17 Jul 2013

We Must Care For All Creation

By Jeffrey Kamins
Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins
Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins

Religious leaders of all faiths are signing on to an open letter backing action on climate change. Here Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins explains why the Torah enjoins Jews to care for the environment

I advocate for climate action to fulfil my responsibilities as a human being, as a rabbi and a Jew as described in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Last week, I made my support for action public by signing on to an open letter on climate policy, organised by Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC). Surprisingly to some, it has also been signed by prominent faith leaders from the other great religions in this country: Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim.

Coming as we do from such different traditions, it is uncommon for us to come so strongly together on a matter of public policy. Yet we speak with a common voice and we speak with a very real sense of urgency. We accept the consensus of an overwhelming number of scientists who are warning of a potential 4 degrees of global warming. We cannot sit in silence and watch the greatest moral issue of our time reduced to a political football. The wellbeing of future generations deserves principled action, not a popularity contest.

That is why we are joining calls to wind back coal exports, which are currently hindering the global drive for clean, renewable energy. We advocate for the accelerated take-up of renewables and for bipartisan support for carbon pricing. With one voice we declare these matters to be “one of the most urgent moral issues facing us in the upcoming election”.

We are reminded by our traditions that we reside on the earth not as its owners, but merely as custodians - we are not permitted to do with it as we wish. Jewish tradition teaches us that human domain over nature does not include a license to abuse the environment. The Talmudic concept bal tashchit, “do not destroy,” was developed by the rabbis into a universal doctrine that dramatically asserted our obligations for conservation.

We are guardians of the earth, God's gift to us. In Genesis 2:15 humans are commanded to “work" and to “keep" the earth (l'ovdah ul'shomrah). The Hebrew la’avod really means “to serve" and also has the implication of “to pray". Caring for the planet, therefore, is an act of worship and our task is to watch over the world for the current and future generations.

Judaism's belief in one God, the Creator of the universe, demands a sense of unity of all existence. We are intimately connected to all other living beings and we have the power to destroy or maintain this beautiful planet we call home — a responsibility we must use wisely. We are alive to the understanding that what happens in the natural sphere is not just a matter of chance.

Jewish tradition highlights many values that emphasise the need for energy policies that are environmentally responsible and that pay due attention to the health and welfare of both present and future generations. Addressing climate change requires us to learn how to live within the environmental limits of the earth so that we will not compromise the ecological integrity of our planet or the long-term economic security of its inhabitants.

Our behaviour today will help or harm those who will inherit this world from us. Whatever arguments are put forward by some sectors of society, the fundamental truth is that profiting from the export of coal is no longer acceptable for the overall wellbeing of society. Any weakening of the Clean Energy Future legislation will likewise do harm. What is at stake here is no less than a safe and sustainable world for our children, and their children.

Accordingly, I am compelled to support ARRCC and its open letter.

Rabbi Jeffrey B Kamins
Senior Rabbi
Emanuel Synagogue

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Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 12:14

I commend the call for protecting the planet, and that this includes stopping coal exports. 

To be clear what is needed I think the letter should have explicitly called for a cut of at least 25% by 2020. The 5% cut currently supported by both Labor and Liberal is really a 0.5% cut when the base year is taken as 1990 instead of 2000, and a 0.5% cut is very low compared to, for example, the EU which is aiming for a 20% cut (from 1990).

It would be fantastic if either or both Abbott and Rudd headed the call. And it is important to lobby them to try to change their policies.

But what effect has lobbying had over the last decade? Our emissions per per person remain one of the highest in the world, and our current targets are far too mild.

In a democracy the main way we change policy is by voting for the party whose policies we want. Unless Rudd or Abbott change policy before the election, voting Labor or Liberal is voting for coal exports and voting for an inadequate cut in emissions.

If climate change really is a moral issue demanding attention you would think that it might be worth mentioning that The Greens are in agreement with your call to action.

Assuming that Labor and Liberal don't change their policies before the election, who are the signatories to this open letter going to vote for? If they vote Liberal or Labor then it is hard to believe that there is any moral convictinon behind the letter.

So far the only progressive opinion leader who has had the courage to support his convictions is Malcolm Fraser with his support for Sarah Hansen-Young's Senate campaign based on her work on asylum seekers.

I doubt anything will change when those who call climate change a moral issue lack the courage to even suggest that people vote for the party which supports real action. 

