Large group of pro-life Christians in Texas a large group of pro-life Christians in Texaswill be participating in the Pro-Life Clean Energy Campaign

April 9, 2016

Owing to the very harmful effects of common air pollution on fetal and childhood development, a large group of pro-life Christians in Texas, through the Evangelical Environmental Network, will be participating in the Pro-Life Clean Energy Campaign, according to a press release put out late last week.

The press release states that over half a million nationwide will be participating in the campaign, with over 24,642 in Texas now slated to take part. The campaign is calling for a transition to 100% “clean” electricity by the year 2030.

Brazos Wind Farm Texas

 

“It is time to stop poisoning the womb and our environment and create a cleaner, brighter future for our children, free from pollution,” explained the Reverend Mitch Hescox, President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network. “Over 638,000 kids in Texas have asthma, and pollution makes it hard for them to breath [sic]. That’s not right.”

“The Holy Bible testifies to God’s mandate on all Believers to care for Creation. Industrial pollution is clearly harmful to the environment and threatens to harm human lives. That is why Christians in Texas are asking policy makers to make creation care a priority,” stated Reverend Dr Daniel Flores, The Hispanic Wesleyan Society, Fort Worth, Texas.

Here’s an overview of what the campaign is looking for from elected officials like Governor Abbott, and the presidential candidates (courtesy of the press release):

  • Free our children from pollution all across America with 100% clean electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
  • Defend our freedom to create our own electricity from wind & sunshine, without fees championed by monopolistic utilities to make it unaffordable and out of reach.
  • Free our communities from regulations that prevent us from joining together to create our own clean electricity and sell what we don’t need to others.
  • Free businesses from such regulations so that they, too, can create and sell clean electricity.

“Our children, both the unborn and born, deserve the right to an abundant life unhindered by pollutants that threaten their hearts, lungs, and brains. We have a biblical responsibility to defend our children and at the same time empower our markets for energy freedom,” concluded Hescox.

It should be noted here that Texas set a new record for wind energy on February 18th — producing over 14,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity that day (~45% of state use).

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By Silvia Leahu-Aluas, Leaders in Energy, Director – Sustainable Manufacturing  The second conversation of Leaders in Energy without Borders (LEWB), held in Google Hangout session on February 29, 2016, was a discussion on “Scenarios for a 100% renewable energy global architecture.” Participants explored the idea that the global energy architecture needs a complete shift towards renewable energy in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development goals, in particular goal # 7, to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.” The session examined research on how and when the transition to 100% renewable energy could be accomplished and also provided some examples of where this is being accomplished at the local, regional, and global levels.

Janine Finnell, Clean Energy Ambassador and Founder, started with an overview of Leaders in Energy and its ongoing work to build a global community of leaders and professionals. Janine reviewed seven studies, including projections, pathways, and scenarios, on how we can accelerate the transition our society needs to make in order to achieve the objectives identified by the Paris agreement and other national and global targets to move us on the track towards reduced greenhouse gases and ultimately zero emissions. These studies included:

  1. Tracking Clean Energy Progress, International Energy Agency, 2015
  2. 100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector
    energy roadmaps for the 50 United States
    , Mark Z. Jacobson et al; Stanford University, 2015
  3. Deep Pathways to Decarbonization, 2014 & Deep Pathways to Decarbonization in the United States, 2015Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  4. New Energy Outlook – Long Term Projections of the Global Energy Sector, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 2015
  5. Energy (r)evolution, Greenpeace et al, 2015
  6. Cost-minimized combinations of wind power, solar power and electrochemical storage, powering the grid up to 99.9% of the time, Corey Budischak et al. , University of Delaware, 2013
  7. The Net Benefits of Low and No-Carbon Electricity Technologies, Charles R. Frank et al, Global Economy and Development at Brookings Institution, 2014

Silvia Leahu-Aluas argued that despite the cautionary messages about the non-binding nature of current renewable energy commitments in the Paris agreement, and the difficulties many countries have already experienced in moving towards renewable energy, the timeline for a transition to 100% renewable energy global architecture should aim for 2030 as a deadline. Silvia gave a few examples of the many successful projects and actions taken all over the world that, she believes, gives cause for optimism on the likelihood that the world will achieve the 2030 target, as it is the necessary one. These include:

  • Iceland is at 100% today (hydro and geothermal)
  • Sri Lanka has just announced a 100% renewable energy target for 2030
  • Scotland is on track to be 100% renewable energy by 2030
  • Costa Rica has a 100% renewable electricity target of 2021
  • Fiji has a 100% renewable electricity target of 2030

Commitment to the 100% renewable energy target doesn’t stop at country level. Cities are also integrating ambitious renewable energy goals into their planning. The city of Malmö, Sweden has set targets significantly more ambitious than both the European Union’s (EU) target for Sweden (49% by 2020) and the national plan (50% by 2020). By 2020, Malmö is expected to be climate neutral and have all municipal operations run on 100% RE by 2030.

Adriaan Kamp, Energy for One World Founder and Leaders in Energy member, presented his ideas for a roadmap to organize such a transition at the global level. He reminded listeners about UN Sustainable Development goals and the strong support for them among many organizations and leaders. He argued that it is not analysis or blueprints (the why and how) that we are missing; there are plenty of those available from the best experts in energy technology and policy. Rather, what is missing is a comprehensive plan to manage a complex change of a complex system, the global energy architecture. Despite this, change is happening, as illustrated in some of the examples that were brought up in the discussion.

The session is available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/X61p1UN6-zk  Our next conversation is scheduled for April 2016.  Additional details on how to participate will be forthcoming on our Leaders in Energy website.