S&L – Issue 13

Salt and Light

Issue Thirteen (September 2010)

Five Leaf Church Greening Initiative Newsletter

We believe that Creation Care is a core Christian responsibility”

The aim of this newsletter is to provide a supportive and informative link between individuals and groups that share a care and Christian responsibility for our environment. You are on this newsletter list because you have expressed an interest in the Five Leaf Eco-Awards program or have communicated with the National Coordinator – Jessica Morthorpe.

Contents

l  Letter from the Editor

l  Church Greening News

l  Events

l  Featured Grants

l  Doom and Gloom

l  A Stirring of hope

l  Resources

l  Monthly Action Tip

l  Reading

l  Book Review

l  Discussion Question

l  Quotes of the month

l  Crown of Thorns Blog

l  Websites to visit

Letter from the Editor:

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to our new members.

Phew, September is almost over. For many of us involved in church greening it is the busiest month of the year as Season of Creation and Sustainable September are celebrated in churches around the country. This is a really important time of reflection and education for our congregations and I hope you have all learnt something new and inspiring for your creation care journey from this time – I know I have.

I am sure some of you will need a bit of a rest now, but I would urge you all to also keep in mind the importance of momentum. If you have just had an inspiring month of sermons and Bible Studies in your church and you feel your congregation is interested, make sure you capitalise on this by encouraging them to turn their enthusiasm into practical action. If your church hasn’t signed up to the Five Leaf Eco-Awards then please encourage them to do so, and if they have encourage the congregation to start thinking about how your church can earn its next award. Start with small, easily achievable actions and celebrate your achievements, then work your way up. There should be no better time to start acting than just after a period of reflection on what God’s word says about God’s love for creation and our relationship with it…  If you need any help with ideas, resources, and advice about the awards – you know how to contact me.

Also, any members of this network who would be happy to share sermons/orders of service/songs/children’s addresses/activities from your church’s celebrations of creation with the rest of the network I would be very happy to collect this information in order to help others. Photos would also be great. For those of you who are celebrating St Francis of Assisi Day this weekend, why not send me some photos of the most exciting creatures you get?

For those in Melbourne, make sure you check out SkillsFest (details in the events section) on the 6th of November. Sharing our skills with each other is often an important route to more sustainable lifestyles by empowering us to act in more sustainable ways. The hosts, Port Melbourne Uniting Church, were also the first church in Australia to receive the Five Leaf Eco-Awards Basic Certificate. While you are there check out their community garden and ask someone about the outreach programs they are running in their local community.

I hope you enjoy this month’s issue and apologies for skipping the August issue (due to unforeseen circumstances). If anyone has a particular issue they would like me to address in the next issue let me know.

Yours Sincerely – Jessica Morthorpe

Jessica Morthorpe

Founder and Director

Five Leaf Eco-Awards

m:0409503369

w: http://victas.uca.org.au/green-church/awards

Church Greening News

Salt and Light Members in the News

Members of this network Helen Yoo and Bruce Cooke have been featured in the news on the 14th of September talking about how their faith has led them to act for the environment. See http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2010/09/14/3011228.htm

Jessica’s reflections on recent church greening events in Canberra

The Canberra Region Uniting Church Social Justice Network held a forum titled “Climate Change – making informed choices: Exploring an ethical Christian response to climate change” on the fourth of September. The event was a great success with the two speakers complimenting each other wonderfully and the stirring music of the chorus adding to the very thought-provoking atmosphere of the day.

I know many people who attended were quite inspired by the talks given by the two speakers, so I’ve tried to roughly summarise some of the main points from what Dr John Williams and Bishop George Browning said below:

Dr John Williams, a respected scientist and member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists as well as a committed Christian who has studied theology, began the proceedings with a speech in memory of Professor Charles Birch, a noted scientist and theologian.

John spoke of the need for both science and theology to use new wine in new wine skins. He raised four important challenges (from Cauthen, 2000) that science has raised for orthodox theology, creating a need for revision of Christian thought. Firstly, scientific method’s rise towards the dominant source of truth calls into question anything it cannot test – including any claims based on supernatural revelation and tradition. Secondly, science undermines the accepted story of the origin of the cosmos held by Christian Europe and presented a completely different picture through discoveries from 1500-1900. This included the discoveries of Darwin, around which controversy continues today. Thirdly, science presents a law abiding world which doesn’t fit easily with the ideas of miracles and the supernatural. Finally, science’s picture of nature as a self-contained causal system where one event leads to another, which leads to another, calls into question the need for a supernatural creator or the existence any divine purpose within nature. Nature came to be seen as a machine without need for a creator or purpose.

