Friday, January 26, 2007

Shabbat Ideas – January 26, 2007

While millions face the wind of winter (finally) and Bush gave his sixth SOTU address, here are my Shabbat Thoughts for January 26, 2007.

Polyester is the New Eco-Friendly Friend
Girls Now Play Nice. No kidding, don’t kill that Bunny!
Here is a New Jewish Idea – Knitting Next MahJong

So as I froze coming to work today, it hit me global climate change really blows (sorry couldn’t resist). President Bush addressed the nation outlining some sort of plan to fix this problem by 2050 or something along those lines but man it was COLD today.

I took the corner coming out of the subway and my nose froze. I kid you not. I went to cover my face and my nostrils were solid. Mind you two weeks ago I was walking around New York City in jeans and a long-sleeve button down shirt.

So what to do about it? I don’t drive a car, I recycle everything that I can recycle in the city, I try not to buy stuff that is in Styrofoam or covered in unneeded layers of plastic, I reuse everything. I am at a loss.

The world continues to change more rapidly than is healthy. At some point I would love to see the polar ice cap, but because of all of the horrific climate issues, odds are I will miss my opportunity because there will be no more tours to the North or South Pole. (or near it, I am not trekking anywhere, just want to take a boat)

So to answer my own question, I don’t know what to do. DK asked a few weeks ago why Heebophere big wigs don’t take on climate change and dependency on oil as an issue, both religious and ethically and environmentally. I would say, it is because we have no idea how to fix it.

I am sure many of us try only to drink fair trade coffee or tea, but that is hard because it isn’t available everywhere. I am sure we all try to recycle our paper, but then again there are buildings that do not recycle paper. I am sure we would rather not use Styrofoam plates, but when Styrofoam is the only option at the event then you use it.

It is true that we could bring our own coffee or tea, carry our paper around with us and use a mess kit wherever we go. But odds are we will not. It is an issue of consumer culture. Asking people to change what they do with their money is hard, but actually to get them to stop buying things all together is near impossible. Donations are necessary but it is doubtful that isn’t a single member of the Sierra Club who isn’t also a member of the SUV club.

I believe climate change is happening and will effect not only future generations, but is affecting us today. I was REALLY cold this morning and will be REALLY hot this summer. That is a problem.

We need some leadership from our leaders. If they stop driving around in diesel guzzling busses and inefficient limos in favor of hybrids or bio-fuels, perhaps when they get up and talk about it on the campaign trail it will be believable. If our institutions stop using Styrofoam because it is a few dollars cheaper, perhaps when we teach our children about conservation it won’t seem so hollow. Change is difficult; see how much damage we had to do to the world in order to force us to change little and simple habits? But no matter who hard it is to do, we have to do it.

Shabbat Shalom

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