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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.
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 [email protected] or 503-954-3142
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/#
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-
Are UUs going to have an "official" presence at the Moral Action on Climate?
I would be much more likely to attend the event (Sept. 24 in D.C.) if I knew other UUs who would be there. Terry Wiggins First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee
Breaking Clean Tour
A tenth generation Appalachian Family, Four Generations of Coal Mining, One Goal: A Clean Future. A Just Transition begins now . . .
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!
The Climate Mobilization approach (endorsed in your email today) may energize America when the US is hit by a climate event that shakes the country as much as Pearl Harbor did. Unfortunately, such an event would need to be even more devastating than Hurricane Katrina or Super Storm Sandy...and it might not come for another decade. There are many other valid alternative secular groups for UUs in the battle against climate change. For example, following in the footsteps of a number of UU congregations around the country, here in Seacoast New Hampshire we are in the process of forming a chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL). The CCL advocates carbon pricing (not cap and trade), a strategy that both liberal and conservative economists think is the best way to control carbon emissions. Beyond Democrats and environmentalists, the CCL is gaining traction with some Republicans--who we are going to need to convince if the entire country is going to get behind a solution. But the CCL is only one example of many organizations who are doing their best in their own ways... it would be wise for Commit2Respond not to encourage just one strategy such as Climate Mobilization.
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 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.
Earth Day Co-Redeemers
The difference between mechanical systems and living systems is that all systems have both consumption and production functions, but living systems sustain their identity as more-than-mechanical systems as long as their decomposition functions continue to positively self-regenerate. Sustaining life requires positive Prime Relationship balance between decompositional and regenerative multisystemic trends within a polycultural environment of synergetic cooperation. The moment further integrative potential is lost to view, to hope, lost to faith, to consumptive and productive functions, synergy decadently tips toward entropic trends, resulting in decreasing polycultural function and form and increasing side-by-side monocultural decay. The Prime Relationship Principle of Taoist Permacultural Teleology transliterates and systemically universalizes various cultural expressions of the Golden Rule as: To optimize systemic confluence, minimize both consumption and production of dissonance, dismay, disease, decay, loss. Loss, waste, is decomposition that does not return at least equivalent regenerative value. The difference between equivalent return and slow-growth positive, emergent, integrative redemption of decomposed investment is the difference between non-violent justice, or fairness, or equipoised transactional balance, equivalence, and the active peaceful Climax Community regenerative trends of mutually subsidiary redemption. The Prime Relationship in a positive redemptive economic trend is between decomposition of past value (yin function) transliterating, repurposing, rehabilitating, redeeming, morphing (yang function) into a mutually regenerative, integrative, synergetic future. Regenerative permacultural economics transcends fair and justly non-violent transactions with cooperative intent. Equivalent 0-summed individual transactions might be captured in Game Theory as Not Lose-Not Lose logistics and strategy. But, mutually regenerative Win-Win economies, with trajectories toward Beloved Climax Communities, anticipate more than least-common-denominator nonviolence, aspiring to mutually-sustaining active peace. Redemptive economics and systemic ecology might define active peace as love; could define love as compassionate mindfulness; could define co-passionate, co-prehensile, co-intelligent mindfulness as inclusively synergetic, trending away from mutual monocultural tolerance in active pursuit of universally inclusive, mutually-optimizing, polycultural economic ecological ecotherapy. Multisystemic ecotherapy regenerates the sustained life optimization of mutually subsidiary Beloved Climax Communities, balancing our Interior SuperEco Landscape by learning active peaceful harmonic orthopraxis with our universal Exterior SuperEco Landscape. Earth's natural systemic Elders, Mentors, Co-Creators, Mutual Messiahs cooperatively redeem our integrative ecological and economic potential. The opposite of cognitive dissonance theory is permacultural regenerative redemption theory. To redeem is an active economic process following natural ecological principles of order and equity. For a Taoist, redemptive optimization of natural and spiritual systems requires balancing our internal-yin-concave-implicate-ordered functions with universally exegetical external-yang-convex-explicate-ordered information systems. What flowers within, blooms without, regenerates within and without boundaries of co-redemptive EarthDay light.
