Friday, November 30, 2007

Maine IPL offers Gift of Green Power for Holidays

Go Green, Give Green, Give Wind Watts!

Offering a New Kind of Tag...Made in Maine!
This year, Maine Interfaith Power & Light is proud to offer a new kind of clean power "tag"...Maine Wind Watts!

During the holidays we use more electricity to light our homes and travel more miles to visit relatives and loved ones.
Compared to other times of the year, we burn more fossil fuels and release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, creating a larger "carbon footprint" which adds to global warming.
To offset this impact, Maine Interfaith Power and Light offers Maine Wind Watts renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset greenhouse gas emissions with clean, renewable wind power!

Maine Wind Watts
may be purchased as...
a holiday gift
a stocking stuffer
a travel or electricity offset

To learn more about Wind Watts or to purchase please click here...

Maine Interfaith Power and Light Offers
3 Holiday Gift Selections...

Holiday Stocking StufferOffset holiday power
use and car travel

Holiday Gift Package Offset holiday power
use and car travel

Holiday Gift Basket
Offset holiday power
use and car travel

Maine Interfaith Power and Light Offers
3 Holiday Gift Selections...

Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at
Enjoy discounts on energy saving products at

National Green Energy Surcharge?

An article on the CNN Money Website discusses a proposal by Duke Energy CEO James Rogers to take clean energy surcharges on utility bills national. Here is an excerpt:
"Trying to fund R&D through a cap and trade mechanism is a mistake," said James Rogers, chief executive of Charlotte, N.C-based Duke Energy (Charts, Fortune 500).
Cap-and-trade proposals in Congress - meant to counter global warming - would auction off permits to companies that emit the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and use the money to fund alternative energy.
Under such system, the government would gradually reduce the number of permits available each year. Companies would then either buy those permits or pay to install cleaner equipment.
Rogers, speaking at a lecture sponsored by the energy information company Platts, said he supported a cap-and-trade plan in which the government gives away permits instead of selling them. He said that was fairer to utility customers in states that rely heavily on carbon dioxide-heavy coal to generate electricity.
Instead, he would fund clean technology research through a surcharge on electricity bills nationwide. Rogers didn't propose a specific charge but said it was essential that all Americans pay for a wide range of clean energy technologies - not just cleaner coal but nuclear, natural gas, wind and solar.
Experts project that domestic electricity demand will surge 40 percent over the next two decades. Rogers said the nation needs to mount a massive response - akin to the Apollo space program or the Manhattan nuclear weapons project.
"We need new technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 or 80 percent," he said. "It's the only way to build a bridge to that world."

Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at
Enjoy discounts on energy saving products at

The Greening of Sin

Greenwashing involves making misleading claims about the eco-friendliness of a product or service. Learn how to spot and avoid being conned by greenwashing through a paper titled "The Six Sins of Greenwashing" published on the website of environmental marketing firm Terrachoice.
Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at

Enjoy discounts on energy saving products at

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cleaning Canton

The Tri-Town News has published an article about the work of the Canton (Connecticut) Energy Task Force. Check out this excerpt:
The Energy Task Force has also researched the status of two local dams, one in Canton and one in Burlington. The Energy Task Force is attempting to assist in the regulatory hurdles of revamping the dams and powerhouses to capture the energy of the Farmington River. Delany said years ago, Canton had an option to buy the energy rights to those two dams, energy sites that could potentially supply enough electricity for 1,500 houses. Delany said simple acts of energy conservation can make a difference, too. "Six compact fluorescents can reduce your consumption," said Delany. "Check out the local light bulb store in Collinsville, they have 200 different types of light bulbs." Delany said the Energy Task Force wants the town to install a special recycling bin at the transfer station for the new energy efficient light bulbs since the new bulbs contain mercury. As the town and individual residents switch over to clean renewable energy, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund will purchase solar panels for municipal buildings. Delany said any new roofs on Canton buildings should be installed with solar panels to both capture the energy of the sun and to absorb heat, in return, requiring less energy to cool the building. "The electricity from solar panels is a third part source and will not cost the town anything," said Delany. "It will reduce the burden on the grid."With a $5,000 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, the Energy Task Force is actively promoting clean renewable energy awareness and education through grants to local citizens, businesses, civic organizations, and non-profits. Residents interested in joining the committee should call Delany at 693-2561.

Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at
Enjoy discounts on energy saving products at

A message from the National Council of Churches (USA)

New Education Resource to Heal Earth, Body, and Spirit!
The choices we make for our families and the way we care for God’s Earth are intricately related to human health and the health of all creation. Today, pollutants and toxic chemicals contaminate our water, our land, our personal care products, and our children’s toys. These contaminants are linked to health conditions ranging from asthma to cancer. Children, women, communities of color, and low-income communities are particularly vulnerable.
Download a copy of the new environmental health resource from the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program, Mindful Living: Human Health, Pollution, and Toxics, to learn how to maintain the sanctity of our bodily temples and ensure that health of God’s good Earth. This resource is full of youth and adult study ideas, sermon starters, worship materials, and more! Learn more about the NCC environmental health initiative or download a copy of Mindful Living at
Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at
Enjoy discounts on energy saving products at

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Here Comes the Solution?

The sun is the only viable solution to the world's energy crisis, according to a prominent scientist, but if the world doesn't wake up, realize this, and start investing in solar energy soon, it will be to late, according to this article on ABC News (see excerpt below):
There is a potential solution, and possibly only one, to the global energy crisis. It will require a huge investment, several scientific breakthroughs and a little luck. But unless we give it the very highest priority, it will soon be too late.

That's the message that a highly respected professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology has been delivering for several years now, but it's not clear whether anyone is listening. Nate Lewis isn't your typical prophet of doom. He has won a list of awards as long as the beard he wore years ago as a young scientist when I first met him. And to hear him tell it, the solution to the energy crisis is as clear as the nose on your face, or at least the shadow it casts.
Lewis quips that he belongs to the "Willie Sutton school of energy management." When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton responded "because that's where the money is."
"I believe in that too," Lewis told an energy symposium at Caltech earlier this year.
In his case, however, Lewis is banking on the sun.
"More solar energy hits the earth in one hour than all the energy the world consumes in a year," he told the symposium. So if you want to solve the energy crisis, he argued, go to the bank where the energy is kept — the sun.
None of the other sources of energy, including fossil fuels that threaten our planet, or nuclear energy that has never lived up to its potential, can do the job, Lewis maintains. He isn't arguing in favor of those huge water bladders we are supposed to have atop our houses to capture heat from the sun. Lewis sees an entirely different solution. He sees cheap ways to convert solar energy directly into electricity, which can be used to convert water into fuel, like hydrogen, that can be turned back into electricity on demand.
What we need, he argues, is something as basic as paint that is engineered to capture electrons from the sun and make the electrons march into our utility lines. Go to your local home center, buy a bucket of paint and brush it on your roof to power all those gadgets and heat your domicile and create the fuel to run your scooter. Sounds pretty far out, but Lewis is dead serious.
Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at
Enjoy discounts on energy saving products at

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Religious Leaders on Environment

Statement of Senior Religious Leaders on Global Climate Change and Poverty
Download PDF:
Dear Member of Congress:
As senior leaders of major communities of faith – across an extraordinarily broad spectrum of denominations – we are writing to convey our common conviction that the needs of people in poverty must be a central priority as you and your colleagues develop legislation to address the critical challenge of global climate change.
On this issue, our various religious organizations, which serve millions of Americans from every income level, race, age group, cultural tradition, and community, are guided by scripture. Because God declares creation to be "very good" (Gen. 1:31), we work "to till and to tend the garden” (Gen. 2:15). Because "the Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (Ps. 24 :1), we seek to assure that its gifts are used for the well-being of all. Because we will be judged by how we care for "the least of these" (Mt. 25:35), we consider first and foremost the impact of our actions on the most vulnerable. And in God’s covenant “which I make between me and you and every living creature for perpetual generations,” (Gen. 9:9-10) we are bound to act today to assure the well-being of life now and in the future.
These and other scriptural mandates do not necessarily prescribe specific policies. At a hearing on June 7, 2007, of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, this biblical foundation led representatives of our diverse communities to agree on a core set of moral principles that should shape our nation’s response to climate change.Their testimony (enclosed) held four conclusions in common:
1) There is sufficient scientific consensus about the dangers of global climate change and the moral principle of prudence requires us to act now to protect the common good.2) There is persuasive evidence that the consequences of climate change will fall disproportionately on the world’s most vulnerable people and inaction will only worsen their suffering.
3) Policies aimed at addressing global climate change should seek to enhance rather than diminish the economic situation of people in poverty.
4) Policies should seek to help vulnerable populations here and abroad adapt to adverse climate impacts and actively participate in efforts to address climate change.
We ask that representatives from our communities have the opportunity to meet with you to offer our perspectives before legislation is considered, debated and decided. We welcome the important efforts you are undertaking to seek to respond to the call for us to be good stewards. We recognize what a daunting task Congress faces in crafting adequate responses to this complicated challenge. At the same time, we recognize that because of the magnitude of the climate issue, which will literally and likely affect all of humankind, our policy choices must be informed by and be consistent with the moral principles that bind us together.
A fundamental moral principle for our faith communities is to protect the voiceless and the vulnerable. As such, it is imperative that any legislation passed by Congress must have a goal of shielding those who contribute the least to global warming from suffering the worst of its consequences, and that those with the fewest resources should have their economic circumstances enhanced rather than diminished by implementation of the responses to it.
Thank you for your attention to our concerns.

