Discover more from Just Creation
News, Boost, Updates
October 30th 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
Two upcoming Creation Justice webinars: On November 8th, register for From Greenwashing to Environmental Justice addresses the concern that COP28 will be focused on fossil fuel interests instead of the advancement of all peoples. Then on November 28th, in the strength of the UCC efforts of environmental justice, speakers are Justin J. Pearson and Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., You Can't Stop Justice.
Creation Writer’s Workshop. There is need and interest from people of faith in writing studies, curriculum, and worship elements to support the preaching and of creation and environmental justice in the local faith community. First meeting will be a shared conversation to set our path. Workshop will be convened myself and UM Earthkeeper Ann Mayer and hosted by Circle Faith Future. More information. Thursday November 2nd at 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET. Register.
$1,000 Award for Cool Congregations. Interfaith Power and Light is once again awarding cash (and bragging rights!) for Cool Congregations who have engaged in electrification and sustainability. Find more about how to share your congregations efforts—and maybe win a little prize money. Take the Cool Congregations Challenge.
Fossil Free UMC is launching in a renewed push reimagined for the upcoming 2024 United Methodist General Conference and the present moment. Find more information as things start up at fossilfreeumc.net
If you missed a couple of the latest webinars, you can still catch up with the recordings.
Solar for church and conference. This webinar from the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement focuses on the UMC context, but offers information much more widely from both the Interfaith Solar Campaign and Collective Sun, LLC. Find the recording here: Congregational Solar. Resource materials include informational slides from Nicole Withrow at Collective Sun, and a link to the UM Creation Justice October Newsletter, which is full of solar resources.
Holy Heat Pumps - A Webinar on Heat Pumps for Faith Communities from the UCC and IPL, find the recording here: Holy Heat Pumps! Resource materials include these links to DOE resources, Geothermal Heat Pumps and Air-Source Heat Pumps.
The Resource archive is on the Reports Page.
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.
COP28 is coming up. As such, look for some big reports published with the latest science on where we stand.
New Red-light Warning Super-Study Report. Read about the report in the Kansas Reflector, Earth thundering toward planet unfit for humans, report finds. Research led by an Oregon State University scientist says big changes are needed now. Read the article also from Scientific American, Earth’s Latest ‘Vital Signs’ Show the Planet Is in Crisis. The overall picture of Earth’s health is grim, although there are bright spots: solar and wind power are on the rise, and deforestation has slowed. Published in the American Institute of Biological Sciences, read the report.
Crisis of fresh water—the economics. I missed this one last week. I should mention, too, as you sort through the deluge of information on these here internets, anything from World Wildlife Federation/WWF is trustable and important. WWF also offer reports that regular people like me can understand. This latest report targets freshwater systems. Read an article about the report from Mongabay, More action needed to protect freshwater ecosystems, report says. Read about the report from WWF, Water crisis threatens $58 trillion in economic value, food security and sustainability. Read the report.
WWF Forest Pathways 2023 Report. Another one from World Wildlife Federation/WWF. The latest Forest Pathways report sums up the situation as it is, but also offers hope for room to improve. An article about the report from Earth.com, We are off track to save our forests, but there's still time: WWF report. This next article from Mongabay speaks to what good things are happening with support of the WWF, but does not address the report directly, Group certification helps Malaysia’s Sabah aim for palm oil sustainability. Read about the report from WWF, We're off track to protect and restore forests by 2030. Here's how we can change course. New WWF Forest Pathways report provides a way forward. Read the report.
Environmental Justice and Community Consent
The last couple of weeks I have included this section with links to the right-now conversation surrounding green transition projects and how we develop them. Community consent—meaning informed consent and engaged partnering input—needs to come from the communities themselves that will experience the impacts to air, water, land, and social consequences from proposed projects. The need for a project must be balanced with a fair and just approach as to where those projects will go.
The links from the last two week have highlighted west coast projects, such as Oak Flat, Thacker Pass at Peehee M’huh, and the Goldendale Pumped Hydro Storage Project. These projects are centered in Indigenous land, and the fight to stop them has centered in the raised voices of the Indigenous peoples of those lands.
Two items in the news bubble up, both from Pennsylvania, as questions arise around newly proposed projects such as the Appalachian Hydrogen Hub. As new projects intersect with communities who already deal with disproportionate burdens and legacy pollution, the question rises as to whether new Environmental Justice policies in Pennsylvania go far enough.
The conversation can and must get to the heart of the ‘who gets to decide’ question. From Pittsburg Post-Gazette, Mapping the hydrogen hub in the midst of 'environmental justice' communities. From the WHYY Climate Desk, Pa.’s new environmental justice policy doesn’t solve the problem, advocates say. “The community has to have a determining voice,” one critic said. “This policy doesn't do that.”
(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?)
