Deepening Faith. Living Well. Enacting Justice.

Category Archives: Climate Change Ministry

Eating Sustainably: Interfaith Community Supported Agriculture

veggiesTuv Ha’Aretz,Boulder’s interfaith CSA (community supported agriculture) in partnership with Red Wagon Organic Farm, is now taking 2015 memberships. You can sign up for regular or large weekly (23 weeks) or biweekly (12 weeks) shares of delicious, local, organic produce. Fruit, egg, mushroom, and coffee shares are also available. There are also opportunities to contribute funds to support farm workers at Red Wagon Organic Farm and subsidized shares for those in need. Tuv Ha’Aretz members can pick up on Tuesdays at Congregation Nevei Kodesh (1925 Glenwood Dr.) or on Thursdays at Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder (5001 Pennsylvania Ave.).




When you register, please make the connection between faith and food by selecting a Tuv Ha’Aretz share. As a Tuv Ha’Aretz member, you will have the opportunity to volunteer at pick up and support special programming, scheduling that accommodates religious observance, support for farm workers, and shares for those in need. To sign up simply go to For information about Tuv Ha’Aretz, please contact



UUCB Community Garden’s 5th Season!

gardenBack in 2011, the idea for a garden on the premises arose from the group looking at Green Sanctuary certification.  Using some of our unused land to grow fresh produce and herbs was a way to apply locavore philosophy, i.e. lowering carbon footprint by eating local food, in line with a sustainability focus and more green or eco-consciousness.   Last year we had abundant crops and were able to donate to the Community Food Share warehouse, where local non-profit organizations shop for their constituents in need.   These are some of the ways our delightful prolific community-building beautiful earthy green glowing jewel of a church garden connects to and reflects our church’s social justice values.  And, it’s fun! 

We gather together soon to start off another gardening year.  We are always looking for more people to join us, with or without any gardening experience.  It’s a great way to way to learn from others, and to learn by doing.   It takes many hands to make it a success, and there are many way to be involved.  Some people show up for workdays for camaraderie and community, some are gaining experience and tips to apply to their own gardens, others enjoy the dirt and plants they can’t have at home.   We will be reviewing last year’s experiences, decide on which plants this year, and make plans for planting seedlings soon, preparing the soil, putting in a drip line system, and establishing a schedule of shared leadership.  This year we will be finding new ways for our children to be involved, including their own small area to work. 

We will have a handout and signup sheet during coffee hour at the Climate Change/Green Sanctuary table.  Our efforts are cooperative, each person doing what they have time to do. Every person who works on the garden is welcome to take home whatever produce they can use. The remainder is made available to the congregation at coffee hour or for CFS donations.

Our next meeting will be on Sunday Feb 8 from 12-1 pm.  If you have an interest but cannot attend, or wish to be put on the mailing list for updates/schedules, or have any questions, please contact Deb Hoff.

Climate Change Ministry News for January

sunflowerThis month we have two events that we are hosting after church in the month of January.   Stop by the Climate Ministry table during coffee hour to sign up for lunch and the classes.  

Citizens’ Climate Lobby Introduction


Jan 11th 12:30 – 1:30

(Lunch provided 12:00- 12:30)
UUCB Climate Change Ministry is presenting a one hour overview of their work with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a national organization dedicated to shifting the political will to address climate change. Susan Secord, Tom Denkenberger and Susan Riederer will be the presenters.Stop by the Climate Change Ministry Table for sign-up sheet or contact Susan Riederer.

Ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint Workshop


Jan 25th 12:30 – 2:00

(Lunch provided 12:00- 12:30)


Come learn about steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint.

Steve Todd will be the presenter. Stop by the Climate Change Ministry Table during coffee hour to sign up for this presentation.

Divestment and Unitarian-Universalists

Earth from spaceAs Unitarian-Universalists, we treasure our UU Seventh Principle, “respect for the inter-dependent web of existence of which we are a part.” We invoke it while working to protect and honor our planet Earth/Gaia. We know from climate scientists that using fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) is a big part of harming the planet and all life forms on it. We know that we must leave 80% of fossil fuel reserves in the ground in order to retain conditions that have fostered human civilization. We know that the fossil fuel industry continues its drive for “business as usual”, and has an enormous hold on our economy and governments. How can we hope to change this situation?

One tactic employed for social change is divestment –the opposite of investment, that is, getting rid of stocks, bonds, or investment funds that are unethical or morally ambiguous. It has been used effectively against violence in Darfur, tobacco advertising, and most successfully in South Africa against apartheid.

