March 24, 2009

3/22/2009 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

This update/Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) Online Newsletter has the following items:

1. Will Israel Become Fur Free?

2. Chabad Rabbi Writes On “Judaism and Vegetarianism”/Two Responses Follow

3. Teva Learning Center Schedules Variety of Environmental Programs

4. Proposal to use Advertisements in Publications to Get the Jewish Vegetarian Message Out to Wider Audiences

5. Jewish Funders Group Offering Grants for Israeli Environmental Projects

6. Campaign to Get Land Grant Colleges Out of the Meat Industry

7. Conference on Animals and Religion/Volunteer to Represent JVNA Sought

8. Widening Water Crisis Threatens Humanity

9. Global Warning Action Planned

10. Jerusalem Post Columnist Pooh Poohs Global Warming/My Interspersed Response

11. My Letter Published in the Irish Sunday Times

12. Global warming Poses Great Threats To Human Health

13. Major NY Times Article on the “Food Revolution”/Signs of Hope

14. Interested in Representing JVNA at This New Jersey Event?

15. If You Live In Michigan and Would Like to Talk To a Reporter …

16. Historic Bill to End Canadian Seal Slaughter Introduced/Support Sought

Some material has been deferred to a later update/newsletter to keep this one from being even longer.

[Materials in brackets like this [ ] within an article or forwarded message are my editorial notes/comments.]

Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the JVNA, unless otherwise indicated, but may be presented to increase awareness and/or to encourage respectful dialogue. Also, material re conferences, retreats, forums, trips, and other events does not necessarily imply endorsement by JVNA or endorsement of the kashrut, Shabbat observances, or any other Jewish observances, but may be presented for informational purposes. Please use e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites to get further information about any event that you are interested in. Also, JVNA does not necessarily agree with all positions of groups whose views are included or whose events are announced in this newsletter.

As always, your comments and suggestions are very welcome.



1. Will Israel Become Fur Free?

Thanks to animal rights activist Batya Bauman for sending us the press release below:


On Behalf Of Jane Halevy - Anti-Fur Coalition

Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009

For immediate release: March 20th

[Please see my article, “Is Fur a Jewish Issue,” in the section on animal issues at]



- Israel creates a precedent by submitting the world's first nationwide bill “Prohibiting the Industry of Fur”. Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz proposed on March, 18th 2009 a bill to prohibit the fur industry in its entirety, including all importation, production and all sales in Israel; illuminating that his intention is "not to lend a hand to this cruelty towards animals.”

In light of this bill, Israel takes a giant leap forward; from having no existing law concerning fur; to becoming the first nation on the planet to completely protect all fur bearing animals from the suffering and death inflicted upon millions of animals at the hands of the fur industry the world over.

"The International Anti-Fur Coalition' thanks MK Nitzan Horowitz for his proposal and we call all MKs to support this bill," said Jane Halevy, Director of the 'International Anti-Fur Coalition'. "We hope that Israel will inspire other countries and they too will propose comparable bills throughout the world".

Last month, a report on Israel's channel 10, led by SPCA Israel and International Anti-Fur Coalition, had revealed that items from the top fashion chain stores to cheap toys in bazaars, that what was being sold as fake fur was indeed real fur. Lab tests had shown that several articles taken from leading Israeli brands and sold as fake fur were made of dog and rabbit fur!

Each year millions of animals are brutally killed for their fur throughout the world. Animals live in tiny cages made only of wire, before being gassed, electrocuted or even skinned alive! Footage shows that some of them fight against death for up to 10 minutes in total anguish after being skinned alive!
About the International Anti-Fur Coalition:

The International Anti-Fur Coalition is a collective of more than 50 organizations from around the world that fight against the fur industry. This coalition, created in 2006, organizes on a regular basis international days of action against the fur industry. For more information, please visit:

Jane Halevy
International Anti-Fur Coalition

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2. Chabad Rabbi Writes On “Judaism and Vegetarianism”/Two Responses Follow

Thanks to Israeli vegetarian activist Tova Saul for alerting us to this article:

You can view it by visiting:

One conclusion of the article:

According to this approach, it may be cruel to not eat meat, because doing so robs the animal of its chance to serve a higher purpose.

My post:

Posted: Mar 20, 2009
Article fails to address important issues

Rabbi Davidson fails to address several important issues:

* animal-based diets are contributing to an epidemic of diseases;
* animal-based agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (18% in CO2 equivalents) than all the cars and other means of transportation worldwide combined (13.5%), and global warming threatens all of humanity.
* The production and consumption of meat and other animal products violate basic Jewish mandates to protect human health, treat animals with compassion, preserve the environment, conserve natural resources, help hungry people and pursue peace.

