Creation Care Network E-news
January 2020
Message from Margaret...
Dear friends,

• Welcome to 2020, a crucial year for climate action! Why is 2020 a crucial year? Because God loved the world into being (Genesis 1) and we hear the groaning of God’s Creation (Romans 8:22). This is the year we need to see carbon emissions stop rising and start falling. This is the year we need to elect new leadership that understands the meaning of the words “climate crisis” and “climate emergency.”
Did you know that Oxford Dictionaries named “climate emergency” its 2019 word of the year ? Use of the term has increased by a hundredfold since 2018. And for good reason!
Let’s make 2020 our year for faithful, bold, Spirit-filled action to press for a just and habitable world.
• Let’s start the year with resolve, prayer, and moral clarity! Please join me at a special retreat on Saturday, January 25, “ Bending toward Justice: A Day of Prayer and Discernment ,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m . at All Saints Church, South Hadley.  
Sponsored by the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, the retreat will feature a Eucharist with preacher Bishop Doug Fisher, a keynote address on spirituality and social justice by Arrington Chambliss (Executive Director of Episcopal City Mission, based in Boston), and an opportunity for us to break into interest groups around one of four topics: gun safety, immigration, racial reconciliation (Beloved Community), and Creation care.
I will convene the group on Creation care, and I’d love to see you there . For a complete schedule and to register, please click here . If you register by January 19, the cost – including lunch – is only $10. After that, it’s $15 – still a bargain!

• I was thrilled to see that Greta Thunberg was chosen Person of the Year by TIME magazine. With Leah Schade, I co-wrote an op-ed that was published both in Kentucky and here in Massachusetts, “ Greta Thunberg compels us all to be prophets .” In the op-ed, we explain why we consider Greta a prophet for our time:
She has inspired young people across the planet to organize climate strikes calling on adults to take action on global warming. Millions of students have mobilized in protests worldwide. Her stirring speech at the United Nations was a prophet’s call to repentance for the ecological sins we have committed against this planet and those who will inherit the mess we have made.
Of course, she is also vilified by many, including the presidents of Brazil and the United States. They mock her, attack her and ridicule her. That’s what happens when prophets speak truth to power. But people are listening to her message. World leaders are paying attention. She is cutting through the hubbub of noise, distraction, and lies, and telling the truth without apology.
This is exactly the time for faith commu nities to step up alongside Greta and the climate ge neration to offer support and leadership during this climate crisis.
• Last month I spoke in several places in MA and CT about my new book, Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis . A reporter from the Daily Hampshire Gazette interviewed me, attended one of my talks, and, after interviewing a number of other local residents, wrote a thoughtful article about climate grief: “ Confronting climate change: Facing down the emotional and psychological costs of environmental chaos .” The article notes:

If you’re experiencing anxiety — or something worse, like hopelessness or despair — about the future of the planet, you’re not alone. The American Psychological Association published a guide for therapists two years ago to help them counsel patients about what some have also called “eco-anxiety.” The report stated in part that negative psychological responses to climate change, such as conflict avoidance, hopelessness, fatalism, and fear — even aggression and violence — were growing.
That, of course, is one reason that my co-editor, Leah Schade, and I wrote our book. As we state in the Introduction (in a passage quoted by the Daily Hampshire Gazette), not only do we want to help build emotional and spiritual resilience – we also consider the climate crisis “ a catalyst for spiritual and societal transformation. It is our deepest, most fervent hope that the wisdom of the world’s religious and faith traditions can help to midwife whatever new life will be born out of this cataclysmic time .”

• On the day after Christmas I joined a small band of protesters in Holyoke who called upon ISO-New England, the entity that operates our region’s power grid, to stop subsidizing the burning of fossil fuels.
As the press release explains, “Protestors representing multiple environmental justice organizations in Massachusetts stood peacefully at the gates of ISO-NE with signs and banners as staff arrived for work this morning. The protestors are challenging ISO for continuing to support the burning of fossil fuels with millions of dollars of subsidies, and demanded that ISO commit to a specific shut-down date for the largest coal burning plant in New England (in Bow, New Hampshire).”
At a protest outside ISO-New England to stop burning fossil fuels, even the dog lends its support for #NoCoalNoGas.
Photo: submitted.
Climate action is picking up across New England. In just the last few weeks, scores of protesters were arrested for peaceful civil disobedience to stop a compressor station from being built in Weymouth and also to stop a coal train in Worcester, Ayer, and Hooksett, NH, on its way to the last coal-fired power plant in New England, in Bow, NH. (For a hair-raising account of how the driver of the coal train reacted to the warning that protesters were on the tracks, read Wen Stephenson’s article in The Nation, ‘This Is an Emergency,’ the Caller Said. ‘You Need to Stop the Train.’ )
The movement #NoCoalNoGas is gaining strength. Our brief foray at ISO-New England on December 26 was just an exploratory test of where climate activists in Western Massachusetts might exert some leverage in the days ahead. 
Rabbi Ellen Bernstein (author of The Promise of the Land ), Marilyn Castriotta (Kestrel Land Trust), and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas at a book event at Hampshire College.
Photo: submitted.
I am confident that in 2020 I will be inviting you to join me in upcoming actions.  
As we head into the New Year, we hear the groaning of God’s Creation (Romans 8:22) and we know that “the Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Romans 8:19). Could it be that the “children of God” for whom Creation so ardently longs include the men and women around the world who – fired with love for God and God’s Creation – are now rising up to protect the web of life? 
Thank you, friends, for standing with me.

(The Rev. Dr.) Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Opportunities for engagement
Attaining Meaningful Outcomes from Conversations on Climate
Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

"Communication among peers and family is key to increasing engagement with the issue of climate change. However, conversation on the topic is less frequent than one might expect. [...]

A 2013 YPCCC survey found that 'Americans say their own family and friends have the greatest ability to convince them to take action on climate change.' So how should we approach these conversations?"

Interfaith Resources
Peoples Climate Movement

We Rise for: Climate, Jobs, & Justice . Since 2014, we've led actions across the country and around the world with hundreds of thousands of climate-minded people - first-timers and veteran activists, alike.

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No Coal, No Gas

Continuing to burn coal and build fracked gas infrastructure in NH is immoral. That our political leaders stand idly by in the midst of this climate emergency is unconscionable. We must act ourselves.

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MBJ photo credit: Tipper Gore, 2014
Small, MBJ, & Sterling photo: R en é Th é berge
Trinity Milford photo: Edith Allison