On June 9th, 102 faith leaders nationwide on capitol hill to support 100% Clean energy and the American Jobs Plan.
Follow along with our transcript of the event:
Charles Olsen 0:08
My name is Charlie Olsen and this is The Upside Down the podcast from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. On June 9 102, faith leaders across the country gathered outside of the US Capitol to urge Congress of the moral imperative of passing a 100% clean electricity standard in order to combat climate change as part of the American jobs plan. This podcast is the audio recording of that event. Enjoy. Good afternoon.
Unknown Speaker 1:02
Welcome to this 100 faith leaders for 100% clean energy event. Thank you so much for being here today. And I want to also thank our co sponsors for today’s event, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Dayenu Hip Hop Caucus and the Interfaith Power and Light DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia affiliate. I am Reverend Susan Hendershot, and I have the honor of serving as the president of Interfaith Power and Light. And our mission is to inspire and mobilize people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change. And I am here with my friend and my colleague, Reverend Michael Malcolm, Michael serves as the executive director of the People’s Justice Council and Alabama, interfaith Power and Light. And he and I have just returned from northern Minnesota from the treaty people gathering. Where we had the privilege of just bearing witness with our indigenous relatives who are working so hard to stop the line three pipeline on behalf of all of us and creation. And so Michael, I just want to ask you, rather, you live in Alabama, you just spent in northern Minnesota, and now you are showing up here today to tell us why it is important for you to show up at this gathering today, when you could have just gone home and gotten some good sleep.
Unknown Speaker 2:43
She said that I’m contemplating that now. The reason I’m here is because of my Christian faith, and my Christian scriptures tell me to love my neighbor.
Unknown Speaker 2:58
Right now, my neighbor, people pay up to over 20% of their income for utilities. Right now, my neighbor doesn’t even have the availability or the opportunity to be a part of a renewable energy portfolio. Right now, my neighbor, my neighbor who suffers, who is already impoverished, is paying up to $500 a month for their utility bill. We absolutely need a standard that can be set that can allow for our states to tap into this renewable energy portfolio. That gives us a clean energy standard. I’m also here, because I want to remind us as community of faith and space leaders, that it is our job to be ambassadors for compassion. And when our community is suffering, we ought to get loud, and we ought to make some noise. Can I do that? Because Can you do me a favor real quick and just exercise that? Can we make some noise for our administration to know that we are here and we have justice, equity, we are standing by the rights of our brothers and sisters who are indigenous, we are standing for all of their rights. And that’s why I’m here. And I hope that you are here for the same reason that I’m here, that you are here to love your neighbor as yourself. And that means if you don’t want it in your backyard, you ought not be advocating for it to be in someone else’s backyard. You don’t want it in your community. You ought not be advocating for anybody else’s community. We don’t need all of the above approaches. We need an approach that is equitable and just that does not do harm to the community, nor planet. Thank you. And while I’m here, we just spent three and a half hours together, going from northern Minnesota to St. Paul to get on an airplane. Would not only that you also had to drive three and a half hours after you got off the plane to go to Minnesota in the first place. Why did you put yourself through all of that, knowing that you could have been at home? You could have been relaxing, and getting prepared for this. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 5:41
Thanks. Thanks for preaching. You know, for me, ultimately, and reading ramset in this work is about love. This work is about love. It’s love for God and love for the sacred. It’s love for each other. And it’s love for all of the inhabitants on the sacred Earth, not just human inhabitants, for the creatures. And First John Chapter 317 says how does the love of God abide in one who sees someone in need and shuts up their compassion. So for me, that means that we can’t truly love without justice. It is intertwined and interwoven. And while there are 100 of us here today, at the Capitol, our message has been shared by more than 1500 faith leaders across the country, in a signed letter to this administration, calling on them to set a strong, clean energy standard. It’s 100% clean energy by 2035. And we can do this, we can do this. But we need President Biden’s initial $2.2 trillion proposal to be the floor and not the ceiling. And we must invest with justice, as Rob said, ensuring that President Biden’s campaign promise of at least 40% of funds going to black, indigenous, and people of color communities and low income communities most hurt by our fossil fuel infrastructure, we have to see that that comes to fruition. And so Proverbs, Chapter 29, Verse 18, says, without a vision, the people perish. And we are calling on the Biden administration to set a bold and just vision. For we know that without a vision, the people perish and without action, to bring that vision to life. All that we hold dear and sacred will perish along with us. So rather than I was just standing yesterday on honest and knobby land in northern Minnesota, and today, we acknowledge that we stand on the land of the necochea tank and piscataway people. And so I’m asking you to join me now in a land acknowledgement. We want to acknowledge that we’re on the traditional territory of the piscataway people past and present. The importance of land acknowledgement is that non-native people are giving this acknowledgement out of respect and honor for what the first people of this nation last and breathe for today, especially in light of recent news of the 215 bodies, discovered at a residential Indian School in Canada 100 such schools across North America in which the indigenous community is mourning over. So can we just join in a moment of silence to honor and remember our indigenous relatives and these 215 children?