[I also mentioned A SACRED DUTY, but they cut that.]

Tova Saul's post:

Holy Cow! Spare me! This was a rationalization to ease people's guilt over the modern meat industry.

1. Google "factory farming" and "cruelty" and click on "video" and see/learn how cruel the industry is today. We orthodox obsess about meat's hechsher and yet blind ourselves to the tza'ar 'ba'alei chayim of the industry. Men + animals + money ALWAYS = extravagant greed and cruelty.
2. The raising of cattle for us billions entails ongoing destruction of enormous amounts of S. American forests, resulting in ongoing extinctions of many of Hashem's wondrous species. Vast rangelands out west also crowd out wildlife.
3. We have turned meat into a snack. We can eat a lot less of it and learn how to cook with the many grains, veggies, spices, and herbs to make great meals which didn't harm flesh and blood creatures. If you can't be a vegetarian, at least save meat for special occasions.
Slaughtering animals does them a favor? What narcissism! And a turn off to Jews you are trying to reach!

[Please visit the web site above and consider also posting a comment. Thanks.]

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3. Teva Learning Center Schedules Variety of Environmental Programs

Forwarded message form the Teva Institute:

Come join Torah scholars, farmers, educators, students and scientists to engage in contemporary topics of Jewish environmentalism. Meet, learn, pray and share with others passionate about the stewardship of Creation. Participants will leave with curriculum, connections and skills to run programming in their own community.

June 1-4, 2009

Cold Spring, NY

Early bird registration ends April 3rd

God Looked into the Torah and created the World
(Genesis Rabbah)

Join us for programming in:

* Sustainable simchas
* Eco-Israel
* Havdalah gardens
* Making any Jewish holiday an eco-celebration
* The dirt on compost & seed saving principles
* Energy assessments
* Eco-crafts


* Two stories of Genesis
* Ecology of Kashrut
* Judaism & sustainability

Sleep under the stars & do early morning yoga

Cook over a one-match fire

Jump aboard the Topsy Turvey bus tour & build a solar oven

Experience Hitbodedut & teaching Torah on the trail

and much more!

Choose the curricular track that's right for you: Congregational Education, Camp & Wilderness, Ethics & Texts, Organic Agriculture and Educational Gardening.

For more information contact Leora at or (917) 939-9841

The Teva Learning Center is a program of Surprise Lake Camp and a beneficiary of UJA Federation of New York.
Thank you to our Partners:
Jewish Farm School
Hebrew College
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
With Financial Support from:
Lisa and Maury Friedman Foundation

Confirmed Educators:

Rabbi David Seidenberg- Founder of NeoHasid

Debra Kolodny- Executive Director of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
Rabbi Jill Hammer- Director, Tel Shemesh

Rabbi Jonah Steinberg- Associate Dean, Hebrew College
Leiba Chaya David- Ru'ach HaSviva, Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel

Nati Passow- Founder and Co-Director, Jewish Farm School

Nili Simhai- Director, Teva Learning Center

Noam Dolgin- Executive Director, Green Zionist Alliance
Rabbi Shmuel Simenowitz- Executive Director, Project Ya'aleh V'Yavo, Inc.

Sarah Chandler- Director of Jewish Learning and Family Life, West End Synagogue

Yoni Stadlin- Eden Village Camp

Become a certified Jewish Environmental Educator - Establish yourself as a professional in the field!

* Scholarship deadline Friday, May 15th, 2009

The Teva Learning Center is proud to offset the costs of the Teva Seminar though Good Energy Initiative and JNF GoNeutral. Participants will have the opportunity to offset their travel carbon.

Teva Learning Center: 307 7th Ave, Suite 900, New York, NY 10001

Teva Learning Center
307 7th Avenue
Suite 900
New York, New York 10001

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4. Proposal to use Advertisements in Publications to Get the Jewish Vegetarian Message Out to Wider Audiences

As I have often indicated, we have truth, justice and morality on our side, but we are having a difficult time breaking through and getting our message out. Nina Natelson, Director of Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI), has suggested we use ads in various publications to help spread our message. Great idea and I plan to follow through. But, so far we are very limited financially to do this. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to JVNA for this purpose, please let me know. Also, please also let me know if you have suggestions re this, including possible funding sources. Many thanks.

