UUCB members Mary Jean Ewing, Deb Hoff, Susan Secord and Julie Zahniser at the Department of State hearings in Grand Island NE on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“Active Hope involves identifying the outcomes we hope for and then playing an active role in bringing them about. We don’t wait until we are sure of success. ….Instead we focus on what we truly, deeply long for, and then we proceed to take determined steps in that direction.”
From Active Love by Joanna Macy
When the UUCB Climate Change Ministry formed last fall, we knew we were taking on a truly overwhelming issue. But, — in the spirit of active hope—we set our vision on a world where the climate change problem is solved, and we began to engage in several arenas which we feel will help to bring this about. On this, our first anniversary, we want to recap a few of the highlights of our year.
Keystone XL Pipeline: TransCanada Corporation wants to build a pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to our Gulf Coast. If built, the pipeline will further the development of the Alberta Tar Sands and will carry highly carbon intensive oil to the world. In February several members of our group traveled to Washington, D.C. to join with 40,000 activists from around the country who, for the sake of our climate, believe tar sands need to stay in the ground. Two months later, several of us traveled on a bus of 58 Coloradans to Grand Island, Nebraska where the Department of State held its only public hearing on its draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Everyone on the bus stood against the pipeline, as did more than 75% of the speakers that day…. The State Department still has not made its final decision on the pipeline and recently President Obama made the statement that it should only be built if it doesn’t significantly impact climate change. We expect a decision within the new few months and will continue to speak out against the pipeline.
Citizens Climate Lobby: In April we joined in starting the Boulder chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, an organization whose mission is to stabilize our climate and to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. As members of CCL, we are working to pass a national revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend program that will incentivize renewable energy technologies and lead to stabilizing our climate. This work has taken us into the halls of Congress to lobby our elected officials, to local meetings with congressional staff members, to an editorial meeting with the Daily Camera, and hours of letter-writing to local newspapers. With little action in Congress regarding climate change and, indeed many climate change deniers, this is clearly an uphill battle. But we are really energized to be part of an organization with over 120 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, strong national leadership, and proven methods of engagement that are truly congruent with our UU principles.
Boulder Municipalization: This issue is near and dear to those of us who are Boulder citizens. We now have the opportunity to go forward with a municipal utility that will have the flexibility to purchase low and no-carbon energy to generate electricity for our Boulder citizens, thus significantly reducing our city’s carbon footprint. Many of us have worked to make this happen – including writing letters to the editor, testifying at city council meetings, and canvassing neighborhoods. In September we hope you will join us for an evening forum on the ballot initiatives that will affect the future of forming a municipal utility in Boulder.
Fracking: Hydraulic fracturing is also an issue that is of deep concern to many members of our group. Over the past year, several of us worked to help pass the Longmont ban on fracking, the Boulder County 18-month moratorium on fracking, and the city of Boulder’s one-year moratorium on fracking.. Some of us are currently working on the ballot initiative to ban fracking within Lafayette city limits and the Boulder ballot initiative to establish a 5-year moratorium on fracking.
As we move into year two of our Climate Change Ministry, we will continue to work in all of these arenas. We will also offer ways for all church members to learn more about climate change and opportunities to engage personally as well as politically.
Please join us! Our UUCB Climate Change Ministry meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Sky Room. Boulder Citizens Climate Lobby meets on the first Wednesday following the first Saturday of each month, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Sky Room. For further information, contact Susan Riederer