The Eco-Justice Collaborative (EJC) of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting issues this monthly bulletin to provide Friends with time-sensitive information and resources to help in their ongoing work for social and environmental justice. Share widely, as appropriate. If you have events or resources to share, please send them to Ruth Darlington.
“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”
–Gus Speth, Author and Top U.S. Advisor on Climate
“Let us then try what love can do to mend a broken world.”
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Friends (PYM) agree to commit to work on the climate change emergency.
We are pleased to tell you that at Annual Sessions, PYM Friends came under the weight of the climate emergency as a yearly meeting priority; the Climate Change Sprint report was accepted and approved. From the minutes of Annual Sessions Business Meeting July 31, 2021: “Clerk Jean Marie Barch pointed out that fifty years ago, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting began the journey that has brought us to adopting climate change concerns as a yearly meeting witness.”
After a video summary of a Statement on Moving Forward Together in the Face of Climate Change, Friends “accepted with deep gratitude and approved this work as forming a foundation for our way forward in our efforts to mitigate climate change.”
This is the moment. If we want something to happen at the federal level, now is the time.
In “Moving Together in the Face of Climate Change,” the Yearly Meeting has listed five areas of action we can take in our work to address the climate crisis. The first action listed is Activism. Here are several ways you can act now on urgent matters.
First, be sure to sign up for the Climate Action Network (CAN). The Eco-Justice Collaborative and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting are building an action network to share information on climate and justice issues and notify Friends when prompt action is needed on those issues.
SECOND – The next 4 to 6 weeks are critically important at both the state and federal level.
At the Federal level: Senate Democrats plan to use the budget reconciliation process to pass some of President Biden’s climate change policies. All the climate-related elements of the proposed budget framework for reconciliation are important, but the 100% Clean Electricity Standard (CES) and the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator are especially important to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Clean Energy Accelerator is not a government-owned bank but a totally separate and independent non-profit corporation with a focus on helping to finance a clean future. A federal Clean Electricity Standard is a crucial step toward expediting the transition to renewable energy and away from fossil fuels.
We urge all Friends to contact your senators and representatives.
Please ask them to insist that both the 100% Clean Electricity Standard (CES) and the Clean Energy Accelerator are included in the reconciliation bill to be voted on this fall. Here is a sample letter, but please use your own words to make a more powerful statement:
“Dear Senator ____,
Climate change threatens all of us. We must act NOW to prevent climate catastrophe.
I urge you to VOTE YES for the reconciliation infrastructure bill and to insist that the Clean Electricity Standard is included.”
Click here for more information.
At the State level, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) needs our help to get across the finish line. Pennsylvania is lagging far behind in efforts to address the climate crisis. Only two states, California and Texas, emit more carbon dioxide every year than PA does. RGGI is the most important clean energy policy being considered in PA today. With your help we can get it over the finish line. Please act today: Send this email to your State legislators.
“Dear ________ ,
As your constituent I strongly urge your support for the implementation of a carbon cap and invest program such as RGGI in Pennsylvania to help improve our economy, create local jobs, reduce air pollution and improve public health. Climate change is here, now. As the third most carbon intensive state, PA must do its share to reduce carbon emissions in the electricity generation sector.”
IN NEW JERSEY, Tell Governor Murphy to Stop the PennEast Pipeline. If allowed to go through, the Penn East fracked gas pipeline would cut a wide swath of environmental destruction starting in Lucerne County, PA, and ending in Mercer County, NJ.
Governor Murphy can use his position as Chair of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to stop the pipeline, protect open spaces and preserved farmland, and keep fossil fuels in the ground.
IN NEW JERSEY, Say NO to Chemical Recycling of Plastic. Chemical recycling, also known as advanced recycling, gasification,pyrolysis, waste-to-fuel and waste-to-energy, is being pushed by the plastics industry as a solution to plastic pollution. It is an expensive process that itself causes pollution and distracts us from the real need to reduce plastic production.
Assemblymember John McKeon has introduced Bill #5803 to exempt chemical recycling facilities from New Jersey’s solid waste and recycling laws. Urge your State Assemblymember and Senator to vote against Bill #5803 and ban chemical recycling in New Jersey. Write a letter!
TAKE ACTION with PennEnvironment to PROTECT BOREAL FORESTS. Toilet paper is a major reason for cutting down trees in Canada’s boreal forest. Costco sells a billion rolls of toilet paper every year. PennEnvironment is demanding that Costco take two steps to protect boreal forests: (1) make its Kirkland Signature brand tissue products using at least 50% recycled or forest-free materials, and (2) refuse to sell other brands that do not make the same changes. Sign the PennEnvironment petition.