I hope to have some drafts of possible ads soon. Suggestions welcome re this also. Thanks.

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5. Jewish Funders Group Offering Grants for Israeli Environmental Projects

Forwarded message:

FN offering environmental matching grants

March 16, 2009

NEW YORK (JTA) -- The Jewish Funders Network will give $750,000 in matching grants to first-time gifts for environmental projects in Israel.

The 900-member JFN, which made the announcement Sunday, is open to individuals and foundations granting at least $25,000 annually to Jewish and/or secular causes.

The Jewish Funders Network/Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund Matching Grant Initiative for the Environment in Israel are open only to JFN members and will be given to match either first-time gifts or gifts that are at least double a donor's previous gift to an Israeli environmental nonprofit.

Applications for matching grants will be accepted online through July 31.

“The need for protecting Israel's environment is a growing challenge, even as natural resource depletion and clean water shortages escalate,” said Richard Goldman, founder and president of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund. “There is a pressing need to proactively and effectively address the environmental impact of rapid industrialization and population growth."

Over the past four years, JFN's matching grant initiatives have generated more than $60 million in new funds for a range of causes.

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6. Campaign to Get Land Grant Colleges Out of the Meat Industry

Forwarded message from David Cantor, Director of Responsible policies for Animals (RPA):

Governors: Stop Ecodestructive University Training!

March 2009

Contact: David Cantor,

Arriving at all 50 states' governors' offices in mid-March, a special request: Get our land-grant universities (LGUs) out of the meat industry.

Environmentalists recognize the meat industry as extremely ecodestructive - including fish, dairy, eggs, feed crops with their massive use of water & topsoil and toxic runoff killing rivers and oceans, and the killing of billions of free-living animals to protect farmed animals and feed crops. Many say you can't eat meat and be an environmentalist.

Responsible Policies for Animals' (RPA's) mailing to the 50 states' top executives reflects RPA's innovative approach. Finding that decades of consumer education hasn't slowed meat-industry growth or eco-destruction and that universities powerfully influence what people eat, RPA has been demanding that the colleges of agriculture at our LGUs stop forking over billions of dollars worth of training, research, and public relations to the meat industry.

“Many people mistakenly think whether to eat from animals is a free choice based on taste and considerations like health, environment, and treatment of animals,” says David Cantor, founder & director of RPA, which sent a letter and two fact sheets to the 50 governors on March 11th. Not true, says Cantor. “Compared with our big, popular, prestigious universities, even the most important facts about food have little impact on whether people eat from animals.”

“Animal science” - distinct from zoology, the science of Earth's millions of animal species - is what LGUs call meat-industry courses, including slaughtering animals, making ice cream, the full range of meat-linked endeavor. But, says Cantor, “'animal science' rejects scientific knowledge: that humans are natural herbivores and did not evolve as hunters as formerly believed; eating from animals is linked to the most widespread and devastating chronic diseases; and more.”

RPA's letter urges the governors to help solve the problem by addressing it with LGU trustees and state legislatures; ensuring that their states' school systems teach the truth about food, nutrition, original human nature, and ecology; and ensuring that the National Governors Association addresses the problem.

RPA launched its 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign to get our universities out of the meat industry in 2003. Many of the LGUs have replied, some of them many times. But no LGU has yet put its meat-industry courses on the course of ultimate extinction. Copies of all 10,000 Years Is Enough mailings and other details are available at or by request. Also recommended: and

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7. Conference on Animals and Religion/Volunteer to Represent JVNA Sought

Forwarded message:

My name is Zandra Wagoner and I'm one of the planning committee members of the upcoming interreligious Conference, “Do Unto Others: A Conference on Animals and Religion,” April 24, 2009 at Chapman University in Orange, CA. I am writing for two reasons.

First, at the conference, we are planning to have an exhibit space and would like to let participants know about the many “animals and religion” organizations that exist. We would like to provide an opportunity for your organization to have a presence in the exhibit space, if you are interested. It can be as simple as a flyer advertising your organization, or business cards, or as elaborate as sending multiple exhibit materials and resources. If you would like to have materials present at the conference, please send materials either through email (we can make copies of short documents) or through regular mail (if you are sending business cards or multiple copies of materials). We expect that the conference will have 50-100 people, so 25 - 50 copies of any document will be plenty. Email and mail address:

Zandra Wagoner
Miller Hall
University of La Verne
1950 Third Street
La Verne, CA 91750

[I sent her some books and DVDs and arranged for booklets and flyers to be sent to her.]

