On Sunday, Feb. 12, the Jefferson County Baha’i community joined an estimated 1,000 faith congregations nationwide in participating in the “National Preach-In on Global Warming,” sponsored by Interfaith Power and Light (IPL). The interfaith program, open to the public, consisted of facts regarding the impacts of global warming — to which the world’s disadvantaged populations are disproportionately vulnerable — as well as inspirational and scriptural references to caring for the Earth.
On hand following the “Preach-In” to discuss one source of “clean” energy was Colin Williams, representing Mountain View Solar (MTV) of Berkeley Springs. Curiosity about solar energy is particularly high in the neighborhood of the Baha’i Center in Ranson, where MTV recently installed a structure nearby consisting of more than 1600 solar panels above a parking pavilion at American Public University’s new financial center. Williams explained the science of harnessing solar energy and conducted a tour of APU’s new solar collector, by far the largest in West Virginia. He emphasized that all of the component panels are made in the U.S.A. and qualify for tax credits. Electricity generated through APU’s Ranson system in one year would meet the needs of 30 homes, and the system feeds surplus power into the local grid.
American Baha’i communities are encouraged to support the mission of IPL, which is to help faith communities “to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.” Because there is not yet an IPL chapter in West Virginia, the Baha’i Spiritual Assembly of Jefferson County is a member of the Greater Washington area IPL chapter, becoming the first affiliated religious community in West Virginia. Local congregations wishing to learn more about IPL can find a wealth of information at www.interfaithpowerandlight.org.