Unknown Speaker 9:35
Thank you again for being here today. And I’ve been asked to encourage you to stay through the end of our time here with this program. And we’ll take a group photo following. And so now it’s time for our call to intention and attention. So I’ll turn it over to our next speaker.
Unknown Speaker 10:22
Mr. Robert Davis now I’m representing my communities, I’m filled with new communities. And also if you luchador Shah and, and also, I’d like to also represent my Arthur wasco data center as many, many others and we all represent many, many others. The sound of the show follows a very interesting sound, as I think you all know, it has many meanings and intentions. One is to sound a warning, a warning to the people. It’s a sound of awakening our minds and our hearts to injustice. It’s a sound for liberation, it’s a sound, it’s a call for us to get moving. I’m gonna turn around as I sound of the show far, because the people who need the most waking up are over there. We know we’re over there, and I just been hoping you can, in some ways
Unknown Speaker 12:23
Communitarian Universalist minister, I serve the entire Universalist congregation in Rockville, Maryland.
Unknown Speaker 12:31
Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for showing up with your heart and your spirit. We are going to participate in house learning, which is our worship, rituals and promarker. So we’d like to swim in Chalice in the name of justice. We like this wavy Chalice on this sacred space where our bodies are connected to the earth, where we know that the earth is is personally impacted by people who are brown and black and marginalized and queer. We are standing with them and for them, we surround them with our highest intention to send a message. So this is a flame of truth. May our voices be heard and their highest aspirations be heated to in the name of all that is holy, amen. And I say I’m blessed to do it.
Unknown Speaker 13:31
Good morning. I’m Reverend Melanie Mullen and I’ve received greetings from the Episcopal Church from our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and for all those friends and family in our tradition, who pray for more than just solidarity with vulnerable lands and people but to be co-conspirators, in a vision of God’s justice. Will you pray with me the prayers of the people honoring God and creation? What’s the God whose love calls the whole creation into a covenant with you, and he puts in our hands responsibility for the care of the earth. And its creatures, we pray for all who you have given light and being saying, Merciful Creator, keep your planet and people in peace for the well being of the earth, for its resources of water, air, lights and soil, that they may be tinted for the good of all creatures. We crave, Merciful Creator, keep your planets and people in. Well the waters of the earth for their careful use and conservation that we may have the will and the ability to keep them clean and pure. We pray first of all creator, keep your planet and people in peace. For the mineral and energy resources of this planet, that we may learn sustainable consumption and sound care of the environment from which they come, we pray, Merciful Creator, keep your planets and people and for all the animals of the earth, wild and domestic large and very small, that they may know the harmony of relationship that sustains all life. We pray, Merciful Creator, to keep your planet and people end up for the creatures of the earth who do us harm. Those who place in your creation we do not understand or welcome that we may see them as beloved creatures of God. We pray, Merciful Creator, to heat your planet, and people in teams for all to shape public policies affecting the planet and its creatures, especially President Biden, and our leaders in Congress that they may be considering wisely. the well being of all who come after us. Let us pray. Merciful creator, keep your planet and people in peace. We are all God’s creatures and people say Amen. And now I call up Henry Majeed.
Unknown Speaker 16:43
Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem. In the name of Allah. In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Unknown Speaker 16:58
I’m speaking to all the people who believe in you. I believe I’m speaking to you.
