December 2017      
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In This Issue


 
Advocacy Update

11/14/2017 Letter to Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council Summary: RI IPL opposes the LNG and fracking facility proposed in the already heavily impacted, low-income community of South Providence.


Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives
Film of the Month

At RI IPL, we are always adding new films to our Film Lending Library. All of our films are available for member congregations to borrow. Many of them come with discussion notes as well. You can easily bring a movie to your congregation,just contact Kristen Ivy at 

Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War is a compelling documentary exploring the under-reported environmental impacts of war and preparations for war. The film confronts the immensely broad ecological and human ramifications of everything from technological development and natural resource exhaustion to weapons testing and modern warfare itself.
Ecosystems around the world are in distress from forces of humanity's own making: increasing population, unsustainable demands on natural resources, habitat and species loss, and climate change. One of the most destructive of human behaviors - war - is not commonly included as a contributor to the growing global environmental crisis.
Yet, in all its stages, from the production of weapons through combat, military operations pollute land, air, and water, destroy entire ecosystems, and drain limited natural resources.
Using archival material from the Civil War through more recent wars, along with expert testimony and eyewitness accounts, the film clearly presents the environmental and human cost of combat, and argues for public scrutiny of the ecological and human impact of war as essential to a more sustainable - and secure - world.

BOARD of DIRECTORS
 
The Rev. Dr. Anita Schell
Emmanuel Newport
Newport
 
Ray Frackelton, PhD
Newman Congregational
Rumford
 
Marty Davey
St. Gregory the Great
Warwick
 
Christine Muller
Baha ' i Community
Kingston
 
Christine Cassels
St. Luke's
East Greenwich

Sarah Atkins
Emmanuel Newport
Newport
 
The Rev. David Helfer
Unitarian Universalist  
Congregation of
South County
Peace Dale

Steve MacAusland
Emmanuel Newport
Newport

   
STAFF
 
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
First Unitarian Church
Providence

 

A sustainable culture recognizes relationships. That is, it knows that everything is connected . . . Sustainability is not a state we reach but something we work toward forever.

 
In order to live sustainable lives, we must be constantly searching for the most eco-friendly choices. Whether this is a big decision like getting solar panels or buying an electric vehicle, or the small day to day choices we make like buying recycled aluminum foil or carrying home a plastic bottle for recycling, it is ongoing. During the holiday season in our consumerist society, it is more important than ever to bear this in mind. When choosing gifts, consider if the packaging is recyclable, how long will it be used for, and what will be done with it when it is no longer wanted. For tips on keeping your holiday season eco-friendly, click here.
Blessings,
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
Giving Tuesday Report
Thank you for your support on Giving Tuesday

You contributed $3,120!
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Your support helps us continue our vital work.

Science and Ethics Say No to the Proposed LNG facility
By David Helfer, RI IPL Board Member

We at RI Interfaith Power & Light clearly voice our view that the proposed LNG facility in Providence is in opposition to scientific insights, to common sense, and to any moral standard.  There are many obvious reasons to oppose this project:
  • It is being sited in an already heavily impacted, low-income community, without sufficient community involvement;
  • The site is already heavily contaminated. The process of building the facility will expose many people to high levels of toxic and cancer-causing substances;
  • A potential LNG fire would wipe out most of that community. The site is not sufficiently distanced from or protective of, the surrounding community;
  • The Port of Providence is already now prone to flooding, but it will get much worse with accelerating sea level rise and stronger storms due to climate change. The proposed facility has not been sited with sufficiently taking into consideration the increased potential for dangerous weather and higher storm surges resulting from climate change. The construction plans only take into account a sea level rise of 1.5 ft, whereas scientific predictions are 9 ft or more by 2100 with business as usual emissions;
  • The transport of the material onsite, even absent an LNG fire, poses a grave danger in the form of methane emissions and smaller explosions;
  • There is no plan to ensure the safety of the surrounding communities;
  • There is no evidence that the planned LNG facility is even needed!
There is nothing about this project, other than a very limited number of construction jobs, which demonstrates any benefit to the community or the state!
 
As climate change progresses, and sea levels rise, and after years of careful guardianship of our coastal gifts, is now the time to reverse this guardianship stance and to replace it by a short-sighted profit-making mentality?
 
But the issue is much larger than our small state of RI. The Earth has warmed already by about 1°C (1.8°F) because of human activities, mainly because of the burning of fossil fuels. Reducing further warming is now a planetary emergency. At a time when we need to urgently reduce and eventually eliminate the burning of all fossil fuels, it does not make sense to invest in new gas infrastructure. With the proposed LNG facility, we would not be able to reach the goals of the Resilient RI Act 2014. This bill establishes targets for greenhouse gas emissions, with an 85% reduction by 2050 below 1990 levels. We cannot wait to begin reducing our impact on the climate, but must start now!
 