PS - I suggest that the Greens also be considered when looking into issues such as the poverty caused by the low Newstart allowance and the way we treat asylum seekers.

 

Speed
Posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 14:01

If it's a moral issue, or the greatest moral challenge of our time, we should be looking at our own actions and our efforts to curb our own emissions before we blame China and India.

China might be looking to Australia for advice on pricing pollution and reducing emissions. Australia is not setting as good an example as many would like. Turnbull floated the idea of pricing pollution The political parties that supported Rudd's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in 2009 and 2010 were Rudd's Labor Party and a loyal fraction of Turnbull's Liberal Party.

jackal012
Posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 20:06

Now, all they have to do is, get together and put America back in its box, so that we can get on top of the refugee problem as well and the world will be a better place for all. 

The Yanks go home evry body goes home, talk like adults instead of greedy, selfish little grubs and bingo.

 

phoneyid
Posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 22:03

Being that most people have no idea on the validity of the Anthropogenic Global Warming, now 'climate change' theory, they are effectively taking a leap of faith based on the testimonies offered by our 'betters'[scientists], as the UN and it's [undemocratic] signatories selectively placed them in positions of authority.

Rothschild are poised to make squillion$ out of this as the carbon traders' carbon trader, as Dr Megan Clark Chief Executive of CSIRO had arranged and announced when she was Director, NM Rothschild and Sons (Australia) 2001-2003.

Leap of faith in our betters.. we may as well call in the clerics.

Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 00:07

The difference between science and religion is that science can point to evidence to justify it's claims - you don't 'believe' science - you accept the evidence.

And climate change is no longer just a theory, our experts have found that the Australian climate has already changed enough that things will never return to the way they were.

I say found because we don't rely on just their testimony, but the data

 

phoneyid
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 01:21

Michael_Wilbur-Ham , you may well say that you rely on the data.
Assuming you have the capacity to make sense of the data; i'll give you the benefit of any doubt and say that you've made your declaration in good faith.

If not like you, then I'm as qualified as most Australians, and that's not at all; but none the less I've taken considerable time to understand the issue to the best of my capacity and based on my understanding and examination of the evidence, "I'm not sold" on the theory.

I've considered the trustworthiness/credibility of the central political protagonists that gave birth to this movement.
Do you have any idea on who (Rothschild mate) Maurice Strong is, The High Priest if you like, of this movement. Who's skipped to China permanently to escape prosecution for fiddling with the books, even while he was head of a whole string of UN "causes"
I've considered that Al gores film is full of fantasy yet a whole generation of voters have been suckled on him in our education system.
I've considered that the IPCC's Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia conspired to make a better case than they otherwise could in a "scientific" manner.

I've considered that the very magnetic poles of this earth have shifted "naturally", let alone the climate.
That CO2 increase have followed temp increases over earth's life and not visa versa.
That Solar activity is never discussed by the masses.
That global land temp reading stations have been conspicuously reduced [from my memory] from app 3500 to 1500. 50% are in USA.
The raw "DATA" is NOT available to us, only the adjusted data.
The IPCC, people think, has shown a CO2 caused warming for the 20th century; when they haven't, it's only from the 70's, and even then it's not empirical, it's "computer modelling".

Plenty of scientists have lost tenure for being "deniers", some have spoken on this site too.

I've spent heaps of time considering it, more than most I'd wager, and as a responsible citizen that votes, I'm not convinced by a bunch of obvious charlatans with fudged up data.
Unlike those of faith...
"We accept the consensus of an overwhelming number of scientists"

phoneyid
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 01:36

"We Must Care For All Creation"
Perhaps the good Rabbi would serve humanity better by speaking on issues for which he does have some insight to offer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgN6CXcw6JI

Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 09:52

phoneyid's post has no more credibility than if he wrote that he has proved Einstein's theory of relativity wrong, he thinks quantum mechanics is crap, or evolution can't be true.

I won't write a long rebuttal of his rational because it doesn't take long on google to find websites that answer his concerns.

The scientist at the CSIRO, the Bureau of Metreology, and every Australian University can't all be fools, and they can't all be involved in some huge conspiracy.

So not only is phoneyid's science non-science, his world view is non-sense.

phoneyid
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 11:35

"they can't all be involved in some huge conspiracy"
That's the case you present? faith?
And a flawed logic to support your acceptance of AGW.