Unknown Speaker 17:07
Is there no where in the Quran? No commandments of God. No statement of a prophet. No, that’s what from a survey that says we must live the most convenient life. Yes, for many of us, our struggle is convenience. Convenience is going to the supermarket year round, and being able to find strawberries and grapes at the expense of workers who are not being paid a living wage. Convenience is knowing that there will be regular trash collection in my neighborhood, at the expense of bracket black and brown people who live near the landfill where my trash is dumped. Convenient convenience is to day delivery at the expense of plein air. Convenience is cheap gas at the expense of Native communities. Convenience isn’t every day to hop and every day personal and communal struggle, where we have to ask ourselves daily, hourly. Am I a Khalifa? Or am I a consumer? Oh Khalifa is a custodian whose duty is to live in harmony, respect, and nurture the place where we live and work and play. A Khalifa is a position of privilege of servant leadership, in which we have the responsibility to care for God’s creation on Earth. It is the trust given to every person by God to care for animals, plants, and water lands. We do not own the earth but rather we care for it until we are returned to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said the world is beautiful and burdens and barely Allah exalted has made you Stewart’s Khalifa in it, and a lobby how you acquit yourself. A Khalifa is a position of honor. It is a fulfilling and uplifting relationship with God and condition. There’s give and there’s tape. We give effort and time and consideration to Peter to clean air and clean water. A consumer is defined by big business, Coca Cola, Unilever, it is a position of subordination.
Unknown Speaker 20:12
A consumer takes and takes and takes. So, who are we defined by? Are we defined by God? or Amazon?
Unknown Speaker 20:28
How is convenience related to climate, the overuse and abuse of Earth’s resources, in order to provide our endless and fleeting conveniences, has led to the degradation of Earth’s waterways and lands and oceans. And consequently, the Earth’s climate, along with the death of nations, and communities of both people, plants and animals, each individual one being assigned, pointing to the one who created us own. So, the task of wealthy nations is justice within power, justice, when and comfort justice in the midst of can be. So here is today’s tech, today’s daily, hourly tech. Who defines me? Who defines us? God or capitalism? Amalia Khalifa, or my consumer?
Unknown Speaker 21:38
Thank you. Now I like to call prophecy. Good afternoon. How are you all doing? Great. I am Raj from Ito sake. It is an organization of the Sikh community focused on climate issues and climate crisis. And we have planted in the last two years 320 many and large forests in India, in the UK, Canada and in the United States. And our goal is to thank you. Our goal is to plant 1 million trees. This was in honor of the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of the secret guru. And Guru Nanak. South Asia was the first one to call upon the entire humanity to look at the relationship that we have with nature. And I’m going to sing what he said because he was a singer, Barbara. Barney, Barbara, Barney, Martha Davis, Martha, Martha. He says the end is the Guru is the teacher. It gives us the opportunity to breathe, and he treats everyone equally. And gives us the opportunity to experience life and live to our fullest potential. And second is water. Water is our father. That’s where life has originated. And Earth is our mother. So just say we will not honor our own mother or father. Why would we dishonor our mother, the real mother, the real father and the real teacher. And Guru Nanak also said that karma paid Shaka hurry through the fall full era. He says let your life be like a tree, a tree which is doing good deeds, the deeds of compassion, deeds of helping others, deeds of healing the world. And then what happens he says, Shaka Hurry, God becomes a multiplying effect in your actions. God becomes the tea tree. This tree has branches. And then he says, Don’t call. The real religion is when you are doing compassion. It acts, not what you believe, not what you talk, but what you walk, how you act in the world. And the last is that the real wisdom comes out of this compassionate way of living. And the next line is the most beautiful, he says, gum proper Cha 22 common are women. This tree is your life, if you become like a tree, you will provide the greatest shade to others, you will become a healing effect in this world. And the one thing we must check is the effect of our ego, our mind, trying to control, trying to possess things, trying to have the power of nature and other things. So we are here, this is a really a blessed occasion to have these moral voices at a sacred ground, where the future of the planet is decided. And this is our opportunity to raise our voice. Because we have a listener in the White House, who has promised that 40% of his funds will go to the people of those who are in need, those who are suffering because of the fossil fuel economy. And it is our responsibility to keep the pressure on. Do we want clean energy by 2035?