How theology has responded to these challenges is expressed in the diagram to the left.

These responses include conflict, independence, influence and harmony & dialogue.

Unlike conflict, independence holds both science and theology to be true, but within separate and exclusive fields. One of the major weaknesses of independence as a response is the idea that science is completely objective. This is false (though some scientists will try to claim they are objective) because science is not done in a vacuum. Science is a human cultural activity which is influenced, like all human activity, by the cultural and religious presuppositions of the scientist.

A better approach is one where “Science deals with the dimension of reality that its methods allow it to examine. Philosophy deals with the whole from which science abstracts. Theology deals with the purpose and meaning, and spiritual experiential dimensions of the whole of reality and focuses on the reality of God in relation to the world and human beings.” Science can help to blow away the husks to reveal the kernels within theology.

Charles Birch wrote in “A Purpose for Everything”:

“The good news is that new wine is fermenting in both the vats of science and those of religion. Neither the new science nor the new religion can be contained in the old formula of a legal — mechanistic universe; that is, the image of a universe running according to rules laid down by an external law-maker. It has become evident to more and more people that science cannot live with an interventionist God…. If science and religion are to remain alive their formulations cannot remain static. “

Charles Birch goes on to write: “This is not a matter of making religion conform to each new model or discovery in science. It is a mutual matter. Science can be on guard to keep its concerns wide. Religion can point out the abstractions and false metaphors of science. Science can be a winnowing fan to religion, blowing away the husks to reveal the kernels. The encounter of religion with science compels it to purify its thinking about God from views of power that are sub-Christian. Together, both can discover the unity of nature. For if knowledge is one then each new discovery will involve some reshaping of the rest. As biology, for example, moves forward on its frontier at the molecular level, religion has a new way opened up for it also, just as evolutionary biology opened up a whole new province for religious thinking about creation.”

John says, “I think we can agree with Charles Birch when he said: “The church lost when it accepted from the Enlightenment a reinforcement of the idea that God made the world and left it to follow its own laws. Science and religion became two separate domains.”

Birch set it out clearly…”Science dealt with the secular realm while religion and theology had to do with a God who transcended that realm. God was removed from nature. And, as Tillich points out, when God is removed from nature, God gradually disappears altogether, because we are nature. If God has nothing to do with nature, he finally has nothing to do with our total being. “”

Charles Birch believed that there were three elements of religion: intuitive, cognitive and active. These give rise to passion, philosophy and program.To live is to feel, to think and to act. The call to the full life is to love with all our heart and mind and strength, these three. There is no more emphatic utterance in all scriptures than that. I know of no greater commitment that life can make.”

John said, “Our task is to map a way forward in recognizing that Science and Theology need to be in active dialogue. Christian Theology has a lot of work to be done to build a new understanding based on wise and fresh insights into scripture and the life of Jesus that can reconnect us to nature and the process of creation which is ongoing.

Science has much to learn about understanding that these insights will be important to the values and meaning that drive and condition scientific effort. For we now know that science is a very human process which engages with and absorbs values and purpose and meaning. Clearly reason, theory, observation, objectivity and evidence are paramount and powerful but around which is embedded values often in unconscious ways.”

From his reading, John suggested some common themes for the future:

  • “First we      need to feel again, awe, wonder, and empathy with the earth and the      ecosystems on which our life and breath depends…leading to wisdom.
  • Second we      need to understand our connectedness with the earth and that we are but a      part of the earth and not separate from it. God cares for whole of      creation of which we are but one part.
  • Third we      need to challenge and critique the institutions, structures and thinking      that underpin our society in light of the above.”

 

I will conclude with one comment John made that I thought was quite powerful – “I feel in my heart that we have the way forward. We have to have the courage and conviction to do our bit for God’s creation”. The question becomes “how do we help people change when it hurts?”

 

 

 

Bishop George Browning went on with a speech titled “Should Private Barns have political, legal and moral ascendancy over ‘Common Wealth?’” Browning said that we need human evolution so that we can serve creation in our thinking, and that includes adapting the economy.

“I contend that there is not simply one crisis but four.  There is an environmental crisis, an economic crisis, a crisis of equity and by no means least a crisis of the human vocation.  It is the latter crisis that has to be addressed if there is to be any chance of addressing the other three.”