Divestment from the fossil fuel industry became a movement in 2012 on college campuses, started by the group with Bill McKibben. But many other kinds of organizations that serve the public good have made divestment commitments: city governments (including Boulder), a few counties, foundations (including Rockefeller) and other non-profits, and religious institutions.

What a natural pairing for UUs! And that is why our UU Association requested all of its member congregations in 2013 to examine their own investments, institutional and individual, through this fossil fuel divestment lens. And that is why in 2014 our UUA passed a resolution to divest all monies of the Common Endowment Fund, in which many smaller congregations choose to invest. The agreement was forged retaining minimal shares to keep shareholder activism possible.

Be on the look-out for more updates as our church discusses this issue and decides what we want to do about it.


2013 Action of Immediate Witness: 2013

2014 Business Resolution:

Frequently Asked Questions about Divestment for 2014 General Assembly:

Divestment campaign powered by :


Calculate and Reduce your Carbon Footprint!

November 16 – December 14

 Earth from spaceUUCB Climate Ministry invites you to calculate your household carbon footprint by going to Knowledge is empowering!  Find out how you can act to reduce your own CO2 emissions.

In 2010, thirty-one UUCB households calculated their carbon footprints and we found that the average was 34.4 tons of CO2 per year.  This compared favorably with the U.S. household average of 48.5 tons CO2 per year, but we all agreed we could do even better.

Let’s see how we’re doing now as a congregation!  We would like to find the average carbon footprint for our UUCB membership, so please send your household total emissions to Timothy Bailey.    For more information, visit our Climate Change Ministry table during coffee hour, November 16 – December 14 or read our longer November CLM article.  And watch for an Adult Education class in January on how to reduce your CO2 emissions.

Time to Re-Calculate our Carbon Footprints!

Earth from spaceIt’s been four years since 31 families at UUCB calculated their carbon footprints.    The overall average carbon footprint for these households in 2010 was 34.4 tons CO2 emitted/year.  This compared favorably with the U.S. household average of 48.5 tons CO2/year, but scientists say that in order to have a sustainable climate, we need to do even better.

Over the past four years, many of us have become even more aware that climate change is already happening, and it really is a social justice issue. Climate change is already impacting populations in the world who are less able to respond to it, it’s causing the rapid extinction of animals and plants around the world (now known as the Sixth Extinction), and, according to scientists, it will certainly have an even greater impact on our children and grandchildren.  We understand the urgent need for our society to reduce its use of fossil fuels now just to reduce these impacts.

Many families in our UUCB community have already taken action since 2010.  We have reduced our carbon footprints by adding solar panels to our roofs, adding insulation to our homes, replacing our light bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs, gardening and eating more locally, changing our modes of transportation (reducing our use of our cars, riding our bikes more, purchasing more fuel efficient cars) and more.

The UUCB Climate Change Ministry has decided it’s time to take another reading on our UUCB Household Carbon Footprints.  We encourage everyone to take part!   By analyzing your own carbon footprint, you can identify ways you make improvements yourself.  Here are the steps:

How: We’ll be using the University of California Cool Climate Calculator again. Please input your household information at   You may want to review the site first to see what data you need to collect.  (If you’d like a worksheet to help in the process, we will have these available at the Climate Ministry table during coffee hours.)


Who:  We’re hoping that every UUCB household will take part!  But only one person from each household needs to enter the data.


When:   We’ll be collecting the data from now until December 14.  If you have any questions, we will be available at the Climate Ministry table starting November 16.


What’s next:  Send your Total Household Tons of CO2/Year to Tim Bailey at  After we collect all the data, we will report back to the church on our overall average.  We’ll also provide opportunities to learn more about how you can continue to reduce your household average.


The UUCB Climate Change Ministry fully understands that solving climate change will take more than our individual actions.  It will take a worldwide, system-wide change, transitioning from a fossil fuel based economy to one based on renewable energy.  But “walking our talk” is also a key component of working toward that solution.  As we all take steps in our personal lives to reduce our carbon footprints, we are moving the system in that direction and we are living our UU value of respecting the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.  Our climate – our atmosphere – is a key component of that interdependent web.  Let us work together to make it a healthy climate for the benefit of all of life.





Climate Change All-Church Focus is Launched!

   Earth from space      The urgency to act on climate change is everywhere in the news these days, and at UUCB, climate change is now our social justice focus.  Over the next two years, the Climate Change Ministry will provide many opportunities for education and engagement – on a local, state, national and even international level.  September brought several kick-off events.

