This week Ray Najjar, a 2013 cyclist and Professor of Oceanography at Penn State University shares his story from the road as he reflects on some highlights from his trip and also on the fragility of our oceans and the communities at their edges. and the need to take action on climate change — and he offers hope from other environmental crises we have faced. Listen to Ray’s reflections:
Two ways to respond to climate change: adapt, and mitigate.
Adapt:prepare for challenging climate impacts now and in future. In this week when thousands of communities are under flood watch, flood warning, or under water, check your home’s Flood Factor. Find out where climate-intensified torrential rains cause problems in your area. Flood Factor is a free online tool created by the nonprofit First Street Foundation that makes it easy for Americans to finally find their property’s current and future risk of flooding, learn if it has flooded in the past, and understand how flood risks are changing because of the environment.
Do you have boil-water advisories after strong storms? Many Pennsylvania communities do. Are there wet basement problems? How does that impact people’s insurance rates, or indoor air quality due to mold? These burdens are not borne equally. Is your neighborhood OK, but adjacent to one that floods? Who lives where? As we look at bigger storms, did you know that homeowners have access to recovery funds that are inaccessible to renters? What can you do? Ask your municipality about rain gardens, bioswales, and other adaptation efforts. Can you participate, spread the word, or help? Can your congregation?
Mitigate: cut climate-changing pollution. Households and houses of worship can use the Cool Congregations Calculator tool to see their baseline emissions and set reduction goals. You start with your zip code, so the results are shaped around data from your area. Congregations can get certified as a Cool Congregation, or share their stories for an annual Challenge — a contest to inspire others, and maybe even win a prize!
Want to motivate own household and a small group of friends to cut climate changing pollution, and model a potential carbon policy at the same time? You might consider a Voluntary Carbon Tax Witness.
Turn to prayer:
Please hold PA IPL and all who are working toward climate justice in your prayers through the week.
In 2019, PA IPL supporters “paved the cyclists’ way with prayer,” submitting original prayers, poems and artwork to express the deep faith that underlies their commitment to climate justice and care. The cyclists shared a compilation of these prayers with elected officials in Washington, as part of their advocacy conversations. Each week we are featuring a different prayer from the collection. This week’s prayer was written by a member of the Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL.
Two Ways to Get your Donation Matched!
Supporters of PA IPL’s Stories from the Road Campaign have two ways to see their contributions matched! A group of generous donors has created a matching fund of up to $4,000, doubling the contribution impact of one-time givers during the August campaign. Those who make a three-year pledge will have their first year of donation matched through our For the Long Haul campaign. These opportunities come with immense gratitude for the generous people seeding our growing organization’s fundraising efforts.
Stories from the Road: Celebrating the Journey Zoom event, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.
On Sep. 1, we’ll culminate our campaign with a live zoom-based Stories from the Road Celebration, featuring live music, prayer, storytelling, a chance to share your own stories of climate work with people throughout the state, and a chance to meet our brand new Executive Director, David Heayn-Menendez The event is free with a donation during Stories from the Road. Additional tickets can be purchased for $10. Spaces are limited, so donate now!
PA IPL supporters in Centre, Huntingdon, and Blair Counties are joining forces to get to know one another, encourage one another, pray together, learn of the activities of PA IPL, build community, and make common cause around caring for our Common Home and all who inhabit it. We’re calling it the Central PA IPL Circuit Riders, as we’ll rotate amongst faith communities and institutions, so everyone gets a chance to see new places and people… and the chance to share familiar ones.
The Central PA IPL Circuit Riders will join PA IPL member congregation State College Presbyterian Church to hear from their Sustainability team about their church greening activities. Hear about what they’ve accomplished, and how they’ve included various parts of the congregation. You’ll also get to hear a bit about certification programs and contests congregations can join.
Come to celebrate with SCPC, learn, get inspired, and share your ideas and successes!
Accessible from the PSU University Park campus on foot.
Very near Schlow Library and the downtown CATA headquarters, so lots of bus access.
Partially-covered bike parking at the Beaver Ave. entrance of the building.
To learn more about these Central PA IPL Circuit Rider events, or to get on our email list for upcoming events or to host an event please contact Greg Williams, board president of PA IPL by email or at 215-242-0854.
$1000 winners in each of 5 categories that address everything from careful planning and preparation for a major project, to water conservation, edible gardens, bike racks, to inspiring congregants or working to help communities adapt to climate change.
Want to get inspired to start a project for next year? Browse previous entries. We encourage benchmarking — making a record of where you are now — so that you can measure your progress. It will help track energy savings for Cool Congregation Certification, Energy Star Congregation status, and demonstrating progress for your team and your congregants. This is best done with the Energy Star materials. The worksheets will help you collect all the information you need before you sit down to enter it. The powerful (web-based) software will let you compare your house of worship to other, similar facilities, enter into friendly competitions, or aggregate your results within a community or even a denomination. We’ll help.
Done a lot of work already? You might be ready to begin work to become a Certified Cool Congregation. Begin with a Green Medallion,10% greenhouse gas reduction medallion, and plan toward a Gold Medallion for 40% and above reduction.