State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

The Wounded Earth

One of the oldest time-tested truths is that actions have consequences, both good and bad. The Old Testament tells us the story of Adam, who sacrificed a rib to create Eve, which provided him with a much needed companion, and gave the world described by the Old Testament its first mother. Soon thereafter Eve took the unsound advice of the serpent and ate of the forbidden fruit, and Adam and Eve were banished from Eden.

Over the years we’ve learned from these consequences. We know that if you touch fire you will be burnt, and if you water a flower it will grow. Yet, today we drill for oil with no thought of the consequences. We’ve seen oil tankers sink, we’ve seen oil rigs explode, but on we drill. As the Gulf Coast oil crisis nestles itself into our daily reality it is important that we do not forget about the consequences that are unduly taking their toll on the environment. The Shalom Center in Philadelphia asks those of the Jewish faith to show their concern on Tisha B’Av, the Jewish day of fasting that begins next Monday, July 19th at sundown. Yet, Rabbi Arthur Waskow‘s entreaty for action is not restricted to that day or to those practicing the Jewish faith. We as citizens of the Earth should not stand by as our land is defaced, we must recognize the consequences of thousands of barrels worth of oil invading an alien ecosystem, and make sure to learn from this moment in our history so that it does not happen again.

Read Rabbi Arthur Waskow’s moving article here:

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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