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We will host a planning intensive via Skype the week of July 27-31, with an interfaith climate conference call on Thursday, July 30, and an all-day workshop at the Sustainable Living Center in Hampton, FL on August 1.
Our goal is to go through the Earth Charter in 2015-16, one principle at a time, to find the people in our area who are helping to build a sustainable, just and peaceful future. They will provide a network of support for young people as they create action plans to solve global problems in their local community.
You can help to develop this program, and use it in your own community. God only knows what we can accomplish by the 20th Anniversary of the Earth Charter in 2020 — or the 50th Anniversary in 2050!
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]
March 22, 2014 Adult Sunday Forum: “What’s So Important about Snow?” with Scott Pattee, Water Supply Specialist with the Washington Snow Survey Office. 9:15 am, Conference Room
In keeping with the UN World Water Day and to kick off our “30 Days of Climate Justice Action – Climate Justice Month,” Scott will be describing the history of the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program along with why snow is such a vital part of all of our lives, all the while demonstrating the uses and users of our data, information and products.
March 26, 2014 The Earth is our Mother: An Evening of Dances of Universal Peace” with Marti Dimock, 7:00 pm, Social Hall
We will explore our relationship to the planet, touching on gratitude, honoring our pain for the world, seeing with new eyes, and going forth, inspired by the Work That Reconnects of Joanna Macy, environmental activist and Buddhist scholar. The Dances of Universal Peace are simple, easy-to-learn movements and songs inspired by world spiritual traditions — heart-awakening circle dances dedicated to peace within and without. All dances taught; live music!
April 1, 2014 “Origins: Our Roots. Our Planet. Our Future” film, Dinner & Film 6:15 pm • Library
Join us for the Community Night Dinner and the film “Origins: Our Roots. Our Planet. Our Future.” Grab your dinner plate and head into the library! We are more isolated from our natural environment than ever before, and that dynamic has resulted in an unparalleled number of chronic health concerns, a deteriorating planet, and increasingly severe obstacles for our children and grandchildren. “Origins” is a documentary about the intrinsic connection between the human lifestyle, our health and the vitality of our planet. Four years, 19 countries, and 24 experts in anthropology, medicine, ecology, and health have exposed the roots of our DNA and how to prevent the modern world from making you sick. It demonstrates that the keys to survival for both the human race and the planet that surrounds us can only be understood by looking back on the origins of our species nearly 200,000 years ago and illustrates that the forces that compromise our potential to thrive are only outmatched by our capacity to provoke profound and positive change.
April 12, 2015 Grand Canyon Service
10:30 am, Sanctuary
April 15, 2015 RE Community Night Dinner and Film: "Viva La Causa: The Story of Cesar Chavez and A Great Movement For Social Justice, Dinner: 6:00 pm, Film: 6:40 pm
Join the RE Team as they prepare a delectable dinner of Posole with various toppings and condiments, tortilla chips, and green salad and an evening viewing “Viva La Causa: The Story of Cesar Chavez and A Great Movement For Social Justice,” a film on Cesar Chavez and the grape boycotts of the 1960s. Local farmworkers will be joining us and sharing our meal, their stories and struggles, not so very different from the struggles of the grape farmworkers. Come for an educational evening and support our youth and RE staff and volunteers as they venture into learning about farmworker struggles for justice and equity. This event is designed to help prepare BUFsters, young and old, for the upcoming March For Dignity event on May 3rd, where we will march, as a congregation, in solidarity with our local farmworkers.
Believe it or not, this is a piece of BUF’s history as BUFsters participated and supported farmworkers in the grape boycotts that took place in the 1960s which the film describes.
“Viva La Causa” focuses on one of the seminal events in the march for human rights – the grape strike and boycott led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s. Viva la Causa will show how thousands of people from across the nation joined in a struggle for justice for the most exploited people in our country – the workers who put food on our tables. It tells the story of a dedicated coalition of people from diverse classes, races and religions who stood together for justice, proving that the mightiest walls of oppression can be toppled when people are united and their cause is just.
April 19, 2015 Adult Sunday Forum: "Proposed Environmental Tax for Washington” with representatives of CarbonWA, 9:15 am, Conference Room
Join us as CarbonWA, an NGO (non-governmental organization) promoting a carbon tax here in WA talks about what that tax would look like. The proposed environmental tax reform will improve Washington’s economy and reduce Washington’s carbon pollution. It is a win/win for those of us who want to help spur economic growth and improve air quality by reducing pollution. Environmental tax reform would:
• Improve air quality and reduce airborne toxins
• Help slow ocean acidity and sea level rise
• Reduce the state sales tax by a full percentage point
• Fund the Working Families Sales Tax Rebate to help working families
• Eliminate the Business and Occupation (B&O) tax for manufacturers
• Pay for these tax reductions with a carbon tax of $25 per ton of CO2
April 19, 2015 BUF Earth Day Service: A Celebration of Mother Earth and Environmental Justice, 10:30 am, Sanctuary
Poets Matthew Brouwer, Kevin Murphy, Betty Scott and singer, musician, J.P. Falcon Grady join Rev. Paul preaching, singing, and speaking up for Mother Earth.