Browning said that since Capitalism has had no rival since the collapse of Communism it has become the assumed saviour and bulwark of our free society but we can no longer afford an unregulated capitalism as it is obvious that the market cannot, on its own, preserve a health balance between economy, environment and production. It also cannot create equity and instead panders to power and greed, corrupting the human vocation. The politics of developed nations have failed to set appropriate boundaries for the market during the 21st century, leading us to our current crises.

Browning outlined data from the Australian Conservation Foundation on global population and consumption that illustrated “That economic policy based upon exponential growth cannot survive many decades into the 21st century is not rocket science.” He concluded that “Clearly the current version of capitalism needs considerable overhaul if human beings are going to live in harmony with creation and indeed with one another for generations to come.” However there is currently huge resistance to this change from those with interests in the status quo.

He also commented on the inappropriateness of Gross Domestic Product or GDP as a measure of the success of a government and health of a nation. “GDP neither measures declining mineral reserves nor the cost of pollution.  GDP does not measure the value of volunteerism or the care provided in society by the army of folk who look after the vulnerable.  GDP is geared to a particular measurement that does not really relate to human happiness and contentment.  Most research indicates that once human existence rises above abject poverty, happiness and fulfilment is not related to material wealth, indeed there is some evidence that with increased wealth, and in some circumstances, the graph moves in the opposite direction.   Why then is so much human activity geared towards production and consumption when the indicators are that human happiness and fulfilment is only marginally related to those factors?”

He then moved on to discuss the theological aspects of these crises, saying:

“Christian belief and Christian living is predicated upon two foundational theologies, a Creation theology and a Redemption theology. Yet, many within the Church as well as many outside could be excused for believing that there is only one theology, namely a theology of redemption. A theology of redemption predominates in the preaching from most pulpits on Sunday, both Protestant and Catholic, and it is the judgement inherent in redemption theology that is predominantly heard by the outside world. It is my contention that redemption theology should be formed and influenced by creation theology and creation theology should be informed and influenced by redemption theology. Each needs the other.

Redemption theology has tended to make an almost exclusive emphasise upon the place of the individual within the plan and purpose of God to the neglect of the community and particularly to the neglect of the non-human creation. The question ‘are you saved’ is a question that is directed to the individual and implies a destiny that is separate from travelling companions. Most evangelical activity is based solely on a theology of redemption and as a consequence raises major cultural tensions; conversion can often means a cultural separation from the community which gives life and sustenance.  In its apocalyptic form, redemption theology emphasises the corruption of the world, its transient nature and its destiny to pass away. This emphasis makes investment in it irrelevant and many Christian communities see environmental commitment as a denial of trust in the God who is bringing this world to its appointed end.

I contend that unless Christianity can re-find its legitimate voice in its creation based roots it will  at best be on the margins of the major debates and challenges facing modern humanity and at worst will be irrelevant.  Let me say again I am not wishing to abandon redemption theology: on the contrary, I want each to be informed by the other.”

He then discussed some of the lessons we learn from creation theology. Firstly our name, Adam; and that we are who we are in relation to one another and indeed in relation to the earth whose name is Adamah. Our destiny is not fulfilled as an individual it fulfilled in the health and integrity of the multitude of its relationships.

Secondly that creation is not crowned by humanity, but by the Sabbath. On the Sabbath God rests, God doesn’t stop work, but rather rests or dwells within creation. In the same way humanity should copy the pattern of God by caring for creation and furthering its harmony and completeness.

“At the heart of creation theology is the juxtaposition of blessing and cursing, the choice between life and death. Human beings are daily confronted with choice, choice between actions upon which the dew of blessing falls, or choice for activity which might appear in the short term to be enhancing personal life but which in the longer term carries a burdensome cost, a cost which may not be borne directly by the individual source of pollution, but either by current global humanity or by future generations. Although the cost of environmental irresponsibility might be borne by all, it is most likely to be caused by the prosperous who have the means to mitigate its effect, and to be felt most severely by the poor, who, while having made the smallest contribution to its effect, are burdened by its outcome with no means of mitigation or adaptation. This is an unavoidable matter of morality about which all must make a choice.”

He also suggested that we need to rethink the desirability of population growth and religious groups in particular need to rethink their positions on sexuality and contraception.

Browning concluded, “This is truly a moral dilemma that only the full hardy, the deaf, the blind, and above all the ill-informed can ignore.  I would rather measure the success of today not upon the rise or fall of the GDP but upon the enhancement or diminishment of the choices it has left for our children’s future.”

