Wednesday, August 29, 2007

From the Globe and Mail:-

Since its founding in 1997 by a San Francisco Episcopal priest, the Reverend Sally Bingham - who got herself ordained specifically to bring environmentalism to faith communities - IPL has become a muscularly influential religious eco-organization with branches in 23 states, federal grants, funding from the Ted Turner Foundation and links to all the major players in the green movement.

This week it took a big step into the public domain by launching, a national online store selling everything from solar-cooking devices to smart switches for lights and water-heater tanks, all carrying the imprimatur of the U.S. federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The greening of faith communities has become a growing phenomenon over the past decade, especially in the area of global climate change.

Closer to home, GTS has begun drilling for a new geothermal heating system. A press release explains:-

The Seminary's geothermal project is a model for the Episcopal Church's long-standing concern for environmental stewardship. By eliminating tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the initiative makes an exemplary contribution to the effort to stem the tide of global warming, a problem cited by the church's 2003 General Convention as a threat "to God's good creation," one that has a disproportionate impact on "the poorest and most vulnerable in the United States and around the world." By eliminating dependence on fossil fuel to heat and cool 260,000 square feet of buildings, the project is a powerful endorsement of Convention legislation aimed at reducing dependence on fossil fuel, which, the Convention said, "harms air quality and public health and is contributing to changes in the global climate that threaten the lives and livelihoods of our neighbors around the world."

It is especially appropriate for General Seminary to undertake a project that so clearly responds to the Episcopal Church's concern about energy conservation and global warming. The very term "seminary" derives from the word for a seedbed or nursery, in which life-giving seeds are first germinated and then propagated. Also, as a teaching institution which attracts students from all parts of the US and many other countries, GTS is uniquely positioned to demonstrate to the Church's future leadership that environmentally sensitive technology is cost-effective and achievable in the here and now--even in relatively expensive settings, such as New York City--and with cherished, historic structures nearby. With General's geothermal project as a model, the next generation of church leaders will better informed and able to play an influential role in promoting understanding of and support for environmentally sensitive energy development.

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