Last week, IPL’s #FaithtoFord campaign marked a victory when Ford and three other automakers announced that they struck a deal with California to reject the Trump administration’s attempt to gut the Clean Car Standards. IPL organized more than 4,000 people of faith like you to call on Ford Motor Company to stand by the Clean Car Standards and our message is getting through!
Ford’s decision to break with other major U.S. automakers in favor of cleaner vehicles shows the power of the U.S. faith community. In making the deal with California, Ford agreed to much stronger standards than the Trump administration is proposing. While we still have work to do to push automakers to achieve the Clean Car Standards as adopted by the Obama administration, this is a big step forward.
The progress we are making with Ford Motor Company reminds us that the moral voice is a powerful one. When people from all religions come together, we can move mountains. With the IPL network reaching more than 22,000 congregations, we can make a BIG impact. Together, we have the power to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and leave a planet where our children and grandchildren can thrive.
On Fridays throughout the world this past year, students walked out of classrooms and went into the streets to compel action in addressing the climate crisis.
What started as a one-person protest by Greta Thunberg has grown to a movement of millions in over 160 countries and at least 2000 locations. Youth are now calling upon adults to join them for a week of action in September.
This month’s Creation Justice Webinar* will prepare us for action by featuring Jamie Margolin, the 17-year-old who has been at the forefront of the youth climate movement in the United States. She led the call for last year’s youth climate march, and she is a co-founder of the youth organization Zero Hour.
The webinar will be held on August 15th at 1 pm (EDT), but a recording will be sent out to all who register. Register now!
*This webinar is hosted by the United Church of Christ, Alabama Interfaith Power & Light, and the People’s Justice Council.
Arizona Interfaith Power & Light has been a presence at the Arizona Corporation Commission advocating for electric vehicles and a robust renewable energy standard. Thanks to all of you who wrote letters supporting a renewable energy standard of 50% by 2030, 100% renewables by 2050.
In addition, we’ve recently had two letters to the editor published in the Arizona Republic. On July 21st, Nona Siegel, AZIPL Vice President wrote: “In my upbringing as a Roman Catholic, I was raised to have compassion for the most vulnerable among us, to be mindful of unnecessary consumption so there is enough for all, and to care for the Earth…Our planet needs our care right now more than ever before.”
Rev. Doug Bland, Executive Director of AZIPL, wrote: “For too long our legislative bodies have abdicated responsibility for policies that promote the interests of powerful corporations at the expense of clean air and a promising future for our children. Now young people are demanding climate justice. In “Our Children’s Trust” (Juliana vs. USA), District Judge Ann Aiken affirms, ‘The right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.’ The evidence is overwhelming. Our government has known for over 50 years that our climate is warming as a direct result of burning fossil fuels. It’s time for elected representatives, including the ACC, to do what is just.”
Arizona Interfaith Power & Light is joining with Solar United Neighbors to help those who are considering “going solar.” The East Valley Solar Co-op is supported by Solar United Neighbors, a nonprofit that has helped more than 3,900 homeowners go solar nationwide.
If you’re interested in going solar, this is the perfect opportunity for you to get technical support throughout the process and to potentially get a discount through the power of bulk purchasing. Interested homeowners can learn more at solarunitedneighbors.org/eastvalley. The co-op is open to East Valley (Phoenix) residents served by SRP. You can attend an information session to have your questions answered in person (see below). You can also make inquires via email to email@example.com.
It’s not too late to take action to support climate solutions by hosting a FREE screening of Paris To Pittsburgh today! Interfaith Power & Light is partnering with Bloomberg and Radical Media to bring this FREE limited time offering to you.
It’s important that people of faith share this film because climate change is a moral problem, not a technological one, as is evidenced by the success stories profiled in this film. Religious traditions have the moral authority, based on our long-held religious beliefs, to speak out and lead our communities to act on healing the climate. Help us spread the word by screening this film and inspiring your community to action with a hopeful message by offering a FREE screening of this timely film for your congregation, organization, gathering of friends or neighbors, your school, university, community center, or local theater.
