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June 2019

Dear friends,

Make Environmental Justice the Law
in Massachusetts

H.761, sponsored by Representatives Liz Miranda of Boston and Michelle DuBois of Brockton, and generally called the Environmental Justice Act seeks to make environmental justice the law in Massachusetts. S.464 sponsored by Senator Jamie Eldridge of Acton is its counterpart in the Massachusetts Senate this session.

Environmental Justice (EJ) is the equal protection and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws. EJ is currently addressed by Executive Orders and regulations that have not been adequately enforced. The Environmental Justice Act would:

After hearings held on June 4, Representative Miranda said, "These pollutants cause public health crises ... with higher rates of asthma and other health issues. In her neighborhood, this resulted in a 30 year drop in life expectancy compared to other Boston residents, she said, adding that "There is no climate fight without the environmental justice fight."

According to Sen. Eldridge, "The reality of the vast majority of these communities that have fossil fuel facilities, that have landfills, are working class communities, or communities with a significant percentage of people of color, and we clearly have a flawed approval and permitting system for why those projects are going into those communities."

Read more here.

Call or write your legislator today and tell them to pass the Environmental Justice Act, H.761/S.464.

Click here to find your legislator.

 

Pope Francis and Massachusetts Youth Agree on Carbon Pricing

protesters

At a meeting on "The Energy Transition and Care for our Common Home." Pope Francis told fossil fuel executives and institutional investors, that "Faced with a climate emergency, we must take action accordingly, in order to avoid perpetrating a brutal act of injustice towards the poor and future generations." Among the mechanisms needed to achieve a just transition away from fossil fuels, Francis said that placing a price on carbon "is essential if humanity is to use the resources of creation wisely."

Read the full text of the Pope’s statement here.

whale mosaic

About a week later, youth climate activists with the nonprofit Our Climate constructed a dramatic symbol in the shadows of the State House: a giant mosaic of a mother and calf pair of critically endangered North Atlantic Right whales. According to Eben Bein, New England field coordinator, "We are advocating for some Massachusetts leadership on ... climate policies, especially carbon pricing", adding, "If we do not make polluters pay for their actions, young people will foot an enormous bill later. Those disasters will be devastating and expensive." Read more here.

 

Screen From Paris to Pittsburgh at Your Congregation

from paris to pittsburgh

IPL invites you to offer a free screening of the film Paris to Pittsburgh. Sign up to share this inspiring National Geographic film with your faith community and receive a free DVD here.

From coastal cities to America's heartland, Americans are demanding and developing real solutions in the face of climate change. Hundreds of congregations and households have taken the Paris Pledge to personally reduce their carbon footprint in line with the Paris Accord goals. Showing this film is a good opportunity to spark the conversation in your congregation about what you can do to help the United States meet its commitment. Over 100 cities and 6 states plus Puerto Rico have set goals to match the Paris Climate Accord committing to 100% renewable energy. Learn about their important stories in Paris to Pittsburgh and be inspired to create change in your own community!

Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to offer a FREE screening of this timely film for your congregation, organization, gathering of friends or neighbors, your school, university, community center, or local theater.

Click here to:

Hosts will receive the specially created IPL Hosting Packet that includes additional faith-based questions for discussion, a helpful toolkit for event planning, language and images for newsletters and social media posts. Hosting a screening — with as few as 10 people — makes a huge difference when we have hundreds of screenings around the country!

Together we are achieving the Paris goals and building the faith voice for climate solutions.

 

Oppose the Weymouth Compressor Station

protestCall Governor Baker and tell him to rescind the DEP Air Quality Permit for the Fore River Compressor Station. Documents discovered by activists revealed data showing that 12 toxins not previously disclosed are already over allowable limits in the area. The main need for this facility is to export natural gas to Europe via Canada where new infrastructure will be disastrous to indigenous communities

Standouts are held on the Weymouth side of the Fore River Bridge on Wednesdays from 4 pm to 5 pm.

Read more about the effort here.

 

Reflection of the Month

The grace that comes from belonging to life

"When you act on behalf
of something greater than yourself,
you begin
to feel it acting through you
with a power that is greater than your own.

"This is grace.

"Today, as we take risks
for the sake of something greater
than our separate, individual lives,
we are feeling graced
by other beings and by Earth itself.

"Those with whom and on whose behalf we act
give us strength
and eloquence
and staying power
we didn't know we had.

"We just need to practice knowing that
and remembering that we are sustained
by each other
in the web of life.
Our true power comes as a gift, like grace,
because in truth it is sustained by others.

"If we practice drawing on the wisdom
and beauty
and strengths
of our fellow human beings
and our fellow species
we can go into any situation
and trust
that the courage and intelligence required
will be supplied."

Tom Atlee, founder of Co-Intelligence Institute

 

Peace and blessings,

Your friends at Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light

 

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