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Climate and Sustainability

Basics

Over the last 30 years, Texans of all walks of life have become more concerned about human impacts on the environment. Increasingly, stories about environmental destruction and its effects on human health dominate the news and people are feeling those impacts in very real ways—in bans on fishing due to mercury contamination, in increasing asthma rates, and in ozone pollution days in Dallas and Houston, for example.

To fuel our modern lifestyle, forests are cleared, toxic waste dumped...

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Over the last 30 years, Texans of all walks of life have become more concerned about human impacts on the environment. Increasingly, stories about environmental destruction and its effects on human health dominate the news and people are feeling those impacts in very real ways—in bans on fishing due to mercury contamination, in increasing asthma rates, and in ozone pollution days in Dallas and Houston, for example.

To fuel our modern lifestyle, forests are cleared, toxic waste dumped into rivers, and chemicals spewed into the air. We are using the earth’s resources faster than they can be replenished, and scientists tell us that global warming is the biggest environmental crisis that we have faced, not just in our time, but in the entire history of human civilization. Our diverse religious traditions share a common call for people to care for the earth and live in respectful balance with other animals and people.

Texas continues to have more renewable energy potential than any other state, but in recent years clean energy discussions have taken a back seat to concern about electric reliability. Meanwhile, though cheap natural gas, made possible in large part by Texas’ controversial hydraulic fracturing—or “fracking”—boom, has kept energy costs low, fracking has left many communities and landowners dealing with collateral damage and unsustainable change.

Renewable energy continues to be key in addressing many of the concerns that Texas faces and will face. As renewable technologies become more cost-competitive and concerns about fracking mount, legislators should recommit to making Texas the nation’s clean energy leader and update the state’s clean energy goals. Texas’ long-term plan for electric reliability must include a commitment to clean energy that promotes long-term energy independence, human health, and care for God’s creation.

The state’s focus on electricity supply has elevated interest in energy efficiency and other demand reducing measures. Lawmakers should place particular emphasis on consumer-directed efficiency programs that yield benefits for the grid and the individual ratepayer. Too often, energy efficiency programs take a one-size-fits-all approach that rewards the heaviest users while minimizing the significance of small consumers. Legislators should affirm that energy efficiency is a community-wide effort, and craft policies that make energy efficiency attractive and effective for all ratepayers, including those who are low-income or otherwise disadvantaged.



 

 
Event Date: 
Saturday, February 25, 2017 -
8:30am to 4:00pm

Update: Creation Care and Climate Change will be livestreamed! Stay tuned for details about the stream. Additionally, childcare will now be provided for attendees: Ages 0-6 free, ages 7-12 $10 each to cover lunch.

On Saturday, February 25th, join the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod for a discussion about environmental stewardship, climate change and actions that Christians can take to care for the earth.

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EngageLearn
Event Date: 
Monday, November 21, 2016 -
6:30pm to 9:00pm

Michael Schelde PhD, Director of the Grundtvig Study Center, Aarhus University, Denmark, to speak on Scandinavian Creation Theology

Monday, Nov. 21, 6:30 p.m. (refreshments), 7 p.m. (lecture)

University of St. Thomas, Robertson Hall, Room 116

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LearnTXIPL

On November 2, 2016, Texas Impact and TXIPL staff joined John Hill, Assistant General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, to discuss climate sustainability and the U.N.'s upcoming 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22). Policy Analyst Imaad Khan discussed the history of global climate negotiations, including an overview of last year's agreement in Paris, which goes into effect on November 4.

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COP 22EngageTXIPL

Next week, government officials, observers, and civil society stakeholders gather in Marrakech for the COP 22 climate negotiations to make major strategic decisions about the global response to climate change. Texas Interfaith Power and Light joins religious leaders and organizations around the world in praying for negotiators and encouraging people of faith to become actively involved in climate stewardship. Here are some resources to help you begin that conversation in your community.

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COP 22EngageTXIPL

Bridge to a Bright Climate Future: Pre-COP 22 Briefing

Update: the webinar has concluded. Find the recording here.


Join us Wednesday, November 2 at 12PM for a briefing in preparation for COP 22 in Marrakech, featuring Texas Interfaith Power and Light staff, along with John Hill, Assistant General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.

Please register for the webinar below.

Event Date: 
Sunday, November 20, 2016 - 6:00pm

UPDATE: Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 6PM, our friends at Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston, are hosting a Conversations on Creation webinar about Scandinavian Creation Theology. The webinar features an eminent speaker, Michael Schelde, the director of the Grundtvig Center in Denmark.

If you would like to join this conversation, contact Lisa Brenskelle at gcs.lrc@gmail.com to receive an invitation to the talk.

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EngageLearnTXIPL
Event Date: 
Sunday, October 30, 2016 - 7:00pm

Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 7PM, our friends at Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston, are hosting the first in a two-part discussion of the Theology of Earthkeeping, a Conversations on Creation webinar. Creation Care Team Lead at Christ the King, Lisa Brenskelle, will facilitate this conversation with scriptures and statements by theologians for attendees to consider and discuss.

If you would like to join this conversation, contact Lisa Brenskelle at gcs.lrc@gmail.com to receive an invitation to the talk.

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EngageLearnTXIPL

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, the European Union joined the Paris Climate Agreement, pushing the accord across the threshold of having more than 55 countries representing over 55 percent of global climate change pollution formally join the agreement. The agreement will go into effect in 30 days, on November 4, 2016.

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COP 21COP 22TXIPL
Event Date: 
Sunday, September 25, 2016 - 6:00pm

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 6PM, our friends at Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, Houston, are hosting a Conversations on Creation webinar titled Reducing Toxins in the Home. The webinar features Lisa Brenskelle, Lutherans Restoring Creation Team Lead for the Gulf Coast region of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

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EngageLearnTXIPL
Event Date: 
Thursday, September 22, 2016 -
6:30pm to 8:30pm

Rev. Sam Brannon will join a panel hosted by the United Methodist Women of Saint John's United Methodist Church, Austin, to discuss UMW climate justice and the Climate Reality Leadership Training.

To learn more about this event, contact engagement@texasimpact.org.

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TXIPL

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