Tag Archives: Pittsburgh-area

PITTSBURGH: Jacqueline Patterson speaks at University of Pittsburgh

Jacqueline Patterson will speak about Climate Justice at the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium.  She is the director of the NAACP Climate Justice Program.

This is not a PA IPL event, but Jacqueline Patterson was a keynote speaker at PA IPL’s 2014 Annual Conference — Climate Justice: Faith in Action — and we are big fans!

PITTSBURGH speaker: Fracking in our Future?


Saturday, March 24, 2018 – 
7 PM
Sixth Presbyterian Church
1688 Murray Ave.
Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh

Please register online  or by calling 412-421-2752.
Registration is free, but seating is limited.

Join Sixth Presbyterian for a riveting program regarding climate change with renowned speaker Larry Schweiger.  Schweiger is a leading voice in the environmental movement nationally and in Pennsylvania. He is currently the Chapter Co-Chair of the Climate Reality Project here in Pittsburgh. He has also served as President and CEO of PennFuture, of the National Wildlife Federation, and of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Get a PDF flier to share.

“Every Nation on the planet, except the US, has recognized the dire threat of climate change and is committed to carbon reductions… Currently, the state of Pennsylvania has fully embraced…frack gas which is just as big a threat to our climate as coal. We must redirect their attention to advance clean energy and clean energy jobs. Working together, we can change our future for our children and their children.” — Larry Schweiger.


PITTSBURGH: Petrochemical Infrastructure Panel

What can we do to prevent the petrochemical infrastructure buildout which threatens our air, land and water? 

  • Matt Mehalik, Director of the Breathe Project
  • Rev. John Creasy, pastor of the Open Door Church, Garfield, permaculture teacher and farmer at Garfield Community Farm, Board Member of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, and the Pittsburgh Presbytery Peacemaking Team.
  • Terrie Baumgardner, Climate Reality Volunteer and member of the Citizens To Protect the Ambridge Reservoir where the encroachment of Shell’s Falcon Pipeline threatens the watershed of this pristine reservoir.
  • Nora Johnson, Climate Reality Volunteer, Earth Care Team- Sixth Presbyterian Church as well as a Pittsburgh member of Citizens to Protect the Ambridge Reservoir.

PITTSBURGH: chapter meeting

Next meeting of the newly formed Pittsburgh Chapter of Interfaith Power & Light.
New members encouraged and always welcome! 
Email pittsburgh@paipl.org for the East Liberty location and directions.
This month, Rev. John Creasy will be updating us on the recent actions taken by the Pittsburgh Presbytery on the petrochemical infrastructure and on divestment.
Want to learn more right away?
In addition, we will discuss:
  • What does IPL’s faith-based perspective bring to our work on climate justice?
  • How can we support one another?
  • How can we increase the faith-based public presence for climate action?

PITTSBURGH — Dr. John Francis, Planetwalker, and local leaders talk about Environmental Justice and Civic Conversation

** Please note: registration for this event closes at 12:00 noon on Thursday, April 20. If you miss the window for online registration, not to worry! You can register at the door.

This event is offered by our friends at the Green Building Alliance, Pittsburgh


At the age of 27, Dr. John Francis stopped talking. A few months prior, an oil spill prompted John to stop using motorized vehicles, and his quiet act of defiance set his town into a roaring debate. In the clashing of voices, John lost his own, and took the next 17 years (no, that’s not a typo!) to simply listen, and walk. His feet traveled through Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and the US, and eventually came upon the beating heart of environmentalism. More than 20,000 miles and a doctorate later, this Planetwalker has devoted his life to civic engagement and sustainability, and understands preservation as the interplay of human rights, gender, race and economic equality.  Join us as we experience Dr. Francis’ Planetwalk firsthand, and gain perspectives from Khalif Ali (Pittsburgh Foundation), Evaine K. Sing (GTECH), Joan Haley (Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows) and Jason Beery (UrbanKind Institute) about civic conversation in Pittsburgh.  We’ll even flex our own public dialogue skills at the end.


4:30-5:30 – Food, Drinks, and Networking

5:30-6:15 – Keynote by Dr. John Francis and short introductions by local panelists

6:15-7:00 – Facilitated Dialogue with Presenters and Audience

More About Our Speakers:

Dr. John Francis


Dr. John Francis traveled by foot for 22 years, and spent 17 of those completely silent.  When John was 26 years old, an oil tanker collision prompted him to give up motorized vehicles, a decision which spurred so many arguments that by 27, he decided to stop talking.  During the two decades when he became the Planetwalker, John earned a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctorate, all while spreading a silent message of sustainability and social justice with his banjo. He founded the Planetwalk Foundation in 1982, and upon breaking his silence on Earth Day in 1990, Dr. Francis dedicated his life to creating conversation.

