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Archive for December 17th, 2009

Dear Friends,

I have just returned from a week in Copenhagen as a Jewish representative to a gathering of spiritual practitioners from around the world.  We prayed together, shared together, learnt together and went out to several sites around the city to preach together.  The overall reason for our coming together was very sad – the health of the earth is tragic – but we were filled with joy at the amazing opportunity to feel aligned in Oneness at our mutual and sincere commitment to protect the planet from the ravages of humans.  Some of our adventures you’ve seen here on Climate of Change, others can be seen on http://www.odysseynetworks.org/ (I am mistakenly referred to as a ‘Rabbi’ which I am not.  Reb Zalman ordained me as a Reverend.)

The practitioners from the Eastern religions spoke most about the need to realign the inner ecology of the sentient mind.  Those from the West (Christians) spoke about outer action.  The Jews took a middle stand. Shabbat was talked about a lot as a source of inspiration for an alternative social and economical model.

The entire city of Copenhagen was dedicated to the struggle for awareness with spectacular sculptures and posters at every corner.  Protest meetings were held at the large sports complex as well as in the ‘hippy’ commune of Christiania. And a large, mainly peaceful, demonstration took place on Shabbat.

In recent article in the New York Times by Stewart Brand (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/opinion/15brand.html?_r=2&ref=opinion) refers to four categories of people: denier, skeptic, warner, calamatist. I only met the latter two. However I came to the conclusion that it might be a good idea to temporarily put aside the issue of climate change and instead become aware that the world is in great danger of dying anyway. The oceans are at a critical point of no return, the top soil in many parts of the world is exhausted, pollutants are increasing, etc. All these factors are being exasperated by the increase in global temperatures.

I want to bring to your attention two magnificent and deeply troubling TED talks that illustrate these two factors:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sylvia_earle_s_ted_prize_wish_to_protect_our_oceans.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/james_balog_time_lapse_proof_of_extreme_ice_loss.html

Let us pray that the actions of a small group will motivate the many, the more enlightened will uplift the less, the sanctifiers of the earth will dissuade the desecrators, that much less energy will illuminate much more, and that the holy Earth will remain a resting place for the Shechinah.

Happy Hanukah

Michael, Jerusalem
Www.JewishClimateInitiative.org

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