  • We want to thank Sharon Belew and her team for hosting the John Fielder Event that included Mr. Fielder’s gorgeous photos and his discussion about the success of the Wilderness Act as well as current environmental challenges, including the severe impacts of climate change.   
  • A few days later, the Climate Change Ministry sponsored the viewing of the very powerful film “Groundswell Rising.” Produced by fellow UU Mark Lichty, the film featured the impacts of fracking on climate change as well as on our air, food, water and health. Mark Lichty was present to discuss the making of his movie, and Mary Smith spoke about the status of the Boulder County Home Rule, one local initiative that could give our county commissioners the power to limit or ban fracking. 
  • This month the Climate Change Ministry also sponsored a wonderful multi-generational seed/plant gathering event with Ed Self’s Wildlands Restoration Project.  Several UUCB families and individuals turned out on a gorgeous Saturday to gather cornflower seeds as well as baby peach leaf willows and plains cottonwoods.  The seeds and plants will be used to restore lands that were impacted by last year’s floods.   
  • In September we also kicked off our Carbon Cutting Commute Sundays, which will be held on the second Sunday of each month.  To help us all change our commuting habits and save on carbon pollution, we’re encouraging everyone to find some way of cutting their carbon emissions when they come to church.  Many already do so, but these Carbon Cutting Sundays will ask all of us to stretch a bit more – and have some fun.  Walking or riding a bike or scooter to church are the lowest carbon commutes.  But we can also reduce our carbon emissions by driving a more fuel-efficient car, taking the bus or by carpooling.   And if you live far away, think about parking your car a half mile from church and walking that last bit with a friend! 
  • On September 23, the world’s leaders gathered in New York at the UN Climate Summit to discuss climate change.  On September 21 over 310,000 people from over 1200 organizations flooded the streets of New York to urge these leaders to take action before it’s too late.   Five UUCB members were part of that enormous gathering: Tom Denkenberger, Susan Riederer, Susan Secord, and Steve and Heidi Todd.   Susan Riederer even rode the Peoples’ Climate Train all the way from Denver to NYC!  Several UUCB members turned out to participate in a Whistle Stop Rally – to send Susan and other Coloradans off on the train!  Other members joined local rallies in Denver and Boulder on September 21, in support of the NYC march.  
  • Finally, our Letter Brigade continues!  Once a month UUCB members are invited to the Emerson Room after church to write to your Members of Congress about your concerns about climate change and the urgent need to act. We provide the paper, pens, and even some ideas.  Watch for notices in the MidWeek Messenger!  

UUCBers send Susan Riederer off on the Peoples’ Climate Train









cctrain2 cctrain3 cctrain5











UUCB Climate Change Ministry members In NYC with 310,000 Peoples’ Climate Marchers




Tom with Dr. James Hansen, former NASA Goddard Institute Director – the person who first told Congress about the urgency to act on climate change – back in 1988.  Dr. Hansen was marching with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, as were we!






















Seed/Plant Gathering


UUCB Members Go To DC to Talk with Legislators!

SR & SS in DCTwo members of the UUCB Climate Change Ministry, Susan Secord and Susan Riederer, joined 600 Citizen Climate Lobby (CCL) volunteers from across the country in Washington DC in June to ask Congress to take action on climate change.  They along with all of the CCL volunteers departed Washington with a strong sense that the conversation is shifting on climate change solutions, a shift that might lead to bi-partisan legislation that prices carbon. 

 Our two members attended meetings in the offices of Udall, Bennet, Polis, Gardner, Perlmutter and Tipton.   In the meetings they presented a legislative proposal that would put a fee on carbon which is then returned to American households on an equitable basis.  They also shared the results of a recent study of this proposal which was done by Regional Economic Model, Inc (REMI).  And the news is GOOD! The study determined that a revenue neutral carbon tax would stimulate the economy, create jobs and reduce CO2 by 50% of 1990 levels by 2035.  Want to learn more about this work?   The Climate Change Ministry Group will be hosting an informational meeting at UUCB about their work with Citizens Climate Lobby.   Date to be determined.

And we just got word that UU’s from across the country will be attending the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21st.   The march is planned to correspond with a UN summit on climate change for world leaders the following week.  There are plans for a massive interfaith service in Central Park on Sunday morning.  A meet-up event page has been created by some UU organizers of all UU’s planning on attending.   Here is the link for the meet-up.    Stop by the Climate Ministry table for more details and find out who is going from our congregation.  


