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News, Boost, Updates
October 16th faith and climate news and events, climate cafe multifaith, faiths4future
Quick nav links for this week’s weekly(ish):
JustCreation prior weeks of this Weekly and other articles.
Upcoming events, webinars & opportunities
Faith voices and Good news this week, and the News Archive.
Boost - Events
Congregational Solar Webinar. On October 18th online the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement Cafe hosts experts from Collective Sun and the Interfaith Solar Campaign, organizations working with churches, temples and synagogues to determine what is the best approach to get solar energy flowing to the church. Learn more and register. Check out also the UMCJM’s October newsletter, focused on solar and ready to inspire you.
Heat Pumps. A comprehensive tour from Interfaith Power and Light, UCC and partners. Holy Heat Pumps! A Webinar on Heat Pumps for Faith Communities “heat pumps are a crucially important technology in the transition away from fossil fuels. This webinar will explain how heat pumps work and how to lower the costs for installation at your congregations with the new government funds available to congregations for the first time.” October 25th.
Fellowship Celebration. Creation Justice Ministries celebrates its 40th anniversary with prayer and fellowship, streamed. Learn more and register. October 26th.
The Resource archive is on the Reports Page.
A few of these have been in the boost for a few weeks because they are so helpful!
Environmental Justice Grants. From Inside Climate News. We will keep hearing about this effort as it is rolled out, finds grantees, and helps mobilize communities. Keep up with the latest on the Justic40 aligned effort. EPA Rolls Out Training Grants For Environmental Justice Communities. Sixteen technical assistance centers, created jointly by EPA and the Department of Energy, are expected to play a key role in helping facilitate funding under the Biden administration’s Justice40 initiative.
Direct Pay. If you’ve been following news on the IRA (Inflation Reduction Act) and all the tax rebates & incentives, you know that another tool in the tool kit is ‘direct pay.’ This is a special type of tax rebate especially for organizations like churches and 501 C3s that don’t pay taxes. This special program means you get money anyway. I like a good explainer to keep up with whose doing what, and this article from Environmental and Energy Study Institute has great examples, Direct Pay: Nonprofits Can Now Benefit from Clean Energy Tax Credits.
Eco-Church Net-Zero resources and more. This really deserves it’s own whole post, but THANK YOU to the UK churches for tremendous leadership when it comes to Climate. They have developed fantastic resources—webinars and booklets—you can find them on these pages: From The Church in Wales a page that offers number of pdf publications that address net-zero both as a denomination and congregation. There are also webinars through the Church of England, these will encourage you!! They are doing the work and net-zero has a clear path of achievement.
Reports & Studies
Find more reports on the reports page.
Green Latino Climate Justice Framework. This is a new report that also seeks endorsements. The report follows ongoing work to address the real and harmful impacts of the climate crisis on Latino/x communities, especially those engaged in agricultural and outdoor work. Read more about the report and the work of Green Latinos, here. Their main page, here. Read the report.
Impacts in your Neighborhood. The Climate Vulnerability Index compiles the risks and truths of climate change as it will/may impact where you and your neighbors live. A recent update to the index made news this last couple of weeks. Read an article from Yale Climate Connections How does climate change threaten your neighborhood? A new map has the details. All 10 of the country’s most at-risk counties are in the South, according to the Climate Vulnerability Index, and half of them are in Louisiana. Read an article from Phys.org, 'Climate vulnerability index' shows where action, resources are needed to address climate change threats.
Faith Attitudes on Climate Change. PRRI released their newest study: The Faith Factor in Climate Change: How Religion Impacts American Attitudes on Climate and Environmental Policy. Read about the study from Washington Post (gift link) U.S. faith groups do not view climate change as a crisis, new poll finds. Among White evangelicals, the view that the Earth is in crisis dropped — from 13 percent in 2014 to 8 percent, the Public Religion Research Institute found and from the Religious News Service RNS The white evangelical march toward climate disaster.
Mining and Community Consent
Thacker Pass / Peehee Mu’huh and Lithium. I was really grateful to see The Guardian cover this story, ‘We were not consulted’: Native Americans fight lithium mine on site of 1865 massacre. The People of Red Mountain have resisted this mine since it was proposed. Necessary attention to places like Thacker Pass and Oak Flat must bring community conversation and consent to mining processes and practices, practices that have left deep scars on people and earth for decades globally, ‘It’s a real mess’: Mining and deforestation threaten unparalleled DRC wildlife haven
Extraction needs Community Consent. A new report out from Oxfam tackles the imperative that communities give consent before mineral mining is allowed on their lands. Mongabay has great reporting on this, with two articles. Both from Mongabay, How Canada’s growing presence in Latin America is hurting the environment and Rechargeable battery industry needs better mining regulations, report says. Read the report, Recharging Community Consent: Mining companies, battery minerals, and the battle to break from the past.
