June 15, 2009

6/14/2009 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. I Am Scheduled to Speak at SUMMERFEST 2009

2. Interested in Representing JVNA at an Upcoming Vegetarian or Animal Rights Conference?

2a. Message to Vegetarian Activists re Getting Global Warming Onto Society's Agenda

3. Virginia Working On Special License Plate for Vegetarians & Vegans

4. Environmental Programs Scheduled in Israel

5. Correction

6. Canfei Nesharim [Orthodox Jewish Environmental Group] Seeking Financial Support

7. Hakol Chai Demonstrators Block Tel Aviv City Hall to Protest Horse Abuse

8. Global Climate Actions Related to the Copenhagen Global Warming Conference

8a. Teleconference Featuring Noted Author/Speaker Will Tuttle Scheduled

9. More Destructive Storms Projected for a Warming World

10. MIT Study: Global Warming Will Likely Be Worse Than Thought

11. Expanded Coalitions Support U.S. Climate Bill

12. GreenFaith Fellowship Program Seeks Applicants

13. Israel Taking Actions Against Global Warming

14. Update Re Possible Fur ban in Israel

15. Israeli Company Produces Environmental T-Shirt

16. Film Aims to Expose Dangers in US Food Industry

17. More Global Warming Threats

18. Reducing Abuses of Sheep Exported From Australia

19. Update on Podcasts

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. I Am Scheduled to Speak at SUMMERFEST 2009

At this major vegetarian event organized by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS), I plan to discuss the Jewish case for vegetarianism, why a shift toward vegetarianism is essential to avoid the impending unprecedented catastrophe that the world is approaching, strategy ideas toward a vegetarian-conscious world by 2012, and our movie “A Sacred Duty.” I am scheduled to be at the conference from Friday, July 10 to Sunday, July 12.

I hope many of you will come and help me spread our messages and get DVDs to key people. For more information, please visit

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2. Interested in Representing JVNA at an Upcoming Vegetarian or Animal Rights Conference?

There are many conferences scheduled for this summer. If you can represent JVNA at any conference, please let me know.

We can provide you with complimentary DVDs of “A Sacred Duty,” flyers and booklets, and possibly a stipend to cover some of the costs. Thanks.

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2a. Message to Vegetarian Activists re Getting Global Warming Onto Society's Agenda

I plan to send this to Veg-related groups soon. So, suggestions very welcome. Thanks.
Dear fellow vegetarian, animal-rights, environmental and social justice activists,

We are the ones with the responsibility and opportunity to help the world avoid an unprecedented catastrophe and help shift it to a brighter, sustainable future.

The facts are starting to get into the mainstream, but let us consider some of the essentials:

* There are almost daily reports of severe droughts, heat waves, storms, flooding and wildfires and about meltings of polar icecaps and glaciers. While this has occurred due to an average temperature increase of about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 100 years, global climate scientists are projecting an increase of from 3 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 100 years, which would result in an unparalleled disaster for humanity.

* A recent report indicated that our oceans may be virtually free of fish by 2050; species of plants and animals are disappearing at the fastest rate in history; it is projected that half of the world's people will live in areas chronically short of water by 2050;

* We do not have much time. Some climate scientists. Including James Hansen of NASA, are warning that global warming could reach a tipping point and spin out of control in a few years, with disastrous consequences, unless major changes soon occur.

* Scientists at the February, 2009 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science indicated that global warming will likely increase more rapidly than expected because greenhouse gas emissions have increased faster than recent predictions and increased temperatures are setting off self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms in global ecosystems. (http://www.truthout.org/021609M)

* A major societal shift toward vegetarian diets is an essential step in responding to global warming.

A landmark 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization estimated that livestock production globally is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs, in CO2 equivalents) than the world's entire transportation sector. The report, “Livestock's Long Shadow,” projects that the world's current population of about 56 billion farmed animals will double in 50 years if human population growth and dietary trends continue. The resulting increase in greenhouse gas emissions would largely negate reduction goals for green house gas emission reductions from transportation, electricity and other, higher-profile sectors.