Wildflower Seed Collection

Wildflower Seed Collectionsunflower

Saturday, September 13

9:30 – 3:30 (lunch included)

UUCB Volunteers Needed

Fun Family Activity

Sign Up Now! 

Seed collecting is a fun and easy family project, great for all ages.  We’ll gather at an outdoor location, turn in release forms, have a bite to eat, and then our leaders will show us exactly what the target species looks like, and lead us in small groups to pick the seed.

Often the seed is so plentiful that one may sit down on the ground and pick everything around, and then move on with the group to another rich collection site.  Many times these mature plants are wildflowers.  Often they are crucially important grass species that are locally adapted to our environment and exceedingly difficult if not impossible to find commercially.  They are worth more than their weight in gold.

UUCB’s Climate Change Ministry Team is joining with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers to coordinate this worthwhile project.  Grab your family and friends (don’t have to be church members) and sign up now at the Green Sanctuary/Climate Change Team table on Sundays.  Or, contact Heidi Todd for questions or registration.

UUCB Supports Climate Marchers

clim2 clim1Twelve members of UUCB headed for the steps of the Colorado Capitol building on June 16 to join a rally in support of the Great March for Climate Action. The goal of the Climate March is to change the hearts and minds of the American people, our elected leaders and people across the world to act now to address the climate crisis.  There are now 40 intrepid marchers who began their walk across America on March 1.  The youngest are in their early twenties; the oldest marcher is 76!  So far they have walked over 1200 miles.  They are heading towards Washington D.C. and stopping at cities and towns along the way to engage local citizens in conversations about how to take meaningful action on global warming.

Our UUCB contingent carried our banner high and joined the chanting as we walked along Denver’s 16th Street Mall with a group of about 250 local supporters.  We stopped along the way to hear a report from local EPA Region 8 Administrator Shaun McGrath on the new EPA regulations affecting coal plants, and then we headed for the Mercury Café where we enjoyed a vegetarian meal while engaging in animated discussions about local solutions to global warming.

Postscript:  A week ago when the Climate March came through Colorado Springs, our sister church the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church hosted a dinner and discussion with the marchers, and many of the marchers stayed in their homes for a night.  A couple of us from UUCB went down for that event.  It’s great to be connecting with UU churches across Colorado as we work together on climate change.

UUCB Green Sanctuary Application Accepted by UUA

Green SanctuaryUUCB’s application for Green Sanctuary Certification was accepted last month, a milestone in a process that began a number of years ago. The UUA Green Sanctuary Program’s vision is: “Congregations and congregants working together to restore Earth and renew Spirit.” Our UUCB Green Sanctuary Team was chartered by the Board of Trustees in March of 2010 to “…help our church discover, explore, and strengthen the connections between environmental consciousness, congregational life, spiritual practice, sustainable living, and all aspects of social, economic and environmental justice”.

A follow-up team, called Climate Change Small Group Ministry, has been working since 2012 to focus on climate change issues, and further this work. See our table after Church to learn about our Mission and projects.

A plan was recently submitted to the UUA, using the Green Sanctuary template (which requires projects in specified areas of congregational life). We received confirmation on March 28, 2014 that our application is in substantial compliance with the guidelines, and recognizing and commending our progress to date. Each project has an assigned time-line and leader. Now we just need to carry out the remaining action items over the next two years and report on our results.

What’s in the plan? Here’s a quick summary. The full application is in the documents listed on the website member pages.

Worship and Celebration Projects – our work is spiritually grounded:
·      Lead several climate themed Worship Services 2014 – 2015.
Religious Education Projects  – we need to educate ourselves about the problem and solutions, as well as UU Principles inspiring our efforts:
·      K – 12, Young Adult, and Adult areas of Climate focus. Curriculum/ projects to be carried out in the next two years.
Environmental Justice Projects – we act for future generations, indigenous, developing and disadvantaged peoples, who are affected by climate change disproportionally to their contribution to the causes:
·      Partner with Citizen’s Climate Lobby, whose purpose is to 1) create the political will for a stable climate and 2) to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. We write letters to the editor and lobby Congress for national action.
  • Affiliate with Tuv Ha’Aretz, a Boulder interfaith CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project, which is partnering with Red Wagon Organic Farm in Boulder County, CO. Locally grown food reduces energy used in transportation and supports small farmers.
  • Energy efficient windows and doors – Most are done. The Building and Grounds team is scheduling the rest as resources allow.
    • Support UUCB Garden activity. Members can learn how to grow their own local food.
Sustainable Living Projects – the congregation as a whole and as individuals can implement changes to make a difference:
·      Membership Carbon Footprint Project. Annually schedule the “Check your Carbon Footprint” event during Coffee, to help members use on-line applications to check their families carbon footprint and determine potential improvements.
·      Additional insulation during roofing replacement 2014. Hail damage last year, covered by insurance, allows this repair/upgrade to occur.
·      Solar panels – done. Installed in 2011, we generate more electricity than we use in a year.
Additional Projects
·      Environmental Fair. We will invite presenters and vendors for demonstration of energy saving products, projects, or lifestyles. Include games/projects for kids. Invite the public.

