Advocate for the game-changing EPA Clean Power Plan
How about we advocate for strong implementation of the new EPA Clean Power Plan in all 50 states? This historic policy initiative, the first ever to regulate carbon emissions, has the potential to be the most sweeping environmental action since the Clean Air Act a generation ago, and appears to be the most significant current policy initiative on climate change with a chance of actually being enacted. It incorporates many of the things suggested elsewhere, including ramping up renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as putting a price on carbon. The Administration infomercial is at http://tinyurl.com/pn28z7e, but most environmental organizations I am aware of are supporting and prioritizing this. The UU Advocacy Network of Illinois is part of the coalition organizing and mobilizing for this in Illinois, and we'd be happy to provide more info and connections.
Breaking Clean Tour
A tenth generation Appalachian Family, Four Generations of Coal Mining, One Goal: A Clean Future. A Just Transition begins now . . .
All are invited to the Willamette River Revival, 8/2, Sunday, noon - 7pm
It is a community-based festival on the Cathedral Park waterfront. The Grand Ronde tribe will host a traditional native American salmon bake. There will be live folk/bluegrass music, tabling by environmental groups, native American craft demos, guided walks and other activities. Tabling and salmon bake are free. For tabling & info: Barbara at WillametteRiverRevival@gmail.com or 503-954-3142
UUCWI Held a Service titled "The (Im)Morality of Climate Change"
A lay led service explored, with words and images, the impacts and injustices of Carbon Pollution inviting congregants to examine the array of emotions, possibly repressed surrounding the topic. It was followed by a forum to openly share congregants' reactions.
Earth and Ocean Appreciation Month 3/22// to 4/24
UUCWI along with the Greening Congregations of Whidbey Island sponsored 6 events 2 of which focused on water crisis: global, regional, California's and included a report on our island's water status. The lead event featured the film Our Sacred Obligation: The Totem Pole Journey 2014; "Thirsty for Justice: The Struggle for the human right to water"; “Making Polluters Pay: The Carbon Tax Option” featuring Carbon Washington's Initiative 732; A book report on Elizabeth Kolbert’s best selling book, The Sixth Extinction and concluding with Sharon Abreu's Climate Monologues, a one woman musical, multimedia show highlighting real people.
"Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities"
I believe this is a class which presents a scientific basis to SHIFT our world-view to a "Planet First" framework for human society to operate. Johan Rocktstrom of the Stockholm Resilience center taught a comprehensive 12 week online course. We have permission to show his videos. We study Rockstrom's hopeful, forward thinking framework of sustainability and resilience to navigate a safe and prosperous future in the Anthropocene geologic era we are in. Rockstrom presents science with the tools to approach a spiritual SHIFT of our world-view of "progress" and society's role with nature. https://www.sdsnedu.org/learn/planetary-boundaries-and-human-opportunities-fall-2014
Discussion Course: The Psychology of Climate Change
It was the survey we conduced of our church members a couple years ago that got me especially interested in this topic. 95% of our congregation agreed or strongly agreed with the following statement: “Climate change is real and is mostly human caused.” Yet, despite this, I know that most of the people in my congregation go about their daily lives more-or-less as if climate change does not exist. I’m sure we are not unique in this respect -- I have observed this routinely. Based on those survey results, I concluded that there was little point in hosting more presentations at our church regarding the science of climate change. Instead, what we needed was a way to get more of our congregation “unstuck”. By that, I mean that they translate their understanding and acceptance of climate science into positive actions that are integrated into their daily lives to whatever extent their personal time constraints allow.
With that in mind, my minister and I recently co-facilitated a two-session discussion course which we called “Who Asked for Climate Change, Anyway?” We limited attendance to 15 in order to allow everyone a good opportunity to contribute to the discussion. Here is the course description we came up with:
Our daily life is difficult enough as it is. We really don’t need climate change added on top of all that! Awareness of climate change triggers uncomfortable emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, guilt, sadness, and helplessness. In this course, we will discuss and share these feelings. Then we will envision a new cultural norm that, in many ways, is far more health-giving and fulfilling. The goal is to accept our feelings, adopt a hopeful outlook, and translate those feelings into constructive actions that help make life better for ourselves, our loved ones, and the world community. Wednesday, April 15 and 22, 7-9pm, Room 10. This class will be facilitated by Douglas Taylor and Wes Ernsberger.
The course was based on articles, book excerpts, and videos that I have collected over the last couple of years. Here are links to the course materials and additional references: http://www.etmsolar.com/gsuu/gs/pcc_apr2015.htm
We felt that the course went quite well. The majority of those attending were already environmentally-oriented but we also drew a number of people from our congregation who are not generally involved in environmental issues. As it turns out, this course was pertinent to everyone because our environmental activists haven’t focused much on the psychological aspects either. I don’t know if the course resulted in anyone getting “unstuck” but a number of participants said that they appreciated a chance to talk in a group setting about the uncomfortable emotions that the climate change problem elicits. So perhaps its main value was of a “support group” nature. We intend to offer something like this again.