Earth Day Notes
Oppositional Earth Day Disordered Gerald Dillenbeck, M. Div., MPA, PDC Once upon a time there was a teenage girl, who lived with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Oppositional Disorder, and her dad, an EcoMinister by day and some kind of flying owl dreamer by night. In their EarthTribe, Earth Day was The High Holy Day for both the Yangish Republicans and the Yinnish Democrats, but for apparently oppositional reasons. One Earth Day early morning, before the sun had emerged once again, as it tends to do every Earth Day, Poison Ivy was lecturing her Yang Ken dolls and Yin Barbie dolls while sitting in bathwater up to her chin. Her EcoMinister Father checks in on her, just to be sure she has not yet drowned anyone, or taken the 3 rolls of toilet paper stored in the bathroom’s bottom drawer and thrown them into the toilet, then flushed, again. Her Empirical Princess Poison Ivy was shaking her royal finger at the Ken dolls. YangTribe’s problem is not accepting responsibility for your own karma, your lack of opportunities to continue over-competing with irrational, weedy, and sometimes toxic and even cancerously chronic comfort with Business As Usual economic lack-of-longterm-planning issues. You know perfectly well, but refuse to ace your internal and intergenerational and intercultural dissonance, that Business as Usual extractive competition with Earth is not compatible with your desire to redeem your children’s children’s economic future. Extraction without sufficient replacement of natural systems is a fool’s Lose-Lose Anti-Cultural Game designed to lead away from optimizing inclusively sustainable outcomes for your bratty grandkids. Your babies understand this but you don’t listen to them either as if maybe their depression and autism and attention deficit disorder, their anger and sadness and despair about ever being able to support themselves or ever even wanting kids to struggle to live through more crumbling crappy Earth Days, were totally insane, after looking at all the facts. So, who’s crazy really? Are you still really sure it’s not you? Maybe your grandkids know something about their future that you have helped perpetuate so you don’t want to think about its consequences for our global Unitarian Universal Intelligence future outcome prospects. Now, Barbie and your YinTribe, you have oppositional problems every Earth Day. Some of your Tribe keeps right on dancing and holding hands around that stupid Maypole, while the less manic go off to your silent siloes of sadness, beating yourselves up for your healthy chronic episodes of Earth Day cognitive dissonance. More of you Yins at least think about listening to your kids, to the ones escaping into virtual reality Earth-shelter basements, waiting for the lights to go out and the satellites to start falling, walking with the Green Occupiers, the Climate Justice and Earth Rights advocates, and more of you are less sure of just how insane your kids actually are becoming. Earth Days are difficult to celebrate without also feeling guilty about your own lack of grace. You get it that you could choose more and better ways to support a cooperatively mindful lifestyle within yourselves, within your families and other relationships, within your UU Tribal lives, within our now globally networked planet Earth. You see you could more actively pursue policies and procedures that reflect polycultural development, rather than competitively monoculturally stratifying and economically monopolistic dismay and decay. Don’t marginalize inclusive well-being through under-investment in racial and cultural and generational and inter-species mutual redemption and regeneration, rehabilitation and repurposing. You might better follow a very old tradition of mutually benign parasitic wisdom economics and ecology of profound interdependence. Just think about what we already understand about symbiotic incarnation and evolution, about systemic regenesis. You know, optimize your ecotherapeutic economic relationships. "You could go back to permacultural design and development’s Golden Rule standards for mutual mentoring your household and occupational and investment finances and ecology. UUs are communities of mutually redemptive, repurposing, regenerating economic faith in natural and spiritual living Earth-optimization systems. We require Win-Win cooperative global gaming strategies. Your kids probably already know how to do this, ask them, or talk to any organic gardener about the prime Yang-Yin relationship between regenerative and decompositional nutrient cycles, between global multisystemic abundance and soulful purgation, the functional relationships between seasons, and healthy regeneration of complex Climax Communities." Noticing that her EcoMinister dad was staring at