Second, I also wanted to send the following press release to you regarding the “Do Unto Others Conference.” If you are able to send this out to your constituents or post of your website, that would be great! Here is the press release:

“Do Unto Others” is Southern California's first interreligious conference focused on animals and religion. The purpose of the conference is to promote greater kindness and compassion toward animals by engaging with a variety of religious, ethical, and spiritual perspectives that extend compassion beyond the human species and empower faithful action. The conference features two keynote speakers: Jay McDaniels, prominent eco-theologian and writer, will open the conference with “You Purr Therefore I am: The Role of Animals in Human Spirituality,” and Karen Dawn, author of the popular book Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals, will provide the closing address at the upbeat vegan banquet. The program also includes workshops and panels, an interreligious ceremony, exhibits and a bookstore. Conference registration is $25.00 (students are free) and the closing banquet is $25.00 ($15.00 for students). For more information and registration, please visit the following website:

Please feel free to be in touch with me if you have any questions or comments.

Zandra Wagoner, Ph.D.
Planning committee member

[If you would like to represent JVNA at this conference, please let me know. JVNA can help with expenses, if necessary.]

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8. Widening Water Crisis Threatens Humanity

Forwarded article:

Water Scarcity "Now Bigger Threat Than Financial Crisis"

Geoffrey Lean, The Independent UK: "Humanity is facing 'water bankruptcy' as a result of a crisis even greater than the financial meltdown now destabilizing the global economy, two authoritative new reports show. They add that it is already beginning to take effect, and there will be no way of bailing the earth out of water scarcity."

Water Scarcity "Now Bigger Threat Than Financial Crisis"
Sunday 15 March 2009

by: Geoffrey Lean | Visit article original @ The Independent UK

By 2030, more than half the world's population will live in high-risk areas.

Humanity is facing "water bankruptcy" as a result of a crisis even greater than the financial meltdown now destabilising the global economy, two authoritative new reports show. They add that it is already beginning to take effect, and there will be no way of bailing the earth out of water scarcity.

The two reports - one by the world's foremost international economic forum and the other by 24 United Nations agencies - presage the opening tomorrow of the most important conference on the looming crisis for three years. The World Water Forum, which will be attended by 20,000 people in Istanbul, will hear stark warnings of how half the world's population will be affected by water shortages in just 20 years' time, with millions dying and increasing conflicts over dwindling resources.

A report by the World Economic Forum, which runs the annual Davos meetings of the international business and financial elite, says that lack of water, will "soon tear into various parts of the global economic system" and "start to emerge as a headline geopolitical issue."

It adds: "The financial crisis gives us a stark warning of what can happen if known economic risks are left to fester. We are living in a water 'bubble' as unsustainable and fragile as that which precipitated the collapse in world financial markets. We are now on the verge of bankruptcy in many places with no way of paying the debt back."

The Earth - a blue-green oasis in the limitless black desert of space - has a finite stock of water. There is precisely the same amount of it on the planet as there was in the age of the dinosaurs, and the world's population of more than 6.7 billion people has to share the same quantity as the 300 million global inhabitants of Roman times.

Water use has been growing far faster than the number of people. During the 20th century the world population increased fourfold, but the amount of freshwater that it used increased nine times over. Already 2.8 billion people live in areas of high water stress, the report calculates, and this will rise to 3.9 billion - more than half the expected population of the world - by 2030. By that time, water scarcity could cut world harvests by 30 per cent - equivalent to all the grain grown in the US and India - even as human numbers and appetites increase.

Some 60 per cent of China's 669 cities are already short of water. The huge Yellow River is now left with only 10 per cent of its natural flow, sometimes failing to reach the sea altogether. And the glaciers of the Himalayas, which act as gigantic water banks supplying two billion people in Asia, are melting ever faster as global warming accelerates. Meanwhile devastating droughts are crippling Australia and Texas.

The World Water Development Report, compiled by 24 UN agencies under the auspices of Unesco, adds that shortages are already beginning to constrain economic growth in areas as diverse and California, China, Australia, India and Indonesia. The report, which will be published tomorrow, also expects water conflicts to break out in the Middle East, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Colombia and other countries.

"Conflicts about water can occur at all scales," it warns. "Hydrological shocks" brought about by climate change are likely to "increase the risk of major national and international security threats."

