GIPL Joins the Atlanta Climate March

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Photo credit: Norah Silva

Just two days ago, close to 700 people gathered in Atlanta’s streets for the Atlanta Climate March to walk the streets toward the National Center for Civil & Human Rights, raising a unified voice in support of a productive and hopeful Climate Conference in Paris.

This global day of action included almost one million participants worldwide in over 150 cities (including Savannah!) GIPL was on hand to help represent the faith community as Atlanta rallied to #ActOnClimate. Continue reading

Giving Thanks for the Bounty of Our Good Earth

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We are thankful for the bounty of this Thanksgiving season – the bounty of Creation all around us and the bounty on the table before us.

Thank you, creator and giver of all gifts.

We are thankful for the relationships shared and sustained through this bounty.

Thank you, create and giver of love.

We are thankful for the passion of the children and youth among us who push us to recognize the urgency of the environmental challenges we now face.

Thank you, creator and giver of passion. Continue reading

Clean Power Plan—Our Support Continues

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This week, hundreds gathered at the offices of the Environmental Protection Agency in downtown Atlanta to share their support (or disdain) for the Clean Power Plan – a rule GIPL has been advocating as a way to reduce carbon pollution as emitted by our country’s greatest offenders – coal-fired power plants. GIPL’s founder, Rev. Woody Bartlett testified, as well as our executive director Rev. Kate McGregor Mosley, for a second time showing support for this important rule. When enacted, the rule would place strict limits as to how much carbon pollution is emitted by power plants in Georgia (and beyond), thereby diminishing harmful toxins in the air that contribute to increased rates of asthma and other public health concerns. Another faithful advocate shares his testimony here in our blog. Thanks to Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, National IPL Board member and respected Atlanta clergyman for sharing these good words. Continue reading

Archdiocese of Atlanta Launches Laudato Si’ Action Plan

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ATLANTA, November 24, 2015 – In response to Pope Francis’ encyclical on environmental stewardship (Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home), The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta today shares the “Laudato Si’ Action Plan,” giving parishes and citizens various options for reducing their carbon footprint and conserving natural resources.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory commissioned the action plan a year ago upon learning that Pope Francis planned to issue an encyclical on the environment. The Laudato Si’ Action Plan was developed by a team of University of Georgia (UGA) scientists immediately after the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical this past June. Continue reading

Food Well Alliance: Strengthening Atlanta’s Local Food System

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The Food Well Alliance of Atlanta, an organization formed in partnership with Atlanta Community Food Bank, is providing funding for local foods systems through the 2016 Local Food Grant.

The Local Food Grant program is designed to support entrepreneurs, community organizers, and educators who are using local food as a transformational tool to build healthier communities through programs and projects that are making systemic impacts in the strategic areas of economic development, health and nutrition, community vitality, and environmental stewardship. Continue reading

I Can’t Breathe: Examining Justice Through an Environmental Lens

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I was infuriated watching the video of Eric Garner’s death over a year ago. As I sat at the counter of the print center in the Boston University Library, I watched the police end a human life. I watched as a man was unnecessarily harassed, I watched as he was taken down, I watched as his body lay dead in the streets, I watched the EMTs half-heartedly try to save him, I watched everyone pretend he was still alive. But as jarring as these grotesque images were, I was perhaps even more struck by the sounds. In utter despair I watched the YouTube video and counted seven times that Eric cried out, “I can’t breathe!”

I did not come to this work as an environmentalist. Until now, my activism, if it can be called that, has always focused on issues I considered to be of a more “direct” human concern: Political corruption, income inequality, structural racism, ideological vanity, These are the causes for which I planted my battle flag. For me, environmental work always seemed like work for the privileged — a cause for those who may have had some intuitive understanding of justice but who had no real problems to confront in their own lives. Global climate change, the protection of certain species, and the preservation of the planet all seemed like concerns only for those who were already well-fed. Continue reading

Moving Forward with the Clean Power Plan

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GIPL has been showing its support for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan since word of it first appeared a couple years ago. The plan is designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s top polluters – power plants – by regulating the C02 emitted from these power generators. This rule is in support of the Clean Air Act as passed over 40 years ago. The EPA’s job is to set limits as to amount of pollutants in the air, essentially protecting the air we all breathe in order to live.

Until now, carbon pollution has not been regulated fully in this country. These carbon pollution emissions from coal-fired power plants are driving climate change and causing an imbalance in the earth’s ability to moderate its temperature and climate. Continue reading

An Encyclical-Inspired Climate Action Plan for Atlanta’s Archdiocese

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The Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta is issuing a climate action plan in response to Pope Francis’s historic encyclical. Susan Varlamoff, GIPL board member and director of UGA’s Office of Environmental Studies, is helping to lead the panel that will create the plan. Varlamoff shares her thoughts on why this project is important for the Catholic church, for Atlanta, and ultimately, for all who share this common home. Continue reading

How to Be Wise About Your Waste: One Congregation’s Dumpster Dive

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Our Creation Wise programs are called “Wise” guides for a reason — they help your congregation wise up to better practices so that you can save resources, money, and the planet.

Waste Wise is a way to take a closer look at the trash we produce as we practice our faith, and how we can consciously reduce that environmental impact. Auditing your congregation’s dumpster is a jump start to that process — what’s in there that could have been diverted somewhere else? What recycling programs might your faith community start to help tackle the issue? How can we be more thoughtful about the things we throw away? Continue reading

Faithful Conversations About the Science of Climate: Dr. Marshall Shepherd

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You get in an elevator with one other person, and the doors close. Your elevator-riding companion turns to you and says, “You’ve got until the 40th floor to convince me that climate change is real.” What do you say?

While this is an unlikely scenario, it does make you think — how do we engage in meaningful conversation about the real, devastating changes that are happening to our planet’s climate? Educating ourselves is the first step. Continue reading