Interfaith Power & Light

Interfaith Power & Light

On May 9th, Rev. Susan Hendershot, president of Interfaith Power &

Light, was our speaker for the Person of the Planet’s May meeting.


A Letter from Interfaith Power & Light:

 Every Saturday I walk from my home to the local farmers market to do my shopping for the week. While I pick out blueberries, walnuts, carrots, and spinach, I talk with the farmers who bring such abundance to me each week. They work the soil, plant the seeds, and tend the harvest—using science in order to understand the life of the plants that they produce for food.

 Science is all around us, and people of faith and conscience understand that we have benefited from scientific advancements in growing food, keeping water and air clean, and helping people live healthier lives. So why does there seem to be a disconnect when it comes to climate science?

 We clearly need both in order to bring about the change that is needed. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man [sic] knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals."

 During the month of June, I will be undertaking the first joint speaking tour with Ken Kimmell, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, where our theme will be "Faith, Science, and Climate Solutions". Our goal is to demonstrate that the science is clear, that the solutions to the climate crisis are at hand, and that our faith inspires and motivates us to take bold and just action.

 Our tour stops will take us to Greenville, South Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Birmingham, Alabama. To get the information and to register for these locations, visit our website.

 Please consider making a donation to advance IPL's work connecting faith, science, and climate solutions. Your gifts make programs like these possible.

 Thank you for continuing to build the faith climate action movement, and for being part of our community.



Rev. Susan Hendershot


Moment for the planet Sunday May 12, 2019

Moment for the planet

A week ago I was looking at a picture of Puerto Rico taken from the sky  in July of 2017. The island was lit up, lights in every corner of the island.  That same image was taken again in October 2017.  This time the island was completely black except for one village in the central mountains of the country.   Why?  Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, the energy grid was wiped out across the island.   One small village, Las Piedras, was powered by solar.  They suffered from the storm like everyone else, but at the end of the day, they still had their solar lights and electricity. 

 Solar is one of the best ways countries and individuals can help the environment in a big way.  It is something many of us can do individually, by installing solar panels on our houses.  There are many solar companies out there and many towns will give a credit or financial incentives for installing renewable energy systems on your rooftops. The city of Berkeley received a SolSmartGold award for their efforts in streamlining the permitting process to make it easier and faster for homeowners to install solar panels.

 So what are you waiting for?  

Not all of us have the resources to install solar, but many of us do.   Some have already installed solar panels and are reaping not only the satisfaction of knowing we our lessening our footprint on the planet but financially we are saving a lot. 

 Arlington Community Church went solar in 2014, when Bill Day a member of the congregation spearheaded the project. He had installed solar at his home in 2011 and calculated that he had a 90% savings in dollars and 75% savings in kilowatt hours.

 My husband and I installed our panels in 2011 and now are able to have plug-in hybrid cars. Imagine how many tons of  carbon dioxide would stay out of the atmosphere if everyone was driving an electric car.   We have to start somewhere.

 Give serious thought to going solar and if possible, electric/hybrid cars.  As Persons of the Planet, we believe motivating the individual is one of the best ways to effect change on the planet. Let's take care of our Mother Earth.

SPONSORED ARTICLE: UCC Leader to Climate Leadership Summit: The Church is a Steward of God's creation

UCC leader to Climate Leadership Summit: The Church is a Steward of God's creation

May 02, 2019

Written by Connie Larkman

Read the original article by clicking here

The General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ took the stage at the American Climate Leadership Summit (ACLS19) on Thursday, calling on people of faith to be stewards of, not minions over, God's creation.

The Rev. John C. Dorhauer, part of a panel of four faith leaders called to share religious community commitments to climate action, said that the vocation of the Church is to be a steward of all that God created.

"The UCC has long been committed to the work of justice," Dorhauer said. "If we can’t resolve this issue around climate change, it will resolve all other justice issues for us. Our singular vocation should be the restoration of the planet.”

Dorhauer is one of a diverse group of 500 leaders converging in Washington, D.C., May 1-2, with the goal making environmental action a national priority. ACLS19, organized by ecoAmerica, hopes to identify breakthrough strategies and ideas to create national progress on climate care.