Unknown Speaker 26:33
All right, so we need to make that noise as loud as possible as possible, you know, however we can, because it is really when deciding the future of our children’s children. This is the kind of planet that we want to live on. Every President capsa guts on the pulpit here says, We’re gonna go to the moon, we’re gonna go to Mars, we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that. But no one says we’re gonna save the earth. And this is where we need to start raising this voice that this model agenda needs to become the agenda of the United Nation, United States, because this is a leading nation. Every nation looks up to us, what we are doing, what we are doing to the planet, and we are the greatest polluter. We are the greatest consumer society. And the change needs to start here. And I’m so blessed to be here with you all raising this voice, because it does not matter which religion you belong to. What matters is what is the future of our planet? And how are we going to leave it for our future generations.
Unknown Speaker 27:42
Thank you may call upon Angela Turnbull.
Unknown Speaker 27:54
Good afternoon. I’m so inspired by each of you. I’m so inspired by our commitment to leave a planet that’s beautiful and amazing for our children and future generations that you stand with me to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Hello, I’m Angela Wilson Turnbull. I’m a strategy team leader with the Archdiocese of Washington care for creation committee. Our Archdiocese of Washington care for creation committee is a laid lead organization of Catholics from the district and five Maryland counties that make up the Archdiocese. The committee mobilizes grassroots Catholics for action on care for creating environmental justice in the Archdiocese providing a platform for communication and organization. We work very close, Lee in coordination with the Archdiocese. And we do not officially speak on its behalf. Catholics and all people have an extraordinary opportunity to lead on Caring for Our Common Home and our most vulnerable people together. While many good things are happening every day, there’s still enormous room to provide leadership in these endeavors. It is far from handled. And if you are here listening to this, you are a leader whose initiative can or is already making a difference in the world. As leaders, we create disciples who are students and pupils who work to take our place and not just someday but right now.
Unknown Speaker 30:04
As an inspiring example, like with many of our parishes, churches school in this region, we have a community of African American students right here in DC at St. Augustine’s elementary school, who completed an 18 month study project to reverse the harmful effects of fossil fuels used right here in the nation’s capital. Students are being supported by parishioners. Reginald Barry was a chemical engineer. It is so inspiring what these young people have done. They follow their heart’s desire to contribute, submitting a technical proposal to install solar panels on 3500 square feet of space 200 to 300 panels on their school’s roof, which is currently being evaluated by contractors plus a minority firm who agreed to include the school children in a service learning project. So they can observe the installation as they contribute and witnesses implementation, the students created a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation. And our pastor father Pat was blown away. This is what’s possible. These are third to eighth graders.
Unknown Speaker 31:23
Did you hear me?
Unknown Speaker 31:26
We’re making it happen in the world. I just want to point to the work that we’ve done in our care for the creation committee, you know, all people play a critical role in transforming the vision and the concern of Pope Francis, relating to the climate crisis into real action. I want you all to imagine, hundreds of years ago during the Ice Age, when we didn’t have this crisis, we have the capacity to return to those levels. Cardinal Gregory recently announced that the Archdiocese of Washington will be releasing its own lodato see action plan. Just this past March, he made that announcement. And what that will mean for our communities, our children, our churches,
Unknown Speaker 32:18
Unknown Speaker 32:21
I want to share a story. 30 years ago, a dear friend, Sydney, was on Pennsylvania Avenue in southeast DC. A friend of my family’s a 50 year old African American man, there was a gas leak on Pennsylvania Avenue. He cleared the traffic, cleared a Metro bus and then a huge burst of flames engulfed him and took his life. There are gas leaks all over our city. We don’t need gas anymore, right. It’s not just an environmental issue. It’s a human issue. It’s killing our people and our children. I’d like to ask you these questions. What specifically should the money go towards to transform our nation? What will this administration do to ensure those that are suffering the most in our world are taken care of
Unknown Speaker 33:26
Unknown Speaker 33:27
top priority. I would like to close with a powerful poem and prayer excuse me, from Pope Francis’s encyclical, Luddites datos. See, please pray with all powerful God. You are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. you embrace with your tenderness, all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters harming no one. Oh god of the poor. Help us to restore the abandoned and forgotten to this earth. so precious in your eyes. bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it. That we may be so beautiful, not pollution and destruction. touch the hearts of those who look only to gain at the expense of the poor and the art. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing. To be filled with all and contemplation to recognize that we are profoundly united With every preacher as we journey towards your Infinite Light, we thank you for being with us each day. encourage us, we pray, and I struggle for justice, love, and peace. Amen.