* Expert recognition of the importance of diet in preventing global warming is growing. This fall, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2008, called on people in the developed world to "give up meat for one day [a week] initially, and decrease it from there." More recently, NASA climatologist James Hansen -- the world's most prominent scientific advocate of aggressive action against global warming -- told an interviewer:

"... if you eat further down on the food chain rather than animals, which have produced many greenhouse gases, and used much energy in the process of growing that meat, you can actually make a bigger contribution in that way than just about anything. So, that, in terms of individual action, is perhaps the best thing you can do."

It is essential that the above messages be more widely spread. Fortunately, there is much starting to happen re reducing global warming, including many global-warming-related actions planned worldwide on October 4, 2009 and a major conference of the world's nations scheduled for December, 2009 in Copenhagen. However, the major contributions of animal-based agriculture to global warming is seldom considered.

Thus, it is urgent that we do everything we can to get this issue onto society's agenda. We should spread the word as widely as possible through articles, letters to editors, calls to radio talk shows, contacts with media people, religious leaders, educators, as well as friends, neighbors and family members.

We must make it absolutely clear that, while much more has to be done, there is no way the world will avoid an unparalleled catastrophe if there is not a major societal shift to plant-based diets. We must stress that the future of humanity and all of creation is threatened as perhaps never before and swift actions are urgent.

Suggestions very welcome.

I plan to next write a press release based on the material above on behalf of the “Veg Climate Alliance” that I hope will be endorsed by many groups.

Yours, for a humane, healthy, just, environmentally sustainable world,

Richard Schwartz
Director, Veg Climate Alliance
President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America

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3. Virginia Working On Special License Plate for Vegetarians & Vegans

Vegetarians & Vegans!

Interested in the NEW Special Virginia License Plate for Vegetarians & Vegans?

For information & applications, please e-mail VeggiePlates@live.com

NEW! Special Virginia “Vegetarian” License Plates

* The new Special Virginia “Vegetarian” License Plates are being jointly sponsored by the Richmond Vegetarian Festival (www.veggiefest.org), Vegan Action (www.vegan.org), and the Vegetarian Society of Richmond (www.vegetarianrichmond.org).

* The first step in creating a new special plate in the Commonwealth of Virginia is to “demonstrate to the satisfaction of the General Assembly that they meet the statutory issuance requirements, which includes having collected 350 or more prepaid applications (i.e. completed application forms and plate fee)” (Code of Virginia § 46.2-725).

How do we make this happen?

* First, we must gather 350 completed applications, DMV Form VSA-10 (found at www.dmvNOW.com or at your local DMV). This is the same form you would use to request any regular, special, or personalized license plate from the DMV. This must be accompanied by the special license plate fee of $10.00. The $10.00 application fee that you submit is held in a separate account and is refundable if we don't gather enough signatures to proceed with the rest of the new special license plate process.

* Want a personalized plate or to retain your current license plate number? There is an additional $10.00 for personalization. This is the same fee you would pay at DMV for any personalized license plate.

* Special license plates for motorcycles are not currently available. Special license plates with the International Symbol of Access (ISA), i.e. “handicapped” plates, are available.

* After the 350 prepaid applications are collected, the special license plate authorization must be approved by the General Assembly and the Governor. The next General Assembly convenes in January 2010. Authorization should be obtained in July 2010.



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4. Environmental Programs Scheduled in Israel

Forwarded message:

Duration: 5.5 months
Experience the healthy, economical and spiritual values of authentic permaculture-ecological living. Live with Israeli volunteers on an ecological farm near Modi'in, take part in field work, ecological learning experiences, and land of Israel studies. Contact: naomi.katz@havaveadam.org

Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Duration: Semester/Academic Year
A program in environmental studies which gives students the opportunity for hands-on experience in the Middle East, together with students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Students take academic courses, and learn peace-building and leadership skills. Contact: info@arava.org

