Equity and Climate Action: Ann Arbor Friends Meeting’s Carbon Tax Meets the Moment
Michigan IPL often gets questions from Houses of Worship asking what they can do to mitigate climate change- and we think the voluntary Carbon Tax is a great example because it's a simple program that can make a big impact. Think outside of the recycling box!
We've all learned that there is not going to be environmental justice without social justice. -John Williams, Ann Arbor Friends Meeting Earthcare Committee Member
Five years ago, the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting started an initiative to reduce their individual carbon footprints. After finding ways to conserve energy and lower their carbon emissions, members imposed a voluntary “Carbon Tax” on themselves. The money collected from the tax is then split three ways by the Earthcare Committee to combat greenhouse gasses from a political advocacy perspective, at an international level, and locally to Michigan IPL’s Carbon Fund!
We’re excited about the Carbon Tax because this program offers a simple solution to convert your carbon footprint into real, equitable action.
Ann Arbors Friends Meeting members listen to visiting speaker. Courtesy of quakerquaker.orgRead more
2021 Year End Reflection
As 2021 draws to a close, I'm writing this to share with you where our issues stand and what I believe our movement of people of faith and conscience for climate justice must do next.
The possibility of a world where all beings can thrive has taken some big hits recently.
The agreement coming out of COP 26—November’s global climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland—has been called a “death sentence” for the poorest people on our planet. Our nation’s most ambitious investment in climate and communities to date, the Build Back Better Act, is now stalled in the Senate. Meanwhile, earlier this fall, a military budget that dwarfs any proposed climate spending was rubber stamped with bipartisan support and without fanfare.
Thousands of starlings move together as one before resting for the night. Scientists hypothesize that they may do this to confuse predators and minimize individual risk.Read more
We Need the Strongest Possible Clean Car Standards to Meet this Moment
Today, I spoke at an EPA hearing about the draft Clean Car standards proposed earlier this month. This is my testimony:
My name is Leah Wiste, and I’m the Executive Director of Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. We work with over 300 member congregations throughout the state, which comprise thousands of people of faith and conscience committed to bold climate action and protecting our communities. Thank you for allowing me to offer testimony today.
When President Biden announced the draft tailpipe emissions standards earlier this month, Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee offered a strange kind of praise, saying “This is sort of a Goldilocks goal… Not too much, not too little. It’s just right.” But it’s clear that the time has passed for moderate, “not too much, not too little” policy.
Evict Enbridge: Events This Week!
Enbridge, the company responsible for the pipeline that burst in 2010 causing nearly 1,000,000 gallons of tar sands crude to flow into the Kalamazoo River, has vowed to continue operations in defiance of Whitmer's order.
If you, like us, believe that corporations have no business risking our Great Lakes and our last shot at a livable climate for the sake of making a buck, I hope you'll find a way to plug in to this week's outdoor and socially-distanced events in Detroit, Lansing and Mackinaw City!
A Rabbi's Reflection on Being an Eco Chaplain
I had never thought in depth about my relationship with nature or anything having to do with the environment until the summer of 2013.
At the time, I had just finished my second year of Rabbinic School and was spending the summer working as a Young Adult Interfaith Coordinator at the Chautauqua Institution, an education and arts community in southwestern New York state. Each week, we heard from speakers from around the country, who addressed themes from various religious and scientific perspectives. From clergy and scientists, we learned the creation stories of different cultures and about our roles at this point in the Universe’s history.
One idea changed the trajectory of my life: humanity’s resourcefulness, creativity, and wisdom have not only brought unimaginable blessings to the world, but these same strengths have made us so destructive to other species and our very own habitat that we are unleashing a global extinction.
A Pastor's Reflection on the Poor People's Campaign
This past Monday's rally at the state Capitol, organized by the Poor People's Campaign, focused on the deep connection between environmental degradation and its disproportionate harm to those living in poverty. The rally was meant to be a prophetic cry for change, for a turning away from unjust policies and practices that contradict God’s clear intent that we humans cherish the Earth and the most vulnerable members of the human family.
Michigan IPL staff Bob Chapman and Leah Wiste pose with their signs in front of the Capitol.Read more