Earth Treasure Vase Global Healing Project, June 19th & 20th
Join us in welcoming the Earth Treasure Vase Global Healing Project to Portland with an Earth Treasure Vase to be buried near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Stories of these sacred vessels, and this particular vase will be shared. Bring prayers and small offerings to fill the Vase for its journey up the Columbia River. Light refreshments will be served. Friday, June 19th The Kenton Wellness Cooperative, 8315 N. Denver Ave, 97217 6:30 – 8pm. Bring your drum, rattle, voice and prayers, your grief and joy, your love for Earth. Radical Joy for Hard Times & Your Nature Connect also invite you to bring prayers and small offerings to fill the Earth Treasure Vase. This is a family-friendly, free event. Saturday, June 20th Annual Earth Global Exchange Celebration – Kelley Pt. Park, 1pm - 4pm Solstice Sunday, June 21st Healing Journey on the Waters - 300+ mile caravan in unison up the Gorge begins. Registration is required. (You can also join us at selected sites.) Contact Judy Todd for details. Judy Todd, Your Nature Connect NW, Founder and Guide 503-260-4995 judy@yournatureconnect Laura Feldman, Community Activist, Educator and Custodian of the Vase 503-724-9901 firstname.lastname@example.org
An opera about oil
As a professional composer, I seek ways to grapple with and provoke discussion about climate change through my art. New Voices Opera produced my opera, Intoxication: America's Love Affair with Oil, in 2013. We have held several public screenings of the DVD since then, always with a group discussion afterwards. This is proving an effective way to reach people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ5EpAdU3Ic&list=PLWwrJRVxzCj9dSxsLrwwT5kmBpEFsNlc-
Eat a Plant Based Diet
Eating vegan saves: 1100 gallons of water, 45 lbs of grain, 30 square feet of forest, 20 lbs of CO2, 1 animal’s life... PER DAY.
WE have to attach a rising price on carbon or the world is cooked.
We need to move faster and stronger on climate change, with policies that actually make a difference. Here’s a suggestion: Citizens’ Climate Lobby supports a carbon pricing plan in which all funds are returned to citizens. It’s based on the successful policy implemented in 2008 in British Columbia. Analysis shows that by 2025, carbon fee and dividend in the U. S. will raise employment by 2.1 million, reduce carbon dioxide pollution by 33 per cent, and increase gross domestic product by $84 billion.
please take 1 minute to protest privatization of water
In the midst of a drought, Nestle Corporation is extracting water from natural springs in California to sell under the Arrowhead and Pure Life brand names. With a recent report showing that California only has enough water to last the state one more year, we must put an end to this madness at Nestlé before it’s too late. Join us! Go to http://act.couragecampaign.org/sign/NestleDrought/?t=3&akid=1590.539008.J-hoSA to SIGN THE PETITION to tell the California Water Resources Control Board: “While California is facing record drought conditions, it is unconscionable that Nestlé would continue to bottle the state’s precious water, export it, and sell it for profit. As a consumer and concerned citizen, I call on you to immediately stop Nestlé’s bottling operations in California.” http://act.couragecampaign.org/sign/NestleDrought/?t=3&akid=1590.539008.J-hoSA
Support Carbon Fee/ Dividend
The Citizens Climate Lobby pushes a Legislative proposal to Tax (Fee) Carbon and disperse the funds as a Dividend to every household. This lets the market make decisions, not regulators. Join us lobbying to save the Earth. Rich Greene
Support renewable electricity.
Solar panels may possibly be a better financial choice, but we switched to 100% wind because it was easy and cost little more than conventional sources.
Climate Justice project
Representatives from our Green Sanctuary Committee and Social Action Council are working together on a climate Justice proposal. This involves both individual and congregational actions, working within our homes and church and in the larger community. Our local League of Women Voters Environment Committee is interested in our project and is considering working with us. We're just beginning!
Animal agriculture and climate change
If we are interested in sustainable and ethical living, we must address our practice of raising animals to be slaughtered for food: animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions that all transportation combined and is the number one cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, habitat and rainforest destruction. Please inform yourselves, consider the facts, and make the connection — for the sake of our children, the environment, the animals, and ourselves. Here’s a start: http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/#
Committed to Action
Commit2Respond believes that saving our biosphere is possible, but it will take a paradigm shift and a revolution of values to get there. Our framework is simple: to meet this challenge, we will need to SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE the human rights of affected communities, and GROW the climate justice movement.