Hosts will receive the Hosting Packet to advertise and prepare for the event that includes additional faith-based questions for discussion, a helpful toolkit for event planning, language and images for newsletters and social media posts. This is a limited-time offering, please sign up to screen Paris to Pittsburgh today!
PARIS PLEDGE Interfaith Power & Light is encouraging congregations to join the effort to care for Creation and move our country to clean, renewable energy by signing the Paris Pledge, committing to reduce their carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050.
Nearly 350 congregations have already signed it and we invite you to shepherd your congregation to signing it.
IPL’s Cool Congregations program has great resources for helping congregations reduce: calculators, Start-up kits including the popular 25 Steps to Saving Energy, inspirational stories of what other congregations have done, and more.
We urge you to join us in advocating for renewable energy and energy efficacy. Please consider adapting the letter below. You can make it your own. Email the letter firstname.lastname@example.org by July 27th, before the July 30thhearing at the Arizona Corporation Commission, and we will deliver it for you.
Also, we encourage you to attend the Stakeholder Hearing at 10 am on Tuesday, July 30th at the Arizona Corporation Commission, 1200 W. Washington St., Phoenix. The more who gather to advocate for renewable energy and energy efficacy, the better our chances of success.
Chairman Bob Burns Commissioner Lea Márquez Peterson Commissioner Boyd Dunn Commissioner Justin Olson Commissioner Sandra Kennedy
As a person of faith and conscience, I write to encourage you to vote for a robust Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) and Electric Energy Efficiency Standard (EEES). I join with other Joint Stakeholders to advocate for:
100% clean energy by 2045 50% renewable energy by 2030 10% distributed energy by 2030 and 35% cumulative energy efficiency savings by 2030
My name is ______. As a (Roman Catholic/Muslim/Jew/ etc.), my faith teaches me that it is important to take bold steps to protect (God’s Creation/our precious planet home, etc.). Our children’s future depends on decisive action to reduce carbon pollution and take advantage of Arizona’s sunshine. The REST and EEES rules have saved utility ratepayers money, reduced water use, created new, clean energy jobs and helped protect our environment.
A standard of 100% clean energy by 2045 is consistent with policies developed across the Western United States. (1.) It is achievable and necessary to address the impacts of climate change.
Energy efficiency saves ratepayers money, energy and water. At the same time EEES has stimulated the local economy, created jobs and reduced air pollutants—all cost-effectively. .
Thank you for your consideration. For the sake of the health of people and our planet, I urge you to vote for strong standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Your Name Your Address
The following standards have been adopted: Nevada: 50% renewable by 2030 and 100% clean by 2050; New Mexico: 50% renewable by 2030, 80% renewable by 2040, and 100% zero-carbon by 2045; Oregon: 50% renewable by 2040; Washington: 100% clean by 2045; California: 100% clean energy by 2045.
Your Voice is Needed – Important Electric Vehicle Vote Coming Up!
Our state’s utility commission, known as the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), is currently considering a new electric vehicle (https://docket.images.azcc.gov/0000196918.pdf ) (EV) policy. The proposed policy opens the door for investment in EV infrastructure and programs. Unfortunately, Arizona is lagging behind neighboring states in expanding infrastructure that is critical to bringing more EVs to our roads.
On July 11, the ACC will vote on whether to move forward with expanding this critical EV infrastructure in Arizona. We strongly encourage you to submit a letter in favor of this electric vehicle policy before the upcoming July 11 vote. To do so, please write a letter (hand-written or typed) and send to Doug Bland, Executive Director, email@example.com, who can assist with submitting your comments to the ACC. You will want to make sure you have clearly labeled at the top of your letter Docket No. RU-00000A-18-0284.