The talking was broken up by a performance of ‘The Gifts of the Furies’ by the Chorus of Citizens which was greatly enjoyed by all and ended with a panel discussion including the Rev Rex Graham – Social Justice Consultant from the Synod of NSW and the ACT. The range of questions asked revealed the depth of learning and excitement generated by the forum.

I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the organisation of this event, it was truly a credit to you all. Also a big thanks to the speakers for your passion and inspiration.

 

O’Connor Uniting Church’s Day of Celebration and Solar Panel Commissioning on the 25th of September was also a great success. A variety of stalls, traditional Tongan and Samoan Dancing, singing by the Sing Australia choir and Tongan choir, the commissioning service, delicious food and a variety of music all made for a very exciting and interesting day. Also, the solar panel cross looks awesome! If you are in Canberra, check it out.

Events

 

National

 

Ride to Worship Week

Religious communities unite to support the poor and the planet, and improve their health during Australia’s inaugural Ride to Worship Week!

Ride to Worship Week, an ARRCC initiative, will run from 9-15 October 2010. During the week, people of all religions are being encouraged to leave the car at home and cycle to their faith-based activities.

 

ARRCC President Thea Ormerod says the event is an opportunity for religious communities to reduce their carbon footprint and promote the benefits of regular exercise.

 

“By committing to cycling or walking to worship this October, you can help slow global warming and improve your physical and mental health. You reduce the risk of life threatening illnesses including heart disease, obesity and diabetes,” Thea says.

 

Religious communities are encouraged to ride or walk all or part of the way to their faith-based activities during Ride to Worship Week.

 

“If you live too far away, you could use public transport,” says Thea. “If you have to drive, why not leave the car at least a kilometre or two from your destination and cycle or walk the remaining distance, or share a lift with a friend.”

Register now
It takes just a few minutes to register online for Ride to Worship Week. We can then send you information and resources to help make Ride to Worship Week the best possible event for your community. Register here

350.org photo petition – sign up!
Ride to Worship Week coincides with the 350.org International Day of Climate Action (Sunday 10 October). If you are participating in Ride to Worship on 10 October, we encourage you to take a photo and then post it online as an entry in 350.org‘s photo petition. The petition will be directed to negotiators at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2010.

 

Available Resources:

1. Guidelines on how your place of worship can participate in Ride to Worship Week. (Word document, 24kB.)

2. Template announcement for your place of worship’s newsletter (please feel free to edit to suit your event). (Word document, 28kB.)

3. Template poster for your noticeboard (please feel free to edit to suit your event). (Word document, 150kB)

4. Template powerpoint presentation with accompanying notes, to show e.g. during the announcements at a worship service (please feel free to edit to suit your event).

Generic version (2.2MB)

Christian version (2.2MB)

5. PDF brochure on “all you need to know about riding to worship” to make available to worshippers (1.0MB).

 

10th October – Global Work Party

The World Council of Churches encourages all churches to join the 10/10/10 Global Work Party campaign with prayers, vigils and actions. On 10/10/10, in every corner of the globe, communities will implement solutions to the climate crisis: from solar panels to community gardens, wind turbines to bike workshops. Communities will take part in an international photo petition to tell leaders: “We’re getting to work–what about you?”. More info.

 

10.10.10. Micah Challenge International Day of Action on Poverty

Climate change threatens to undermine all the progress made to date on the millennium development goals. These goals were agreed to by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000 and aim to halve global poverty by 2015.Join with other Christians around the world taking action for global poverty.

www.michchallenge.org.au/micah2010

Visit the climate justice section for more resources in early October.

 

Australia’s most Fairtrade Friendly Supermarket

We’re searching for Australia’s most Fairtrade friendly supermarket and we need your help to find it! Simply visit your local supermarket between 27 September–10 October 2010, find all the Fairtrade certified products you can and fill out a postcard or go to www.checkoutfairtrade.org.au

The entry with the best idea for making Aussies supermarkets more Fairtrade friendly will win a holiday package from virgin blue worth up to $2000

 

Melbourne

 

Emergency Regency Honeyeater Tree Planting weekend 2nd – 3rd October

Our 2010 planting season has gone amazingly well so far, with close to 800 school students and 350 community volunteers involved so far. Their combined efforts have planted approx 25,000 seedlings, and restored over 50 hectares of habitat on 12 sites since early July. It’s been a fantastic team effort!!

