Monthly Archives: October 2017

End of Year Giving

Global warming seems so daunting.  Recent hurricanes and wildfires and even drought underscore a planet in peril.  Climate change is a reality and its effects are present NOW.

With the rollbacks on the fossil fuel front by the Trump Administration, not to mention the muzzling of scientists within EPA on climate change, it is no wonder that we are angered, frustrated and despondent.  What are we to do?

Many of us with AZIPL are being proactive on a regular basis – from signing petitions, to calling on political leaders, to educating within our communities,  to protesting in the streets.  These actions are valuable and necessary.

But frankly, individual action is not enough.  Protests don’t happen on their own.  Petition and calling campaigns require organization.  Spreading the word, increasing awareness, raising our voices in unison, all require organization.

There are many fine groups engaged in this fight to care for the Earth, our common home.  I know many of you, like myself, donate to several.  Yet, there is only one state-wide,  faith-based organization in our State solely committed to combatting the disastrous impacts of climate change.  Arizona Interfaith Power and Light.  And we need your financial support to continue that education and resistance.

The voices of the interfaith community need to be heard.  We at AZIPL are committed to representing this compelling, faith-based perspective and to providing numerous opportunities to gather together to discuss, plan and act upon our calling to save this planet.

The Board of AZIPL, currently a passionate core of 9 members, has and continues to provide countless hours of service to this cause.  And this Board has been a faithful steward through generous giving over the past several years.  We need YOUR support to continue this work in 2018.  As the end of the year, non-profit giving campaigns begin in November, across our community and nation, please consider making a gift to AZIPL.  I would urge you to respond as you are able. I have found using PayPal on our website to be easy and giving on a recurring, monthly basis helps my monthly budgeting.

It is not too stark or dramatic to argue that without your donation, the health of our planet and our species is at great peril and risk of extinction.  Working together, we can be a beacon of hope, resiliency and protest during these dangerous times.

My faith calls me to pray to God for the care and protection of the Earth.  Moreover, it calls me to act on that faith; to act with others in beloved community on behalf of an ailing planet and for future generations, including my two beautiful granddaughters, Silvi and Tula.  Without individuals acting and providing gifts to support the climate change movement, we will fall short.  And that is not acceptable.  So, that’s my simple declaration of faith.  WHAT’S YOURS?


Patrick Grady

Board President, Arizona Interfaith Power and Light

Movie Night at the Casa

As the intense desert heat fades, the primary season for activism on behalf of Pope Francis’s Laudato Si Encyclical has begun again at the Franciscan Renewal Center.  We are getting back to work with renewed energy and enthusiasm!  Our first event this fall is Movie Night on Friday, October 27th from 6:00 – 9:00pm at The Casa.  This movie, Viva La Verde,  is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about our local environment and how to protect it.  Viva La Verde is a conservation film about the Verde River in Arizona.  The Verde River is one of the last free flowing rivers that survives in Arizona, and it can be saved by a few productive people.  Here’s your chance to enter into a movie experience and dialogue with others who are interested in the crucial roles rivers play in human and wildlife communities.  There is a $10 fee that includes a light dinner.  Pre-registration is required and to register, simply visit or call 480-948-7460.  Don’t miss it!

Looking for solace in uncertain times?

If it all starts to seem to be too much, turn to Mother Nature for some soothing.

Check out these community amenities for some space, peace, quiet and reflection.


The Museum of Walking at Arizona State University

Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center
Desert Botanical Garden

“Wasted” Now Showing at Harkins Valley Art in Tempe

Food waste is not only linked to our country’s vexing  hunger issue but also has important impacts on climate change.  It is estimated that 30-40% of our food process, from production to the table, ends up in local landfills. Produced by Anthony Bourdain, Wasted is a new documentary looking at solutions to reducing food waste.  Bourdain states that “Chefs are way out in front on hunger issues and food waste issues.”  He is concerned with “how obscene it is to waste the amount of food that we do”.

This documentary is now showing in Tempe at Harkins Valley Art.  Check for showtimes now before it leaves the theater!  This is currently the only theater in Arizona showing this important film.