Dr. Leith Anderson President, National Association of Evangelicals

The Reverend Michael E. Livingston President, National Council of Churches

Most Reverend William Skylstad

Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie President, Union for Reform Judaism

The Very Reverend Leonid Kishkovsky Director of External Affairs, Orthodox Church in America.

How Green Was My Alley?

Pretty green, if you live in Chicago near one of its new "green" alleys, according to a New York Times article on the greening of Chicago (excerpted below):
In a green alley, water is allowed to penetrate the soil through the pavement itself, which consists of the relatively new but little-used technology of permeable concrete or porous asphalt. Then the water, filtered through stone beds under the permeable surface layer, recharges the underground water table instead of ending up as polluted runoff in rivers and streams.
Some of that water may even end up back in Lake Michigan, from which Chicago takes a billion gallons a year.
“The question is, if you’ve got to resurface an alley anyway, can you make it do more for you?” said Janet Attarian, the project’s director.
The new pavements are also designed to reflect heat from the sun instead of absorbing it, helping the city stay cool on hot days. They also stay warmer on cold days. The green alleys are given new kinds of lighting that conserve energy and reduce glare, city officials said, and are made with recycled materials.

Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at discounts on energy saving products at

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tribe Gets Voice

According to an AP article,

The Environmental Protection Agency has given St. Regis Mohawks a voice in enforcing federal air quality rules on the tribe's reservation in northern New York, following a five-year review.
The tribe's recognition under the federal Clean Air Act means New York state is now obligated to consider tribal comments on any project that might affect reservation residents.
Officials had done so earlier as a courtesy, said Ken Jock, St. Regis Mohawks' environmental division director.
Jock said the pollution from industrial neighbors drifts onto vegetation consumed by livestock on the St. Regis Indian Reservation along the Canadian border, causing health problems for both animals and humans.
''This may make someone a little bit less inclined to want to put polluting businesses in the area,'' said Gavin Lau, an environmental scientist with EPA's air program branch.
The Mohegan tribe in Connecticut has also applied for recognition under the Clean Air Act, as has an Arizona-based tribe, said EPA spokesman Elias Rodriguez.
Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at discounts on energy saving products at

Monday, November 19, 2007

Going Green, Eh?

According to an article in the Toronto Star excerpted below,
A recently established religious initiative, "Greening Sacred Spaces," is helping faith communities across Canada answer both questions affirmatively.
A scion of the Faith and Common Good project (, started by United Church ministers Ted Reeve and Bill Phipps, Greening Sacred Spaces views climate change as a deeply spiritual issue, and strives to assist faith groups to move toward eco-friendly places of worship.
According to the group's website, "Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the well-being of our planet today, and as such represents a challenge to all people of faith."
The group cites predictions by the UN panel on climate change that by 2100, Earth's average temperature will have increased by 1.5 to 6 degrees Celsius, with that rate doubling in the Arctic.
It argues that "faith traditions are a key source of wisdom in the great spiritual quest of our time: Healing our beloved Earth. We believe that we are called to re-envision the way that we live."
With support from the Ontario Conservation Bureau and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, as well as the "sweat equity" of volunteers within the faith communities themselves, the project has developed a how-to resource kit, complete with workshops, posters, and music to help faith groups engage in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing sustainable living.
According to greening spaces co-ordinator Rory O'Brien, more than 100 faith groups, including Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and Baha'i communities, have become involved in everything from retrofitting energy efficient light bulbs to entire environmental audits and eco-friendly architectural renovations, using the most advanced environmental technologies.
In addition to the actual greening of places of worship, the group hopes that faith communities will become leaders in advancing a more ecologically sensitive way of life, and will team up with activists to engage in local environmental initiatives.
O'Brien also notes that they hope to make the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System) standard a key component of any future design and architectural planning among faith groups in Canada. A showcase for this group is Toronto's St. Gabriel's' Catholic Church, the first Gold certified LEED church in North America.
Included in St. Gabriel's state-of-the-art green design features are a solar glass wall on the south face utilizing the energy of the sun. This creates a visual bridge connecting worshippers inside with a naturalized garden outside.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cornwall Energy Fair Nov. 17

