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

Texas Solar Forum Makes the Business Case for Solar

solar array 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."


Download Andy Karsner's Address (mp3)

Watch a Three-Minute Video on Texas' Solar Potential!

Texas receives more solar radiation than any other state and is number one in terms of its solar potential. According to an analysis by the Renewable Energy Policy Project, Texas could attract five billion dollars in investment and create six thousand new jobs by the year 2015 in the photovoltaic industry alone, with the right incentives. Texas is a natural world leader in this important industry, but as the rest of the global solar industry is growing at an astounding rate, Texas has not kept pace and lacks a clear roadmap for the future.

Find out more about the Texas Solar Forum


Power Points from the Conference





BP Solar




West Texas Wind








(Photo "solar panels" by User Christine used under a Creative Commons-Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

In the News: CFLs are Safe, Just Follow Simple Steps if One Breaks

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.  

Watch KVUE's feature on how to clean up a broken CFL


What to do if a CFL breaks:

--Open a window, turn off the air conditioning and leave the room for at least 15 minutes.

--Scoop up the glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or
cardboard and place them in a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealed
plastic bag.

--Use sticky tape to pick up any remaining fragments or powder.

--Wipe the area with damp paper towels and place them and anything else
that touched the debris in the sealed jar or plastic bag.

--Wash your hands.



Austin Chronicle features Bee as a Green Leader!

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!

Click here to check it out!

Other featured articles highlight the work of other Austin green heroes, including Brandi Clark and Chris Searles. Click here to take a look at some of the "gods and goddesses of greendom."


This Austin Chronicle issue also lists upcoming free and kid-friendly eco-events, such as Earth Day (Saturday, April 19th) at Republic Square Park, and discussses the progress that the City of Austin is making toward carbon neutrality.

Earth Day with Austin's Mayor Wynn at Central Christian Church

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Central Christian Church
1110 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78701

7:00 PM Presentation by Mayor Wynn
8:00 PM A Faith-Based Response

Please join us on EARTH DAY 2008 for an interfaith public forum with Mayor Will Wynn on the Austin Climate Protection Plan.

There will be a reception following the presentation in the Community Room. All are welcome!

Mayor Wynn's Austin Climate Protection Plan, approved by the City Council in February, will make Austin first in the nation in the reduction of greenhouse gases. As part of this five-part municipal plan, all City of Austin facilities and transportation fleets will be carbon-neutral by 2020, energy efficiency of new construction will increase 75% by 2015, and individuals and businesses will receive incentives to achieve carbon neutrality.

If all this sounds ambitious, it is! Austin will be in the forefront of American cities in the fight against global warming. Come and find out how faith communities can support the Austin Climate Protection Plan.

Mayor Will Wynn received training from Al Gore at The Climate Project in Nashville in January. Mayor Wynn was featured in Time Magazine's watershed issue on global warming as well as Newsweek's "The Greening of America" issue. He has spoken on this pressing issues throughout the United States and has been invited to speak at the United Nations session on renewable energy in Bonn, Germany.

Inconvenient Truth Presentation at First Presbyterian Church of Austin

Do you want to know more about climate change and what you can do about it? We invite you to spend an evening with First Presbyterian Church as we learn more about this important issue. Join us for Colin Rowan's live presentation of "An Inconvenient Truth", with an emphasis on what the faith community can do about the climate change crisis.

Colin will lead us through an educational presentation and discussion, including:

Basic premise of global warming
Evidence that something is happening now around the world
Focus on Texas - our impact and contributions
Solutions - we can do something, but we have to get going!

We hope you can join us for this powerful presentation. Dessert will be provided!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Rissman Hall

First Presbyterian Church

8001 Mesa Drive

Sponsored by the FPC Creation Stewardship Group. For more information, please call Laura at 899-8723. Childcare will be available for $5 per child for the evening. The deadline for childcare reservations is noon on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. Space is limited, so please reserve as soon as possible by calling the church office at 345-8866.

Helpful Information on Congregational Energy Audits and Efficiency

World in His HandsIf you are thinking about making your house of worship more energy efficient, the following sites should be very helpful to you. The first step in energy efficiency is getting an energy audit. Call your electricity provider to find out whether they do energy audits. If they do not, use the following link to find your transmission and distribution company you use:


When you enter your ZIP code, look on the left-hand column and read the name underneath the heading "TDU Service Areas". This company will be the one to provide you with an audit.

This link is an on-line energy audit provided by Austin Energy that you can do yourself:


The following two links are for things you can do to automatically make your church more energy efficient:





(Photo "Earth From Space With Stars" by User DonkeyHotey used under a Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial License.)

Cool Cities Team Formation Meetings in Central Texas!

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on Thu, 2008-03-20 11:25

Cool CitiesPeople in Central Texas are cordially invited to attend the Sierra Club's Cool Cities Team Formation meetings in the upcoming weeks. These meeting will show many towns how to
make teams to encourage their mayors to sign on to the Mayor's Climate Protection Plan. If you are interested in attending a meeting in your area, please see the information below:

United Methodist Caring for Creation Conference at Mt. Sequoyah

mt sequoyah group

John Hill, Bee Moorhead, Reverend Pat Watkins, Dr. Katy Hinman, Mt. Sequoyah's Marilyn Braswell and Oona Moorhead


More than 140 United Methodists and others attended the UMC South Central Jurisdiction's first annual Caring for Creation Conference at Mt. Sequoyah in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The event featured keynote presentations by John Hill, Program Director, Economic and Environmental Justice at the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, Dr. Mark Davies, Dean, Wimberly Professor of Social Ethics at Oklahoma City University, and Dr. Katy Hinman, director of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, as well as workshops on a variety of topics. Bee Moorhead, director of Texas Interfaith Power & Light, Reverend Pat Watkins, director of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, and Katy Hinman all led workshops.


About 20 students from Oklahoma City University attended the conference as part of the Oikos Scholars program, a liberal arts program for preparing students to engage in lives of social and ecological responsibility.

oona at mt. sequoyah

9-year-old Oona Moorhead helps with displays





txipltableTexas Impact board president Reverend Mel Caraway




Find out about United Methodist Women's "Green Teams"

"And a Little Child Shall Lead Them: Developing Religious Environmental Education for Children"--Bee's workshop handout



San Antonio Earth Stewardship: Great Turnout Despite the Rain

The Earth Stewardship meeting organized by Solar San Antonio and the San Antonio Community of Congregations was a great success. About 40 people from San Antonio congregations and environmental groups gathered at Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church for presentations and conversation on local and state enviromental issues.

The event was a kick-off for Solar San Antonio/SACC's Stewardship Earth Weekend April 18-20. For more information, visit http://www.solarsanantonio.org/


Brooke Ferguson of Meridian Energy Systems explains how a solar panel works to Lois Heger of Beacon Hill Presbyterian Church.