October 2021 Sustained Advocacy Policy Update call

Calls take place on 4th Thursdays, 5:00-6:00 PM
Email for call info

Calls can be made from your phone or computer.  The only charges are your normal charges for call or internet service.  There are no additional charges.

These calls are scheduled monthly, and are a chance to develop and maintain a base of knowledge about current  and emerging climate policy and legislation, municipal through federal, with a focus on important issues and/or roles for Pennsylvanians and moral, ethical, and faith-rooted messages.

The calls are open to people at any stage of advocacy and policy involvement.  We begin and end with a short meditation, reflection, prayer or centering breath, and include both reports and discussion.  We will identify and/or choose a limited number of key actions for each month.

The resources that support this call come from and through a variety of sources: IPL national, the Washington Inter-religious Staff Community and connected organizations, the US Climate Action Network, and PennFuture. 

Sign up to be on the policy call reminder list

September 2021 Sustained Advocacy Policy Update call

Calls take place on 4th Thursdays, 5:00-6:00 PM
Email for call info

PLEASE NOTE THE NEW MEETING TIME OF 5:00-6:00 PM EST

Calls can be made from your phone or computer.  The only charges are your normal charges for call or internet service.  There are no additional charges.

These calls are scheduled monthly, and are a chance to develop and maintain a base of knowledge about current  and emerging climate policy and legislation, municipal through federal, with a focus on important issues and/or roles for Pennsylvanians and moral, ethical, and faith-rooted messages.

The calls are open to people at any stage of advocacy and policy involvement.  We begin and end with a short meditation, reflection, prayer or centering breath, and include both reports and discussion.  We will identify and/or choose a limited number of key actions for each month.

The resources that support this call come from and through a variety of sources: IPL national, the Washington Inter-religious Staff Community and connected organizations, the US Climate Action Network, and PennFuture. 

Sign up to be on the policy call reminder list

August 2021 Sustained Advocacy Policy Update call

Calls take place on 4th Thursdays, 5:00-6:00 PM
Email for call info

PLEASE NOTE THE NEW MEETING TIME OF 5:00-6:00 PM EST

Calls can be made from your phone or computer.  The only charges are your normal charges for call or internet service.  There are no additional charges.

These calls are scheduled monthly, and are a chance to develop and maintain a base of knowledge about current  and emerging climate policy and legislation, municipal through federal, with a focus on important issues and/or roles for Pennsylvanians and moral, ethical, and faith-rooted messages.

The calls are open to people at any stage of advocacy and policy involvement.  We begin and end with a short meditation, reflection, prayer or centering breath, and include both reports and discussion.  We will identify and/or choose a limited number of key actions for each month.

The resources that support this call come from and through a variety of sources: IPL national, the Washington Inter-religious Staff Community and connected organizations, the US Climate Action Network, and PennFuture. 

Sign up to be on the policy call reminder list

Stories from the Road reflection— Peter Dugas, inaugural rider

Peter Dugas was a charter PA IPL Board member of PA IPL, and one of three inaugural cyclists in 2012. He is an engineer who knows a lot about energy efficiency, and a fine musician, which both played a part in his community connections during that 2012 ride! Peter now lives in Maine.

Share a highlight of a past bike trip. 
I had the pleasure of being one of three cyclists on the inaugural (2012) PAIPL bike trip and have so many memories. I remember the send-off in State College with the 20-plus cyclists who agreed to ride the first few miles with us. I felt a bit over my head because everyone was wearing cycling gear and shoes and I was the jerk who didn’t know any better and wore chinos and loafers.

Sendoff after the blessing in downtown State College!
Made it! arrival at the national IPL conference at the Kellogg Center on the campus of Gallaudet University

How has the bike trip continued to impact or sustain you? 
I often remember the outreach we made to the kind folks along the way who opened their homes for us. No matter their opinion of climate action they were moved by our commitment, and we were moved by their hospitality.

In what ways are you continuing to reap inspiration and energy from your experience of the trip? 
I continue to lobby my national lawmakers for climate action and I will always carry with me the lesson I learned on that trip that caring for our common home is a bridge issue not a wedge issue.

Between appointments in Pennsylvania legislators’ offices on Capitol Hill.