After ending his silence in 1990, Dr. Francis has spent his subsequent years carrying that same message across the country.

Here are some ways he has shared his message:


Khalif Ali

Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, The Pittsburgh Foundation

Khalif is the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at The Pittsburgh Foundation. In partnership with residents, grassroots activists and political leaders, Khalif works to craft and advance a policy and advocacy agenda for the Foundation. He has a graduate degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in community organizing. When he’s not at the Foundation, you might find him volunteering with the Reaching Back Program or coaching male Pittsburgh Public School students in health, wellness, nutrition, exercise and meditation.

Evaine K. Sing

Executive Director, GTECH Strategies

Evaine is the Executive Director of GTECH Strategies, which mobilizes residents, policy-makers, and like-minded organizations to transform vacant spaces into thriving places across Allegheny County. She is a registered landscape architect with a background in public policy and economic development. She has worked to engage individuals to implement creative, sustainable solutions that can lead to larger changes in their neighborhoods. Evaine has also worked with partners at the policy and decision-making level to ensure pathways for change exist.

Joan Haley

Executive Director, Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program

Joan is the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows Program and the former Clinical Director of Southwest Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center. With more than thirty years working in the non-profit sector in the fields of management, adult education, training and development, she has taught leadership training and strategic planning to professionals and volunteers and is an experienced curriculum writer and fundraiser. Joan received a Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Adult Education and Training.


Jason Beery

Senior Research and Policy Analyst, UrbanKind Institute

Jason is the Senior Research and Policy Analyst at UrbanKind Institute. Trained as a geographer, he examines spatial difference from a holistic, intersectional perspective, blending political, economic, environmental, legal, and health issues with race, gender, and class. Jason focuses on a variety of areas, including environmental justice, community development, food systems, transportation, and housing. Jason received his PhD in Geography from the University of Manchester (UK), his M.S. in Geography from Penn State, and his B.A. in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University.  His research has been published in Political Geography, Geoforum, and elsewhere.

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Federal Coal Program comment period

Comment in person  at a “public scoping meeting”  Pittsburgh Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA; register in person at 11:00 AM to give comments.  See agenda.  Watch the meeting by livestream via your computer

Submit a written comment
as a citizen, with a spiritual study or prayer group, or with your congregation or  community until July 23 (or July 28, depending on the web page):  BLM_WO_Coal_Program_PEIS_Comments@blm.gov

What is this?

The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management is beginning a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) of its coal program.  It has been over 30 years since the last review (How long ago was that? 1986 was the year of the Chernobyl disaster and Microsoft’s IPO.  Ronald Reagan was president, Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone’s secret vault, and Matt Groening created the Simpsons.)

How do I learn more?

Our friends at Creation Justice Ministries have shared an excellent briefer on the program with us.  While Christian in its bent, it is informative and will provide background and suggest connection points for commenters of any faith tradition.

The press release from the Department of the Interior summarizes the project this way:

The programmatic review will examine concerns about the federal coal program that have been raised by the Government Accountability Office, the Interior Department’s Inspector General, Members of Congress and the public. The review, in the form of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), will take a careful look at issues such as how, when, and where to lease; how to account for the environmental and public health impacts of federal coal production; and how to ensure American taxpayers are earning a fair return for the use of their public resources.

“Even as our nation transitions to cleaner energy sources, building on smart policies and progress already underway, we know that coal will continue to be an important domestic energy source in the years ahead,” said Secretary Jewell. “We haven’t undertaken a comprehensive review of the program in more than 30 years, and we have an obligation to current and future generations to ensure the federal coal program delivers a fair return to American taxpayers and takes into account its impacts on climate change.” [source]

Public comment helped lead to this review, and the full process will likely take several years.

“As we begin this review, we are looking forward to hearing from the public about a wide range of issues about the federal coal program,” said BLM Director Neil Kornze. “The information we gather will help shape future decisions about this public resource.”

The BLM is particularly interested in gathering public input on the issues and policies that should be outlined in the PEIS, including topics such as whether Americans are receiving a fair return for federal coal, how market conditions affect coal, how federal coal affects the environment, and how these and other factors impact coal-dependent communities. Public feedback obtained during these meetings will help inform the size and scope of the review conducted in the PEIS. [source]

Anyone may access the federal fact sheet on the program.

There are few BLM lands (and few coal leases) in Eastern States, but our comments still count — particularly  because we are still a state that burns coal.