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July 2015

Dear MIP&L members and friends,

Pope Francis' Encyclical, Laudato Si': On Care For Our Common Home emphasizes the concept of "integral ecology", that care for creation is intrinsically linked to care for the neediest of our brothers and sisters. We are reminded that by taking action on climate change we are fulfilling our moral responsibility to care for the poor and the vulnerable.

The tragic heat waves in India and Pakistan in May and June provided a prophetic foreshadowing of Francis' theme. With temperatures reaching 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the second deadliest heatwave in India's history killed 2,500 people. Many of those were the homeless poor who had nowhere to go. According to Indian Earth Sciences Minister, Harsh Vardhan, "It's not just an unusually hot summer, it is climate change . . .." In Pakistan, More than 1,200 people died and more than 40,000 suffered heatstroke. It was the worst heatwave in Karachi for more than 35 years, seeing morgues run out of space for bodies.

Pakistan heatwave
Pakistani resident helps a heatstroke victim at a market area during a heatwave in Karachi.

Interfaith Power & Light has prepared a free Encyclical Action kit with 5 steps to help you use the encyclial to energize communities of any faith. Click here now to get yours.

For more resources from the Catholic Climate Covenant click here.

 

Massachusetts Faith Communities and Interfaith Power & Light Champion Change

Bill McKibben's article in the Boston Globe magazine chronicles some of the activities of faith community leaders in Massachusetts over the years to respond to the climate change crisis.

On the national level, the White House recognized twelve faith leaders as Champions of Change in June. Four of them were Interfaith Power and Light leaders, Huda Alkaff, Executive Director of Wisconsin IP&L, national board members Rev. Gerard Durley & Sr. Joan Brown (also E.D. of New Mexico IP&L) and Rev. Kim Morrow, E.D. of Nebraska IP &L.

Massachusetts IP&L champions system change, and the kinds of institutional and individual behavior changes that Francis' encyclical recognizes as essential to achieving the total amount of change needed.

Right now two system changes are of the utmost importance. Massachusetts' Global Warming Solutions Act requires that we cut global warming pollution (primarily carbon dioxide) to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, and to at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. To do this we need to make a dramatic shift from fossil fuels to clean energy such as solar and wind, while we greatly improve the efficiency of our energy use.

  1. The most effective action we can take as a state is to put a price on carbon. Former cabinet secretary Robert Reich explains how it works in this short video. If you'd like to help Mass. IP&L put a price on carbon in Massachusetts contact Vince Maraventano at vince@MIPandL.org or 617-244-0755. To read more about efforts in Massachusetts, click here.
  2. The Clean Power Plan—the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's climate-action initiative—promises to be the most important action the government can take to combat climate change before it's too late to avoid the worst impacts.

    The EPA has estimated that the Clean Power Plan will annually prevent up to 150,000 asthma attacks, up to 6,600 premature deaths, 3,700 cases of bronchitis in children, and more than 1,800 visits to the hospital for cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses when fully implemented in 2030.

 

Sustainable House of Worship (SHOW) Workshop

October 31st at People's Baptist Church, Boston

SHOW

Would your congregation like to decrease its use of fossil fuels, and the contribution they make to global warming? Are you interested in learning more about solar energy? How to lower your energy bills? Mass. Interfaith Power & Light's Sustainable House of Worship—or (SHOW) workshop covers all this and more.

You'll learn:

When: Saturday, October 31st, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Where: People's Baptist Church, 830 Tremont St., Boston, MA

For more information or to register contact Vince Maraventano at vince@MIPandL.org or at 617-244-0755.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS THIS FALL

Climate RIde

September 17-21, 2015, Climate Ride: Bar Harbor to Boston

This 5-day, 390-mile route takes advantage of the best cycling in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. You'll ride along the North Atlantic's scenic coastline by day and spend evenings with an amazing community of people. Upon registration, you will have an opportunity to choose from more than 150 beneficiaries making an impact on the environment, sustainability and active transportation causes—including Interfaith Power & Light! To register, click here.

 

week of moral action

September 21-25, 2015, Washington DC—Moral Action on Climate

Yom Kippur Services on 9/22 & 9/23 and a Rally at the Lincoln Memorial on 9/24 after Pope Francis' address to the joint session of Congress. For more details click here.

 

October 14, 2015, National Day of Action

The People's Climate Movement, Green Faith and others are calling for a National Day of Action on Wednesday, October 14 to demand bold action on the climate crisis. They invite your organization to take a leadership role, and engage in creative and powerful actions highlighting those organizations, think tanks, and public leaders who deny climate change and oppose progress. If your organization is interested in participating or organizing an event in Boston, contact Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith at RevFHarper@greenfaith.org.

 

PLEASE DONATE TODAY

make a donation

Mass. Interfaith Power & Light provides a faith based response to global warming by helping people and faith communities to lower their carbon footprints and by advocating for public policies that fulfill our moral responsibility to create a sustainable future.

Please help us carry out this critical mission by going to www.MIPandL.org, clicking on the DONATE button and making a secure, fully tax deductible donation.

If not us who? If not now, when?

Peace and blessings,

Your friends at MIP&L

 

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