The UCC leader shared the denomination's dedication to the 3 Great Loves campaign (Love of Children, Love of Neighbor, Love of Creation), noting how sharing stories — which detail UCC congregations involvement in earth care and advocacy around climate action — has become a powerful tool in prompting and encouraging new ministries.

A Letter from Senior United States Senator from California Dianne Feinstein


Person of the Planet, Shirley Lutzky, wrote to Senator Diane Feinstein to find out her stance on Climate Change and her efforts to curb Global Warming.  Here is the reply letter:

Dear Shirley:

Thank you for writing to share your support for action to address climate change.  I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

I share your belief that we must implement serious policy solutions to prepare for climate change, and we must do so now.  The science is clear: climate change is real, it is happening, humans are causing it, and we must act.  Doing nothing is not an answer.  Unfortunately, even in the face of clear evidence that action is overdue, the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans have blocked or reversed attempts to enact policies that would address climate change.

I have long pushed for action to address climate change and protect our environment, from spearheading the passage of historic fuel-economy legislation to consistently championing funding for renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs.  You can review my long record of fighting to protect our climate here:  

Fighting climate change will require a broad scope of ambitious actions to eliminate emissions throughout the entire global economy.  We can start by establishing a carbon fee and recommitting ourselves to the Paris Agreement, a pledge to reduce U.S. emissions by at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.  We must resume development of energy-efficiency standards for buildings and household appliances and enact policies that encourage the transition to electric vehicles.

California has shown the United States and the world that it is possible to successfully address climate change while maintaining a high standard of living and economic growth.  Our state has mandated that half of our electricity must come from renewable sources by 2030.  In fact, we are on track to reach this goal in 2020, 10 years ahead of schedule.  We are also showing that we do not need to sacrifice growth, as last year California grew to be the world’s fifth-largest economy.  I am pleased to report that California is on track to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by 2045.

I will keep your support for bold action on climate change in mind as I continue working with my Senate colleagues to find a path forward for climate change legislation.

Once again, thank you for writing.  Should you have any other questions or comments, please call my Washington, D.C., office at (202) 224-3841 or visit my website at  You can also follow me online at YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and you can sign up for my email newsletter at

Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator


Person of the Planet Sponsored Article: The Earth Is Just as Alive as You Are

Below is article my mom passed me about Gaia as a living being. It's not mentioned here, but there have been legal efforts to defend earth as so. That way some environmental crimes could be considered acts against mother earth"


The Earth Is Just as Alive as You Are

Scientists once ridiculed the idea of a living planet. Not anymore.

By Ferris Jabr

New York Times, April 20, 2019

Every year the nearly 400 billion trees in the Amazon rain forest and all the creatures that depend on them are drenched in seven feet of rain — four times the annual rainfall in London. This deluge is partly due to geographical serendipity. Intense equatorial sunlight speeds the evaporation of water from sea and land to sky, trade winds bring moisture from the ocean, and bordering mountains force incoming air to rise, cool and condense. Rain forests happen where it happens to rain.

Read the original article by clicking here

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Earth Day in Berkeley is a two-day series of events this year.  While the main deal is happening on Easter, the film fest continues on Monday, April 22.

There are films and a guest panel on Monday, from 6-9:30pm, at the David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley.  Tickets are $15 general and $10 student.  More information at

Here’s an Approach to Global Warming that Makes Sense!

Citizens Climate Lobby is a grassroots, national organization that presents a path and solution to greenhouse gas emissions by working with both parties in congress.  How about that for unusual in today’s political arena?  We heard Mary Selkirk from CCL speak at ACC on April 12.  Mary is clear, committed to her work and the work of CCL; she presented a cogent argument for CCL’s mission and vision for the US.

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By taxing carbon pollution at the source and then sending that tax back to every taxpayer, emissions can be reduced due to the negative incentive and economic growth happens simultaneously with more cash in individual’s pockets.  More information and details on how each of us can help:

Person of the Planet Speaker: Mary Selkirk

Mary Selkirk, Board Member at Citizens Climate Lobby

Mary Selkirk, Board Member at Citizens Climate Lobby

Person of the Planet Group will be sponsoring a talk by Mary Selkirk on Friday, April 12 at 7:00 at Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington, Kensington. We will do a short Person of the Planet meeting at the start to touch base and hear what actions you have taken to be a voice for the Planet. Come relax with a cup of tea.