Unknown Speaker 35:27
I’d like to invite Christian Barker, co-founder and director of one Earth thing. Greetings friends, I
Unknown Speaker 35:50
see many friendly faces. Yes. Hi, I’m Kristen Barker, co-founder and director of one Earth Sangha. We are a global, Buddhist and mindfulness community responding to ecological crises with courage, wisdom and compassion. I want to invite you now, to just take a moment to connect with your breathing. Just feel the weight of your feet as they touch this room. Let the attention gather. and invite the mind and body to relax. bring your attention to your hips to your bones, feel that contact with her. Relax your face. Open the crown perhaps to the sky. your spine like the tree of a trunk, connecting or with the sky. Let this mind rest in the heart that the heart rests in the body. And let this body rest on Earth has widened the field of attention now to include those wonderful passionate, committed activists around you. include them in your appreciation, we cannot do this alone. We will not do this alone. Soften the boundary widens even further. include these trees. The grasses yes, even the cars and the buildings and adventures include all of this that is the whitening field of wonder and vulnerable life on Earth. I invite you to bring a warm smile to your heart and offer it to this world.
Unknown Speaker 38:16
My tradition we teach that these bodies are born of life and returned to Earth as our tradition teaches that we can prevent suffering but only by facing the truth of our situation and then acting with courage with wisdom and compassion. Prevent suffering and enable the path of ease and freedom we must actively honor at every level of our being including in our own hearts internally and externally. The three defilements are greed, hatred, and delusion. It is greed, hatred and delusion and disdain for the hate of the fate of others that defends our continued investment in fossil fuels and the exploitation of people and the planet with that. In my tradition, we have this wonderful image of Kuan Yin the Bodhisattva of compassion. She hears the cries of the world. She has 1000 eyes and 1000 arms and she touches our hearts when we breathe and connect with wisdom and compassion.
Unknown Speaker 39:37
Thank you for that. Thank you. Thank you for yelling Yes, yo when it’s helpful. So it is quite the yen and the spirit of Kuan Yin that will help us to counter and defend those near and far human and more than human born and yet to be born. It is up to us Not to give in to delusion, nor denial nor distraction from this cause, we will not give in to despair, for it is despair that thinks it knows where this is all headed. It thinks it knows the answer, we will not give in to the rage or hatred In our own hearts, we can act fiercely, but make enemies of none and I don’t say that just to be nice. It is the sustainability of activism that relies on us metabolizing and retaining the open hearted connection with ourselves and one another. If we get it into hatred of the other side, we are sabotaging our own activism. So with the wisdom Sword of another bodhisatta, cipher manjushree this wisdom sword cuts through the delusion, the greed and the hatred and will at our side help us divest from fossil fuels, and fiercely invest at every level in clean energy infrastructure. This is the protection of our children, the protection of the entire web of life, the protection of Earth, and we can do that all with a beautiful smiling heart.
Unknown Speaker 41:23
Unknown Speaker 41:29
So I give you now Lisa Sharon Harper, a speeder speaker, writer, activist and artists president of the
Unknown Speaker 41:36
founder of freedom road.
Unknown Speaker 41:51
So friends, thank you so much for the introduction. I am the author of the very good gospel,
Unknown Speaker 41:58
how are they rocking today, right? And one of the chapters in that book is about creation and just accretion care creation justice. And what I want to share with you is about a public theology that I’ve kind of just deepened for like the last almost 20 years. When I think about the biblical call, to shalom to radically good relationships, with all things with all people with all of creation, I’m drawn to the reality that we are all created in relationship with each other. And that relationship was meant to be overwhelmingly good. And all creation is sacred, this blade of grass, the blades of grass that you are standing on are sacred. You are sacred, sacred. Because the breath of life lives in this grass. And the breath of life lives in you. The image of God lives in you and all of us, including the most marginalized. Humanity is called to steward the earth. And in Genesis, the second chapter of Genesis, we see a clearer picture of what that stewardship looks like, looks like killing and keeping. And when you translate that from the Hebrew, it actually translates to serve and protect Hello, somebody Hello. So what would it look like? What would it look like? How would the ways that we like our churches, our places of worship change if we hated God’s call to serve and protect the Earth? How would the ways that we power our infrastructure change if we hated God’s call to serve and protect the Earth? How would the ways that we grow our food change if we heeded God’s call to serve and protect the Earth? It is true that yes, we need a thriving economy. But a fundamental principle of the very goodness of the gospel is that we are all tied together in an inextricable relationship with each other. Our actions grow well, but damage our capacity to drink clean water, or breathe without wheezing, or eat the fruits of our labor or enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, then we are not well and the humans that bear the brunt of our sin, against creation are the poor and marginalized and the integration is broken. And it stands as a witness.
