Climate Action

Climate Action

Interfaith Climate Action – ​First Hill

People of faith responding to the existential threat of climate change

“…If we are to heal our planet in the present crisis we will need to draw on the wisdom and commitment of every human culture. We need to move far beyond isolation and hostility into the inter-relational work toward the active making of peace and justice among all peoples and our planet’s web of life. “  
 
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
“The earth belongs to God, as affirmed in Psalm 24:1.  We are caretakers or stewards.  Thus we are each related to God as one appointed to take care of someone else’s possessions entrusted to us – our life, our home, the earth.”
 
American Baptist Policy Statement on Ecology
​Photo of Earth from the Apollo 17 mission – NASA
Who We Are
 
We are members and friends of Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue and Seattle First Baptist Church who are learning about the causes and effects of human-caused climate change and are working in concert with other local and regional groups to maintain a livable climate.  Interfaith Climate Action – First Hill  sponsors educational events, supports climate-friendly legislation and policy, and opposes actions that would increase global warming.
 
Thanks for visiting this web page.  We hope you find useful information, ideas, and most of all, encouragement to join in an emboldened movement to confront climate disruption from a faith perspective.
 
We would be happy to speak with you directly if you have questions or want to talk.  Please contact:  Keith Ervin, , 206 371 3834 or
Rev Harriet Platts, 

How do we end the use of climate-disrupting fossil fuels in our homes and other buildings? And equally important, how do we do it in a way that doesnt place an unfair burden on historically marginalized communities?

Interfaith Climate Action – First Hill and partners have created Green Buildings Now to help facilitate a just transition from climate-damaging fossil-fuel energy systems to non-polluting electric systems. Green Buildings Now is building a fund that will help residents of frontline communities take part in the transition to clean energy.

Partners in Green Buildings Now include Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue and Seattle First Baptist Church. Partners in building the fund include Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue, Faith Action Climate Team, the Prospect Congregational United Church of Christ Social & Environmental Justice Ministry Team, Seattle First Baptist Church, the South Seattle Climate Action Network, and the University Unitarian Church Climate Action Team. We thank the Treeline Foundation for its generous support.

The fund will pay for installation of high-efficiency electric energy systems at the South Beacon Hill Resilience Hub pilot project located on the campus of Bethany United Church of Christ. Community leaders representing Bethany UCC, Got Green, Beacon Hill Council, and El Centro de la Raza told us this is the best way we can support a just transition in this community of color.

You can find more information here by clicking the link below or by contacting Keith Ervin () or Linda Zaugg ().

We invite you to support Green Buildings by spreading the word and writing a check to Seattle First Baptist Church (Memo: Green Buildings Now), Attn: Darren Hochstedler, 1111 Harvard Ave., Seattle, WA 98122.

Some Successes in 2020

In concert with other local grassroots climate justice groups, Interfaith Climate Action – First Hill urged the City of Seattle to take some important steps to rein in climate-disrupting greenhouse gas emissions from both city-owned properties and from the city at large.

In January, after learning that the rebuilt Seattle Center Arena would be heated with natural gas, we wrote to Mayor Durkan and the City Council asking them to work with the city’s private development partners to replace the planned fossil-fuel heat system with clean, electric heat pumps. We were delighted by the announcement in June that Amazon had purchased naming rights for “Climate Pledge Arena,” which will be the first major venue of its kind to be operated without any use of natural gas.

In May, as the City Council began considering a proposed payroll tax that would fund COVID-19 relief, affordable housing, and energy retrofits of existing homes, we wrote to council members and the mayor. We endorsed the concept but asked that they work together to refine the plan in a way that would protect smaller businesses and the cash-strapped city coffers. Again we were delighted when, in July, the City Council adopted a bold plan that raises funds for affordable housing, climate action and other purposes without unduly burdening more vulnerable businesses and non-profit agencies.

We will monitor the City’s use of the tax proceeds, its broader Green New Deal agenda, and other climate efforts. These experiences reaffirm our belief that our impact is often greatest when we seek to influence government action at the local level.

Highlights of Recent Activity 

  • Lobbied legislators and participated in youth-led climate march.
  • Planted trees to celebrate Tu BiShvat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees.
  • Participated in Taming Bigfoot, a friendly competition to reduce our personal carbon footprint.
  • Co-sponsored two day-long faith in action climate conferences.
  • Participated in prayer vigils with Faith Action Climate Team members
  • Hosted a six-session book group on Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone’s “Active Hope.” 
  • Ongoing action to lower our personal and communal carbon footprints. 
  • Organized premiere performance of jazz artist Nelda Swiggett’s mixed-media work on climate change, The Alaska Suite: a story of beauty, loss and hope.
  • Arranged for purchases of carbon credits offsetting greenhouse gas emissions from our worship buildings and individuals’ personal lives. 

Please Join Us!

How We Can Live More Lightly on the Earth

Things you can do now to lower your personal carbon footprint 

These specific areas are places you and I can make a big difference NOW as we change our lifestyle and consumption habits to reduce the amount of carbon we are each producing.

Transportation

+Discontinue travel by airplane unless you have to.
The bottom line is we need to drastically reduce our air travel!  If you’re planning a trip or vacation and thinking about flying, look at the CARBON cost of the trip.  Log on to Taming Bigfoot (www. Taming-Bigfoot.org) to find out how much projected carbon will be emitted when you travel by air vs, by car or train or bus.   Consider not taking trips that involve flying.  Just because you can doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to do.   

+Rideshare
Cultivate connections in your community and share rides.
​Take public transit, walk or bike.

+Replace your gas combustion car with a hybrid, better yet an electric vehicle.
There are A LOT more affordable options for electric and electric hybrid (electric/gas) vehicles now.  Take a look at the Chevrolet Volt, or Nissan Leaf for starters. Go test drive.  Buy a used one!  

Home Energy Use

+Replace all your light bulbs with LED bulbs!
+Wash your clothes in cold water.
+Dry your clothes on a clothes rack instead of using a dryer.  Dryers use a lot of energy.
+Have an energy assessment of your home to learn about low costs things you can do to increase energy efficiency.

Food Consumption

+Practice not eating meat on certain days of the week
+Reduce or discontinue your consumption of beef and lamb.
+Eat locally grown food that you can purchase at a farmer’s market or through a community supported agriculture program (Produce boxes). Share one with a friend if a box feels like too much.
+Make a commitment to eat in-season food.  Foods have carbon footprints too.  Foods that have to travel by airplane and long distance across the country… well, you get the point. 
+Decrease use of bottled water.  This decreases your plastic purchases and lowers risk of plastic pollution.  Get a reusable water bottle and practice taking it with you wherever you go.

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