The topic of the evening will be "Building the Political Will in Washington for Climate Action". Mary Selkirk from the Citizens Climate Lobby will do a short introduction of their work and a brief discussion on the "Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act" (HR763). The H763 bill is the first bi-partisan climate bill in the US Congress in 10 years.

Mary Selkirk is an avid hiker, whitewater rafter, cyclist, and volunteer/member of the Governing Board of Citizens Climate Lobby.

Before retiring and joining CCL, Mary spent 30 years first as an environmental activist and then a collaborative policy specialist, focusing on California water and natural resources. As an environmental mediator with the Center for Collaborative Policy at Sacramento State for many years, Mary designed and led numerous multi-party dialogues on complex water and natural resources projects throughout the State, including the South Bay Salt Pond Project, the biggest wetland restoration project west of the Mississippi, right here in our own San Francisco Bay.

After serving as the Sierra Club’s Northern California Regional Water Committee, Mary was elected in 1994 to the Board of Directors of East Bay MUD, representing Berkeley, Kensington, Albany and El Cerrito. She served on the Bay-Delta Advisory Council, a Federal Advisory Committee, taught environmental mediation in the UC Davis Land Use and Natural Resources Program, as well as at Sacramento State, and served on the City of Berkeley’s Creeks Task Force.

Mary will share her own story of her growing passion and concern about climate change, and how the core values that form the foundation of Citizens Climate Lobby-- focus, inclusiveness, personal engagement, respect for political differences, nonpartisanship, and optimism—have sustained her through 6 years of lobbying on climate action in Washington.

This evening will be time well-spent. If you plan to attend, let us know so we can plan set-up accordingly: We look forward to seeing you.

Bits & Pieces March 15, 2019

Bits & Pieces

By Shanti Moorjani March 15, 2019

A little follow-up to last night's talk with Matt Gough from the Sierra Club. Matt is the Assistant Advancement Director of the Western Division of the Sierra Club. He talked about the about the Resist, Build, Win strategy of the Sierra Club at the local and national level. Matt, an Obama look alike, intelligently shared how they are legally thwarting the attacks on our environment by the Trump administration. He shared the successes of getting many coal fire plants shut down and building up efforts to train working people to clean energy jobs.

In the last two years alone, Sierra Club's membership has almost doubled. This is how the club can work effectively against the many environmental issues we confront. Matt did not once mention joining the Sierra Club (though I am already a member) and yes if you want to support an institution that is out there working hard for the environment, this is a good choice.

Matt expertly answered the many questions that came up at the talk and left us hopeful that there are committed, smart young people actively involved with saving our planet.

I left hopeful with a greater respect for the Sierra Club and their work. 

Thank you Matt Gough!

A Relatively Painless Guide to Cutting Plastic Out of Your Life

A Relatively Painless Guide to Cutting Plastic Out of Your Life

Featured article from 

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Last year may have been the beginning of the end for plastic. It may have taken a while for the average person to wake up to its dangers, but many were shaken into action by the images and videos of plastic's impact on the natural world that flooded the media in 2018.

Read the entire articles by clicking here

Looking for the Perfect Environmental Gift?

Looking for the Perfect Environmental Gift?

The Mighty Nest ( offers to send a gift every month that is something good for the planet.  The gifts are something that will allow you to make changes in your habits.  My husband received this as a Christmas gift from his niece.  so far, he has received: 1.  Beeswax papers for wrapping and storing food in the refrigerator, 2. Three clothes drying balls made from Australian sheep wool for softening your clothes (1000 loads).  Store bought drying sheets have toxic chemicals in them. 3. Five 100% cotton washcloth-size towels for cleaning up your counters instead of using so many paper towels (think trees). 

That's all for the first three months.  Looks like we can expect to look forward to such gifts as reusable shopping bags (and produce bags), reusable to-go containers and thermos, maybe metal or bamboo straws. It will be a surprise.

In Berkeley, the Ecology Center at 2530 San Pablo Avenue is a store with a treasure trove of alternative choices for the conscious consumer.