By Lynn Nadeau
On Tisha B'Av, we sit on the floor, a candle barely lighting the page, and we read the words which sear the heart. We lament the destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians. And we lament the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans. And today, we mourn the destruction caused by ourselves. Our private profligacy. Our passivity and our lack of participation in public policy letting selfish interests predominate.
For these things I weep; my eye, yea my eye, sheds tears, for the comforter to restore my soul is removed from me; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed. (Lamentations 1:16)
The deluge is here in Massachusetts. The drought is there in 3/4 of California. The cold is here in my home. The heat is there in the Western states. Climate chaos/weirding has settled in and everyone must notice. I did hear the weather person stating, "Mother Nature has brought us some unusual weather." Blame it on mother.
O how has the city that was once so populous remained lonely! ...Jerusalem sinned grievously, therefore she became a wanderer; All her people are sighing [as] they search for bread; they gave away their treasures for food to revive the soul; (Eicha 8-11)
This is not here in Boston. But it is so in South Asia, where increasing temperatures, sea level rise, more frequent cyclones, flooding of river systems fed by melting glaciers, and other extreme weather events are bringing chaos and disaster. Rapid economic growth and urbanization are accelerating and magnifying the impact and drivers of climate change—the demand for energy is expected to grow 66 percent by 2040. Climate refugees have set out for survival. And it is so in Afghanistan, where war refugees prepare to move to Pakistan from the oncoming cruelty of the Taliban.
Your prophets have seen false and senseless visions for you, and they have not exposed your iniquity to straighten out your backsliding, but have prophesied for you false and misleading oracles. (Eicha 2:14)
Jeff Bezos will use $10B of his $212.4B to fight climate change over a ten-year period while he uses $30b to travel into space using unearthed fossil fuel to propel his vehicle. The Tokyo Olympics will use $15.4B to pump up competitive patriots "USA! USA!"
And there is more: we crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, we deny people their rights before the Courts to deprive them of justice—(Eicha 3:34) Let us examine our ways and test them (Eicha 3:40)
and work together for the good of all.
Lynn Nadeau was Jewish for 20 years married a non-Jew became a democrat for 20 years a Buddhist for 20 years and is deeply Jewish again.
The JCAN-MA for the 3rd Jewish Climate Action Conference: Everything is Connected occurred April 25, 2021. Over 550 people attended. The 40 sessions focused on carbon reduction, advocacy, spiritual resilience, soil and agriculture, raised up the voices of youth, and addressed environmental justice. The day-long event was geared toward action solutions and strengthening the national Jewish climate action network. Opportunities are still available for connecting with other climate activists in your geographic region or with similar interests.
AT THE CONFERENCE ATTENDEES:
The uninhibited energy of young people has been a boon to many social movements, particularly in the climate movement in the U.S. through the Sunrise Movement. But youth can benefit from mentoring by more experienced veterans of the movements. To provide hands-on instruction that directly guides young people pursuing environmental justice, the Israeli organization Green Course created their School for Environmental Activism in 2018. It has shepherded a couple notable organizational successes, and is a model that can be repeated in other countries.
The world is on fire,
laying waste to forest and city.
G!d is my life-force and my wholeness: whom would I fear? (Ps. 27:1)**
May we remain ready and willing to engage with the world.
The ice sheets are collapsing,
and the waters are rising.
G!d is my fortress of strength for my life, whom would I dread?
The MA House Climate Bill passed 147-17 late Friday night 7/31, and it is quite good in many respects: The bill, HB 4933, is a package of amendments to MA S 2500, previously passed in January, led by Senator Michael Barrett of Lexington (“Next Generation Climate Policy”.) One amendment changed the name to “An Act Creating a 2050 Roadmap to a Clean and Thriving Commonwealth “ based on a bill put forward by Rep. Joan Meschino of Plymouth. [ In a forthcoming 'bulletin', JCANners will receive a copy of a one-page 'Roadmap' flyer re: Bill highlights . ]