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9. Global Warning Action Planne

Environmental Defense Action Fund

Operation: Climate Vote

Dear Richard,

We need your help!

Take action-demand global warming action.
Visit Operation: Climate Vote-our climate action hub.

On Operation: Climate Vote, you will find new features including:

The Truth Squad-debunking our opponents' lies about global warming.
Climate Cast-influential players in climate politics.
Local heroes-everyday people making a difference.

And the latest action opportunities!

If you are looking for a reason to contact Washington today to demand action to cap carbon and other greenhouse pollution, here are several:

$450 million: Amount spent on lobbying and political contributions by opponents of global warming action in 2008.

52: public spokespersons engaged by polluters and the ideological right to spread disinformation about global warming online and in the media.

2,340: Number of paid lobbyists working in Washington on climate change in 2008.

7 in 8: Proportion of climate lobbyists advocating against climate action.

$45 million: Amount spent on global warming denial advertising by the coal industry in 2008.

0: Number of retractions and/or corrections published by the Washington Post after running a column by George Will containing demonstrably false claims about global warming.

Just last week, scientists announced that we are experiencing the worst case scenario in terms of global warming's devastating effects.

And yet we are witnessing an unprecedented all-out campaign by polluters and ideologues to prevent meaningful action.

Please take action and tell your elected officials you support President Barack Obama's plan to pass strong legislation this year to cap America's global warming pollution.

In the coming weeks and months we will need your support and advocacy like never before.

We must pass landmark global warming legislation this year. Our economy needs new green jobs. Our planet needs a pollution reprieve. And you and your family need a future not powered by polluting fossil fuels.

Please demand action on capping carbon.

We can't win this without your help.

Yours sincerely,
Sam Parry
Director, Online Membership and Activism

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10. Jerusalem Post Columnist Pooh Poohs Global Warming/My Interspersed Response

The article below by Israeli Orthodox Jerusalem Post columnist Jonathan Rosenblum is an indication of why we are having difficulties getting through to the Jewish establishment that the world is heading toward an unprecedented catastrophe and that major changes are necessary to prevent it. I have found that the columnists' views are very common among religious Jews and many people with conservative views.

I think we have to seek ways to get the facts re global warming and other environmental threats out more effectively, in order to counteract such incorrect and misleading views.

My comments are interspersed below, beginning with ****. Comments and suggestions are very welcome.

Many thanks,

Richard (Schwartz)


Think Again: Not quite 10 minutes to doomsday

Mar 12, 2009 14:54 | Updated Mar 17, 2009 21:04

My son recently asked me an interesting question: If global warming is preeminently an empirical issue, why do positions on the magnitude of the threat hew so closely to ideology? Those on the Left tend toward global warming alarmism; those on the Right tend to be far more skeptical.

**** Yes, I have found this to be true.

For those on the Left the answer is easy: The doubters are either congenital idiots, hostile to science, or have sold their souls to Big Business. For the skeptics, the key lies in the Left's desire for rule and to impose its social vision by any means possible.

**** quite an oversimplification. Part of an all-too-common approach of demonizing enemies, rather that seeking common ground and solutions.

Those on the Left are convinced that they are more intelligent and more moral, and those twin conceits cause them to view democracy - which gives equal weight to the votes of the unintelligent and unenlightened - as basically irrational. (For a similar reason, they tend to view markets, which treat the decisions of all consumers equally, as irrational compared to central economic planning by "experts.") From Karl Marx to Tommy Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas, the Left has busied itself explaining the "false consciousness" of the masses, who consistently fail to recognize their own best interests.

**** This seems like a great oversimplification. With a view like this, I doubt if there will be objectivity re the pertinent facts. To Rosenblum, the Left is the enemy, so no reason to pay attention to their arguments.

That unease with democracy is reflected in a preference for rules that negate the power of the "stupid party" - presumed to be a majority - in representative democracies. Expansive judicial power to determine basic societal norms on issues like abortion and single-sex marriage is a more benign expression of that preference; Pol Pot's reeducation camps a less benign one. One of the favorite causes of the original Progressives (the Left's preferred name for itself today) was eugenics - the most radical solution to the problem of too many stupid people.

Crises, whether real or imagined, are another device for transferring power to societal wise men. That is what White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel meant when he said that no crisis should ever be allowed to go to waste. Thus the current world economic crash - which is quite real - has been used to press for a dramatic transformation of the American economic system to a European welfare state model, even though those economies were sclerotic before the crash and are doing even worse than America's today. But at least they are more centrally controlled.