But we are a bit behind schedule at present, as several schools had to postpone their planting days because of the wet weather. On top of that, volunteer numbers were reduced on both the election w/e and the floods w/e, and our school plantings have come to a halt during the holidays of course.

With several big sites still to do, we have scheduled a 5th planting weekend to take advantage of the really good planting conditions this year. The 2 sites for the emergency weekend are on really productive soils along creek lines and so will be fantastic feeding and breeding habitat for our threatened wildlife.

Please promote the weekend to your friends and various clubs, then come and join us in the Lurg Hills for an action-packed weekend in the countryside – in beautiful spring weather!!

Meeting Place:           9 am at Benalla Ceramic Mural, beside the bridge over Lake Benalla

OR beside the CFA shed in Winton township

Accommodation:       Benalla Scout & Guide Halls (mattresses supplied, but BYO sleeping bag & pillow)

Minor kitchen facilities available

Sumptuous meals provided for Saturday night’s dinner & Sunday’s BBQ lunch

Free bush dance on Saturday night

What to bring:           Sturdy work clothes, gloves, sunscreen & hat

BYO lunch for in the field on Saturday

Bookings:                   Ray Thomas

ray@regenthoneyeater.org.au

(03) 57 611 515

 

Saving Australia’s Threatened Wildlife

Wednesday 6 October, 7:30 Pm

Currawong Bush Park, Conference Centre, 277 Reynolds road, Doncaster east

Speaker: Shauna Chadlowe, Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Enquiries: 9840 9124

 

Acting Together For A Sustainable Future: Local Government And Community Environment Action And Programs

Thursday 7 October, 2010, 6.00PM

VLGA, 60 Leicester St, Carlton 3053

  • Keep track of local      government and community action and interest in environmental      sustainability
  • Find out about emerging      actions and programs
  • Learn about what’s happening      on the ground, and
  • Learn how to access      sustainability and climate change resources and funds.

Topics and programs include:

  • Sustainable precincts,      including zero emission neighbourhoods, Armstrong creek, and smart energy      zones
  • Local government      sustainability information & tools including the utility tracker, best      practice tracker, and the sustainability resource locator
  • Keep Australia beautiful      Victoria’s programs – recognising and celebrating community actions at a      grassroots level
  • Greenpower trends and challenges,      and
  • The new Victorian government      climate communities website and grants program supporting local actions      tackling climate change.

Speaker and biographical information to be provided on our website.

Times: 6pm: networking, finger-food & refreshments

7pm: Leading Edge Forum

Please RSVP By Monday 4 October, Online At Http://Www.Vlga.Org.Au/Events___Training/Leading_Edge_Forum/Form/Register_For_LEF.Aspx    Or Phone (03) 9349 7999.

 

Western Heights Uniting Church Ecofest

Saturday 9 October, 10 Am – 3 Pm

Geelong

Interactive displays, local activist group stalls, take-aways, kids activities, practical tips for being green, chook feeder competition, movies, food and fair-trade products.

Enquiries Bec Wilson whuc@bigpond.com

 

24th October – A GRAND STAND for the Environment Inc. presents

Melbourne Playback Theatre together with Fay White

Acting for Our Earth:

Climate Playback – Imagining a New Future

We’re in a time when we need to listen more intently: to the earth, and to young people and children amongst us. Our concerns for future generations will take form in Climate Playback as we share stories, hopes and fears, and sing ourselves into new possibilities.

All are welcome! Young people: bring your friends. Families: come together. Grandparents: bring your grandchildren; and let our shared stories of love for the earth heal us and transform our living.

Sunday 24 October 2.00 – 4.30pm in the Templestowe Uniting Church

104 Atkinson Street

Templestowe

Refreshments to follow

Parking at 111 Wood Street

Enquiries to 9846 8464 or 9439 0967

Tickets: $10 per person or $25 for families

http://www.warrandyte.unitingchurch.org.au/grandstand.htm

 

SkillsFest 2010, 6th November 2010

A community event to share and celebrate skills for living in the inner city.  Fun and free mini workshops and hands-on activities for all ages will include bicycle maintenance, growing your own food, arts and crafts, making new things from old, DIY repairs, storytelling and more.  There will also be entertainment by local musicians and singers and community stalls.  All activities will be run for and by local people. SkillsFest is supported by South Port UnitingCare, South Port Uniting Church and the City of Port Phillip.

