On August 1, 2018, Nathaniel Rich had an article titled “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” in The New York Times Magazine. Editor Jake Silverstein writes: “This narrative by Nathaniel Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. Complementing the text is a series of aerial photographs and videos, all shot over the past year by George Steinmetz. With support from the Pulitzer Center, this two-part article is based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. It will come as a revelation to many readers — an agonizing revelation — to understand how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how close they came to solving it.”
by Rich Gittens, Green Team Lead for GIPL African American Clergy Engagement Pilot
The short, easy answer is … Valerie Hill-Rawls, who has the very long title of, “GIPL African American Creation Care Environmental Justice Pilot Community Engagement Project Manager.” Some months ago Valerie made a presentation at my church, Emmanuel Lutheran, and talked quite passionately about a phrase that I’d not heard used before that day. That phrase was, “environmental justice.” Now, I like to consider myself a fairly articulate guy. I understand “environmental” and I understand “justice” … but I’d not heard them used together. And while the implication seemed pretty clear, I wasn’t sure. So I raised my hand and I asked. From then on I was hooked. Continue reading
What is ecotheology? It is a form of theology that focuses on the relationship between religion and nature with a particular emphasis on the ecological destruction underway. It started as a religious response to the degradation of nature but is also concerned with potential solutions including ecosystem management and environmental justice. Continue reading
For Immediate Release – June 22, 2018
A proposal to fully divest the denomination’s foundation and pension accounts from all fossil fuel companies failed in the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s General Assembly Friday. Fossil Free PCUSA, a project of Presbyterian Peace Fellowship (PPF), led the advocacy effort on behalf of divestment, and their work included a two-week, 212 mile walk from Louisville, KY to St. Louis, Missouri. Forty presbyteries signed onto the overture in advance of the assembly, the greatest number of presbyteries to ever concur on an overture. After four hours of discussion, the assembly voted 332 to 178 against divestment. Continue reading
Buying a lot of something all at once is usually cheaper than buying the same thing in smaller amounts over time — a concept known as “economy of scale.”
Now, some solar advocates in Atlanta are bringing the principle to a rooftop near you, and, in the process, bringing down the cost of installing a residential solar system. Continue reading
Today’s blog post comes from GIPL friend Patrick Cobb, the Facilities Manager at Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church. Here he reflects on the process of receiving an Energy Audit from GIPL and what changes have been put in place following the audit. Additionally, Saint Anne’s has a large solar array installed on the parish, funded through a GIPL grant, which powers their administrative offices. Continue reading
Photo courtesy of Chris Donaghue
When I first discovered Thomas Berry, world religion scholar and renowned author, my eyes opened wide as I felt a void being filled. Over the past 50 years, scientific findings about the creation of the universe, earth, life and consciousness have provided answers about our origins. Thomas Berry’s work culminated in the call for a new creation story, one based on scientific fact and not just faith. He urges us to move from a scientific-technological focus to one based on ecological principles; one founded on recognizing the intrinsic value of nature. The whole planet is one complex ecosystem all working in harmony and self-supporting, thus enabling the earth to maintain conditions suitable for life and its evolution. James Lovelock calls this the Gaia Theory. Everything is interconnected. Berry felt the old creation story for Christians, Genesis, served its purpose through history, but new scientific discoveries beg for a new creation story. Continue reading
by Esme Murdock, Ph.D.
I am a scholar who researches environmental justice, African American/African Diasporic, and Indigenous environmental philosophies. How I came to be a scholar is a story written by my desire to understand myself as a black woman living on Indigenous lands in a settler colony and how to move through the world in a way that keeps me, and others whole. This is a long and unfinished story, but I will share part of it with you; a narrative brimming with the presence, memory, land, water, and peoples I call my relations. Continue reading
Are houses of worship prepared for the current and coming natural disasters caused by climate change? If not, they need to be. During 2017, the faith community was in the heart of the hurricanes in the east and the wildfires in the west. They provided comfort and support to their ravaged congregants and local communities. They need to be prepared to do more and not be lulled into complacency by lack of awareness or political bent. Continue reading
Our guest blogger today, Seema Ahmed, is a member of the West Cobb Islamic Center in Marietta, Georgia, sharing her practices during Ramadan that inform her commitments to Earth care.
Ramadan, which begins Thursday, is the holy month in which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. This is a month where one can evaluate where they are in life and how to be a better person, while strengthening their relationship with God. It is also a reminder to count your blessings and to give charity to those in need. Continue reading