Attacking this problem is a priority across Arizona.  Waste NOT, a local non-profit in the Phoenix metro area delivered 3 million pounds of food last year that would have gone into the landfill,  providing food to numerous frontline hunger organizations.  The Food Recovery Program, spearheaded by Cornucopia Community Advocates, was launched earlier in 2017 in Yavapai County with a focus on the Verde Valley and the Prescott area.  The Borderlands Food Bank  is committed to providing accessibility to nutritious fresh produce in Santa Cruz County, other cities in Arizona and into Mexico.    Borderlands transports 30 million pounds of produce to those in need.   There are many ways to work together on issues around climate change.  Partnering with other organizations can have significant impacts on both local hunger needs and the long-term health of our planet.

Food justice is a priority agenda item for AZIPL.  As an interfaith community, we are clearly concerned about the ravaging effects of local hunger.  And, committed to reducing greenhouse gases, this presents a unique opportunity to spur activists around both issues to work together to meet this challenge.  Food waste is so important that a recent report on reversing global warming, Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken, ranks food waste as the 3rd highest solution to reducing greenhouse gases.  And what is number 4? Our food choice.  The Western diet, in particular, needs to be more focused on a plant-rich diet, not meat.  So, it is not just the burning of fossil fuels.  Food and agriculture represent huge impacts on climate change and the environment.  We have the individual power to reduce that impact by our food choices as individuals and as a society.

Check out the new documentary, “Wasted”.  Take a look at the new report, Drawdown.  There is hope out there; we just need to act on it.


Wasted! The Story of Food Waste

Food television impresario Anthony Bourdain is throwing his weight behind a new cause with the release of “Wasted!,” a documentary that sheds light on the massive production of global food waste.

The feature length documentary will be available on-demand and released in theaters on Friday, October 13 and sees the chef-cum-media personality united with a cast of food world heavy hitters like Mario Batali, Dan Barber, Sean Brock, and Danny Bowien, to name a few. Together, they tackle the heavy truths of our global system of food production and disposal.

Judging by the trailer, the documentary examines every link on the chain that comprises our current food system, looking wherever possible for places to maximize usage and reduce waste. The truths that belie food waste statistics are harrowing and it seems this documentary is poised to confront them head on.

Read the original article on Food52. Copyright 2017.


Paris: We’re Still In! Sign the Petition Now.

Sign the petition now!


My household/my faith community will continue to work to protect creation regardless of what the U.S. federal government does. We are still committed to fighting global warming, we are keeping the faith, and we’re still in!

Global warming is a moral issue we are compelled to address. We will continue to reduce our carbon emissions to ensure that the U.S. collectively can meet or exceed the Paris agreement goals.

Together, we are greening our houses of worship and making them more energy efficient. We are saving energy at home and installing solar panels on our rooftops. We are creating more sustainable grounds and gardens.  And we’re reaching out to inspire, engage, and educate the communities we live in.

Our faith compels us to protect Creation, love our neighbor, and create a better world for our children. We will do all we can in our homes, our houses of worship, and our communities to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. And then we’ll help our neighbors do the same.

We’re Still In!

More water, more restoration bound for Colorado River Delta

More water, more restoration bound for Colorado River Delta

  • By TONY DAVIS Arizona Daily Star

In March 2014, the staged release of water into the Colorado River Delta was an international spectacle.

Thousands of onlookers joined dozens of elected and appointed officials, environmentalists and scientists at Morelos Dam at the Arizona-Sonora border south of Yuma to see the first significant flow of river water into the parched delta for more than 15 years.

Downstream in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, kids and their parents swam and splashed, ecstatic to see a live river again, enjoying the first burst of what was destined to be a “pulse flow” of 105,000 acre-feet into the delta.

 Now, a second round of releases is headed to the delta that won’t be nearly as dramatic. But these flows will restore more riverfront with cottonwoods and willows than the last time and their impacts will likely last longer.

The new U.S.-Mexico Colorado River agreement, announced last week, sets aside 210,000 acre-feet of river water for environmental restoration in the delta over nine years, starting next year. This 2017 agreement also calls on the two countries to share shortages on the river in equal proportions in times of drought.