Cornwall is the site of an AWESOME Energy Fair on November 17 from 10 am to 4 pm. The location is the Consolidated School, Rt. 128 and Cream Hill Road. Events/exhibits include:

Vendors inc. lighting, energy companies, local food

Auto show inc. electric, vegetable oil, hybrid and diesel

Kids program 10:30-noon (caluculate your ecological footprint)

Panel Discussion about Global and Connecticut Warming
-Roger Smith, Clean Water Action speaking to State Initiatives and home monitoring
_Rebecca Meye Rep. NE Utilities speaking to Green and Sustainable Building
-Jon Harkness, EBM Services

House Tour 1-4 pm featuring solar and geotherman

Film Festival 1-4

An Inconvenient Truth
Al Gore Interview with Charlie Rose
Too Hot Not to Handle
Warming of Connecticut

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rhode Island Episcopalians Go Green

In an action unprecedented in its Rhode Island history, the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island voted during its recent 217th Annual Convention held October 26-27, ‘that congregations be encouraged to engage in the process of “greening” their churches utilizing the support of faith based organizations’.

The four-point resolution, entitled “Energy conservation and sustainable development”, also calls on “all parishes, missions, and institutions of the Diocese” to have energy audits conducted; encourages Episcopalians to “add their voices of faith” to efforts regarding climate change; and mandates the establishment of a Diocesan task force to study issues of climate change and “function as a resource for education, advocacy, and action”.

The resolution was developed and submitted by Arthur “Zeke” Olsen, Delegate from St. Augustine’s. Kingston. “This resolution was a direct result of our congregation’s membership in Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light”, explained Olsen. “In joining RI-IPL last July we pledged to increase our congregation’s commitment to fight global warming. Moving the Diocese in this direction is only one action of many that we’re taking in conjunction with RI-IPL.”

Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at discounts on energy saving products at

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Young Push for Changes on Climate

Andrew Revkin highlights the youngest folks who push for action on the climate in his New York Times science blog Dot Earth. Here is an excerpt:
I first encountered lots of young people focused on global warming at the 2005 round of climate-treaty talks in Montreal.
Youths protesting at 2005 climate talks, by Andrew C. Revkin
Amid the throngs of diplomats and lobbyists and politicians in gray suits were sporadic demonstrations in which dozens of college students and 20-somethings chanted climate-ized versions of John Lennon songs (“All we are saying, is give youth a chance…”).
The message was that it was their climate being hijacked by today’s decisions, or lack of decisions, on what to do about emissions linked to rising temperatures.
Now the movement, much enlarged, is invading Washington, where several thousand young people from around the country have assembled for a meeting on climate and energy today, called
Power Shift.
They are pushing an ambitious agenda: freezing carbon dioxide emissions and coal use, cutting the nation’s energy used 20 percent by 2015, and setting the country on a course toward cutting emissions of greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050. The goals largely mirror those of a new coalition of campaigners called
There’s more.
Saturday is the day of the second annual “Step It Up” nationwide climate demonstration and teach-in (for all ages), aimed particularly at candidates for president and Congressional seats.
Monday is devoted to a mix of ’60s-style rallies and K-Street-style lobbying, with hundreds of students and young adults fanning out on Capitol Hill to testify at hearings and press their representatives to adopt an aggressive climate stance.
These campaigners have organized through campus groups and a galaxy of Web sites with names like,, and
Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at
Enjoy discounts on energy saving products at

A request from Interfaith Power and Light

For the first time in many years, Congress is close to passing an energy bill with significant provisions to curb greenhouse gases.
In June, the Senate passed a bill significantly increasing the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for automobiles – 35 mpg by 2020.
In August, the House passed a bill requiring electric utilities to obtain more power from clean, renewable sources—such as the wind and sun.
Now, the two versions of the Energy Bill must be reconciled and passed in both houses of Congress.
Unfortunately, the auto and oil industry are mobilizing their lobbyists in an attempt to keep these two critical provisions out of the final legislation.
You can tell your senators and representatives that America’s new Energy Bill must include a 35 mile per gallon fuel economy standard and a 15 per cent renewable electricity standard —anything less is unacceptable.
Click here for more information and/or to take action
It takes three minutes (or less) to help us send a strong message that a strong Energy Bill is a priority for the faith community.
Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 25 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at
Enjoy discounts on energy saving products at