(Is it okay for people of faith to sign-on to general/secular petitions? I put together a quick page to think about this Sign-ons & Petitions, are they faithful?)
Loss and Damage. The call for adequate financial reparations for damage and harm done to the global south due to climate change stretches into yet another COP. Read the call to from the Climate Action Network International, signed by both secular and faith groups: Humanitarian, climate and development organisations issue a joint call to demand the loss and damage fund.
The Farm Bill. This is ongoing and with the leadership conflicts in the US government, the farm bill is not being addressed—this despite the fact that everybody needs to eat and all of us need sustainable and sound farm systems. A call to action from Interfaith Power and Light, Tell Congress to Prioritize Climate in the Farm Bill!
Faith Voices in the News This Week
The power of Green Teams. From the Ledger-Inquirer, from Columbus, Georgia, These Western Georgia churches are coming together to combat climate change. See how Two faith traditions, Episcopal and AME, find resilience and resolve together in addressing climate and systemic injustices.
Faith engaging city leaders. In person and live-streamed from the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Framingham, Mass. The Universalist Oct. 21: Framingham City Council Candidates to Field Questions on Climate Action
From lawn to pollinator meadow. While not new (established 2019) the Hope Meadow is blooming and making news. Hope UMC in Ephrata, PA, re-imagined their large church lawn as a pollinator meadow. It is now a biodiversity hot spot, with a website to celebrate.
Regenerative Intentional Living. Yale Divinity School is launching The Living Village, which brings faith-centered Intentional living together with regenerative life commitments. Updates on the project can be found here. The latest, here: Breaking new ground in eco-theology.
Find more news in the news archive (including good news!) here.
New Species. And yes, it’s laughing at you! A new Australian species of small frog—there are 248 frog species in Australia—now named the Western Laughing Tree Frog for its unique chuckling call, has hopped into the news this week. It is not the frog pictured above, the new one is brown, but the discovery is a chance to celebrate frogs in general. From the Miami Herald, ‘Charismatic’ creature heard ‘laughing’ in backyards of Australia. It’s a new species.
Charismatic Mega-Fauna. Sometimes it is painful that the human attention span is so short—and so drawn to drama. But this can be helpful, too, when you think about how humans experience empathy and engage with stories. As we tell the story of Noah’s ark, for example, the ‘two by twos’ are usually lions and elephants rather than banana slugs or cottonmouth snakes. As educators and preachers, this research helps us better understand and engage in climate storytelling, From Phys.org Flagship individual animals found to boost conservation efforts.
Fishery restoration. Fish and fisheries are important to creation and nature, but also to human economies and gastronomies. Fish are delicious! I have enjoyed watching short videos from a now-famous “lobster guy” on TikTok, who catches and releases lobsters—and gives them snacks—all while explaining how sustainability of the fishery is maintained over generations. This week’s good news from NOAA brings similar good news: From Collapse to Sustainability: West Coast Groundfish Are Back
Electric right-sizing. I loved this sweet and sustainable story on a right-sized ice-cream truck. The truck in this case is a vespa, a vespa equipped with a little fridge and low carbon foot print. A great idea and great example of how we can right-size and electrify our lives. From Electrek, Forget ice cream trucks and check out this electric ice cream Vespa scooter instead.
Possibilities arise. Have faith! As we learn and pray about sustainable systems and a restored earth, we will gain the eyes to see the possibilities and riches right in front of us. From Wired, Abandoned Farms Are a Hidden Resource for Restoring Biodiversity. A billion acres of old farmland—an area half the size of Australia—has fallen out of use. Ecologists say the lands and degraded forests are neglected resources for rewilding and for capturing carbon.
Find the news archive here.
Praying this week for a return to good governance and attention to the farm bill. Prayers up.
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Just to say… my updates are not endorsements, and links are usually third party. Please make your own determinations. My goal here is to amplify the conversation and encourage engagement, learning, and resilience. And of course, to bless your efforts!