Slumber party!

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When we heard that 20 or more Senators would be pulling an all-nighter on March 10-11 to draw attention to climate change, we got pretty excited.  How could we support them?  Pajamagrams?  Deliveries of tasty snacks made of foods threatened by climate change?   Both are good stunts, but neither is likely to make it through security in a timely fashion in this day and age.   Then we learned that neither of our PA Senators had plans to join in.

So, we’re going to “join” the all-nighter by pulling an all-nighter of our own, making calls to Senator Casey’s offices and Senator Toomey’s offices once an hour while the climate conversation is happening.   We made a signup sheet to spread the effort out over the course of the night, and it’ll really only take you 6 minutes to make 2 calls.  We’ve made it SUPER EASY: phone numbers, a script — it’s all ready for you.
Join the slumber party! 
[UPDATE: click to the next post to read how it turned out]

Continue reading Slumber party!

Positively Green 2014

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On March1, PSU IPL held the 4th annual Positively Green .   By afternoon the participants had made and installed 22 window inserts!   Check out the finished product in the photo to the right — you’re looking through 2 “panes” of insulating plastic with an excellent insulating air pocket between.  Impressively clear and window-like, isn’t it?  Effective, too.  One group of students reported being able to actually feel the difference in “their” house from beginning to end of the (very quick) installation!  The PSU IPL officers did a fantastic job organizing the day, and they’ve created a PowerPoint presentation they’re willing to share to show exactly how Continue reading Positively Green 2014

Divest at the outlet.

power-outlet No matter how contemporary or traditional their services, every congregation plugs in somewhere, sometime.  Whether we’re running the coffee maker, lighting the gathering space, copying the newsletter, printing the lesson, chilling the cole slaw, or projecting the lyrics, we plug in when we need to, and we don’t think much about it. The electricity that makes all those things work comes from somewhere.   In Pennsylvania, we can now choose what electricity we buy.  We put inexpensive safety covers on our outlets to protect our children from the electricity.  Now we can also afford to protect our children and God’s Earth from pollution released in generating the electricity. Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light has teamed up with another non-profit, Groundswell, to join their Community Power Project.  Through this project faith communities, community organizations, schools,  small businesses, and now households can buy 100% clean, FIXED PRICE electricity in their existing budgets.  Groundswell joins bill-payers together Continue reading Divest at the outlet.

Snug in their beds.

We’re always pleased to see pictures of work done by the Weatherization First events!  This story comes from volunteers who also happen to be members of the Green Team at Grace Lutheran Church.

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TEAM: 
The volunteer group consisted of a pastor, a couple of young high schoolers, and a leader with DIY insulation experience.  They specifically recruited people who were small and/or flexible and strong to more easily work in the tight corners of the attic crawlspace.

THE CHALLENGE: The house in question generally has $300 gas bills per month in the winter, despite thrifty habits. The Continue reading Snug in their beds.

TAKE ACTION: Pennsylvania and Climate Change

The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee will conduct a hearing —open to the public —in Harrisburg (Minority Caucus Room, 418 Main Capitol) to answer the question:  What should Pennsylvania be doing to address climate change?   The hearing is sponsored by State Representative Greg Vitali.  Panelists will include Richard Alley, Tom Peterson, Janet Milkman, Christina Simeone, Rick Price, Erik Johanson. *  Begins at 10 AM.

  1. Do call your PA State Representative your PA State Senator and your to find out if s/he will be attending or sending staff and let us know.  Since this panel is sponsored by the House Democratic Policy council it may help Republican members to know that Dr. Alley publicly identifies himself as a registered Republican in his excellent climate change TV series Earth: the Operators’ Manual.
  2. UPDATE on task #2: Vote complete, Mr. Abruzzo was approved.   We did hear from at least one senator’s office that that particular senator had had extensive conversations with Mr. Abruzzo, and believed that his comments were taken out of context to seem more extreme than his views really are.  In any case, we hope that Mr. Abruzzo will soon learn more in his new role and will shift his statements accordingly.  While you’re on the phone with your state senator’s office, mention that you cannot understand how someone who “does not view [climate change] as harmful and sees no reason for Pennsylvania to adopt new policies to address it” could be in consideration for the top post at the DEP.  Ask your PA senator to vote against Chris Abruzzo as DEP secretary, and to insist that that job be filled by someone who understands that climate change is harming Pennsylvanians, and that we must act before we reach our limits because climate change doesn’t stop on a dime.

*We would be pleased to publicize a similar panel in the Republican caucus, but since there isn’t one, for now we’d just like to see all of our lawmakers take advantage of this knowledgeable panel.