ECOFaith of Santa Barbara County has announced its speaker resentations for 2022. They include the following:

» Feb. 8: Carbon Tax/Dividends – Stan Roden (Citizens Climate Lobby). Roden practiced and taught law in Santa Barbara for some 50 years. His main goal: Create the political will to leave a livable planet for his seven grandchildren.

Roden serves on the local chapter steering committee of Citizens Climate Lobby and is an ambassador for the MIT/Sloan Institute EnRoads Simulator. EnRoads allows environmental activists and skeptics alike to see how energy and environmental policy changes will affect our global warming crises by the year 2100.

Roden will explain how carbon taxes and dividends work and why they are an important component to reducing fossil fuel emissions.

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» March 8: Our Spiritual Connection to Mother Earth – Art Cisneros (Chumash elder). Cisneros will explore who we are and why we are here.

In the beginning we all knew that our existence depends on our relationship with everything in Nature that sustains us. Everyone on Mother Earth gave thanks and offerings in reciprocity, to help create health, happiness, peace and harmony for everyone who lives here with us. We all come from these first ceremonies around the world, these first spiritual connections.

“I was born Nov.7, 1945 at St. Francis Hospital, on the ridge connected to the sacred place of my mother’s ancestors, the Chumash,” Cisneos said. “My father was also born here, and comes from the indigenous people of Mexico.

“I was raised in an adobe house built by my mother’s father on the site of the Chumash museum now being built in Santa Ynez. After completing a year at Cal Poly SLO in architecture, I worked on a survey crew until I was drafted into the military in 1966. I served three years in the Marine Corps, including Vietnam during the ‘Tet’ of 1968.

“I was assisted in my recovery from PTSD by my cousin and teacher Tataucho Muhuawit, who introduced me to Grandfather Semu Huaute, Chumash, and Grandfather Wallace Black Elk, Lakota. I was invited to the Fire and Ice ceremony in Greenland by Angagac, who traveled the world warning of the consequences of the melting ice.

“I have participated in the Traditional Gathering of Elders and Youth, sponsored by the American Indian Institute. I am the fire keeper for my family.”

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» April 12: An Islamic perspective on creation care – Naiyerah Kolkailah. Naiyerah Kolkailah is a member of the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara and will be sharing insights on climate stewardship.

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» May 10: Regenerative Farming – White Buffalo Land Trust, Carpinteria. Jess Smith will explain how regenerative farming works and how it plays a part in reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“White Buffalo Land Trust practices, promotes, and develops systems of regenerative agriculture for local, regional, and global impact. We are committed to the evolution of land stewardship and the redesign of our food system to directly address the climate, biodiversity, public health, and food security challenges that we face today,” Smith said.

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» June 14: How to Create a Financial Structure to Solarize Churches and Communities of Faith – Matt Riley. Riley is a successful developer of renewable energy projects at scale. His currently focus is on assisting nonprofits develop solar installations for their facilities in a financially attractive way.

Riley will talk about how he has teamed with the Community Environmental Council to promote and implement Solarize Non-Profit, which applies to any nonprofit including churches and communities of faith.

The premise of Solarize Non-Profit is to create a financial structure for each entity that captures the tax benefits that for-profit solar installers enjoy. The payback terms and period of this model are favorable for the nonprofit. Riley will explain how the program works, and how faith communities can benefit from securing low-cost, zero-carbon energy indefinitely.

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» July 12: Warmth – Dan Sherrell, author. In “Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World,” Daniel Sherrell recounts his emotional journey as he thinks about generational differences in the attitudes toward and reactions to climate change, and the role each group has played in the collective ruin of our planet.

“Sherrell is the son of a climate scientist and himself an accidental climate activist who fell into organizing as an extracurricular collegiate activity. While his career path may seem haphazardly chosen, his momentum has been forward-moving. Before the age of 30, Sherrell led the campaign to pass landmark climate justice legislation in New York, pushing for renewable energy with protections for low-income communities,” the Washington Post reports.

Sherrell will discuss what he has learned from his efforts to push for climate change solutions.

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» Aug. 9: The Rise of Eco-Fascism – Lowell Bliss. Bliss is the director of Eden Vigil, an environmental missions organization launched by Christar in 2009. He led the writing team for the Lausanne Global Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel “Call to Action,” and is one of the few evangelical Climate Leaders with the Climate Reality Project.

Bliss and his wife Robynn (co-author of “Expectations and Burnout”), were church planting missionaries for 14 years in India and Pakistan. They now live with their three children in the tallgrass prairie ecosystem of Kansas.

Lowell has authored or contributed to “People, Trees and Poverty: A Snapshot of Environmental Missions;” “Environmental Missions: Planting Churches and Trees;” and “Creation Care and the Gospel: Reconsidering the Mission of the Church.” He is a missionary with Christar USA and interim executive director at We Stand With Paris.

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