

State Energy Conservation Office "5-Five-25" Energy Efficiency Loan Program

The Texas State Energy Conservation Office’s LoanSTAR Pilot Program, “5-FIVE-25,” provides financing for energy-related cost-reduction retrofits for facilities owned and occupied by Community-Based and House of Worship non-profit organizations. This program provides low-interest rate loans to assist those institutions in financing their energy-related cost-reduction efforts. The program’s revolving loan mechanism allows successful Applicants to repay loans through the stream of energy cost savings realized from the projects.

Creating a Local, Interfaith Environmental Network in Hays & Comal County

Texas is a big state! In order to provide an effective religious response to our shared environmental challenges, we need local teams on the ground in cities and regions across the state. Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL) supports the development of local, interfaith environmental networks—and is coming to San Marcos to start the conversation.

Yaira Robinson, Associate Director of Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL), along with Rev. Brian Ferguson, minister of San Marcos Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, will offer a presentation on Thursday, May 9th about creating a local, interfaith environmental network in the Hays & Comal County area. Come be part of the conversation! Details are below.

Local TXIPL Groups, at Earth Day Events around the State!

For Texas Interfaith Power and Light (TXIPL), every day is Earth Day! Every day is a day to celebrate the natural wonders of the planet we share, and to increase awareness of the impact our actions have on God’s creation. But April 22 is especially significant because it’s Earth Day, a day to unite as members of the global community in order to celebrate the Earth and remember our obligation to protect it.

Did you know? Nearly 200 countries across the globe are expected to participate in Earth Day activities this year. TXIPL and its local affiliates will be joining the global community by participating in Earth Day events around the state:

Take Action on the Keystone XL Pipeline - Send Your Comments

Last year, thanks to pressure from people of faith all across the U.S., President Obama refused to issue a permit for the Keystone XL and directed the State Department to conduct a thorough study on its environmental impacts, including climate change.

Now the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is out, but it only seriously investigated the regional climate change impacts of the pipeline itself and not how the increased use of carbon-intensive oil would impact global climate change.

An assessment that ignores or brushes aside the impact of tar sands development on global climate change is woefully inadequate. We need your help.

Click here to send your comment to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

For background on the issue, explore the links below:

Keep Texas Parks Open - 2013 Tour

In Super, Natural Christians: How We Should Love Nature, Dr. Sallie McFague writes, “We will not save what we do not love, and we cannot love what we do not know.” Our Texas state parks system helps people across the state get to know nature and come to love the rocks, streams, lakes, trees, beaches and wetlands of this beautiful piece of earth we call Texas. Experiencing and appreciating the gifts of nature encourages us to care for God's creation.

We are partnering with the Keep Texas Parks Open initiative to bring a series of educational programs to communities around the state. At these town halls, we'll focus on the Texas state parks system, how it might be impacted by budget cuts, and how we can help protect our parks for future generations.

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