**** Re no crisis going to waste, I think president Obama and his appointees mean that we should take advantage of the crisis to improve the educational system, use energy more efficiently and improve the health care system, while creating badly needed jobs.

SO IT IS with the hysterical and unfounded scenarios of ocean levels rising precipitously and washing away coastal cities all around the world propounded by Al Gore. (When George Stephanopoulos pointed out to Gore that no oceanologist or climatologist agrees with his projections, Gore, who is wont to claim that there is no scientific debate on the threat of global warming, replied, "[Scientists] don't know... They just don't know.")

**** I would love to see this in context. Recent reports have indicated that melting is occurring faster than projected and major floodings are increasingly likely. I find it hard to believe that Al Gore stated this, since he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), composed of the world's leading climate scientists, and they share his views on global warming. That no climatologist agrees with Al Gore's projections is simply not true.

David Schoenbrod, a former lawyer with the Environmental Defense Fund, sums up the matter well: "The distinction between a problem and a catastrophe is critical to the psychology of the environmental movement. A problem presents us with choices about its priority in relation to other problems. A looming catastrophe impels us to do whatever the 'experts' tell us we must do to avert it."

**** The reality is that there is a looming catastrophe, and there should be more discussions re how to avoid it. Rosenblum's article certainly does not help re addressing the issues.

In his inaugural speech, President Barack Obama promised to return "science to its rightful place" - i.e., as the ultimate arbiter of contested issues, unfettered by moral concerns such as those expressed by the "stupid" George W. Bush over the harvesting of embryonic stem cells. At the height of the embryonic stem cell debate, hysterical claims were made that any limitations on federally-supported research would deny Christopher Reeve the ability to walk again. Then - inconveniently for proponents - scientists in Japan and America discovered that they could create stem cells no different than those harvested from human embryos.

**** President Obama did not call George W. Bush stupid, as implied above. But, Bush certainly downplayed science and ignored global warming for 8 years. And it is completely ridiculous to imply that Obama will be “unfettered by moral concerns.

Many scientists believe that science alone can determine all policy and ethical issues. Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, declares "the issue of global warming is... a scientific issue. It's not a political one." Such claims tend to both grossly exaggerate the degree of scientific unanimity and ignore the policy choices that remain.

**** The vast majority of climate scientists do believe that global warming is real, it is here, it is a great threat and we must soon respond.

LIKE 99 PERCENT of those who weigh in on the global warming debate, I'm not a scientist. But I smell a rat when told that the debate is over. World temperatures have always been in a state of flux. That itself makes it ridiculous to speak of an optimal temperature. In a 2003 survey of climate scientists by Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch, four times as many agreed as disagreed with the proposition that global warming might bring substantial benefits.

**** I would love to see a source for this. It sounds incredible to me. Perhaps they indicated that, yes, there will be benefits, but the negatives would far outweigh the positives.

Moreover, the mechanisms for climate change are poorly understood and involve a multitude of factors, including volcanic activity and sunspots. Even over the past century, during which there has been an overall temperature increase of about one degree Fahrenheit, the rise in temperatures has not paralleled increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.

**** this is simply not true, as carbon dioxide levels have increased as the temperature has increased. It has already reached about 385 ppm, far higher than the 350 ppm that many scientists think is a limit if major climate problems are to be avoided, and it has recently been increasing at about 2 ppm per year.

Four of the hottest recorded years ever were in the 1930s;

**** Again, simply not true, as almost all of the warmest years in recorded history have occurred in the past 25 years.

from 1940 to the early '70s temperatures decreased, leading to hysteria about the coming ice age (about which there was also said to be scientific consensus),

**** There was nothing like the scientific consensus that there is today re global warming.

and have remained flat since 1998.

**** This is incredibly wrong as most of the warmest years in recorded history have occurred in recent decades.

Two University of Wisconsin researchers recently concluded that global warming has entered a decades-long remission.

**** Incredible statement as recent reports are that polar ice caps and glaciers are melting faster than recently projected and temperatures are rising faster than projected.

Mars, Jupiter and Pluto are currently experiencing warming, presumably without any contribution of human-produced fluorocarbons. Finally, the theoretical computer models upon which the hysterical predictions are based have consistently failed to find support in observational evidence.

**** Again, completely false, because as indicated, climate-related changes have been occurring faster than projected.

The late political scientist Aaron Wildavsky argued that global warming hysteria feeds a particular environmentalist dream of "an egalitarian society based on rejection of economic growth in favor of a smaller population eating lower on the food chain, consuming a lot less and sharing a lower level of resources more equally."