Unknown Speaker 44:55
It bears witness to our broken relay. With God, we are breaking the only planet that we have been given.
Unknown Speaker 45:10
We are exploiting and consuming the rest of creation. So we were charged to serve and protect. We must repent. I was on the train all the way down here. And I don’t know exactly what the context was. But somehow I heard this music. I think it was worth it. And they were, Oh, no, no, it wasn’t, it was in the taxi all the way over here. That’s what it was. I’m texting way over. The man was listening to worship music. And what his music was saying is, we got to go down to the river and pray. We got to go down to the river, the toxified river, the river full of teeming fish, the blue river, the river that gives us life. We got to go down to the river and pray and get clean.
We got to repent of our way of life. Because our way of life is going to end our lives. In my tradition, we call on the name of the one who commanded the wind to be still and listen. We have one shot one. Now, right now is the time we can do this. Amen. Foreword, by Danny Rosen. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 47:07
I love Rabbi Jenny Gerson of dayenu, a Jewish call to climate action. We’re building a Jewish movement, confronting the climate crisis with spiritual audacity and bold political action together with communities across the country. thrilled to be here 100 faith leaders for 100% clean energy around 100 is such a fitting number. as Jews, we require a minion in a group of 10 for public prayer. This is a kind of public prayer. And it’s a privilege to be here engaging in this holy work with my fellow faith leaders, we are a minion of minions. And it feels like an especially great privilege, out of our ability to gather safely today. How many people saw or even dared to say a hug to someone for the first time today. It’s a sign that we are emerging from this past year of great struggle and hardship. For many of us, these past 14 months have felt a bit like wandering in the desert, unsure of our collective future a bit lost. But as we emerge together towards recovery, we’re reminded of what God tells the Israelites wandering in the desert. Lo busha mine he is not in heaven. God reminds us that the path forward and our redemption is not in the heavens are beyond our reach. Lo bisha mine, redemption is in our hands. Today we face intersecting crises, the pandemic and the economic devastation it has wrought in cities racial inequity and injustice and climate destruction at an unfathomable scale. And we have the opportunity to address these colliding crises to re envision and rebuild a just and sustainable world for all people for generations to come. It’s difficult to overstate the potential of this moment. You said now is the moment for our nation and our collective future. We can transform our society and economy lobuche amiami. But in order to do so, our policymakers need to have vision and courage to pass economic recovery and infrastructure legislation at the scale that justice and science demands. We need big and bold investment. Clean energy and transportation, a target of 100% clean electricity from wind and waves and solar and geothermal heat. And critically, we need a commitment to environmental justice. President Biden has put forth a multi trillion dollar recovery plan to rebuild and transform our nation’s infrastructure, putting millions of Americans back to work, investing in renewable energy, and pledging to leave no one behind. This plan could serve as a roadmap for a just green recovery that our nation so desperately needs. But only if Congress acts. We call on Congress to pick up the legislation to build back bolder with clean energy and with justice. Please, next few weeks, these next two weeks are critical and Congress must not give into the insidious attempts underway to delay, distract and to dilute. This is not a time for backing down. But rather a time to stand strong with vision and courage. This is nothing less than our shots at adjusting to a livable and sustainable future. As we begin to move out of this year of darkness, this year of narrowness and loss, we have the opportunity to create a profoundly different future. Facing the climate crisis requires us to remember and access our collective power. Because we have tremendous collective power. We gathered today knowing we are just one small part of a much larger movement, and much larger, collective power.