Tikkun Olam in Tel Aviv-Jaffa
A volunteer and study program for Jewish English-speaking college graduates which offers two tracks: Community Service and Coexistence. In the first, participants volunteer in South Tel Aviv with immigrants, foreign workers or refugees. In the second, participants volunteer in Jaffa's Arab and Jewish integrated neighborhoods and learn Arabic. Contact: tikunolam@takam.co.il


The Green Village - Hakfar Hayarok
An innovative volunteer-based program that gives participants the opportunity to make a positive contribution to Israeli society through English-tutoring, gardening, horse-breeding, animal care, and more, while living in a kibbutz-like eco-setting 15 minutes from Tel Aviv. Contact: lori@kfaryarok.org.il

Saving the Stones

Delve into conservation and archaeology through theoretical classes and practical field work. A project of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Old Acre Development Company, ICOMOS - Israel, and the Israel National Commission for UNESCO, Saving the Stones allows young adults to physically immerse themselves in history.

Program includes:
Courses in archaeology and conservation
Hands-on work in the documentation of historical sites and traditional building techniques, such as masonry, stone-cutting, carpentry, and plaster
Heritage courses
Study tours throughout Israel with conservation specialists and archaeologists
Hebrew Ulpan

Program location:
Old Acre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Program duration:
5 months, with start dates:
September 6, 2009 and February 22, 2010

Open to:
Young adults, ages 20-30

For more information, contact:
Director of International Conservation Center
Shelley-Anne Peleg

Ground yourself in the real Israel and use your motivation to make a difference. Volunteer, learn Hebrew, pursue a professional internship, use your skills, and take initiative.

Program includes:
Sept-Nov: Hebrew studies and volunteering
December: Judaic studies seminar or Sar-El army volunteering
January-March: Community volunteering
April-June: Internship in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem
Trips throughout Israel

Program location:
Locations throughout Israel

Program duration:
10 months

Open to:
Jewish young adults, ages 20-26

For more information, contact:
Nicole Bodenstein
North American Director of Recruitment


Rachel Trager
Marketing Associate
MASA Israel Journey: The Gateway to Long-Term Programs in Israel


Tel: 212-339-6976
Saving the Stones - A Conservation Internship

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5. Correction

In the last [e-mail] newsletter, I discussed that I was Interviewed by the director of EarthSave on Jewish teachings on vegetarianism and related issues. The correct spelling of her name is Caryn Hartglass. I regret the error.

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6. Canfei Nesharim [Orthodox Jewish Environmental Group] Seeking Financial Support

Forwarded message from Canfei Nesharim:

Dear friends,
This is a difficult year to be a young Jewish organization. With the economic crisis, many Jewish foundations have decided not to accept new grant proposals until 2010. That leaves innovative organizations like Canfei Nesharim with limited grant prospects at this essential time for our community and our environment.

Canfei Nesharim does not have a lot of major donors or foundations sustaining our work. Instead, we rely on a smaller pool of committed supporters to make the case for the essential importance of environmental learning, based on the traditions of the Torah.

We count on you.

In the coming year, with your help, we will reach tens of thousands of Jews with our message: protecting the environment is a key Jewish responsibility. These Torah lessons empower Jews to protect the environment, infuse Torah-based wisdom into today's environmental dialogues, and bring the Jewish message of hope, responsibility, and sustainability to our world.

As we conclude our fiscal year (June 30), we need to raise only $4000 to balance our budget and complete our commitments for the year. In difficult times, we rely on our consistent supporters to hold the vision and help us continue this education.

Please make a contribution to help us end our year sustainably.

Thank you!


