Moral Imperative for Climate Change

December 16th, 2015 by Rav Shoshana

 It’s up to us!


It’s December 16, 2015, I have yet to take out my heavy boots, coats, and gloves, the thermostat is turned down because the house is warm by itself,  and it was close to 60 degrees yesterday. Weather patterns are upside down and a game on the Today Show this morning proved the point… Where is it colder? says Al Roker: LA or NYC: Answer LA @ 43; NY @48; Boston or Las Vegas: Answer Las Vegas @35 and Boston@38; Phoenix or DC? Answer: Phoenix @33 and DC @43.

The signing of the Paris Climate Agreement is a miracle, like the miracles we Jews celebrate in our stories of Passover and Hanukkah… splitting the sea and the oil lasting for 8 days. But miracles alone will not suffice, we need to do our part as well. In the  Book of Genesis after the world is created, God assigns Adam to be the steward of the earth. This is part of our covenant with God; we are to be the stewards of God’s garden, and we could be doing better.

These on-going warm days in December hit me on a personal, real level. I have tried to do my part in driving a hybrid car, recycling fiercely, reusing bags or no bag at all, anything I can do. But I was so frustrated/fearful this past Monday morning, that I had the chutzpah to email a professor at Princeton, a climate expert, and to ask him what it is I – one little person- can do, to take responsibility and feel empowered.

Dr.Michael Oppenheimer  graciously emailed me back within 15 minutes with the following list of what we can each do to help control climate change:

  1. Replace all lights with LEDs
  2. When you buy an AC, refrigerator, or other appliance, look at the yellow sticker and buy the one with highest efficiency that also has the attributes you need.
  3. For cars, look at the fuel economy sticker and do the same
  4. Walk or bike
  5. Plant trees
  6. Make sure your home is weatherized to the max
  7. Talk, talk, talk about climate change and the increasing risk but also our ability to fix it
  8. Become active politically, organize your community, and make a good position on climate change a top criteria for supporting candidates
  9. Since a generational change will make this stuff happen, focus on messaging the next generation

May each of us be stewards of our own part of the worldly garden and accept the moral imperative incumbent upon us all…

and may our consciousness not fall as the temperature drops…..


Leave a Reply