One doesn't necessarily have to be involved in any conspiracy; but a fear of ridicule or of loss of job will silence dissenters.
That's how humans think. Fear is a great motivator.

Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 12:44

In EVERY institution in EVERY country by EVERY credible scientist for well over over a decade?

Surely you don't expect us to take you seriously!

Zerin Knight
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 16:30

Human induced climate change has been well documented by climate scientists, who are in the best position to make the call.

It's also well documented that the egg, meat and dairy industries produce more carbon emissions than the whole of the transport industries combined. Yes, that's right; all trams, trains, buses, cars, planes and ships. Yet there's no mention of this in any discussion about climate change.

There's one major change that society could make to have a dramatic effect on our planet, our health and our morals. Choose a plant-based diet. In other words, eliminate meat, dairy and eggs. Sadly, there is no will on the part of humans to take this simple step.

There's so much evidence of the benefits of a vegetarian and vegan diet, including the scientific study published in the book called The China Study. Yet we choose to listen to the propaganda generated by the industries with vested interests rather than doing what's good for us healthwise, environmentally and morally.

jackal012
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 17:28

Yes well Zerin Knight, every body needs to make a living, create jobs, feed the bankers and borrow more money to raise more dbbt and increase inflation. Its the money system.

Look at alcahol can't get rid of that or opium. So?????.

 

Michael_Wilbur-Ham  he does not expect u to taake him seriously but he has shared a few facts, pieces of info, and he would like to be able to say 1 day. "I told you so " His cool.

Speed
Posted Friday, July 19, 2013 - 14:46

I normally don't post in response to Jackal but I'd point out that alcohol does get taxed. There's continual talk of taxing it more to combat crime on the streets, which I think would be wholly ineffective. Similarly there's talk of legalising opium-derivatives like heroin but taxing them to discourage their use.

If alcohol production/fermentation were found to produce substantial amounts of carbon-dioxide, I see no reason why it couldn't be subject to a carbon price. The pollution from a brewery can be unpleasant to those who live or work near it.

Neither do I see a reason why emissions from commercially-exploited animals couldn't be subject to an emissions tax nor a cap-and-trade scheme. However, I don't think that Australia will be the country who first introduces it. Running sheep and cattle around large outback stations is part of the national psyche.

jackal012
Posted Monday, July 22, 2013 - 04:36

My point wasn't in relation to taxing all though that is a way to force humans of it, but there are things that large number of humans just like & do, like killing for economic advantageagainst a competitor.

The way the old Yank north took out the south because the north couldn't compete with the cheap slave labour.

In the same that humans can't stop breeding, its what we are wired for. We know what the problem is we just want someone else to PAY. Why do u think no one cares about us killing women & children over fuel. Rather them then us. We are not & never have been civilised.

We just drive around in fancy inventions and wear fancy suits. The vast number of humans are just too stupid thtas why religion was so effective, its for stupid people, its like a vacum cleaner.

jackal012
Posted Monday, July 22, 2013 - 05:11

phoneyid 

I'm mostly with u, but yeah. Like I said there is lots of noise about Co2 killing people some time in the future. But I like to remind people that it will never kill as many a human made bombs.

Bombs can be targetted at others, who have what we want, but Co2 & global that well, it won't descriminate, so its a threat to those who never realy had to fear bombs.

Why is it that those, like the Yanks who only ever lost 407 thousand soldiers & 5 civilians in WW2, where as the Germans alone lost 4 million civilians alone, are so violant towards others.

Is it the others defencelesness that makes us, the Yanks so brave, like a dog who senses a humans fear.

So what is it we fear about GW, is it finaly something we can't bomb, like humans.

It is humans that are the problem, our material world, poisons & polutents made and invented for man on behalf of man. OUR NEEDS & the more of us there is the more of everything we will need. revolutions or the threat of 1 demands that our needs are met.

THEY, know humanity is the problem why do u think we gladly bombed 100 million + people between 1915 & 1945. It was our life styles fed by our Manufacturing & exports verses theirs. 85% of it was in the hands of the big 4, the rest were just hangers on.

When the smoke cleared it was all in the hands of the Yanks & the only thing u could see of Aussies is our boots hanging out of their Butts. Ever sense our Policies are their policies, so whats with us arguing. The Yanks wil tell us what we are aloud. So until they want something we have or they fear 24 million people, relax. we have an over bloated ego driven opinion of ourselves, our apparent worth. We were/are part of the Coalition of the willing, but the Yanks have already said they'll go it alone from now on.

