1. Shift control of our electricity. Take leadership for reducing the carbon intensity of our electricity:
- City – Most cities have a franchise agreement a monopoly utility provider, which is more inclined to listen to them than to customers. To get us off of coal, find or form a group and speak to your values as a group member. Call or visit as many of your city council people as will meet with you and explain your concerns. Take a few colored handouts/graphs. Listen to their concerns and say “I’ll check into that and get back to you,” if you don’t have the answer. Ask your city council to send a letter to your utility about getting off coal faster than they are planning. Ask your Mayor to join the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100% (http://www.sierraclub.org/ready-for-100).
- Local – Email your utility managers with a simple message: “We want our electricity to be fossil free by 2030!” Or something longer: “As a faith community member we value good life for all. We need to get these coal plants closed right away. How are we going to get to 100% renewable by 2030?” Mention the parish, city, or community group you are from and that you want action. Ask your group leaders and clergy to email, too. Email weekly if you want; this is not like voting!
- International and Mission – 1.2 billion people in the world need renewable energy. Provide developing communities safe and healthy solar lights and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
2. Electrify everything that can be transitioned now.
- Join the millions buying electric vehicles! Economical 200+ mile cars now on the market allow you to fuel at home and leave with a full tank each morning! Some communities even have tax credits for EV!
- Move out of investments in fossil fuels. It’s not just what you do with your charity that matters, but where your money sleeps at night.
- The International Energy Agency, known for conservative estimates, says four renewable technologies are ready to market: wind, solar, batteries, and electric vehicles.
- Raise our building standards. Zero net energy buildings are possible now and can produce savings and increased comfort and certainty for residents.
3. Efficiency improvements. Efficiency can be the cheapest dollar spent and will provide the best return.
- Replace all your light bulbs with LEDs.
- Get an energy audit and make the suggested improvements.
More ways to help:
- Community level projects have more “Bang for the buck.” Retrofitting one building or campus is great but is not going to get us to there in time. See rapidshift.net for ways to move faster.
- Support Grid Alternatives (https://www.gridalternatives.org) and other programs that help people transition and train for new jobs in the field of renewable energy.
Why am I passionate about this? It’s about life and dignity for all. Extra high temperatures; potential agriculture/food system disruption; the exploration, production, and use of fossil fuels—all are death dealing for many of us. Jesus taught us to “choose life.” Let’s choose it—now.