ACTION AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. In her presentation on environmental activism at annual sessions, Cherice Bock talked about making our actions for the earth spiritual practices.
Pamela Haines tells here how sending daily letters to President Biden about the Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline has nurtured her own spiritual life:
I have come increasingly under the weight of violence being committed by the Enbridge tar sands Line 3 construction in northern Minnesota. Though I could argue that any response short of traveling to northern Minnesota and chaining myself to a construction vehicle is hopelessly inadequate, I find myself called to communicate with President Biden on a regular (now daily) basis. I’m finding the discipline of writing a daily letter surprisingly nourishing. I imagine a little drip of loving attention to conscience coming into his environment every day. Who knows? It might even make a difference.
A recent note said, “As you pledge to protect the earth for all our grandchildren, please hold in your heart the headwaters of the Mississippi and the land that is being desecrated by the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. I know you would choose to do the right thing.”
I find that reaching for his heart helps open mine. As I pay attention in what I hold most dear—valuing the earth’s integrity, acting from love, following what rings true—in order to reach for that of God in him, I am more connected to that of God in myself.
It’s easy to send these messages (just search for “contact President Biden”), and I hope you will consider whether you might be called to do the same—or something different.
August 14th at 6pm: A Century of Housing Discrimination and its Legacy of Health Impacts. Register and join Physicians for Social Responsibility for an overview of housing discrimination in Philadelphia. Look at the health consequences of discriminatory housing, and consider mitigation and remediation efforts.
August 17th and 31st: Learn to Lobby in 30 Minutes.
Advocacy at the state and national levels is one of our most effective tools for addressing the climate emergency. Join this 30-minute webinar from Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) to get ready.
Share this link with your Meeting & register for either the 17th or the 31st: https://www.fcnl.org/events/learn-lobby-30-minutes-12
SEPTEMBER ECO JUSTICE COLLABORATIVE GATHERING.
Following Friends approval of the Climate Sprint Report, the Eco Justice Collaborative invites Friends to begin our work together.
We have a tentative date of September 11th, which we will confirm next week in the Thursday PYM News. Join us and bring posters telling us what your meeting is doing or would like to do and what resources you need. We will tell you about the critical climate bills that need support in September, at both the federal and the state level.
Depending on current guidelines from the CDC, we expect this event to be hybrid.
October 17th and 18th. Join GreenFaith’s October campaign, Faiths 4 Climate Justice. On Sunday faith communities around the globe will raise up the climate crisis in their places of worship.
On Monday, they will take non-violent action into their communities to call on governments and businesses to do the right thing for the earth and all its inhabitants.
Register your Meeting now to become a leader in your community. Joining with others in the community will amplify our message and build resilience, too.
INTERNSHIP OPENINGS AT PENNFUTURE. PennFuture seeks two Government Affairs interns during the Fall semester to assist PennFuture’s work involving the Commonwealth’s legislative and executive branch agencies. You may find more information here.
The Government Affairs interns will: track legislation and the movement of bills through the legislative process; attend hearings and draft policy memos; research legislation and provide draft analysis and suggested positions; attend legislative meetings with Members and staff of the General Assembly, agencies, and the Governor’s office; interact with Members and staff of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation and federal agencies to help achieve PennFuture’s federal policy goals; and more.
The deadline to apply for this position is Friday, August 13, 2021.
Climate Solutions 101. This 6-unit mini-course from Project Drawdown can be taken by individuals or used as part of a Meeting’s climate change education action:
Eco-Justice Collaborative (EJC) presentation on current work. In this PowerPoint, you will also find links to previous EJC webinars, the EJC video “Race, Climate, Justice: We’re All In This Together,” the EJC Climate Justice Minute, and many other resources.
Inside the Greenhouse. Sign up here to get monthly alerts and updates on Friends Committee on National Legislation’s work on climate action, sustainable and a healthy planet.
Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) Mini-Grants. Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) is a network of Quakers seeking to live in right relationship with Earth and in unity with nature.
The QEW Mini-Grants Committee provides small matching grants to help fund Friends’ projects that put this principle into practice. We are looking for projects to support, especially those that help with providing food, involve youth, or help with challenging racial/ethnic barriers.
If your Quaker organization is doing a project that meets our criteria, we invite you to apply. If you are an individual Quaker, involved with a project that meets our criteria, perhaps your Meeting could adopt the project. This would enable us to fund you. We can only fund through Quaker Meetings, Churches, Camps, Schools, etc. Our maximum matching grant is $500. More details are on the Mini-Grant application form.
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