Now is the time for Arizona to step up and to be a leader in electric vehicles. Write your letter to the ACC to express support today.Key points to highlight in your letter to Commissioners (please do not copy and paste, modify in your own words):
Utilities need to serve a more significant role in enabling the growth of Arizona’s transportation electrification market and EV charging infrastructure.
If utilities have more EV charging stations/chargers in use during off-peak hours of the day, it could create downward pressure on electric rates.
Utilities should create EV pilot programs in which Arizonans benefit.
EVs provide many economic (and health and environmental) benefits.
Jolene Bowers, a scientist with TGen from Flagstaff, and I spoke at Orme School, a boarding school in Mayer, last month. A wonderful event put on by Slow Food Prescott and the Orme School dining director.
You know the facts: the food system is one of the largest contributors to climate change, reports suggesting it is responsible for 20-30% of global greenhouse gas emissions; it is the world’s largest single user of fresh water; we currently cultivate 50% of the world’s land mass; the Earth loses 18.7 million acres of forests (a huge carbon sink) per year, largely due to more grazing land for animal agriculture. The impact on land use and bio-diversity is a major threat to the health of our planet.
From production to processing to packaging to transportation. From seed to supper to the landfill. Greenhouse gas emission impacts occur at every stage. Our culture, our consumer practices and our eating habits reinforce these negative environmental impacts.
Yet, we can have individual impacts – we vote three times a day with our fork! Jolene is a practitioner and advocate for a plant-based diet. Why? One person can save 11 gallons of water; 30 square feet of forest; 40 pounds of grain and save one animal’s life. That is for each and every day! “The single biggest thing you can do for the environment is modify your diet.” And the impact on our personal health is substantial. 80% of our chronic diseases would be prevented. This is a significant public health issue in our schools and across the nation.
In addition to this important dietary shift, we need action at the movement level, as well. We need to reorient our industrial and monocrop farming system. We need managed grazing. We need to halve food waste. And this last point is so important: We need to partner with the agriculture and cattle industry. Those of us who call ourselves Earth stewards, Earth protectors or environmentalists are not the enemy – climate change is!
AZIPL has an active Food Justice Action Team, with some concrete steps we can pursue here in Arizona. To learn more and become more involved with food justice in your faith community or at the local and State level, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nona Siegel at email@example.com.
“You Think You Can Change the Climate?”
I was not prepared when an acquaintance at a Super Bowl party asked this question in response to my sharing that I am working on the climate crisis. It seemed a long time before my response, “yes I do.” That got me thinking.
Being a climate activist is a challenge. Although science interests me, debating does not. I feel God’s presence in my life, but not the impulse to proselytize. Good public speakers inspire me, but the thought of presenting a formal paper makes my knees knock. And I definitely do not relate the climate crisis and creation care to politics or tribal orientation. Being a citizen who leads by example is my style. That doesn’t engender followers, but perhaps that technique will stimulate action. To that end, I offer the following list of actions the Green Team and I have taken that do indeed, change the climate:
– We have begun a program to limit single use plastic at church and home.
– The team has planted a demonstration garden with elementary students.
– We have recycled plastic and cans from the Salt River Recreation Area.
– Our preschool has planted a veggie garden.
– Recycling plastic, aluminum, glass and corrugated directly helps.
– We collect green waste and dig it into gardens to trap carbon.
– We personally finance as well as plant trees to increase O2 (oxygen.)
– Repurposing unwanted household items reduces mfg. new items.
– We have divested our retirement accounts away from fossil fuels.
– Our family car is a hybrid with terrific mileage with batteries/gasoline.
– When forced to fly we buy carbon offsets (AZ Interfaith Power & Light.)
– Added insulation causes our home air conditioner to run less.
– Our community garden helps avoid trucking food into the stores.
– We installed a high efficiency heat pump at home & church.
– We switched lighting at home & church to reduce power needs.
These are a few activities that have proven to improve our environment, changing the climate. The time for action is now. Can you help?
By EarthKeeper, JP Smith.