Venue: Port Melbourne Uniting Church & Simply Living Community Garden, cnr Bridge & Nott Sts (Melway 2J F3).  Details: www.southportuniting.org.au/events.html or ph Janet Hoare 9690 1188

 

Canberra

Black Mountain Wildflower Ramble – 9 October

Black Mountain Wildflower Ramble (9:30 – noon, Sat 9 October)

Meet at the Belconnen Way entry, just before Caswell Drive turnoff (look for the balloons). Join wildflower lovers for the 39th annual Burbidge/Chippendale ramble around Black Mountain to enjoy the spring diversity. This will be an easy guided walk.

Our leaders this year will be Laurie Adams, Isobel Crawford, Jean Geue and possibly Peter Ormay. All are welcome – it’s a great way to celebrate the spring and find out how to look for our sometimes cryptic wildflowers. Bring your friends, especially those who are new to plant identification.

BYO morning tea, hat, sunblock, water and stout shoes. Contact Jean Geue on 6251-1601.

 

Spring flower walks, ANBG, 11 September – 10 October

Spring flower walks, ANBG (11:00 am & 2:00 pm daily, Sat 11 Sept – Sun 10 Oct

Meet at the Visitor Centre in the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Let our friendly guides show you the beauty and diversity of spring flowers in the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Surround yourself with the scents and colours of some of our wonderful native flora.

Free. No bookings required. For enquiries please call the Visitor Centre on 02 6250 9540.

 

K2C Biodiversity & Farming Fair, Bredbo – 10 October

Kosciuszko to Coast (K2C) will be holding a Biodiversity and Farming Fair at Bredbo, with lots of great stalls and activities. For the Speakers Hall we are planning a number of great presentations on biodiversity, sustainable farming and what K2C and partners are doing. For general inquiries about K2C and how your group might participate, please contact K2C Facilitator, Lauren van Dyke at facilitator@k2c.org.au, www.k2c.org.au, or Ph: 0411 402 978.

 

Valley Ponds – Family Bike Ride – 17 October

Join us on a family bike ride on Sunday 17 October 2010 from 9am to 11am. Meet at the Scout Hall, The Valley Ave, Gungahlin and learn about the proposed The Valley Ponds. Cycle around Yerrabi Ponds (keeping an eye out for Black Swans) and to Strayleaf, Forde and observe the water sensitive urban design initiatives.

Event ends at Mulligan’s Flat with a morning tea provided. Approximately 1 hour riding time.

Bookings: Hilary Thomson 6207 5849  This is a free event but bookings are required.

Please visit Valley Ponds on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Valley-

Ponds/150531988296449?ref=sgm

 

Sydney

For members, remember that the ARRCC AGM is on the 19th October. See their website for details.

Featured Grants

NSW Climate Change Fund Community Savers Grants

Community and other not-for-profit organisations (including churches and other religious organisations) are invited to apply for up to $40,000 to undertake simple and low-cost water and energy upgrades in their facilities.  Applications for Community Savers close on Monday 25 October 2010.

Community Savers is a funding stream under the Public Facilities Program, under the NSW Climate Change Fund. The Public Facilities Program aims to assist water and energy savings in public and community facilities in NSW. The focus is on projects delivering real water and energy savings and generating community support. It provides $30 million over five years.

Projects must save:

  • drinkable water supplied from a reticulated water      supply network in NSW, and/or
  • electricity and related greenhouse gas emissions and/or      reduce peak electricity demand in NSW.

Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • projects which improve the efficiency of buildings and      appliances – e.g. lighting upgrades, installation of skylights, insulation      for cooling and heating efficiency, ceiling fans, solar reflective glazing
  • projects which reduce electricity consumption and/or      peak demand – e.g. hot water system upgrade to gas, solar or heat pump
  • projects which reduce drinkable water demand from a      reticulated water supply network – e.g. dual flush toilets, irrigation      system upgrades, water recycling, rainwater tanks, stormwater harvesting
  • education activities which have the potential to increase      the adoption of efficient technologies and behaviours.

Funding will NOT be provided for:

  • Projects in residential dwellings
  • Projects that do not result in energy, water or peak      electricity demand savings
  • Projects that involve the installation of:
    • Solar photovoltaic systems
    • All foil insulation, or
    • LED lighting (except for foyers, showrooms and exit       lights)
  • Projects that are public awareness or education only
  • Devolved grants, that is funding for one party to      distribute funds or products to other parties
  • Projects that it is reasonable to expect would proceed      without assistance from the NSW Climate Change Fund.