**** Certainly, with the many current economic, environmental and other problems, considering ways to improve things should not be out of order.

Note that President Obama never speaks about expanded use of nuclear energy as an antidote to fossil fuels, even though nuclear energy is the cheapest, cleanest and most plentiful.

**** First of all, President Obama has spoken of nuclear energy, with improved safety standards, as a part of an energy mix to meet future energy demands, while responding to global warming and other energy-related considerations. And, of course Rosenblum ignores many problems related to nuclear energy. That it is the cheapest and cleanest energy source is certainly highly debatable.

But nuclear energy is not part of the small-is-beautiful mantra. That vision, in which Mother Nature prior to the advent of man is the ideal, flies directly in the face of the biblical account of man as the height of creation, who is commanded to fill the world and conquer it.

**** This ignores Jewish teachings on responsible stewardship.

Dutch statistician and former Greenpeace activist Bjorn Lomborg argued in The Skeptical Environmentalist that the vast regulatory apparatus required by the Kyoto Accords would cost $150 billion annually in reduced economic activity, while having only an infinitesimal impact on world temperatures. For the amount saved in one year by ignoring Kyoto, he concluded, we could eliminate forever the unsanitary drinking water that kills two million annually.

**** Rosenblum ignores that there could be many environmental benefits from efforts to respond to global warming. Also, that global warming is contributing to droughts that are resulting in far more thirsty people/

That message was not sufficiently in tune with the anti-human, anti-growth, pro-regulatory bias of the environmental movement.

**** So environmentalists are anti-human? Rosenblum fails to understand that Judaism has many very powerful environmental teachings, so that Jews should be environmentalists to be consistent with Jewish teachings.

Science and Scientific American initially refused to print Lomborg's response to critiques, and the latter threatened legal action if he continued to post their critique with his devastating rebuttal. Such attempts to squelch scientific debate themselves prove that there is no scientific consensus.

**** Perhaps Lomberg's article lacked scientific proof. I wonder if Rosenblum was also critical of the Bush administration's censorship pf global warming facts.

The real answer to my son lies in the biblical account of the Tower of Babel. Then too, men infatuated with their own intelligence set out to do battle with God and impose their own moral vision on the entire world, with unhappy results.

**** This is quite a stretch to compare environmentalists to the builders of the Tower of Bable.

In summary, Rosenblum's analysis has many misstatements, and considers environmentalists as anti-human and in many other negative ways.

I think it is urgent to get these issues onto the Jewish agenda.

Suggestions very welcome.

Many thanks again,


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11. My Letter Published in the Irish Sunday Times

Editor, Sunday-Times

Dear Editor:

RE "Hypocrisy of animal rights campaigners" (March 8, 2009 Sunday-Times)

As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), I want to point out that our organization opposes all slaughter of animals for food. Animal-based diets are devastating to human health and are a major contributor to global warming and other environmental problems that threaten all of humanity. At a time when climate scientists, including James Hansen of NASA, are warning that global warming may spin out of control in a few years, with disastrous consequences if major changes do not soon occur, we should note that a 2006 UN report indicatd that animal-based agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (18% in CO2 equivalents) than all the cars, planes, ships and oher means of transportation worlwide combined. That same report projects that the number of farmed animals will doube in the next 50 years, adding greatly to greenhouse emissions and making the necessary total reductions of greenhouse gases very difficult, if not impossible.

Also, anyone who thinks that religious, ritual slaughter is far worse than other types should read the book Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz to learn about the many horrors at conventional slaughterhouses.

For a healthier, more humane and more environmentally sustainable world, it is essential that there be a major shift to plant-based diets.

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12. Global warming Poses Great Threats To Human Health

"Future climate change could exacerbate a number of current health problems, including heat-related mortality, diarrheal diseases, and diseases associated with exposure to ozone and aeroallergens."

-- U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, 3/18/09

Environmental Defense: Finding the Ways that Work

Dear Richard,

Global warming is a direct threat to the health of our children.

Help us enact landmark cap and trade legislation while we can still make a difference.

Please make an urgent donation today.

I just received a disturbing briefing from our chief scientist Dr. John Balbus, who also oversees our environmental health work.

As the impacts of global warming accelerate, we are placing our health and particularly the health of our children at increasing risk.