For more information about the application contact Judith King, For information about the Climate Change Ministry contact Susan Riederer,  or Susan Secord,

Letters & Lunch Event

Letters and LunchOn March 30, more than twenty members and friends showed up and wrote letters to their elected leadership about the urgent need to take action on climate change. Did you miss it? You’ll have another opportunity on May 4 and on June 1.

Let our national leaders know that they need to address climate change now.  And the communication that carries the most weight is a personal handwritten letter.  Sign-up to “lunch and write.”

  • We will supply lunch, ideas of what to write about, paper, pens, envelopes, and stamps.
  • Please remember to register so we know how much food to prepare for our lunch.  Send an e-mail to Susan Riederer to register.



Community Supported Agriculture Project

CSAAs a project of the UUCB Climate Change Ministry, UUCB is affiliating with an interfaith Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project called Tuv Ha’Aretz. Tuv Ha’Aretz works with with Red Wagon Organic Farm of Boulder County.

In community supported agriculture, participants prepay for a share of produce from a local farm. This gives the farmer a secure source of funding, and gives the members a convenient source for fresh, organic produce. Benefits also include minimizing energy used for transport of agricultural products.

Information will be available this month at the Climate Change table during Coffee Hour.

Tuv Ha’Aretz has built a special relationship with Amy Tisdale and Wyatt Barnes of Red Wagon Organic Farm.  Through this relationship we can put our values into action by using our food dollars to support local sustainable farming, promote community at our pick up sites, and appropriately schedule CSA pick up dates. In 2014, we hope to bring cooking classes, an information packed newsletter, farm tours and thought-provoking programs.

Other CSA partners are St. Aiden’s Episcopal Church, Kehillath Aish Kodesh, Congregations Bonai Shalom, Har HaShem, Nevei Kodesh, Pardes Vavabot, and the Boulder Jewish Community Center.

Registration the 2014 season is now open. Tuv Ha’Aretz goes one step beyond the traditional CSA by giving members the opportunity to be part of a unique community and to explore the intersection of food, sustainability and faith-based tradition through education and experience. This year the CSA season will run for 22 weeks from May 19th through October 16th.   Red Wagon Organic Farm will again offer regular ($577.50), large ($836) or biweekly ($288.75) shares. To sign up, follow this link: and be sure to choose one of the Tuv Ha’Aretz options.  For more information about Red Wagon’s 2014 CSA season, visit: If you have questions about Tuv Ha’Aretz, send an email to Emily Warm at or visit our website at: 

UUCB Climate Change Ministry Report

Earth from spaceThis past fall, UUCB Climate Change Ministry (UUCBCCM) has been actively pursuing a connection with other UU’s on the issue of climate change in the Front Range and beyond.  Three committee members met with Kiersten Homblette, MDD Beloved Community Coordinator to propose that a meeting be held with all UU churches in the Front Range to discuss the work that individual churches/fellowships are doing on the climate change issue.  Kiersten liked the idea and is arranging a meeting for some time in February.  

UUCBCCM also reached out directly to the Foothills UU Church in Ft Collins and Jefferson Unitarian Church (JUC) of Golden. Both churches expressed interest in our work and requested that we come and do a presentation.  On Dec 8th, Susan Secord and Susan Riederer presented UUCB’s work on climate change to 20+ attendees at the Ft Collins Church.  A similar presentation is scheduled for Feb 2nd at JUC.

In addition to work with area UU’s, our ministry is also working with the Colorado Interfaith Power and Light, and the UU UNO Climate Action Team.   It is our belief that the more collaboration that we can do at the grass root level the more significant our impact can be.  Please consider joining us in this important work.  We meet the 4th Wednesday at UUCB from 6:30-8:30.

Green tip for the month:

Transportation: 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than turning the engine on and off (NJDEP). Turn your engine off when you are sitting for more than 10 seconds, especially near children and in urban areas where pollution levels are already high.