Unknown Speaker 51:53
At the Passover Seder, when Jews tell the story of our Exodus out of Egypt, wandering in the desert, we sing a joyous song of gratitude, recounting all we’ve been given we say if God had taken us out of Egypt and not given us the Torah dayenu it would have been enough. Today we say dayenu we have had enough environmental injustice, enough valuing fossil fuel companies over human life, and not having the brunt of climate change fall on black, brown and indigenous communities dayenu. But we also remind ourselves that we have enough, enough resources, in a policy know how to use enough technology to avert the worst of climate disaster. We have what we need so that everyone can have enough. We call on you, our leaders and representatives hear our cries. It is time to act so that all people and their children and their children’s children can live with enough for generations to come.
Unknown Speaker 53:16
Thank you so much, Jenny. Before I tell you anything more about myself, I just do a little bit of housekeeping. Right after we’re done, we’re going to take a group shot. So ravio was about to speak, and then the speakers will be complete. And we’re going to take your group shot. So we’ll give you instructions on that just don’t leave. And by the way, unfortunately, we were not able to get 100 faith leaders here today. We have 102 Exactly. That’s great organizing, we’re gonna take a picture of all 102 with the capital behind us. I also want to say if you’re parched, and hungry, thirsty, we’re going to gather at the pavilion cafe, which is right down here. It’s about a nine minute walk. If you could stick around Seventh Street and constitution Northwest, get some food and hang out a little bit more. For those of you who could stick around, we’d love to see more of you. So again, my name is Mike Tidwell. I teach youth Sunday school at Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, and I’m director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. I now have the honor of introducing the Reverend Linux Yearwood who serves on this E camp board of directors and he’s president of the Hip Hop Caucus. But first First of all, I want to thank the guy who lives right over here President Joe Biden for being a practicing Catholic Yes. for understanding. Joe Biden understands what it says in the book of James which is Faith without works is dead. The American jobs plan is a great policy. And in the era of rapid climate change, it is a moral document. I often talk about climate change when my middle school Sunday school class, I tell my students that for two centuries now our nation has gotten most of its energy by digging deep, deep underground, and pulling up the dark energy of coal and oil. It’s the energy well from hell. And then we burn out and we create hell on earth through rapid global warming. So what do we need? Do we need the energy from heaven? from the sun, the wind, from the tides, am I right? So thank you, President Biden, for this $2.3 trillion moral investment. Thank you most of all, for the bill’s commitment to 100% clean electricity by 2035. I am proud to be among 102 faith leaders here today, who are for 100% clean power. And thank you, President Biden for the 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations and the hundreds of billions of dollars for home weatherization, and for modernizing our grid. And thank you finally, Mr. President, as has been said here multiple times today, thank you that 40% of all the investments and benefits will accrue to disadvantaged communities. And thank you Congress in advance for passing this bill. We’re not being distracted by petty politics, and staying the course is the ethical course. And now I want to present to you one of my personal heroes, heroes and friends, the great climate optimist, the great spiritual voice in our nation, the Reverend Linux your way.
Unknown Speaker 57:11
It is an honor to be here with you. Mike, you said 102. You know that that works. There’s a gospel song, River Markham, that has 99 What We’ll Do What We’ll Do. I want to thank all of my faith leaders, you are leading by example, what it means to show what is really important, to be clear, to be very clear. As many members of the faith tradition, we don’t agree that that is the nature of being of different faith traditions, we literally believe very, very different things. The one thing that we shouldn’t believe in, is that we should believe that whatever is happening here, on this side of Jordan, that our faith, our spirit, our whatever we believe in, should be comforting you and encouraging you to have comfort on this side of joy. And so I start with that, because while we may not all agree on the exact same thing, we all have gathered here today, because we agree on this. We are in a crisis. We are in a climate crisis. We are in a crisis. I see it again, because maybe I didn’t get through a pandemic. Maybe y’all woke up in March, and didn’t understand that there was a virus, a pandemic that was going through that you couldn’t see. And then literally as we went through life, literally just 12 months ago, we were then changing our life, putting on masks, putting on gloves, we were afraid to no longer see our grandchildren or children. Go on traveling. Can we all forget about what happened when a crisis hits you? Thank God for a
