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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: 
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

From August 16-18, faith and community leaders representing Texas Interfaith Power & Light from Dallas, Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley accompanied our staff and Texas Impact board members to the 2016 Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Houston.

Formed in 2006 by former Vice President Al Gore, the Climate Reality Project provides workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities for leaders from around the globe who are taking on the moral challenge of global warming.

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EngageLearnTXIPL
Event Date: 
Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 6:00pm

Sunday, August 28, 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 Yard/Garden. The webinar features John Ferguson, founder/owner of Nature’s Way Resources, a composting, mulch, and recycling company. 

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EngageLearnTXIPL

Each year, leaders of the United Methodist Women (UMW) organize Mission u learning sessions all around the country to deepen participants’ understanding of and engagement on current social issues. Rev. Sam Brannon attended a three-day leader training seminar in Tempe, Arizona in order to teach the 2016 Climate Justice mission study.

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LearnTXIPL
Event Date: 
Sunday, July 31, 2016 -
6:00pm to 7:30pm

Sunday, July 31, 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 a pre-recorded presentation from Hermann Sanders, a public information officer and communications liaison for Harris County. Hermann supports the needs of the Communications and Public Involve

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Learn

From May 23 to May 26, Water Captains Director, Rev. Sam Brannon, attended a week-long environmental spiritual retreat in Garrison, New York. The event was held at the Garrison Institute, which once housed the Monastery of Mary Immaculate. The Institute is up the Hudson River from New York City and diagonally adjacent to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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LearnEngageWater Captains

May 1-4, Texas Interfaith Center staff Bee Moorhead and Yaira Robinson joined 70 religious leaders from across the country at the national Interfaith Power & Light conference in Washington, D.C. The conference culminated in a day of congressional visits to advocate for wise climate policies. Faith leaders from across the nation are focused on the need for practical next steps in U.S. climate policy, particularly relating to U.S. commitments in the Paris Climate Agreement.

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EngageTXIPL

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