An action alert from Action Aid: URGENT SIGN ON: US Stop Blocking Progress on the Loss & Damage Fund. “The letter has been drafted with input from U.S. organizations following the TC process (including ActionAid, Union of Concerned Scientists, Oxfam, Heinrich Boell Foundation North America, Justice Is Global, USCAN), and it reflects consensus demands from U.S. and international civil society.” Sign by November 1st.
Faith Voices in the News This Week
Clergy Stand against Fossil Fuels. From Common Dreams, Clergy to Vanguard: Stop Funding Fossil Fuels! Vanguard must decarbonize, massively scale up sustainable investments, adopt a human rights policy, and use its power to hold the worst climate actors accountable.
Chaplaincy and Eco-Chaplaincy, an online conversation. The Chaplaincy Institute shared a conversation among friends this week. Find the video: ChI Talks: Adventures of a rookie Eco-Chaplain-in-training with Robin Slaw and Lou Masko
Headwinds at the highest levels. From Grist, The pope leads 1.4 billion Catholics. Getting them to care about the climate is harder than he thought. Pope Francis is among the most significant religious leaders in the world. But even he can’t bend the emissions curve on his own.
Partnerships for clean buildings. Full disclosure, I have been a Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light fan for a while now. Their latest effort in collaboration is worth sharing. From Sahan Journal, Diverse coalition aims to curb emissions in Minnesota buildings. Minnesota is making progress in lowering greenhouse gas emissions in electricity production, but emissions from buildings remain high. Clean Heat Minnesota hopes to change that.
More solar! Another celebration of church and solar, a match of sunshine and glory. Congrats to Harrisburg’s Tree of Life Lutheran Church and others. From Lancaster Online, How Pennsylvania churches are addressing climate change by tapping the power of the sun.
UCC Churches - solar and heat pumps. A shout out from the United Church of Christ news to member congregation embracing solar energy and electric heat pumps. New energy for solar and heat pumps arising in UCC congregations.
What other are saying. Melissa Deckman, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, writes a commentary for The Hill, writing the ‘what if’ that rises from the most recent PRRI study on religion and the environment. What if the faith community would really step up? The faith factor: Can religion help to win support for the environment?
Lots of good news this week!! Find more news in the news archive here.
When preparing these weeklies, I save the good news section for last—as a sort of reward, I guess, for getting the hard stuff done. It is important to bring on the joy! We must not close our eyes to the harms, but equally we must be open to every joy.
Rewilding! Celebrating Blue Butterflies and Pine Martens! How precious is this earth and all the creatures in it. In praise of rewilding! From The Guardian, ‘A joy to watch’: UK rewilding brings endangered species back from brink. Local wildlife restoration starting to boost populations of dormice, birds, butterflies and others – and helping humans along the way.
Species resilience and recovery. A few good news stories to celebrate here, good news for corncrakes from The Guardian, Hope endangered corncrake can be saved as numbers increase in Scotland. Conservationists optimistic turning point reached in effort to prevent red-listed bird from extinction in Britain. And good news as well for puffins and the mini galaxy plant. From Inside Climate News, The Plucky Puffin, Endangered Yet Coping: Scientists Link Emergence of a Hybrid Subspecies to Climate Change and from New Scientist, Plant presumed extinct sprouts in a road after more than 40 years.
Food and Carbon Reductions. This might usually go in the ‘reports’ section, but I appreciate how good this news is. We often feel like our efforts cannot add up to much. But it matters what we do—with real results! 'Small swaps' to climate-friendly diet can significantly reduce carbon footprint, improve health: Study.
Ocean Restoration. Coral reefs are on many people’s minds, we are on an emergency course to save and care for them as pollutants swirl and ocean waters warm. Two good news stories here, a celebration of human endeavor and persistence. From Bazaar, Marine Biologists Doubted Him. Now, He’s Revolutionizing Coral Reef Restoration. As CEO and founder of Coral Gardeners, Titouan Bernicot is revitalizing the ocean, one underwater coral nursery at a time. And adding, from IFL Science, the joyful discovery of two adorable mini-squids, Two Super-Cute New Pygmy Squids Discovered Hiding In Japanese Coral Reefs.
Green Transition & Electrification. There are so many good stories in this category these days. I’m sharing two, from The Cool Down, 25 states agree to quadruple money-saving home addition installations in US: ‘Almost a miraculous solution.’ And from USA Today, Former coal-fired power plant demolished to make way for offshore wind electricity connection. A giant smokestack that was part of the New Jersey landscape for millions of beach tourists was imploded Thursday to make way for the site's new use as a connection point to the electrical grid for offshore wind power.
The feedback is working! Activists, policy makers and regular citizens know that in order to truly curb fossil fuels, funds must switch and flow away from oil and gas and toward renewables. This voice is being heard. From Oil Price, Oil Refiners Struggle To Access Financing As Banks Shun Fossil Fuel Projects.
Find the news archive here.
Praying this week for a return to good governance and attention to the farm bill. Prayers up.
Consider subscribing to JustCreation—it’s free!
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!