If we as a people threaten their Puppets here, will end up like Egypt, Lybia or Seria, so relax what we have now is much better. U can't change what u don't own and its the law of the Bomb that says what u own. We ain't got any. We are just makeing noise and no one listens.

Just as Speed has indicated, he does not read mine normaly, Tte Yanks don't bother reading Australias noise.

Its called arrogance, wilful ignorance, contempt for the helpless, bomb less others.

phoneyid
Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 19:32

EXTRACT Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 09:52

The scientist at the CSIRO, the Bureau of Metreology, and every Australian University can't all be fools, and they can't all be involved in some huge conspiracy.

So not only is phoneyid's science non-science, his world view is non-sense.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
RESPONSE phoneyid
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 11:35

"they can't all be involved in some huge conspiracy"
That's the case you present? faith?
And a flawed logic to support your acceptance of AGW.

One doesn't necessarily have to be involved in any conspiracy; but a fear of ridicule or of loss of job will silence dissenters.
That's how humans think. Fear is a great motivator.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
COUNTER RESPONSE Michael_Wilbur-Ham
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 12:44

In EVERY institution in EVERY country by EVERY credible scientist for well over over a decade?

Surely you don't expect us to take you seriously!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>....

I put it to you that in your decision process there are facts you haven't considered. (Including only PERHAPS the 1st)
1. The credibility problem when considering the INTEGRITY of AGW's Prime Movers! eg Maurice Strong et.al

And you seem to be arguing that there aren't among the whole of society including the institutions you cite..
2. Those motivated by income that would commit deception for extra funding
3. Those motivated by income through fear of total job loss if attention is brought to anything which contradicts the "established" AGW line.
4. Those, as you call "fools".
5. Politically placed appointments in the institutions you cite at highest levels, ensuring AGW "friendly" dept heads.,,, CASE IN POINT X-Director, NM Rothschild Dr Megan Clark Chief Executive of CSIRO

THAT"S at least PLAUSIBLY A HELL OF A LOT OF PEOPLE

There is big money around this, don't imagine for one second that there aren't some huge global muscles getting thrown around.
Case in point... Rothschild, as cited earlier by me who will be the Carbon Trading Kings..
The power of this "entity" is almost unimaginable, as THE most central of figures today and historically in [lots of things including] banking, funding of wars, to the very establishment of an entire country. (see Balfour Declaration to Lord Rotshchild)

phoneyid
Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 19:55

oh yea, my bad,,, you can add another demographic;;;
6. Those who remain silent in fear of ridicule.

And All of those types... 2-6,, were around since day one when this all began as a "political movement",and before even satellite data or scientific debate even began.

When did you step on board.
I ask because I use to be in your camp, and the most complelling reason for that was...
well..FACTOR 7
".what could we loose by addressing AGW?,,, just money"
Not a Reason That You'd Call a "Critical Eye" on the scientific evidence.

There are A LOT OF reasons to doubt this AGW MOVEMENT ass well as the scientific debate, Which, I Will Concede, Is Politically [Effectively] Over.

Our Politically Appointed Betters Have Spoken; and now the clerics move in.to anoint the political movement.
Befitting, as a movement born of high diamond and golden rather than the mistakenly assumed grass roots.

phoneyid
Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 20:37

Why don't the clerics, with all due respect,
debate with all as equals on all issues, but when it comes to giving advice to politicians and society at large, they should stick to what they can understand.;

Lest they speak with lies or err perpetuating them, they should only advise for the good of all as a group, on that which they KNOW as true.
I'm happy for them to advise us all on that which they KNOW, be as it may even in their soul.

Why don't they instead, All Faith Leaders as a group, condemn usury;
there's much in all their books, of which they've all read well [as even we all KNOW].
Surely everyone knows that !!!
Surely it's an "abomination" to all the Abrahamic's God.

It would be a win/win my Reverend, if I may be so bold, brothers;
it would Please your God, and take money from the squandering insanity we see in innumerable wars and God knows of the private jut flights and like decadences.

Imagine that, all cleric leaders, and wars alone will just about halt over night,
and your CO2 problem, will have had a bigger kick than you would ever prayed for a prayer to bring.
Sure, there will be a few jump out of windows, free will and all that, but it will be worth it.

Mate, if my local x-cleric started preaching truth like that, I'll pray there every Sabbath, even if I couldn't get a seat.