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October 2019

Dear friends,

New Advanced Sustainable House of Worship Workshop
November 16


burning house Did you know ...

Air leaking from a typical building can account for up to 40% of heating and cooling costs. In other words, almost half of the money spent on energy escapes the building through small gaps around doors or windows, places where wires or pipes penetrate the building, or where the framing meets the foundation. Many of these leaks can be plugged — if you can find them and have the right materials and techniques.

This workshop will show you advanced techniques to track down the leaks, including hands-on demonstrations of blower door testing and infrared cameras. You will learn how to develop and prioritize air-sealing strategies on buildings where it otherwise might be hard to know where to start, and some of the air sealing techniques you can do yourself to plug many of these leaks.

If you've already upgraded to LED lights, installed programmable thermostats, and taken other basic energy saving steps, this workshop will give you new knowledge to cut down on this major energy waster, saving money and reducing your carbon footprint.

Presenters will be Paul Eldrenkamp, Byggmeister Construction; Jason Taylor, Instructor, Green Building Academy; and Jim Nail, President, Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light.

Attendees are encouraged to bring questions on other energy efficiency and climate change topics.

Date and time: Saturday, November 16, 2019, 8:30 am – noon.
Location: St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, 18 Springdale Ave., Dover, MA 02030
Cost: $20

Register here.


MAIP&L Annual Conference Calls for Moral Action to Address Climate Change

Author Roger Gottlieb admonished attendees to "awaken a sense of courage in ourselves and do what is right without despair nor hope" at the MA Interfaith Power and Light's Annual Conference titled Morality, Politics and the Climate Crisis.

Rep. Jen Benson, in outlining her carbon pricing bill H. 2810, exemplified the ethical commitment to environmental action Gottlieb called for, delighting the nearly 100 people who attended the Oct. 17th event at Temple Shalom in West Newton.

GottliebMorality and the Environmental Crisis is the name of Gottlieb's new book, and in his remarks he likened our dilemma to being in a leaking boat far from shore without a motor nor communication, compelled to repair the boat while keeping it afloat if we are to survive.

Gottlieb considered how we've gotten here — building social, political and economic institutions alienated from community and hooked on technology, domination, and over identification with our work — so that even our daily lives are constructed to violate nature. The remedy Gottlieb proposed is moral self-examination, ecological democracy where all living creatures are valued, and joining together with courage in political action to save our planet.


BensonRep. Benson followed Gottlieb at the MAIP&L annual conference, and she urged the audience to act quickly to ensure H.2810 "An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions" passes this legislative session. Instituting a carbon fee would save lives and cut healthcare costs, disincentivize fossil fuels and spur renewable energy.

Benson explained the importance of getting support from the governor, and widespread public support to convince legislators to vote favorably. She pressed the group to write letters to the editor and reach out to those living in Republican districts to call their legislators. H.2810 charges fossil fuel suppliers a carbon fee, starting at $20 per ton. Seventy percent of revenues will be returned to consumers with protections for low and moderate income, and 30% will be utilized on green infrastructure projects — $300 million in the first year.

Rabbi Katy Alan, President Pro Tem, Jewish Climate Action Network closed the event, reminding us all that the Jewish Sukkot festival had just passed which commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land. She likened these times to the one we are in now, echoing Gottlieb's appeal for courage, and Benson's cry to action, as we move forward with unflinching ethical commitment to a better future.


Executive Director Vince Maraventano Announces Retirement


At the annual meeting, executive committee president Jim Nail shared the news that after over 10 years leading Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light, Vince has decided to retire at the end of this year. He will stay on the executive committee to ensure a smooth transition and will continue to lead MIP&L's work with the Campaign for a Clean Energy Future building support for a bill that would put a price on carbon. The executive committee is taking on oversight of programs to ensure our other work continues while we search for our next executive director. A subcommittee is drafting a job description and will launch the search in the near future.

Jim noted that under Vince's leadership, membership has more than doubled, financial support has grown substantially, and he has built strong connections among environmental organizations and established MIP&L as an important force in the fight to address climate change. We will miss him, but we thank him for his passion, dedication and hard work!


News from National Interfaith Power & Light

Our parent organization has a simple mantra: Pray, Act, Vote for the Environment. Join us in putting these three critical approaches to the climate emergency into action in your congregation:

Pray — Plan now for Faith Climate Action Week

The national IPL organization has designated April 17-26, 2020 as Faith Climate Action Week. Put the date on your faith community's calendar and start to plan one or more activities: a Creation Care themed service or sermon, viewing a film about the climate emergency, planting a tree...there are ideas and resources at MA IP&L can also provide guest preachers, speakers, coffee hour presentations, and discussion leaders; contact Then list your activity at the site.

Act — Cool Congregations Challenge Deadline December 15

If your congregation has taken a significant action to show your Care for Creation, enter the Cool Congregation Challenge to share it with other congregations across the country, receive recognition, and perhaps win $1000. Details and entry forms are here:

voter pledgeVote — Faith Climate Voter Pledge

At our 2018 annual meeting, Nathaniel Stinnet of the Environmental Voters Project shared data showing that people who are concerned about climate change vote at significantly lower rates than the population overall. We must change this to elect politicians who believe in the reality of climate change and will take bold action.

Take the pledge now and you will receive email reminders to vote:


Tips for "Green" Holidays

green holidays

The holidays are — and should be — a joyful time. We can also make them less damaging to the climate with a little thoughtful planning and creativity.

Download the Cool Harvest planning guide for a Low Carbon Thanksgiving here:

The Center for a New American Dream offers an extensive set of ideas and suggestions at their site:


Reflection of the Month

From Roger Gottlieb's newly published book Morality and the Environmental Crisis:

Book cover "At least three things give us the capacity to resist the environmental crisis, to act morally despite these considerable obstacles.

To begin, despite everything, there is a humanly universal, deeply felt connection to the natural world. For a variety of reasons — physiological, psychological, emotions — the natural world matters to us.... Indeed, if it didn't, the environmental movement would not have the scope and power that it does.

Also, human culture is filled with varying and often contradictory perspectives. If Western religion has typically supported the human domination of nature, there are also traditional voices that celebrated nature as a gift from God, a source of spiritual insight, and a spiritual subject rather than simply a resource or sign....

Finally, human culture can change, and change drastically. Ideas of human rights, democracy, gender equality, and civil disobedience did not always exist, but were brought into existing in response to developments, challenges, and threats. There has been no bigger change than the environmental crisis. And it is resulting in corresponding changes in human culture…environmental morality has come into being."


Peace and blessings,

Your friends at Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light


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