Unknown Speaker 59:40
get away. Oh, come on. You get one. Okay, you need to get a vaccine so that we can get it. But I gotta tell you, there is no vaccine for the climate crisis. There was no shot that we could take to avert the climate. crisis. This is not a game. For time’s sake, what might have broken down? I won’t go through all the things that have been put forth in the American Job plan put forth by this president. I won’t go for it. But there are some highlights that are there. Yeah. That the key highlights that we must have clean standards. What’s he 35? That’s key in this process. So let me just say this, because I want to keep it real. The good news. The good news is that we’re here today. But I gotta give you some bad news. That’s all right. I’m serious. Can I do that? Because I do. Okay, so I do a show, a podcast called the coolest show. They go so much. Check it out. We’re at Reverend Michael, Michael manakamana, a few weeks ago, he was amazing. It really focuses on the issue of racial justice and climate justice focuses on a black indigenous woman leader for the climate movement. Please check it out. I also do a radio show here in DC, for climate Friday, on WP Fw A 9.3. Talk about this thing all the time, where I kind of say to you, this is my daily thing. So the bad news is this, as we are meeting here now, the American Petroleum Institute, the group that organizes the fossil fuel industry, is literally meeting at the White House at the same time. Now, the reason why that’s problematic, for a lot of reasons, is that their business plan means a death sentence for us. The more they make money, the more that we die. So the other bit of bad news in this process is that the Senate is playing games with the filibuster. And so I feel we can get rid of the filibuster to move things forward. It will be problematic. But I stopped here to give you some good news. Or some bad news, though, right? Come on. Now, y’all y’all. Y’all know that grant? Is that? All right. Come on. Now. Right here, in this same spot. I stood here with the gwitchin nation. And we stood right here in this box and protected the Arctic. And lo and behold, that president who’s pretty with those, all of us right now, this last week, said, No more drilling in the Arctic.
Unknown Speaker 1:03:26
Because I stood by the monument right after President Obama had been reelected. And because climate change is not a Democrat, or Republican issue, it’s an issue of humanity. We stood there to hold him accountable. And we stood there to say you must end the Keystone XL pipeline. My good friend, he told me, he said, I’m sorry to tell you, but the Keystone XL pipeline is a done deal. Secretary Clinton is going to sign the paperwork. I said, van, I’m sorry. But what I read was that what two or three are gathered? Your money is in the midst. And we’ve marched from there to the White House. Now, that was in 2013. And we had setbacks along the way. Let me tell you something. Here’s a president who came after that President. And he was a climate denier. And they got really dark with them and many folks who are giving up but we said we can’t give up. That’s right. So we can’t do our gears and say we’ve got to stop the Keystone at Sell pipeline. Well, in January of 2021, a new president came into office named Joseph Biden. And the first thing that he did was to pursue the Keystone XL pipeline. They may have a filibuster. Yes, sir. Senate rules but we got some will tell you some normally, Abby covenant Christian preachers. Today, I was here with some Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, Catholic. We’ve got to do some real business. And so when they stood there, and they said that we have the CES, and we’re now moving, putting 100% clean energy right now in June 2021 102 minutes is enough. Fossil Free, Fossil Free, Fossil Free. We demand clean energy. We demand a clean electricity grid. We demand because to me, my children want to have a future if this doesn’t happen, and we go fight for our children and for the next generation.
Unknown Speaker 1:07:16
Next up, we have cancer. Rachael rose, the tip of rotor shalom Thank you Robin.
Unknown Speaker 1:07:28
As we say yes, your co-op power was beautiful. I would just like to invite everybody to come a little bit closer because we’re about to raise our voices in song and it has been too long for me since hearing each other’s voices. It’s been too long for you as well. I’ve missed that so much so come close I want to hear everybody fill me spaces here there’s no boundary come close come close. I’m here with Rabbi Jeff Sachs from PEPRA shalom
Charles Olsen 1:11:39
Thanks for listening to Upside Down. This podcast is produced by Charlie Olson with incredible support from the entire second staff. Check out the show notes for links to all the things discussed in this episode. If you want to know more about how you can get involved with C kin in the climate fight, check out our website at Chesapeake climate.org. If you want to get in touch with us, follow us on instagram and twitter at sea kin. And if you enjoy the work we do, why don’t you share it with your friends. Sharing the show is a super easy way to help spread the word about the work we’re doing in the fight for bold climate actions. Thanks again for listening. We’ll see you next time.
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