Evonne Marzouk
Executive Director

Our address has changed! Please note our new contact information:
Correspondence: Canfei Nesharim 〓 908 Brentwood Lane 〓 Silver Spring, MD 20902
Contributions: Canfei Nesharim 〓 PO Box 7 〓 Roseland, NJ 07068

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7. Hakol Chai Demonstrators Block Tel Aviv City Hall to Protest Horse Abuse

Forward message from Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI):

Message to Mayor: Horse-Drawn Carts Have No Place in a Modern World

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dozens of Hakol Chai protestors carrying signs saying "Horses and donkeys are not vehicles," "Animals are not cars," "Carriages and carts are a dead trend," "They're hurting; don't you care?" and "Stop Animal Abuse." blocked the entrance to Tel Aviv's City Hall to protest the Mayor's refusal to ban the use of horse-drawn carts in the city. These animals are overworked, made to carry heavy loads beyond their capacity through busy city traffic, not provided with veterinary care, and forced to stand in the hot sun without water or shade. Often beaten and starved, eventually they collapse in the street, and animal groups are asked to move them out of the way.

Hakol Chai is the Israeli sister charity of Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI),

Tel Aviv's municipal veterinarian agreed with Hakol Chai that abuse cannot be prevented through regulations, especially since the city has neither the funds to regularly inspect the horses nor a facility to house them if they remove them from their abusers. Still, the Mayor continues to take no action.

The protesters passed out hundreds of pamphlets explaining the plight of the horses to pedestrians on the street that runs in front of City Hall, one of the city's busiest, and also to city employees as they entered and exited the building. Some of the protesters lay on the ground as if they were dead to depict what becomes of the abused animals.

Hakol Chai's protest, part of the Second International Action Against the Horse-Drawn Carriage and Cart Trade, was one in a series of actions to raise awareness of the issue. Hakol Chai has repeatedly exposed the problem of horse abuse in Jaffa, the old part of Tel Aviv, rescued and rehabilitated abused horses, and pressed the City Council to deal with the issue until it convened a special session on the subject. The organization also wrote to Mayors around the country, urging them to take action to protect these animals who are often abused.

In response to Hakol Chai's campaign, cart horse owners began heavily lobbying the Mayor's office to prevent the enactment of a ban and so far, the Mayor has been reluctant to take action against this special interest group. In December, 350 city residents turned out for a protest concert [http://www.chai-online.org/en/campaigns/horses/campaigns_horse_event7dec08.htm] organized by Hakol Chai, at which musicians and singers who supported the cause of the horses volunteered to perform. Hakol Chai will continue to take action to keep the issue in the public eye until a ban is enacted.

For names and contact information of officials to write to, asking them to ban horse-drawn carts in the city of Tel Aviv, see Help Stop Horse Abuse in Israel

To see this e-alert as a web page, go to:

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8. Global Climate Actions Related to the Copenhagen Global Warming Conference

Forwarded message from Carolin at Veg Climate Alliance:

in Bonn I learned about the following action of Friends of the Earth for Copenhagen, see:

The Flood is coming

Join Friends of the Earth International on December 12, 2009 and help 'flood' Copenhagen in a call for climate justice.

From December 7-18, 2009, the 15th UN climate conference (COP-15) will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Here, governments from around the world will meet to discuss efforts to tackle global warming.

Friends of the Earth International will also be there. We're inviting people to come to Copenhagen to help build pressure on governments to find fair solutions to the climate crisis. We believe that rich industrialized countries, which have historically emitted the most greenhouse gases, must agree to urgent and dramatic cuts in their emissions starting NOW.

This is absolutely fundamental if we are to prevent the most devastating effects of global warming on the world - in particular on the world's most impoverished and vulnerable people. Our message to the negotiators is that the historical climate debt to the Global South must be repaid.

The talks will also be attended by lobbyists from the World Bank and industry. We need to make sure that any agreement that might be reached doesn't end up promoting the interests of big business, while robbing people of their land and their rights to survival.

An agreement that allows rich countries to continue polluting by funding unsustainable offset projects in the Global South, and which relies on false solutions such as mega dams, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage and monoculture tree plantations, must be rejected. The World Bank must not be allowed to control climate finance. Forests must not become commodities to be traded as part of global carbon markets.

People can influence our governments and hold them to account. That's why Friends of the Earth International is organising the 'Flood for Climate Justice' in Copenhagen on Saturday December 12, 2009. In the middle of the two weeks of negotiations, we will 'flood' through the streets of Copenhagen with our demands for climate justice.