Just last month, Dr. John authored a sweeping letter co-signed by 22 medical experts calling on climate scientists to pay much closer attention to the significant human health risks that come with a warming planet.

The letter made three key points:

* We know it will be bad, but we don't yet know how bad. A warmer nation will mean more deaths from asthma, heart disease, heat stroke and diarrheal diseases. But we have not devoted sufficient study to understand the extent of the problem.
* It's already happening. Doctors and public health professionals largely agree that we are already witnessing more suffering and death attributable to warming.

* We are not prepared. Even a moderate increase in warming-related diseases could strain America's public health system beyond the breaking point. That was the key finding from a comprehensive survey of public health officials we released last year.

Please donate today to help us enact landmark climate legislation before it is too late to make a difference.

This news comes amidst a flurry of scientific reports, all with bad news.

The science points to a rapidly accelerating warming trend, with some level of catastrophic ecological consequences "locked in."

The general consensus is that we have little time left, certainly no more than a few years, to curb the most dramatic consequences by reducing global warming pollution.

Denial and Deceit -- The Opposition

You'd think this terrifying wave of discoveries would galvanize all of us to take drastic action today.

Instead, we are witnessing an unprecedented propaganda blitz by polluters and global warming deniers to stop legislation and confuse the public. Consider these few highlights of what they're up to:

* They are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying, political contributions alone -- with hundreds of millions more in paid ads.

* The number of lobbyists working to block global warming action has increased 300% in recent years, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
They've landed an army of talking heads on the political talk shows to drive the debate among the Beltway crowd. Their message is as simple as it is false. A cap on global warming pollution is a "hidden energy tax" (which it is not) and that "we can't afford to act in the current economic crisis" (which is not true).

Please donate now to help us fight back.

We must pass legislation this year that caps carbon in order to stop global warming.

Thank you for your support and activism.


David Yarnold
President, Environmental Defense Action Fund

P.S. What really makes me angry are the claims that in a recession we "can't afford" to cap carbon. The opposition has it backward. Capping carbon is our last best hope to avoid the worst consequences of warming. And it is an investment in our economy that will transform our energy sources and create millions of new jobs.

Please donate now to help pass global warming legislation.

You can update your email address, set your message frequency, and unsubscribe from messages by adjusting your subscription options.

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13. Major NY Times Article on the “Food Revolution”/Signs of Hope

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14. Interested in Representing JVNA at This New Jersey Event?

To whom it may concern:

The Whole Earth & Food Fest 2009 (presented by Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel), is being held at the Maywood Senior Center, 145 West Magnolia Avenue, Maywood, New Jersey on Sunday, May 3 from 11AM to 4PM. This event is designed for people to celebrate, have fun and learn about healthy living through information about how to protect and celebrate our bodies and our planet, and by sampling delicious vegetarian food in a buffet-style array of tantalizing treats.

We love to have you participate in this grand event! It is a super opportunity to directly reach your target demographic. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.


Ivan Salinas
Event Producer

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15. If You Live In Michigan and Would Like to Talk To a Reporter …

If you live in Michigan and would like to talk to a reporter from the Detroit Free Press who is doing an article related to Judaism and vegetarianism, please contact Mr. N. Warikoo at both and


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16. Historic Bill to End Canadian Seal Slaughter Introduced/Support Sought

Forwarded message from Activist J. Terdiman:

care2 petition site action Alert

Thanks to a courageous Canadian Senator, Marc Harb, there is now a Bill to end Canada's commercial seal hunt, which is expected to take the lives of more than 250,000 baby seals this year alone.

Support the historic Bill to stop the hunt! »

Imagine a world in which there are no more baby seals hooked and dragged onto boats while still conscious. No more seals as young as three weeks old skinned alive. No more needless slaughter of hundreds of thousands of seals each year.

With the proposed seal product ban in the EU and Russia's recent ban on hunting harp seals less than a year old, this dream can soon be made a reality. The momentum to end Canada's commercial seal hunt has never been stronger.

Senator Harb wants to fill the Senate with messages of support for his Bill. Please sign the petition today! »

Take action link:

Thanks for taking action!


Support The Historic Bill
to End Canada's
Commercial Seal Hunt
We Can Permanently End Canada's Commercial Seal Hunt
Take Action!
Canada's seal hunt is unnecessary and economically nonviable. The time has come to transition Canadian sealers into new and more rewarding industries that do not involve cruelty to animals., Inc.
275 Shoreline Drive, Suite 300
Redwood City, CA 94065

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