her, actually listening for a change, maybe, Poison Ivy asked, “Why are you looking at me in that tone of voice, you know I’m right. I’m always right. That’s what Oppositional Disorder means, right? And, Poison Ivy and her EarthTribe Ken and Barbies continue to live here and now, if not quite so happily, ever after. The Once-ler: Sequel to The Lorax Gerald Dillenbeck, M. Div., MPA, PDC So I took the Truffula Tree of Life seed, while reminding the clinically depressed Mr. Once-ler that we are all born redeemers, not anything so simple as extractors. Redeemers do not extract what we have not prepared to replace sufficiently to sustain for future generations, to fairly claim redemptive regenerate value and standards. “You talk funny,” replied the Once-ler. “Go talk with your dead dinosaurs, your failing gorillas and their failing forests, and polar bears, and honey bees, with all your fancy economic redeemer theories, see how they feel about their investment in creating your sorry butt.” Not knowing quite what to say I thanked him for his sorry butt response and brought the Tree of Life seed back here to the UU faith community to learn what this community of mutual redeemers would most love to be with our Earth Day seed. Eventually someone came up with a very clever Permaculture Design strategy. Someone way in the back, no one is quite sure who, gasped out “Why don’t you plant the damn thing somwheres where the sun shines, unlike your sorry butts.” So we did. We took our Earth Day seed out to the lawn and we planted it where it would bring us graceful shade. We watered with the roof run-off barrels we also planted around our not-so-natural gathering place. Trees of Earth Day grow quickly in richly diverse nutrient-balanced organic compost, much like the rest of us receiving richly and deeply integrated nutrients, and not so much competitive, monochromatic, monopolistic, monocultural weeds and tumorous toxins in our always generous and kind, thoughtful and wise to the 7th generation of our future UU community, lovers of truth, redeemers of economic, ecological, multisystemic, polycultural, scientific, rational and sane, regenerative and rehabilitative reconnecting and religioning fertilizing and farming sustainability and cooperative synergetic integrity. Next thing you know we had a first generation of decomposing leaves, harvested flowers and berries, and four perfectly thermodynamically balanced organic Tree of Life Truffula Seeds. UU’s asked ourselves, again, How can we optimize the future of our children’s children with these redemptive seeds? Where does Earth most need such wealth? Again the Once-lerish voice croaked from lurking darkness in the back, “Why don’t you give one to the North to wave thank you through winter’s wind, one to the South, but not too far south because the coastline will become unstable by the end of this century, one to the East of the Connecticut River, to cool her morning water, but not too high up because our aquifer isn’t what it used to be, and one on Western horizon’s mountains, to profile all those red skies at night you’re always expecting here in your UU positive teleology truth-telling kinda way?” But, that’s not what we did. We brought one to the polar bears, and one to the honey bees, one to the gorillas and their forest, and one to the tortoises, and in return they gave us eggs and honey, lessons in cooperative tribal and permacultural living, and how to stay grateful through climatic winter hibernating fear and sadness and anger. From this we learned to live in our permacultured UU economy and ecological community like good cooperative organic fertilizers, farmers, mutually subsidiary and benign parasites, where I let you know both what I need, and what I have to share, and in exchange you are powerfully compassionate and mindful, so you tell me what I have to share that you need, and what maybe not quite so much, and what you have to share that I need and what maybe not quite so much. Then when we became adept with our endosymbiotically evolving Tree of Life Win-Win Cooperative Economic Game, sort of like playing Sims Cities in family purchasing teams, we diversified our cooperative market by mutually mentoring other communities about what the gorillas and forests, polar bears, honey bees, and tortoises taught us, the ecologic of cooperative economics, about becoming optimally regenerative and religioning redeemers of Earth Day’s primal gift, our global Permaculture Tree of Truly Sustainable Life, faithful to our 7 UU generations past, hopeful for our 7 generations future.
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 [email protected] Laura Feldman, Community Activist, Educator and Custodian of the Vase 503-724-9901 [email protected]
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.
