In 2007, I was in North Carolina, desperately trying to survive my final year of divinity school. Specifically, I spent the majority of the year filling my head with ecotheology and getting fired up about ridding the world of fossil fuels. I remember sitting in class, outraged that Rick Perry, the secessionist Governor of my home state of Texas, was fast-tracking the construction of 19 new coal plants. He was doing this solely because he knew that the public was beginning to see the dangers of greenhouse gases, and he foresaw federal regulation on the horizon. Perry knew he had to help TXU, who funds his campaigns, get as many coal plants grandfathered in as possible.
But this story has a happy ending. People of faith in Texas joined the grassroots effort to stop the madness. From their unique perspective, the faith community brought deep convictions to the argument against Perry, and the public turned on him. A judge ruled that Perry did not have the authority to carry out his efforts, and the number of proposed coal plants were dramatically reduced.
Here is a short film about the faith community’s involvement in the Texas coal wars. I encourage you to share this with your friends as an example of how faith can have a transformative effect on the world. You can also download a discussion guide to host a screening in your congregation. Yes this is a shameless plug for the organization I work for. But because of my belief that this is a super case study for big things that we can do for the world, I would share it anyway. And you should too.