What you are doing right now to support the work of PA IPL in raising climate change as a moral issue.
Though I no longer live in PA I continue to support PA iPL and enjoy reading about their recent outreach efforts and bike trips

What “call to action” would you encourage others to take regarding climate change at this time?
Call your Senators and Representatives, ask for specific policy like a carbon fee and dividend, invoke the climate stewardship messages from your faiths, share the En-ROADS Climate Simulator* with others and talk about climate care as often as socially acceptable!

Peter with the inner workings of the green Quaker Welcome Center across from the U.S. Senate.

*Note: The En-ROADS Climate Simulator is an online policy simulation tool that gives users the ability to explore the likely consequences of a variety of factors  that affect climate change, such as  energy, economic growth, land use, and other policies and uncertainties.

Friends, did you know?
PA IPL includes a “Discussion Hook” in every monthly policy call update. These are timely articles that provide an entry point for learning and conversation around climate impacts, climate justice, climate solution, and related policies. There is always a little intro, a link, and often a little excerpt. They are suitable for conversations with neighbors, friends, family members and even congregational study or action groups! For a sample, check out the discussion hook in the end-of-April summary here.

Climate scientist and climate communicator Katharine Hayhoe has said that talking about climate change is one of the most important things that anyone and everyone can do. If we’re not talking about climate change, we’re not talking about solutions, and our policymakers aren’t hearing about their constituents’ concerns or hopes.

Denominations Call for Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy

One of the ways that some religious communities are taking action to protect life and care for creation is to transition away from support of fossil fuels at a policy and governance level.

elcafinalIn August 2016, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted at its Churchwide Assembly to move “Toward a Responsible Energy Future.” Read the full text of the statement on page 5 here.

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In July 2015, the thirtieth General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) approved a resolution calling for its pastors, conferences, and members to advocate for a swift transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

UCC_logo“It is our belief,” the resolution states, “that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is among the most compelling and urgent issues of our times.” Further: “…If we do not immediately decrease our use of these fuels and completely eliminate them by the year 2014 all life on earth will likely experience previously unknown devastating results including drought, wildfires, extreme precipitation and cyclones, drinking water scarcity, diminished food production, population migrations, human mortality, violent conflicts, and species extinction, thereby upsetting the whole ecology of Earth.”

The full text of the resolution is available for download here.

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UUA logo_gradientIn June 2014, the Unitarian Universalist Association approved a resolution calling for divestment from fossil fuels at its annual General Assembly. It says, in part: “The climate crisis threatens Earth systems through warming, destabilization of the atmosphere and climate, sea level rise, and the acidification of the oceans, of which the brunt of the burden has fallen and will fall on the poorest people in the world, who are least responsible for the crisis.”

The full text of this resolution is available online here.

William Lochstet Comments on Methane Emissions, August 2016

On August 4, 2016, PA IPL member William Lochstet delivered the following testimony on the topic of methane emissions to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee.

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The EPA has found that the current and projected concentrations of the six greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations through climate change.

Our climate is a common good we share with our neighbors. Many religious traditions address the question of who is my neighbor. Christianity suggests that even persons normally rejected by society are actually neighbors. The Pope recently wrote of the earth as our common home. Native American tradition suggests that neighbors extend seven generations into the future. We are all brothers and sisters together now, in the past and into the future. What we put into the atmosphere today will have effects years and centuries into the future.

We had hoped to reduce global warming by replacing coal with natural gas since it results in less carbon dioxide (CO2) per unit of energy produced, when burned. But, we find that so much methane is released along the way, that the overall climate change effect is greater.

The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of methane and CO2 need to be understood in relation to time. When CO2 is released into the atmosphere, it stays there for a long time, and produces a steady warming effect. Methane in air undergoes chemical reactions on a time scale of about 12 years, which ultimately produces CO2 and water vapor. A methane release has a huge warming effect in the beginning, but is equal to CO2 after several decades. The Global Warming Potential for methane is between 84 and 87 over 20 years, according to EPA. This can have a huge effect on the weather events that you and I will experience in the next 10 or 20 years. This is important for immediate disaster preparedness. It is important to present global warming projections in both 100-year and 20-year time frames.

We need to reduce methane emissions by half very quickly. The Natural Gas STAR Program is voluntary, and therefore will not succeed. California is considering a 45% reduction in greenhouse gases emissions, below 2012 levels by 2025.

Lastly, the United Church of Christ at its National meeting last June adopted a resolution calling for the complete transition to renewable energy by 2040.