Vermont Interfaith Power and Light

A faith-based response to global climate change

Jul 19 2010 - 8:54pm

Before a recent prayer service at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington, I was walking up the sidewalk to the church when, much to my surprise, the heels and soles of my shoes started to crumble apart.

God sometimes sends me messages in everyday events, and I wondered if there was a message in this, but since I was helping prepare for the service, I didn’t have time to think about it. The prayer service, which was jointly sponsored by Vermont Interfaith Power and Light, the Cathedral and several other faith groups, was in response to the gulf oil disaster.

Apr 14 2010 - 7:50pm

EPA Environmental Merit Award
to the Episcopal Diocese of VT
Ceremony: April 22 at 1 pm,
Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA

Nov 23 2009 - 8:38am

I believe in our capacity to transform society, mitigating the climate crisis to prevent a climate catastrophe — and faith communities are an essential part of this transformation in Vermont, across the country and around the world.

There’s increasing evidence that Earth’s climate is nearing the point at which it won’t be possible to stop the escalating warming. This runaway climate change would have immediate, severe consequences for life on Earth (e.g. disrupting ecosystems and increasing sea levels), eventually leading to a planet unfit for habitation.

By quickly making substantial changes, we can prevent this catastrophe. The effects of the climate crisis still will be serious, but the worst will be avoided.

Oct 21 2009 - 10:18pm

Local events planned

Burlington Free Press
October 18, 2009

Our children and grandchildren will judge us by the decisions that are made in the next few months. There is a tremendous opportunity for us all to come together to solve the greatest problem that humanity has ever faced.
We stand at a precipice. The planet’s climate is changing, and the effects from it are all around us. Low-lying Pacific islands are negotiating with those gifted with higher altitudes to move their populations once their homelands go underwater. Historic wildfires batter the Western parts of the United States, threatening millions of people and the brave firefighters who protect them. Violent storms are rocking Asia, causing flooding in the Phillipines, India and Vietnam.

The effects of global warming will only get worse the longer that collective action is delayed.

It is a moral and ethical responsibility that this country takes a leadership role in international negotiations this December to craft a new global treaty that drastically reduces our global-warming pollution. It might be uncomfortable for some to admit, but the United States has played a major role in the climate crisis, which will affect the poorest people the greatest.

We have the resources to help developing countries cope with climate change, and we must commit to it. Renewable technologies can move us away from our addiction to fossil fuels and will also create much-needed jobs in this country.

For too long, coal and oil companies have shaped public perceptions into skepticism and denial on the reality of global warming, while the rest of the world has been waiting for the United States to engage with the international community. President Obama needs to lead the world toward a solution to the climate crisis that is based on the latest climate science, not the demands of the fossil-fuel industry and its backers in Congress.

This coming Saturday, there will be a global day of action coordinated by 350.org to urge world leaders to take bold and immediate steps to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions. Scientists have insisted in recent years that 350 parts per million is the most carbon dioxide we can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 ppm. Some 89 countries already have endorsed the 350 target, as has the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri; the world’s foremost climate economist, Sir Nicholas Stern; and Nobel-prize winner Al Gore.

We will be participating in a march and rally Saturday in Burlington, along with thousands of others in towns and cities across Vermont. The event is one of more than 2,000 in some 150 countries that will call on President Obama and other world leaders to secure a fair, ambitious and binding global treaty in Copenhagen this December at the U.N. Climate Change Conference. We are calling on everyone across the state to participate in what will be the largest global day of climate action ever.

The climate science is not changing. The planet is heating up faster than we ever knew it could. What needs to change is the political situation in this country that allows us to be held back by coal and oil lobbyists in Washington. President Obama promised a new style of politics on the campaign trail, and he pledged to take on the special interest groups that far too often have the ears of our leaders.

This Saturday, Oct 24, people across Vermont and the entire world will be standing up to be heard. Please join us so that our voices are strong and united as we call for climate justice. Visit 350.org to find an event near you.

This essay was written by Jarred Cobb, northeast field organizer, Greenpeace USA, jcobb@greeenpeace.org; Betsy Hardy, coordinator, Vermont Interfaith Power and Light, info@vtipl.org; Nathaly Agosto Filion, community organizer, Vermont Oxfam Action Corps, nathaly.agostofilion@gmail.com; Cami Davis, artist, UVM faculty, cdavis@uvm.edu; and Tom Mertz, political activist and Burlington native, tmertz@uvm.edu.

Sep 28 2008 - 9:38am

It's right there in Genesis I. After creating all the critters, God instructs humankind to "fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish in the sea, the birds of heaven, and every living thing that moves upon the earth." Later, when Noah's crew finally get shore leave, God says of the fish, birds and beasts, "They are given unto your hands."

Subdue, rule: These injunctions have long been taken by literalist believers as something akin to 007's license to kill: Nature is ours to despoil. God said so.

Mar 15 2008 - 9:35am

By SAM SWANSON

The development of the climate change legislation – H.520 – and the governor's commitment to take administrative action to implement some of the bill's provisions is an important start. But the current impasse – the passage of H.520 by the Legislature and the subsequent June 6 veto by Gov. James Douglas – leaves too little accomplished and too much undone. Vermont needs effective action now!

Feb 20 2008 - 9:32am

As the members of the EcoTeam filed into their last meeting, they were greeted by the sight of two luscious-looking homemade apple pies. "I made the pies because I think what we are doing is quintessentially American -- like apple pie," said team leader Jean Markey-Duncan. "We have recognized a problem, and we are trying to do something about it."

Jan 13 2008 - 9:30am

David Gershon's book guides readers through a series of behavioral changes to reduce their 'carbon footprint.'

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

Last June, David Gershon saw Al Gore's global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." The time was ripe, he realized, to finish an old project.

Dec 18 2007 - 9:27am

By Cathy Resmer
Seven Days

BURLINGTON — J. Matthew Sleeth is a rarity in this politically polarized country: He’s a born-again Christian and a committed environmentalist. The Kentucky-based author of Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action embraces an avocation social conservatives typically regard with derision — he’s an avowed “treehugger.”

Oct 18 2007 - 9:28am

By Cori Fugere Urban
Staff Reporter

ST. JOHNSBURY — Ron McGarvey has visited more than two-dozen churches in the past year, looking at windows and boilers and doors, trying to identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements and ways to save on energy bills.

On Sept. 29 he did a walk-through energy assessment of St. John the Evangelist Church, rectory, and parish center here.

What he found was a parish already energy-conscious, and looking to conserve even more.

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