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Steps Continued - Energy

Our Lenten practice this week is to use energy more responsibly

Additional Resources

1.Join the Catholic Climate Covenant by taking the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor.  The Catholic Climate Covenant is a program of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change and is supported by a dozen national Catholic organizations including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Go to catholicclimatecovenant.org to explore the fullness of Catholic teaching on the environment and on climate change and to discover ways you can fulfill the St. Francis Pledge!

2.Become acquainted with the Interfaith Power and Light organization in your state. 

3.Take the virtual energy savings tour of your home. 

4.Identify the best ways to save energy by using an online Home Energy Saving Calculator.  The Home Energy SaverTM calculator is designed to help consumers identify the best ways to save energy in their homes, and find the resources to make the savings happen.

5.Learn how Mountaintop Removal is devastating God’s creation and harming the poorest in Appalachia. Read “Moving Mountains” by Erik Reece, Orion Magazine, Feb 16, 2006)

6.Numerous resources are available at the National Energy Education Development Project

7.Read Kentuckian Wendell Berry’s essay on how our country is being destroyed by greedy consumption. (article “Compromise, Hell” by Wendell Berry, originally appeared in Orion Magazine, Nov/Dec 2004)

8.Learn about the hidden cost of coal and its impact on the land and air by listening to the online documentary “Coal: Dirty Past, Hazy Future” (58 minutes). 

9. On average, one American consumes as much energy as: 2 Japanese, 8 Mexicans, 29 Indians, 409 Tanzanians or 339 Haitians. (source: Wikipedia)

Coal Facts

On average, every two seconds 100 tons of coal are extracted in Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and about 15 other states.

Between 1979 and 2006 in West Virginia and Kentucky, employment in mining dropped 60 percent, mainly because of an increase in less labor-intensive surface mining. In West Virginia a total of 62,500 workers declined to 22,000; in Kentucky the number of workers declined from 47,000 to 18,000.

More than 500 mountains and 1.2 million acres of hardwood forests (about the size of Delaware) have been destroyed in the U.S. by mountaintop removal.

Only 35% of reclaimed mine land can support fish and wildlife.

Wind-industry jobs jumped 70 percent in 2008 in the U.S.. The total number of wind-industry jobs nationwide now surpasses the number of coal miners.

For each $1 million spent retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, 19 jobs are created. Spending on coal, by contrast, creates 9 jobs; developing oil reserves creates 6 jobs.

Fine-particle pollution from coal-fired power plants causes more than 20,000 premature deaths a year in the U.S.. 

 In the U.S., more than 60,000 infants in the womb are overexposed to mercury from coal-fired plants; such mercury overexposure has been linked to poor academic performance later in life.

In 2006 the U.S. produced 1.16 billion tons of coal, 70 percent of which came from surface mining.

Statistics gathered by the Catholic Committee of Appalachia 

Imagine if the Earth were divided equally among all of us. Each person would receive 4.5 acres. Now imagine that everything you need – food, energy, home, clothing, gadgets – must come from those 4.5 acres. But it takes 22.3 acres to maintain the average American lifestyle.There is a new way of observing Lent that helps us care for God’s creation by taking steps toward using only our fair share of its resources. Moving in the direction of 4.5 is essential for anyone walking in the footsteps of Jesus today.

Our Ministry

Lent 4.5 is a seven-week faith formation program which inspires and informs Christian communities on how to use the traditional Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to protect God’s creation, embrace Gospel justice and nurture spiritual fulfillment. It offers practical opportunities for people of faith to apply the values of Christian Simplicity to their everyday lives.


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