Applicants are required to provide the following information. The Guide for Applicants details full requirements

  • at least two competitive itemised quotes for work      from qualified tradespeople or a proposal from a design specialist
  • completed electronic application form, submitted      before 5.00pm on Monday 25 October 2010

For more information see: www.environment.nsw.gov.au/grants/ccfpfp.htm

Home Comfort Scheme

Offering more than $100 worth of free energy saving products, installed at no charge, the home comfort scheme, provided by brotherhood green is a free service available to residents of north West Melbourne who hold a healthcare, pension or concession card.

Maribyrnong residents with a pension, health care or concession card can book in a free home energy check from brotherhood green today.  Call 9380 7830 or visit www.brotherhoodgreen.org.au

Brotherhood green is a social enterprise of the brotherhood of St Laurence.

 

Doom and Gloom

Wasted opportunity for Delhi’s environment

By Mridu Khullar Relph

ABC Environment | 28 Sep 2010 Credit: Getty.

The Commonwealth Games have not improved the lot either of New Delhi’s poorest residents or the capital’s natural environment.

Delhi’s 150,000 poor wastepickers are being forced out of the city to improve its image for the Commonwealth games while private firms are being invited to replace them. This is despite recent studies which have found that wastepickers reduce Delhi’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 962,133 tonnes of CO2 per year, more than three times that of other waste projects in the city to be given carbon credits. These savings are equivalent to removing 174,000 passenger vehicles from the roads annually or providing electricity to about 130,000 homes for one year.

“”I think it’s very shitty,” says Bharati Chaturvedi of the waste management of the games. “It’s unfortunate that rather than aspire to higher standards, they’re actually lowering them in multiple ways.” By weeding out the wastepickers, she says, they’ve robbed the poor of their share of the city’s wealth. “If the games were really that green, they would have built a bunch of bioreactors for the organic waste, which we could have used once the Games were over.””

Sustainable events have the potential to bring the environment to the attention of many people “This, unfortunately, has not happened in Delhi. What were sold to the media as green and environment-friendly Games, may in fact be hurting the environment and creating long-term problems that will have to be borne by the city’s population.

“Above everything else,” says Bharati Chaturvedi, “this has been a lost opportunity”.”

To see the full article visit: http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2010/09/28/3024102.htm

Marine parks moratorium proposed

Many of us associate the word ‘moratorium’ with the ban on hunting whales (a very good thing). In NSW, the word is now becoming associated with a proposed ban on new marine parks (a very bad thing). The Shooters and Fishers Party has put forward a proposal to parliament for a five year moratorium on new marine parks and extensions to the sanctuary zones within existing parks.

The NSW government has given its ‘in principle’ support to this appalling legislation to stop any new marine parks in NSW. This move goes against the overwhelming scientific and community support for marine parks.

These multiple use areas balance fishing in the majority of the park with a series of protected sanctuaries where marine life can breed, mature and grow.

Visit www.marineaction.org.au to add your voice in support of marine parks

 

Call to list Sandbar shark rejected

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW, in partnership with the Humane Society International, prepared a detailed proposal to list the sandbar shark as a threatened species under Australia’s foremost environmental legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Unfortunately, we have recently heard that neither the sandbar nor the scalloped hammerhead or the bull shark will be assessed by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

Mortality from fishing is the main threat facing all three species. Sandbars, in particular, are commonly targeted in longline fisheries on account of the high value of their fins. In NSW, a recent independent scientific review raised concerns the species may already be depleted as a direct result of fishing pressure.

Unfortunately, the Threatened Species Scientific Committee decided there was not enough evidence for these three species to undergo the thorough assessment required to list them as threatened. Although we were unsuccessful this time, we, and the Humane Society International, will try again next year.

Source: Adopt-A-Shark Newsletter, NSW Conservation Council

 

A Stirring of Hope

Spinning the Environmental Good News

By Donnella Meadows

“Contrary to popular opinion, sometimes there’s good news about the environment — lately there’s been quite a spate of it. Some has come about through luck, some through the wisdom and forbearance of the human race, and some is completely unexplained, which leaves plenty of room for commentators to spin the environmental news, like any news, in many different directions…”

Read the article here: http://www.sustainer.org/dhm_archive/index.php?display_article=vn527goodnewsed

Resources

Earth Ministry’s Resources page

Resources available include:

