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.
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
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
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
I posted this same article on the Texas Impact website but wanted to make sure eveyone sees it so I'm posting it here, too.
Our friend the Reverend Steve Brown of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light forwarded me an op-ed by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ross Gelbspan, who is the retired editor of the Boston Globe and an international expert and voice for change on global warming and energy. Ross is a great friend to Texas and Texas Impact who has travelled down here several times to speak to religious and secular audiences on global warming challenges and solutions. His website is http://www.heatisonline.org/
Ross's op-ed is absolutely required reading for faith communities for a number of reasons, the most important of which is the context for hope Ross continues to operate in. As language about global warming from the scientific community gets scarier, we will need different ways of thinking about the future to keep us from shutting down and giving up. Ross Gelbspan's perspective is one that helps me stay grounded in hope for the long term as opposed to grasping for optimism in the short term.
Climate change may destabilize democracies
By Ross Gelbspan
This op-ed first appeared in the Lowell, Massachusett, Sun.
While senators and representatives diddle over the beginnings of authentic climate change legislation, it is depressingly clear that even our best-intentioned leaders don’t really get it.
Bill McKibben's book The Comforting Whirlwind has been a great resource for a lot of folks in the past few years in understanding the connection between faith and the environment through the lens of the whirlwind narrative in the Book of Job. You can get the book through various online outlets including Quakerbooks and Amazon.
This 16-minute video made by Green Campus at Arcata College in Northern
California riffs on the Crocodile Hunter to scour the typical campus
house for energy waste. Enjoy!
News for Release: Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Contact: Enesta Jones, (202) 564-4355 / email@example.com
(Washington, D.C. - Sept. 12, 2007) Today EPA announced the winners of the 2007 Energy Star Award for Small Businesses and Congregations. Together, the winners saved more than $1.2 million in annual energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 1,600 vehicles annually. This year's diverse group of eight small businesses and three congregations includes an auto dealership, a winery and a mega-church.
"Whether they are running a place of business or a place of worship, more and more Americans are realizing that getting the most out of their energy dollars just makes sense," said U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Through Energy Star, President Bush and EPA are brightening our nation's future, and I applaud these award winners for demonstrating the environmental and financial rewards of going green."
Small businesses and congregations that strategically manage the energy performance of their facilities can cut utility costs by 25 percent or more by making efficiency improvements and, at the same time, make significant contributions to a healthier environment. The energy saving efforts of the winners included upgrading existing facilities as well as the construction of new energy efficient facilities. Efficiency improvements include lighting upgrades, improved insulation, installation of door and window seals, purchase of Energy Star qualified appliances and equipment and the use of energy management systems.
In addition to the winners of the 2007 Energy Star Award for Small Businesses and Congregations, EPA also announced three special awards for notable achievements in energy efficiency.
The 2007 Energy Star Small Business winners are:
Central PA Settlement LLC of Bedford, Pa.
Duncaster Inc. of Bloomfield, Conn.
G&S Produce Distributing of Sacramento, Calif.
Ocean Breeze Awnings and More of Surfside Beach, S.C.
Pat Lobb Toyota of McKinney, Texas
Planet Subaru of Hanover, Mass.
Sendell Motors Inc. of Greensburg, Pa.
Sonoma Wine Company of Graton, Calif.
The 2007 Energy Star Congregation winners are:
Jonesville United Methodist Church of Clifton Park, N.Y.
Prestonwood Baptist Church of Plano, Texas
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Mich.
The recipients of the three special awards are:
Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
Launched in 1992, Energy Star is a government program that helps businesses and consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. In 2006, Americans with the help of Energy Star saved $14 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of 25 million vehicles annually.
Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
Energy Star: http://energystar.gov
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov
U.S. Department of Energy: http://www.energy.gov
Coverage of ShopIPL.org in Grist
EPA Grant Funds Collaborative Approach to Online Store Aimed at Faith Communities
Austin, TX -- Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL) today announced the launch of “ShopIPL.org,” an online store designed to help faith communities and their members reduce global warming and air pollution through energy efficiency. TXIPL is one of 23 “Interfaith Power & Light” organizations throughout the country that are collaborating to bring energy efficiency and climate stewardship to local faith communities.
There are more than 300,000 houses of worship in the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that if those congregations reduced their energy consumption by 10 percent it would prevent the release of more than 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions—the equivalent of removing 400,000 cars from the road. EPA supports the development and maintenance if ShopIPL.org through a multi-year grant to Interfaith Power & Light.
Bee Moorhead, director of TXIPL said, “Faith communities throughout Texas are concerned about global warming and air pollution, and they want to take action…but in many cases they aren’t sure what action to take. Energy efficiency is a great place to start because for a small investment, a family or congregation can clear the air and save money at the same time.” Founder and director of national Interfaith Power & Light, Reverend Sally G. Bingham, said “Everyone has a stake and a role in reducing global warming emissions. Working together people of faith can lead the way and we can change history.”
On ShopIPL, congregations can buy proven energy efficiency products for their house of worship including an array of compact fluorescent light bulbs, rechargeable batteries, water heater timers, and weatherization products and more at substantially discounted prices. Members can order products for their own homes and businesses through the congregation, and youth groups or other congregational ministries can use the site to conduct fundraisers. ShopIPL.org is a useful resource for consumers who are new to the idea of energy efficiency because the site includes detailed descriptions of products and explains how they save energy.
Deer Park United Methodist Church recently made a purchase at ShopIPL.org. “Energy efficiency is an important part of becoming a ‘green congregation’, which is a commitment our church has made. ShopIPL is easy to use for churches because it functions a lot like the fair trade coffee programs many congregations participate in already”, said The Reverend T. Randall Smith, Senior Pastor at Deer Park.
Nancy Benthien is a geologist and environmental advocate as well as a parishioner at Covenant Lutheran Church in Houston. She ordered a lamp and compact fluorescent light bulbs at ShopIPL.org to save energy in her home. “The experience was great. The site is easy to navigate and the items arrived at my door in a few short days. I am recommending this website to individuals and congregations alike for ‘green’ appliances and equipment.”
A portion of sales at ShopIPL.org are passed on to the state IPL organizations. Nathan Melson of Sloans Creek Farm in Dodd City has a small farm business raising grass-fed beef, goat, sheep, and pastured pork. He says he made the choice to use ShopIPL instead of a chain store for his energy efficiency needs because it met his personal and business goals. “I support the creation care work Texas IPL is doing and believe God wants us to be good stewards of what we’re given. ShopIPL makes good business sense and serves the creation,” said Melson.
ShopIPL.org is a partnership between Interfaith Power & Light and Energy Federation, Inc., one of the leading residential distributors of energy efficiency-related products in the United States.
For more information on the national IPL movement, visit http://www.theregenerationproject.org
National Interfaith Power and Light President and founder, the Reverend Sally G. Bingham, was recently named one of the 15 Greenest Religious Leaders by Grist Online Magazine. Others honored in the listing are the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the Dalai Lama, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals, and Pope Benedict XVI.
Check out the full list here :