The impacts of global warming on our state will not only be devastating for our RI economy, but will bring great harm to people here and all over the world. Those readers who care most about the economy may like to consider the mere cost of clean-up and rebuilding after destructive storms.
 
RI Interfaith Power & Light speaks for people of many different faiths. We stand up for truth and science, and believe that climate change is also a deeply moral issue. We must change almost everything we are doing in order to minimize human suffering and to keep this planet livable for future generations - and the most urgent action is to reduce our use of fossil fuels.

Advocacy Action Opportunity
Clean Power Plan Repeal
 
The EPA is  extending the deadline for written comments on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan until  January 16, 2018. 

EPA Administrator Pruitt signed a Proposed Rule to repeal the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, officially titled the "Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units" The EPA published the repeal proposal in the Federal Register on October 16. 

The EPA plans to hold a single public hearing on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan in Charleston, West Virginia November 28-29. While the Proposed Rule is moving through the administrative process, the EPA will also begin discussions on new regulations to replace the Clean Power Plan. 

To comment Click Here.

What it means to be a member
of Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light

RI IPL membership involves more than just reading our newsletter and attending our events. Here are 5 simple steps to being an active RI IPL member:
  1. Give  a portion of your financial resources to RI IPL for our vital work. You may give online here, or by check.
    Annual Membership Dues
    Student/limited    income    $30
    Regular  Membership   $50
    Sustaining  Membership   $100
    Sponsoring  Membership   $150-249
    Circle  of  Friends   $250-$999
    Lifetime Membership   $1000+
  2. Pledge Take the RI IPL Membership Pledge to increase your awareness of global climate change. You can download your pledge form here.
  3. Be Aware Stay current with information about the science of climate change and the human role in such change, as it evolves. 
  4. Speak Out Support and advocate for public policies that further these goals and communicate with local, state, and national elected representatives
  5. Take Action Follow through with one or more of the ideas from our pledge sheet. Challenge yourself!
Your support allows us to continue our crucial work. To learn more about the benefits you receive with RI IPL membership click here.
Cool Congregations Challenge
 
The Cool Congregations Challenge is a contest hosted by Interfaith Power & Light that awards prizes to congregations  that are becoming energy efficient and sustainable role models in response to climate change. Projects of any size completed during the year December 31, 2016 to December 15, 2017 qualify. 
Congregations are eligible if they finished an energy efficiency, renewable energy, or grounds and water conservation project this year, or have engaged with the community in response to global warming. There is also a planning category for those that have recently finished an energy audit and developed plans for improvements. Cash prizes of $1,000 will go to the winning contestants in each category. All winners will receive a frameable certificate.
The deadline for entries is December 15, 2017.
Changes in Narragansett Bay: A Conversation Among Citizens and Scientists
Sea Grant Science Symposium


This free, one-day event will bring scientists and regulators together with people who work and spend time on Narragansett Bay to discuss the state of the bay and its water quality, biology, and ecological systems. The results from this event will inform Rhode Island Sea Grant's research agenda as well as the state's developing Narragansett Bay Special Area Management Plan (Bay SAMP). Lunch and refreshments will be provided by the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. 

Wednesday, December 6th

 - 

 

URI Graduate School of Oceanography

Corless Auditorium

215 South Ferry Road

Narragansett, RI

 

Registration  is required.

Southern New England Offshore Wind Energy Science Forum
URI Coastal Resources Center
 
The Southern New England Offshore Wind Energy Science Forum will showcase completed and ongoing research that is taking place at the Block Island Wind Farm and within Southern New England to improve the management and development of offshore wind energy. This 2-day event (December 11 - 12, 2017) will present the priority research topics of interest to resource users - including fishermen, municipalities, and recreational boaters - and state and federal regulators.  Topics will likely include the effects of the construction and operation of offshore wind farms on habitat, fish, marine mammals, avian species, and people.  This event is being organized by the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography,  URI Coastal Resources Center and sponsored by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council and U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management with financial support from Deepwater Wind and Rhode Island Sea Grant.
Please join us this December in Rhode Island to learn about the completed and ongoing research that is taking place at the Block Island Wind Farm and within Southern New England to improve the management and development of offshore wind energy.

Monday, December 11th and Tuesday, December 12th

URI Bay Campus
Corless Auditorium
  215 South Ferry Road
Narragansett, RI

Registration deadline is December 6, 2017.


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Is your congregation or organization planning a climate change or environmental event? We want to know about it! Email us the details of your event and we'll share it on our webpage and in our newsletter. Please send newsletter submissions by the 15th of the month.  Send RI IPL related events or announcements to Kristen Ivy Moses, executive director, at kristenivy@ri-ipl.org .

 
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
PO Box 15043, Riverside, RI 02915
(401) 324-9142  inquiry@ri-ipl.org