I was in Israel from February 17 to April 14, 2015 visiting family, and while there I was active working to increase awareness of the need for shifts to veg diets to avert a climate catastrophe.
According to the vast majority of climate experts, the world is heading toward such a catastrophe, with a potential tipping point when climate change would spin out of control close at hand. However, most people are in denial, “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as we head toward a giant iceberg.” To obtain a decent world for future generations, It is essential that averting a climate catastrophe must become a central focus for society today. One of the essential steps is a shift toward vegan diets.
Below is an outline of my efforts during my current visit to Israel, starting on February 17 and scheduled to end on April 14, to spread this message.
At the end of this message is a list of ten reasons everyone should be very concerned about threats from climate change.
Please help to spread this essential message
Kol tuv (all the best),
Interviews of Richard Schwartz
Interview by Lowell Gallin, director of Root and Branch, March 22, 2015
Talks by Richard Schwartz
Talk at the Israel Center in Jerusalem on “Vegetarianism: For a Healthier You and a Healthier Planet,” February 22, 2015
Talk at the Israel Center in Jerusalem on “Responding Jewishly to Climate Change and Other Environmental Threats,” February 22, 2015
Cardozo Academy Lecture, “Who Stole My Religion? The Hard Struggle for Judaism’s Values in a Complacent and Self-Centered World., “ February 25, 2015.
Talks by Richard that were not videographed
“Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal Our Imperiled Planet,” Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center for Conservative Judaism, February 23, 2015
“Responding Jewishly to Climate Change and other Environmental Threats,” Pardes Institute, Jerusalem, March 16, 2015
“Vegetarianism: For a Healthier You and a Healthier Planet,” Ma’alei Adumim Senior Citizens group, March 24, 2015
Interviews by Richard Schwartz
Interview of Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, March 22, 2015
Interview of Rabbi Yonatan Neril, director of the Jerusalem-based Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, March 22, 2015
Interview of Rabbi Daniel Spector, professor at Bar Ilan University, April 1, 2015
Interview of Samuel Chayen, Green Knesset, April 1, 2015
Interview of Dr. Alon Tal, founder of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and the Israel union for Environmental Defense, author of “Pollution in the Promised Land,” and many other books and articles about Israel’s environment, April 2, 2015
Interview of Dr. Joseph Cory, architect of the Porter School for Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University, the greenest building in Israel. April 2, 2015.
Interview of Gidon Bromberg, co-founder and Israeli director of EcoPeace,/Friends of the Earth Middle East, April 2, 2015
Interview of Nicole Kritsin and Erez Katsav, two activists at Anonymous for Animal Rights, April 2, 2015
Interview of Yuval Granot Karny, Israeli film producer, April 2, 2015
Interview of Rabbi Dov Lipman, former Knesset member
Events at the ‘Ginger,’ Jewish Vegetarian Society Center, March 26, 2015
Interview of Yossi Wolfson, Coordinator at the Ginger, I
Guided Tour of the Ginger, led by Yossi Wolfson
Talk by Richard Schwartz, How Vegetarianism Can Revitalize Judaism and Shift Our Imperiled Planet Onto a Sustainable Path
Events during Richard Schwartz’s visit at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, March 10-11, 2015
Talk to students at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Interview of David Lehrer, director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Interview of Elaine Soloway, Ph.D., teacher at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Interview of Dan Tamir, teacher at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Interview of Eliza Mayo, at the Arava institute for Environmental Studies
Interview of Billie Hayik, Israeli Arab student at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Interview of Hussein Omary, Jordanian student at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Interview of Tali Adini at the Arava institute for Environmental Studies
[Special thanks to Aryeh (Lowell) Gallin, director of the Jerusalem-based Root and Branch Association, for videographing all the events and posting them on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media with great care and dedication.]
Here are ten reasons we all should be very concerned about climate change:
- Science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and 99.9% of peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals argue that climate change is real, is largely caused by human activities, and poses great threats to humanity.
- Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than the previous decade and all of the 16 warmest years since temperature records were kept in 1880 have been since 1998. 2014 was the warmest year recorded and the last 330 months have all been warmer than the long term average for corresponding months. This means, for example, that July, 2014 was warmer than the average for all previous Julys since 1880.
- Polar icecaps and glaciers worldwide have been melting rapidly, faster than scientific projections.
- There has been an increase in the number and severity of droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods.
- California has been subjected to so many severe climate events (heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and mudslides when heavy rains occur) recently that its governor, Jerry Brown, stated that, “Humanity is on a collision course with nature.”
- Many climates experts believe that we are close to a tipping point when climate change will spiral out of control, with disastrous consequences, unless major positive changes soon occur.
- While climate scientists believe that 350 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric CO2 is a threshold value for climate stability, the world reached 400 ppm in 2014, and the amount is increasing by 2 – 3 ppm per year.
- While climate scientists hope that temperature increases can be limited to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), largely because that is the best that can be hoped for with current trends and momentum, the world is now on track for an average increase of 4 – 5 degrees Celsius, which would produce a world with almost unimaginably negative climate events .
- The Pentagon and other military groups believe that climate change will increase the potential for instability, terrorism, and war by reducing access to food and clean water and by causing tens of millions of desperate refuges fleeing from droughts, wildfire, floods, storms, and other effects of climate change.
- The conservative group ConservAmerica (ConservAmerica.org), formerly known as ‘Republicans for Environmental Protection,’ is very concerned about climate change threats. They are working to end the denial about climate threats and the urgency of working to avert them on the part of the vast majority of Republicans, but so far with very limited success.