Matthew Brouwer has performed across the west and been featured in regional literary, performance, and visual arts showcases such as Phrasings, Cirque and Strands. He facilitates the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project and Kintsugi Writers Circle for People Living with Chronic Illness and believes poetry can be a powerful agent for helping people find healing and meaning in their lives. Kevin Murphy has been performing for over 30 years. He is the author of A Beautiful Chaos Demands Energy and also has a poetry CD, Between Onions and Oxygen. He regularly performs on the Chuckanut Radio Hour, has toured the Pacific Northwest and beyond as a member of the New Old Time Chautauqua, and teaches poetry through the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project. Kevin’s poetry tends toward the comic and the surreal, and he often accompanies himself on guitar or drum. J P Falcon Grady is a Native musician and songwriter who plays acoustic rock, reggae, blues, country, Jawaiian and original compositions. Betty Scott is a poet, essayist and editor. She and JP Falcon Grady will explore the physical and emotional resonances of words and images beneath the veil of denial to speak up for the health and well being of life-sustaining Mother Earth.
April 19, 2015 C2C/BUF Partnership Celebration: “A Look at the Past, A Glimpse of the Future . . .”, After the service (about 12:00 pm), Social Hall
Come enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our own Christopher Griffen-led team. Join us as we celebrate the C2C/BUF Partnership Team’s tremendous accomplishments over the last two years and it’s plans for the future. Hear from C2C staff, farmworkers and BUF members about partnership activities. Ask questions and learn more about the partnership in preparation for the Partnership’s renewal coming up for congregational vote in May. Activity table provided for our younger members.
April 20, 2015 Unist’ot’en Camp Fundraiser film screening “RESIST: The Unist’oten’s Call to the Land” with guest appearances from the film’s Directors David Goldberg and Eli Hirtle, 7:00 pm, Sanctuary
Join us as WWU students tell the story and their experiences with the Unist’ot’en Camp, a First Nations resistance community whose purpose is to protect sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory in British Columbia, Canada from several proposed pipelines from the Tar Sands Gigaproject and shale gas from Hydraulic Fracturing Projects in the Peace River Region. “RESIST: The Unist’oten’s Call to the Land” is a documentary filmed in 2013 on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory, northern British Columbia, Canada. The film is about the C’ihlts’ehkhyu (Big Frog Clan) and the Camp they established as a year-round resistance to exploitative industry, and what it represents in relation to indigenous sovereignty and the environmental, legal, and social issues surrounding pipeline projects in British Columbia. This fundraiser and educational event is presented by BUF and WWU Students as part of Commit2Repsond’s Climate Justice Action Month (22 March – 22 April, 2015). More info at: http://www.commit2respond.org
May 3, 2015 3rd Annual March for Dignity, After the service about (12:00 pm), Outside front doors. March to Maritime Heritage Park Sunday May 3rd immediately after the service
This is an annual event to demonstrate solidarity with farmworkers in demanding humane immigration reform, fair wages, fair employment practices, safe working conditions, and other immigration and labor issues. Please bring a potluck lunch dish that does not need heating (and can be unrefrigerated for a few hours) to drop off in the entryway before the service. We will transport it for you to Maritime Heritage Park. After the service, grab your coffee or tea to go, bring or pick up a sign, gather in front of BUF, and let’s march together!!! Maritime Heritage Park is the end potluck & rally point for the 19-mile farmworker march that will have started that morning in north Lynden in the wee hours.
We will meet those courageous marchers at the park to celebrate!!
The SHOUT Heard ’Round the World: Revere Our Climate
If you are in the Boston area please join us on Patriot’s Day, Sunday, April 19 for the SHOUT, a family friendly rolling rally to sound the alarm on climate change. Our goal is to increase awareness and encourage individual action on the most critical social justice issue of our time.
To get updates on the event, visit our Facebook page at and our https://www.facebook.com/revereourclimate or our event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/570750993028215/.
The ride/walk starts in Charlestown and ends with a rally with speakers and music and the Climate Ribbon at North Bridge in Minuteman National Park, Concord, MA. You can contact me if you are a local environmental organization or UU church in the Boston area. We are particularly looking for UU faith communities who are on Revere’s ride route or in the towns the route passes through to join us. Environmental organizations can table at our rest stop at First Parish UU Concord at 12:30.
If you have any questions or want to be involved, contact me!
We will have a service devoted to Climate Disruption, and following it, a forum focusing on the emotional and moral aspects and provide suggested actions.
We are offering questions on a weekly basis for the congregation to consider at Chalice Circles and by families. We are happy to share them if you wish.
We are hosting a series of events on and surrounding Earth Day: UUCWI Earth and Ocean Appreciation Week, beginning with the film “Our Shared Responsibility” documenting the 2014 8,000 km totem pole journey led by Lummi leaders. Tuesday- Water Crisis Part II featuring the film created by UUs about California’s criisis, "Thirsty for Justice: The struggle for the human right to water”. following it will be a report from local officials about Whidbey’s water supply. Wednesday- “Should Polluters pay? The Carbon Tax Option” presented by the world’s only stand up economist and author of “The Cartoon Guide to Climate Change”, Yoram Bauman, PhD. Thursday- The book club will present on Elizabeth Kolbert’s book "The Sixth Extinction. Friday- “The Climate Monologues” a one woman show by Sharon Abreau about individuals from various places.
Can’t wait for more information. Hopefully I’ll have more ideas, as well.
have found to be “best practices.”
I could send it to an appropriate email address.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions is to put a price on fossil fuels. A carbon fee and dividend with all revenue returned to households, such as proposed by CCL, is such plan. A recent study done by Regional Economic Modeling Inc, (REMI), showed that CCL’s plan would reduce emissions, save lives, increase the GNP and create jobs. This is a win-win solution that deserves widespread support.
I especially like CCL’s approach because it is non-partisan and respectful of those with whom we disagree. It relies on ordinary citizens to exercise their personal and political power to bring about a positive change.
We hope many UU churches in MA will join us on April 19! And it would be great if the UUA and UUSC could support this action. Contact me if you are interested.