The earlier, 2012 agreement under which the huge pulse flow was unleashed also enabled the more gradual release of another 53,000 acre-feet over four years that will end Dec. 31, 2017.

The first round of flows has restored about 1,100 acres of cottonwood, willow and mesquite habitat, said Osvel Hinojosa, water and wetlands program director for Pro Natura Noroeste and a co-chair of an environmental working group that developed restoration ideas for the new agreement. Pro Natura is headquartered in Ensenada, Baja California.

In that time, more than 230,000 native cottonwoods and willows were planted along the river, said a coalition of six U.S. and Mexican conservation groups calling itself Raise the River. The groups raised more than $10 million for restoration work and to buy water rights for those releases.

This time, the goal is to restore about 4,300 acres over the next nine years, the new agreement says.

Now, “We will see a resurgence of the Colorado in its delta, the ribbon of green that is re-emerging in the Sonoran Desert,” said Jennifer Pitt of the National Audubon Society at last week’s signing ceremony in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “It offers relief to every living being that seeks rest in the cool shade of a cottonwood, renewal in the bounty of life that flows from the waters of the Colorado River. We are finding new ways to share the water, among our communities, but also with hundreds of thousands of egrets, herons, flycatchers, rails and other birds that need it to survive.”

Although smaller pulse flows may be released later, the immediate plan is to focus on lesser, steadier amounts of base flows, Hinojosa said. Pulse flows release lots of water over short periods from a single point such as the dam. Base flows deliver lesser amounts, often over longer periods to specific restoration sites.

“At this point, the best way to proceed with restoration is base flows. That’s the best use of the water,” said Karl Flessa, a University of Arizona geosciences professor who oversaw the scientific monitoring of the 2014 pulse-flow impacts and hopes to be involved in similar work this time.

A lot of the 2014 pulse flow infiltrated into deep groundwater and was not available to nourish cottonwoods and other trees, he said.

“By applying base flows to restoration sites, you make sure water gets to the right place at the right time,” Flessa said.

Hinojosa said he considers base and pulse flows equally valuable, and may want to use smaller pulse flows for social purposes — allowing people living nearby to enjoy water in the river and reconnect with nature.

Scientists and environmentalists will also accomplish more this time because they learned a lot from the first restoration effort, said Hinojosa and environmentalist Pitt, who co-chairs the conservation work group.

“We are going to be more efficient now in how we use that water because of everything we learned. That speaks to the importance of dollars invested in science and monitoring,” said Pitt, Audubon’s Colorado River programs director.

Last time, “We were starting blind,” Pitt said.

The earlier round identified suitable sites for restoration and helped develop best practices for landscaping, planting and irrigation, Flessa added.

“It takes more than water to restore habitat in the delta. It also takes international collaboration, financial support, scientific know-how, and lots of hard work,” Flessa said.

 This round of restoration will have lots of money.

The new agreement commits the U.S. and Mexican governments and conservation groups to contribute equally towards a total of $18 million for research, monitoring and restoration. A longer-term goal is for those parties to raise a total of $40 million, and double the water for restoration.

The 210,000 acre-feet will come equally from the Mexican and U.S. governments and the conservation groups. The U.S. share will come not in wet water, but indirectly, as part of the $31.5 million the government agreed to contribute toward improving the efficiency of Mexican irrigation systems. That, in turn, will provide more water for other purposes.

“This means that no ‘US water’ will leave Lake Mead for the purposes of restoration in the delta,” Flessa said, referring to the reservoir of Colorado River water on the Arizona-Nevada border.

The 4,300 acres of restoration will still pale in comparison to the 100,000 acres of delta that existed a century ago before the U.S. dammed and diverted all the river’s water before it could reach the delta.

For Pitt, who has worked for delta restoration 20 years, “What’s most important to me in this agreement is that the U.S. and Mexico have an agreement on how to share water in times of short supply … as the supply decreases.”

With the agreement creating more resilience for the river, water leaders and politicians can support collaborative efforts to restore the delta, she said.

But in Santa Fe last week, Pitt warned that if governments and water users end up fighting over a dwindling supply, the environment will be the biggest loser.

“No politician can support nature when communities are threatened by a water supply crisis,” she said.