Response to the election

by Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham

guest-blog-sealIn light of last night’s election results, Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) has a more important role to play than ever before. We can’t afford to backslide on our hard won victories: the Clean Power Plan, the Paris climate agreement, cleaner automobiles. Our work may have just gotten harder, but we are not giving up. There is far too much at stake.

IPL is rooted in theology -answering God’s call to be the stewards of Creation and to love each other. Our focus for 16 years has been protecting the climate while recognizing the injustice and inequality of who and where harm is experienced. We believe that climate change is a critical global challenge and we are committed to meeting that challenge by advocating to limit carbon emissions, energy efficiency and transitioning to a clean energy economy. We believe that fossil fuels belong in the ground. The IPL campaign is not politically motivated, but rather motivated by moral responsibility. Therefore we will continue to work for the things we believe will protect the climate and the future of the planet.

In these times of doubt and confusion, we can draw on the strength of our spiritual traditions and our communities, our ongoing efforts to care for Creation, and on our long history of “bending the arc toward justice.” We encourage you to talk with each other, be with each other, and above all, do not despair. Let any despair quickly turn to positive action. This election was in no way a repudiation of the science and urgency of global warming. It doesn’t change the fact that a majority of Americans, of both major parties and all religions, understand that global warming is happening and that our country should be a leader in building the clean energy economy of the future. Our job is to make sure that the new Congress and new administration understand that people of faith care deeply about being good stewards of Creation. We all breathe the same air. We all want a better world for our children and future generations. We all want to revitalize our communities. The faith community and IPL will have a critical role to play. We will continue to build bridges, and speak to people of all political persuasions from the perspective of shared values. We will act locally, and continue to win local victories. We will find ways to cut pollution and protect the health of our communities, as we always have. The transition to a clean energy economy has begun, and it won’t be stopped by an election. Working together with faith, we will succeed.


The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham is President of Interfaith Power & Light, San Francisco, U.S.A., a coalition of Episcopal congregations set up to educate people of faith about the moral and ethical mandate to address global warming.  Further information is available at their website

This blog reproduced with permission.




  1. Well said Sally. The election taught us “liberals” that we need to listen to, and understand, people who drive pick up trucks and choke up when they hear Iris Dement sing “Our Town.” We need to understand those people in rural areas that live in and around the land we hope to save. We should not give them the impression that we want to save the land from “them.” It really needs to be a discussion, as Jim Hoggan suggests in his book, “I’m Right and You’re an Idiot”

  2. We desperately need to institute more formal outdoor and environmental programs in our schools starting at the elementary level and get progressively more pronounced throughout high school in order to ground our students in the practical knowledge and skills necessary to understand sustainability, holistic environmentalism, and ensure they don’t suffer from nature deficit disorder. Climate change is THE single most important issue now and into the future so the entire planet needs the populace to understand what that means in terms of the principle that “Everyone has a right to a healthy environment”.

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