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Jewish on Earth

The promise we billions don’t have to keep

Is it ethical to burden future generations with the environmental mess this generation created?

From a Jewish perspective, the answer is “No.” We’re constantly reminded about passing this world from generation to generation (dor l’dor). It’s almost inconceivable that we’d dump our mess on our children to pay for and clean up.

Torah and Talmud are packed with admonitions and commandments to take responsibility for our present actions, that we may guarantee clean relationships and a healthy world for future generations.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:42 )

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Food-rich blessings, over-eating curse

The harvest festival of Sukkot has passed and the feasting holidays of Thanksgiving and Chanukah approach. Let’s thank our farming and herding ancestors for helping make our civilization possible. And let’s thank our current farmers and ranchers for helping keep it so. Yes, 10,000-odd years ago in the Fertile Crescent, our forebears began seriously tending plants, taming animals and storing surplus food, and concentrating so many calories in one place that they could feed 10 to 100 times mo...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:41 )

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High Holidays in Eden

Jews have been stressing about “G-d’s will” vs. free will, and the ideal vs. the pragmatic ever since G-d expelled humans from Eden for eating a Tree of Knowledge apple. Now here come the High Holidays again, when we take stock of our past year’s performance, and pray that we’ll be inscribed in The Book of Life for a good new year. I think we’ve got a shot at it, if we play our environmental cards right. Let us compare G-d and Eden to planet Earth. Humans have eaten the apple, gott...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:41 )

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The new earth

IN summer of 2006, I asked a “highly placed Israeli source” this question: “What’s with Olmert?!”  New Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was botching the Lebanon war, relations with the territories and his Kadima paty’s coalition, and facing criminal indictment. The source’s resigned reply:  “We work with what we’ve got.” That reply sounded both realistic and defeatist. Realistically, in a  given situation, we each do the best we can with what we’ve got.  If we believe this i...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:42 )

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The people of sustainable impact

ON July 4 last year, we were huddling around fires to keep warm in Seattle. This year, we’ve had 78 minutes of summer so far (i.e., temperatures over 80 degrees).  Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, where politicians are wasting taxpayer money fighting over a phony ”debt crisis” and trying to eliminate the Clean Air and Water Acts, EPA, and conservation and alternative energy programs, they’re sweltering under record waves of heat and humidity. Is climate change (CC) afoot, or are these we...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 August 2011 02:55 )

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