Vermont Interfaith Power and Light

A faith-based response to global climate change

May 2019

Earth Care News 

May 2019

In this newsletter:
Annual VTIPL Conference: Keynote Speakers
VTIPL's Watershed Manuals are Now Available!
Help VTIPL Match Website Grant
Second "Vision for Vermont Summit" - Save the Date!
Disappointing Legislative Session Leaves Much to be Done Next Year
May 24 Global Climate Strike
Pope Francis and Greta Thunberg Meet
GMP Launches Vision to Have 100% Renewable Energy by 2030
With Glaciers and Arctic Ice Melting, It's Time to Get Radical
Journal Posts from the Next Steps Climate Walk
U.S. House Passes Its First Climate Bill in a Decade

Annual VTIPL Conference: Keynote Speakers
The Reverend Dr. Jim Antal and Middlebury College Professor Molly Anderson will be the Keynote Speakers at VTIPL's Annual Conference on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Middlebury Congregational Church. Rev. Antal recently retired from his position as President and Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ in Massachusetts. He now lives in Vermont, and continues his climate activism. Professor Anderson's focus and interests include sustainable food systems, food system resilience, the right to food (here and in other countries), and the transition to a post-petroleum food economy. More details will be in upcoming newsletters. Save the date!

VTIPL's Watershed Manuals are Now Available!
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wright, pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in South Burlington and long-time member of VTIPL's Board, co-authored the manuals with Richard Butz, a member of that church. The two manuals are: Congregational Watershed Discipleship Manual: Faith Communities as Stewards of the World's Waters (the Christian edition) and Congregational Watershed Manual: Religious Communities as Stewards of the World's Waters (the interreligious edition). The manuals provide much information on watershed stewardship and practical, hands-on activities to help members of congregations get involved in caring for water. The manuals are available to download for free from VTIPL's website homepage or printed copies can be ordered. Scroll down on the homepage to the attachments for the pdfs of the manuals and for the order form. Also, they can be ordered online through the "Voices of Water for Climate" website. For interested congregations, VTIPL will come and give a presentation and bring copies of one or both manuals. Contact VTIPL to make arrangements.

Help VTIPL Match Website Grant
VTIPL has received a matching grant to help fund reconstruction of the website. Your donation would go toward matching this website grant, and would be greatly appreciated! Online donations can be given here or a check can be mailed to the address at the end of this newsletter. Please designate the donation as being for the website work. We hope to have it done within the next two months. Thank you!

Second "Vision for Vermont Summit" - Save the Date!
The Second Vision for Vermont Summit will be on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9 am - 4 pm at Middlebury College's Breadloaf Campus in Ripton. Save the Date! More information is here and the draft of the vision statement is here.

Disappointing Legislative Session Leaves Much to be Done Next Year
Though the Vermont Legislature's 2019 Session isn't quite over yet, it's clear that legislators have not taken much action to address the global climate emergency. VTIPL is part of a coalition of 25 organizations that delivered the Climate Action Plan for 2019: A Blueprint for Progress to the legislators at the start of the session in January. Of the six primary proposals presented in the plan, weakened versions of two of the proposals (on weatherization and electric vehicles) will likely be all that is passed this year, and the final outcome of these isn't yet clear. It's very disappointing that so little action was taken, given the reports in the fall of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment, both of which made clear that we're facing a dire climate emergency and must transform our energy system within the next 11 years to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. We will need to push the legislature hard in 2020, the second year of the biennium, to do much more!

May 24 Global Climate Strike
On May 24, climate activists - especially students walking out of classes - will hold a climate strike demanding action to address the climate emergency. Strikes will be happening worldwide in 125 countries on May 24. More info is here. Various groups, including the Global Catholic Climate Movement, are encouraging young people and older generations to join a climate strike on May 24. This date is the anniversary of_Laudato Si'_, the Pope's encyclical about climate change and protection of the environment. Read more.

Pope Francis and Greta Thunberg Meet
Pope Francis reaches out to Greta Thunberg, the teenager from Sweden who has inspired the worldwide climate strikes, when she visits the Vatican. Read more here.

GMP Launches Vision to Have 100% Renewable Energy by 2030
Green Mountain Power recently announced their ambitious vision to have a 100% carbon free energy supply by 2025 and to have 100% renewable energy by 2030. This is among the most aggressive carbon targets for a utility of GMP's size in the country. Read more.

With Glaciers and Arctic Ice Melting, It's Time to Get Radical
Bill McKibben tells about reports from scientists in his article in "The Guardian". They show, "Some of the largest systems on Earth are now in seismic shift... Ocean ice in the Arctic is at an all-time record low for the date... Glaciers are melting much faster than scientists expected." McKibben says that no one should be shocked or annoyed by the civil disobedience of Extinction Rebellion activists, when students leave their classes en masse, or when Green New Deal advocates call for dramatic overhaul of American society -- instead, we should be grateful. The scientists are informing us about what is happening with the climate, and these activists are the only ones who seem to understand the scale of what we're facing. "The biggest physical features on the planet are now changing in ways they haven't since long before the dawn of human history." McKibben asks, "Planet Earth is miles outside it's comfort zone; how many of us will go beyond ours?" Read more here.

Journal Posts from the Next Steps Climate Walk
Many Vermonters, though they weren't able to participate, were very supportive of the Middlebury-to-Montpelier climate walk in April. Read Marisa Keller's journal entry for Day 1 of the climate walk to get a sense of the experience. To read the other journal entries, go to 350Vermont's website.

U.S. House Passes Its First Climate Bill in a Decade
The U. S. House of Representatives recently passed H. R. 9, The Climate Action Now Act, which would keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement. It's the first climate legislation passed in a decade. Here are details.

VTIPL helps people of faith and spirit better understand the climate crisis and take action to care for Earth.

Vermont Interfaith Power and Light
P.O. Box 209, Richmond, VT 05477
info@vtipl.org 802-434-3397 www.vtipl.org

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