The scientific consensus is now overwhelming. Global warming caused by humanly produced CO2 emissions is a reality. This year alone we have major changes in climate patterns: from summer temperatures in southern Europe reaching unprecedented highs; flooding in England; the ice caps are melting and the seas continuing to rise.
In Israel too, the effects of climate warming are being observed.
All the peoples of the earth are called today to each play their unique part in saving our shared planet. Jewish Climate Initiative is an organization created to catalyze the Jewish people’s response to this urgent call for action and engage with other spiritual traditions and peoples in concerted action to effect changes in human behavior, policy and consciousness.
Noah is one of the formative pre-Hebrew Biblical stories for civilization as we know it. Noah heard a warning – his world was about to be inundated by climate change. His response was to act immediately to save his family and the biodiversity for a new age. But he has been severely criticized by our Sages for not having done enough to save others. Now is our chance.
At the dawn of the 21st Century a new, but similar call has been sounded; the world’s climate is on the brink of irreversible change with perilous consequences for all life on our planet. The Jewish response must be as immediate and decisive as Noah’s but this time we must see the earth as our ark and the entire world as our global family. While we may ponder the timing and magnitude of the impact of climate change, we must waste no more time on the debate of its gripping reality. The response has been slow, punctuated by opposition from entrenched economic interests and an unwillingness to take responsibility for our own actions. The Jewish People has survived countless tragic episodes over three thousand years to become the quintessential global nation. We must now assume a leading role in a new global struggle – to help repair the world’s natural systems for supporting life.