Alternative Energy

Service (opening words, reading, closing words) to an address by Dr. James Brown on "Alternative Energy", Melbourne Unitarian Church, February 7, 2010

Opening Words

"The issue of climate change is one that we ignore at our own peril. There may still be disputes about exactly how much we're contributing to the warming of the earth's atmosphere and how much is naturally occurring, but what we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to a point of no return. And unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to global catastrophe." Barack Obama

Reading

A selection from the posting by Kat Liu of the UUA Washington Office on August 6, 2009 provides resources for talking to the Senate candidates
Climate Change-Energy Debate Moves to the Senate

On June 26, 2009, while many of us Unitarian Universalists were gathered at General Assembly, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) came up for a vote in the House of Representatives. The projected vote was so close that we felt compelled to interrupt the scheduled business of GA and ask participants to use their cell phones to call their Representatives. ACES (or the Waxman-Markey bill, as it is more commonly called) passed that day, 219 to 212. When news of its passage came there was joy, relief, and regret. Joy for what was a historic achievement, a comprehensive overhaul of our energy policies, and an important first step to addressing the pressing issues of climate change. Relief because the victory had been hard fought. And regret because the bill that passed was in the end much less than we had hoped for.

We are up against opponents who will lie and commit fraud in order to maintain their lucrative stranglehold on our nation’s energy sources. But we are also up against our own apathy. The most painful thing that we had to admit on the eve of the historic vote was that, honest or not, our opponents had been out there making their views known to the people who were going to cast the votes and we had not been. I don’t mean to say that our side did nothing. Organizations like 1Sky and others worked hard to not only get the bill passed but to insert key strengthening amendments that made it more just. And UU groups from the UUA to the State Advocacy Networks joined them. But most of our efforts came in the final push. When talking to staffers of various Representatives, what we heard over and over again was that they had not been hearing from us during the process – during the deliberations in committees, while measures were being put in and taken out. They had not heard from people who wanted the bill to be stronger. They had heard from people who wanted it to be weaker or didn’t want it at all. So what we got was a weaker climate-energy bill, and we almost didn’t get one at all.

Let your senators know that as a Unitarian Universalist, someone who believes that we are part of an interdependent web of creation, it is our moral imperative to pass effective and just climate change-energy legislation now.

Reassure them that a comprehensive climate-energy bill will preserve the environment, free us from dependence on fossil fuels that compromise our national security, and create millions of jobs in a new clean energy economy. It’s win-win.

Tell them that Unitarian Universalists respect science, and the science tells us that we need to cut carbon emissions, at least 20 percent by 2020.

Tell them that UUs stand on the side of economic justice and therefore, they need to maximize the number of allowances used to create clean energy jobs and train workers to fill them.

Closing Words

"We can’t negotiate the facts. We can’t negotiate the truth about the situation. And for those who are too fearful to finish, it can be done and must be done. Make sure we succeed, . . . It is wrong for this generation to destroy the habitability of our planet and ruin the prospects of every future generation." Al Gore (2008)

Address by Dr. James Brown. Service by Lev Lafayette