All things, all people belong to God

Remarks by PA IPL supporters are published on this blog alongside PA IPL’s official remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.

JoyBergeyMy name is Joy Bergey, and I speak in my role as Executive Director of the Center for the Celebration of Creation. The Center is an inter-religious program in Philadelphia, PA. The Center works with congregations and individuals to address problems of environmental injustice.

The Center for the Celebration of Creation applauds the EPA for proposing this strong rule. We urge that it be implemented quickly and not weakened in any way.

Every major faith tradition calls on its followers to protect those at the margins of society who cannot defend themselves: the young, the old, the sick, the poor. And it is exactly these persons who are being hurt first and worst by climate change, the climate change caused by industrial carbon pollution.

The major faith traditions also call on us to protect, even celebrate the natural world that God has given us. God’s love is infinite; the earth’s natural resources are not. Continue reading All things, all people belong to God

Pollution and climate change are costly.

Alan Eccleston and Linda Harris are friends and supporters of PA IPL, and members of the Voluntary Carbon Tax Witness group in their Friends’ Meeting.  They sent their comments to be read in Pittsburgh.  Remarks by PA IPL supporters are published on this blog alongside PA IPL’s official remarks. 

mt_toby_climatewitnessWe strongly support the proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

With 40% of carbon dioxide emissions coming from the smoke stacks of coal burning power stations, it is essential to regulate these pollutants.

Several members of our family suffer from asthma and other pulmonary ailments.  It is particularly distressing for us and others we know who have no defense against these pollutants.  Until EPA establishes these regulations and begins to require compliance, untold numbers of children and adults will suffer needlessly.

In addition to the immediate health effects, greenhouse gases are negatively impacting climate.  The results are Continue reading Pollution and climate change are costly.

Beyond birdbaths and gardens.

Sister Donna blesses new bioswale
Sister Donna blesses new bioswale

Remarks by PA IPL supporters are published on this blog alongside PA IPL’s official remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own. 

My name is sister Donna Zwigart.  I am a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, a Roman Catholic order  of 452 women who serve mostly in the United States and minister in Puerto Rico,  Africa and Peru.

Our western Pennsylvania regional house, Mt. Alvernia, is located in Millvale, a borough about 3 miles from downtown Pittsburgh.

I want to extend my gratitude to you for eliciting comments from the citizens on the proposed regulations for existing coal-fire plants.

As you may know, St. Francis was declared the patron of ecology by the United Nations about 35 years ago.  So I feel qualified, as a Franciscan, to make my testimony here today.

image source
image source

St. Francis was not only about bird baths and gardens…his teachings are about relationships.  We are all brothers and sisters in this kin-dom of Earth.  We are our brothers and sisters keepers as part of the family of all of Creation.  We are kin!  So whatever effects or harms our kin is of great concern to us.

If the air we breathe is polluted then all of the Earth’s family is hampered and cannot be healthy.  We have seen evidence of this in our Pittsburgh region.  We have Continue reading Beyond birdbaths and gardens.

We do not know what we do not know.

Bill and Tabitha fracking rallyWilliam Lochstet was a Professor of Physics at The Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (now retired).  He is a member of the PA IPL Board, and the Penn Central Conference of the UCC’s Green Justice Team.  PA IPL’s remarks are posted on this blog.  Link to submit a written comment of your own.  

I support implementation of the EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standard.

We know from climate science, that if we do not limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, the weather will become very hostile and dangerous.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its 2013 report of Group 1 estimate that the world could emit up to about 1.1 teraton of carbon dioxide before reaching this limit, as illustrated by their RCP 2.6 scenario. This scenario involves a decrease in CO2 emissions from a maximum today to a rate about one third smaller in 2030, for the world as a whole.  This scenario is expected to result in a maximum temperature rise of less than 2 degrees Celsius, and slowly cool to normal after the year 2300.  They considered three other scenarios with greater emissions, all of which have global temperatures increased by more than 2 degrees Celsius beyond the year 2300. These alternatives are dangerous security risks, with major migrations and famine.  As a person of faith, I cannot condone to leaving such a legacy, with very violent weather, for future generations.  We must decrease carbon dioxide emissions, nationally and internationally.

Currently, the United States emits about 19% of the world’s carbon dioxide, or about 6.5 gigaton per year.   A third of this, or 6% of the world’s carbon dioxide comes from our generation of electricity.  This industry must reduce its emissions just as much as any other group. As responsible citizens of the world, this nation must follow, if it cannot lead,  other nations to cut its emissions by one third by 2030.  Such a decrease would be a compromise that gives the states and the industry time to chose, plan, and implement the details.

The EPA has solicited comments on “Concerns from Stakeholders” in the present proposed Continue reading We do not know what we do not know.

We have ravaged our earthly garden.

Rev. Dr. Jane Ellen Nickell, United Methodist clergy and Chaplain at Allegheny College  submitted the following comments to the EPA. They are published here alongside PA IPL’s remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.  

DSCN1133As a person of faith, I wholeheartedly support the Clean Power Plan as an important step to curb global climate change and secure a more sustainable future. I believe that we have drastically altered the world God created, and that those least able to cope with those effects will suffer the most.

In Genesis 2:15, God set the first human in a garden, to tend and keep it. Yet we have ravaged our earthly garden in extracting fossil fuels, and in burning them have filled the air with carbon, arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other pollutants, altering the climate and poisoning the air that we all breathe.  Children, elderly, and those in poor health are most vulnerable to asthma and other breathing problems; likewise, people on the margins of society will be most affected by rising sea levels, severe storms, and other effects of climate change.  Seeing our weakest members suffer for the actions of us all is a moral problem.

As a native West Virginian and current resident of Pennsylvania, I am keenly aware of the jobs Continue reading We have ravaged our earthly garden.

Cherish and nurture God’s handiwork.

Brother John Kerr, TOR, St. Bernardine Monastery, Hollidaysburg, PA, submitted the following remarks to the EPA.  They’re published alongside PA IPL’s remarks. When you’re inspired, submit a written comment of your own.

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As a person of faith, I believe God’s creation is a precious gift for which I am eternally grateful. I direct a community garden in an agricultural area of central Pennsylvania and see what happens when extreme and inconsistent weather patterns affect us and local farmers. Many who have been living here much longer than I have say that they have never experienced stranger and more damaging weather than the past few years.  We are all concerned even if we are uncertain what is producing such extremes of heat and cold, rain and drought.

Continue reading Cherish and nurture God’s handiwork.