  • Natural      Saints: How People of Faith are Working to Save God’s Earth
  • Earth      Letter Newsletter
  • Greening      Congregations Handbook
  • Bible      Studies
  • Caring for      All Creation Curriculum

See: http://earthministry.org/resources/publications

Monthly Action Tip

Working Together in Faith to Save Our Planet

Learn about the importance of interfaith work for the environment. Visit www.arrcc.org.au to learn more and check out the following article about how the Islamic faith is also rediscovering the green messages within its holy texts:

http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2010/09/14/3011551.htm

Reading

 

The Gospel According to the Earth: Why the Good Book is a Green Book

by Matthew Sleeth

Learn more about what the Bible says about our responsibility to care for creation from one of the leading authors in this area –

As an emergency room doctor, Matthew Sleeth saw a disturbing increase in asthma, autoimmune diseases, cancers, and other environmentally related disease. One slow night in the ER, Sleeth picked up a Gideon-s Bible in the waiting room. Although raised in a Christian home, he had long ago abandoned his childhood beliefs. Reading the Gospels that night, he found both the spiritual and environmental answers he had been seeking. As a result, the Sleeth family took an accounting of their lifestyle, drastically reduced their reliance on electricity and fossil fuels, and began sharing their journey with others.

In THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE EARTH Sleeth uses the Bible as a teaching mechanism, retelling the often radically counter-culture Bible stories that motivated his environmental journey and showing Christians how to get behind the issue. The Parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us about how our transportation choices affect our global neighbours. The prophet Daniel calls to question our dietary habits. And the story of Noah addresses key issues for life on Earth: how do we relate to the Creator, to others in the human community, and to the rest of the natural world? With passion and faith, Sleeth provides a new green lens through which we can read the Bible to discover answers to our biggest questions about the environment and how to care for it.

Available as a Kindle book from http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-According-Earth-Green-ebook/dp/B003XF2W1Y/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=A24IB90LPZJ0BS

Book Review

The NIV Stewardship Study Bible

Explore the powerful themes of stewardship woven throughout Scripture, learn about Biblical characters who exemplify effective stewardship, prepare yourself for the inevitable challenges to effective daily stewardship, and explore God’s design for your life as God’s steward. In this resource you will discover why you have been given the privilege of managing God’s resources. You will also benefit from hundreds of stewardship thought-leaders, past and present, sharing keen insights to help us mature as God’s stewards.

The NIV Stewardship Study Bible uses a variety of engaging features to lead individuals through a comprehensive study of what it means to be managers entrusted with the resources of God. Through 366 Exploring Stewardship notes, profiles of individuals, notes on challenges to stewardship, quotes on stewardship from respected Christians throughout the ages, and other articles and helps, the NIV Stewardship Study Bible projects a positive picture of the privilege that we have to manage what God has given us to his glory and to the building of his kingdom.

Discover God’s design for life, the environment, finances, generosity, and eternity.

http://stewardshipbible.org/

Discussion Questions

A study of 3,000 Americans has found that few believe religion influences their environmental views[1]. Sadly, this concurs with the majority of research in this area which suggests that religiosity has very little relationship with pro-environmental behaviours[2].

Why do you think that developments in eco-theology and concern for the environment based on the Christian faith are not translating into empirical evidence of pro-environmental action related to religiosity?

To answer visit http://fiveleaf-crownofthorns.blogspot.com/ or join the Church Greening and Christian Environmentalist Network on Facebook.

Quotes of the Month

“Everything is simpler than you   think and at the same time more complex than you imagine” Johann Wolfgang von   Goethe
“So long as people can change the   world can change” Two Weeks Notice

“Character alone will have real effect on masses” Gandhi

Crown of Thorns Blog

Want to learn more about church greening or reflect on what the Bible says about the environment? Then visit the Crown of Thorns blog by Jessica Morthorpe at http://fiveleaf-crownofthorns.blogspot.com/

Websites to Visit:

Roots and Shoots

http://www.rootsandshoots.org/

Jane Goodall’s global youth program for environmental awareness and action.

 

Save Our Last Sharks Website Launch!

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW is proud to announce the launch of our new website

www.saveourlastsharks.org.au

The website provides scientific information about some of our best known and most intriguing shark species, as well as up to date news about the threats facing sharks.

Have you ever wondered how sharks reproduce? Do they sleep? How many teeth do they have?

For the answers to these and other questions, visit the website. Coming soon to the new site is a special resource section for teachers and students.

 


[2] If you are interested, Jessica has just written an assignment reviewing some of this literature.

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