Eco-tip provided by GreenFaith:



UUCB Climate Change Ministry: Year one of Active Hope


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.

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



Climate Change Activism Is Big News at UUCB!!

Earth from spaceOn August 11, 2013, we celebrated the 2nd anniversary of the startup of our solar panel project. While this in itself is a wonderful achievement, there is much more afoot at UUCB in our efforts to mitigate climate change.

First, a little about the history and contribution of the solar panel project. Our solar panel system is owned by Lighthouse Financial Co. with UUCB obligated to purchase all power generated by the system at favorable rates through a Power Purchase Agreement or PPA. We currently pay Lighthouse $0.082 per kwh compared to $0.112 from Xcel. The system is a nominal 19.1 kw system with 72 panels and three inverters. As of August 11, the system had generated 49,800 kwh of which 37,900 kwh were consumed by UUCB. The remainder, 11,900 kwh, is banked at Xcel Energy for future use. Our congregants contributed $15,000 to make this project a reality. For those interested in the details of the system power generation, please log on to the website:

But the real action now is in the efforts of the UUCB Climate Change Ministry.  Watch for next month’s CLM for a one-year anniversary update of their activities!  You can also learn about them during coffee hour; check out their table!

Many of our congregants are also making their contributions to the climate change effort, both big and small. Bob Ford has recently purchased a Leaf all-electric car and upgraded his solar panel system to charge the car battery. Steve Todd and George Brandon are also expanding their solar systems. Herman Sievering is working on a project with the South Korean government to define the effects of dust and aerosols blowing into South Korea from China. Further, he intends to develop additional topics for the Science-on-the-Sphere (SOS) which some of you have witnessed at NOAA. One topic is the effect of global warming on the world’s food supply. And let’s not forget our UUCB Garden to grow local food. In the aggregate, our congregants have made an impact on global warming, perhaps the greatest of which is the contribution of their time.


Climate Change Ministry Update

photoUUCB’s Climate Ministry Group is off to a great start with regard to their affiliation with the Citizen Climate Lobby (CCL).     Since forming the CCL chapter in April, they have had 7 Letters to the Editor and an Op Ed published in the Daily Camera, a visit with the Daily Camera editorial board with an editorial about a carbon tax and one member of the team visited Washington DC in June to lobby for a revenue neutral carbon tax with the staff of our local representatives.

CCL’s current mission is to get a graduated revenue neutral carbon tax with a dividend passed in both the House and the Senate.   The graduated tax would be applied at the source of the fossil fuel (well, mine or port) and would be increased yearly so that clean energy would become cheaper than fossils fuels within a decade.  All the money collected would be returned to American households on an equitable basis, which would protect the poor and middle class from the increasing higher prices for fuel.   The predictable increasing carbon price would send a clear market signal which would encourage entrepreneurs and investors in a clean energy economy.  It is estimated that more than 4 million jobs would be created with the implementation of such legislation.

With a Congress and Senate locked in gridlock, the passage of such a bill is no easy task.  But CCL practices empower their citizen lobbyist to be thoughtful, respectful and diligent citizens who have effectively lobby representatives on both sides of the aisle.  As CCL grows, the citizen lobbyist influence is being felt.

Susan Riederer, who represented the Colorado CCL group this June in DC, was able to meet with five congressional staff representing four Colorado elected officials and one elected official from Nevada.  She attended meetings in the Capital with other CCL volunteers from across the nation.  That week there were a total of 439 meetings with elected officials or their staff.

Actions for the UUCB group the month of August are to visit all of our national representatives while they are back in the state during their recess from Congress and the Senate.  If you are interested in learning more about our work, please contact Susan Secord or Susan Riederer.


UUCB’s Climate Change Ministry Forms Alliance with Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL)

  Earth from space          The UUCB Climate Change Ministry is excited about forming an alliance with the Citizens Climate Lobby!  This national organization’s purpose is to create the political will for a stable climate and to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power.  More specifically, they have been working for the past few years to pass a national revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend program that will incentivize renewable energy technologies and lead to stabilizing our climate.

Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, retired head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies and world-renown climate expert has said about this organization.  “Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fast-growing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 91 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group.”

Early in April, members of our Climate Change Ministry participated in the training and launch of the Boulder chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby.  We will be hosting the CCL monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.  If you’d like to join this exciting new initiative, please join us!  To learn more about CCL, please go to

/blog/ subsite developed by Boulder Information Services.