Have Your Electicity Utility Deliver 100% Renewable Energy (If you are in a deregulated state)
Switch Your Residential Electricity To a Renewable Supplier - Its Easy If you live in one of the 16 electricity supply deregulated states, there IS something significant that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint without having to install your own solar panels or wind turbine. You can switch your electricity supplier to use only renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind and/or solar and in doing so you can say NO to nuclear and fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil). The deregulated states are: ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, OH, IL, TX, OR, (AZ & MI partial). Deregulation means your old local utility now delivers electricity to you through the grid and local power cables, while many different companies may generate the electricity (known as Energy Supply Companies or ESCOs) and you have the right to choose your supplier and still receive one bill and uninterrupted service. Many ESCOs offer 100% renewable energy contracts. Across the USA, electricity generation is by 39% coal, 19% nuclear, 27% natural gas, 6% hydro, 7% non-hydro renewable and 1% oil. So if you choose an ESCO supplying 100% wind energy you are changing this distribution away from the undesirable sources to the clean sources. If we can make this a grass roots movement by all acting together we can make a strong statement to the industry and tell the World we care. We could also use increase conversion rates to encourage congress to pass laws to help deregulate ALL states. Depending on the amount of electricity you consume, about ½ to ¾ of your bill goes to the old utility for the delivery of electricity through the grid and local power lines to your house and all the maintenance and overheads that go with that operation. This part doesn’t change. The remaining part of your bill is for the generator of your electricity (the supplier or ESCO), so only that part changes if you switch and the new rate is different. For each ESCO there is a website, so locate the ones you are interested in and see what contracts they have to offer this month. Contracts often change monthly because electricity is bought by ESCOs as a commodity, subject to market supply and demand. Often the ESCO will offer a contract with a variable rate that fluctuates monthly with the market. For those of you that prefer a predictable payment they also offer fixed rate contracts for a few months to a couple of years. The deregulated states provide assistance for making the switch, but it varies from state to state. For example in NY, the NY State Public Service Commission website provides all the assistance to make the switch, although it’s also useful to see what rating the Better Business Bureau has given each ESCO. For this project to be most effective, we would need a helper in each state who familiarizes him/herself with the conversion process. I have done this for NY State and now know how easy the process is. I have materials I can email to anyone who asks. I would also be happy to help a representative from the other deregulated states do the same. So let’s do it. What are you waiting for? It’s a NO-BRAINER!! To get help switching in NY State or to offer to be a helper in other deregulated states, contact [email protected]
Join the global Earth Charter Movement
"We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. " The Earth Charter is a universal expression of ethical principles for a sustainable, just and peaceful future. It's a framework for action. It's a way to put all our little ideas and actions in our own communities together so we can see this as one global movement. "Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life."
"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
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
Something hopeful happened in Florida on Saturday
Instigated by UU Justice Florida and organized by the Florida Council of Churches, 80 people of different ages, means, skills, perspectives and faiths met in an evangelical church for the conference Bridging Spirituality, Healing and Action to talk about what needs doing in this giant verdant state—the one that’s #1 on the list of those most threatened by climate change.
In just a few hours we took stock of what needs to be done and resisted the temptation to despair. We learned that there are vital changes within our grasp: It really is possible to win a ballot initiative that will make clean renewable energy available to hundreds of thousands. We can stop fracking and the construction of coal-fired power plants. We can lead the transition to a healthier and sustainable food system that will improve the health of our bodies, our water resources and our climate.
We searched in unlikely places and uncovered potential allies from across the religious spectrum and even from businesses—from Disney to farmers to waterfront realtors to tourism. Most importantly, we realized that we people of faith and conscience may be the ones to awaken the moral imagination of all those who love this state, its enormous natural bounty and its wonderfully diverse and resourceful people.
And we committed to respond. As we seed new partnerships, deepen our support for one another, and lend our hands to the work, it will bear fruit and we will build hope together. Thanks to Kindra Munta, Russel Meyer, and Gregory Wilson for making it possible.
Photos by Tim Heberlein
SUGGESTION: TIME FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
Our Climate Action Coalition in Portland, OR, was largely responsible for Mayor Charlie Hales' reversal of his decision to invite propane giant Pembina from our harbor and also initiated the recent "kayaktivist" protest against the icebreaker Fennica, as it moved out of repair to the Artic. We were joined by Greenpeace protesters who dangled from the St. John's bridge for 40 hours, to prevent movement of the ship, and these images went around the world. It's time for in-your-face protest, time for civil disobedience--we are in crisis. Every act that raises consciousness is important. Ultimately, we need a climate tax that all developed countries buy into, and this effort must be led by the US--and hopefully, China. Thanks for all the good work you are doing!