We're encouraging as many people as possible to come to Copenhagen, using the most environmentally friendly transport they can, to be part of a movement for climate justice. The event will be the high point in a year of cyber-actions, street actions and campaigning from Friends of the Earth groups around the world.

We invite everyone who shares our vision to join the exciting spectacle on December 12, when we will use our bodies and our voices to create a message that decision-makers and lobbyists cannot ignore:

The Flood Is Coming!
friends of the earth international
secretariat po box 19199, 1000 gd amsterdam, the netherlands
tel: 31 20 622 1369. fax: 31 20 639 2181.
Contact form: http://www.foei.org/en/who-we-are/about/contact-form

Forwarded message continued:

I think we could contact them and ask them to allow the Veg Climate Alliance to mobilize pro-veg groups and orgs from all over the world to demand cutting down on meat production and consumption as a way of climate justice and join the human flood in Copenhagen. What do you think? If you agree, I will get in touch. (I think this will work better than through the Global Climate Campaign.) They are the world's biggest environmental grassroots org, and as far as I know, the are even pro- veg themselves.

Many blessings,


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8a. Teleconference Featuring Noted Author/Speaker Will Tuttle Scheduled

Thanks to JVNA advisor Kris Haley for forwarding this message. I have read Will's great book “the World Peace Diet” and am a big fan of his - so I highly recommend attendance at the teleconference if you can make it.

Join PEACEANIMAL for a *FREE* Teleconference featuring Dr. Will Tuttle --- Author of The World Peace Diet

Dr. Will Tuttle is an award-winning speaker, educator, author, and musician. His music, writings, and presentations focus on creativity, intuition, and compassion. Dr. Tuttle's paradigm shifting book, The World Peace Diet, has been called the most important book of the 21st century: the foundation of a new society based on the truth of the interconnectedness of all life. Incorporating systems theory, teachings from mythology and religions, and the human sciences, The World Peace Diet presents the outlines of a more empowering understanding of our world, based on a comprehension of the far-reaching implications of our food choices and the worldview those choices reflect and mandate. The World Peace Diet suggests how we as a species might move our consciousness forward so that we can be more free, more intelligent, more loving, and happier in the choices we make.

No need to RSVP! We've reserved room for the first 150 attendees, so don't be late!

Conference Details

Date: Thursday, June 18, 2009

Start Time: 4:00 PM Pacific/Arizona Time, 5:00PM Mountain Time, 6:00 PM Central Time, 7:00 PM Eastern Time

Length: 60 - 90 minutes with time for questions

Dial-in Number: 1-605-475-6333

Participant Access Code: 623895

Just dial in at the corresponding time for your area, follow the directions and enter the Participant Access Code --- and we'll see you there! We'll save time for questions at the end!

About the Author
Will Tuttle has a master's degree in humanities from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in the philosophy of education from the University of California. A professional pianist and teacher, he has for the last thirteen years toured progressive churches, vegetarian and macrobiotic conferences, and intentional communities throughout the country. He trained in Korea as a Zen Buddhist monk and has worked extensively in Tai Chi, yoga, massage, and dance and movement. Read more about Dr. Tuttle and Madeleine Tuttle at http://www.worldpeacediet.com/ and http://www.willtuttle.com

PEACEANIMAL is dedicated to expanding the concept of PEACE to include all species

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9. More Destructive Storms Projected for a Warming World

From: "Earth Policy News" arthpolicynews@earthpolicy.org
Date: June 9, 2009

Subject: Earth Policy News - A Warming World Means More Destructive Storms

Earth Policy Institute
Plan B 3.0 Book Byte
June 9, 2009


Lester R. Brown

Elevated global temperatures bring a number of threats, including rising seas and more crop-withering heat waves. Higher surface water temperatures in the tropical oceans also provide more energy to drive tropical storm systems, leading to more-destructive hurricanes and typhoons. The combination of rising seas, more powerful storms, and stronger storm surges can be devastating.

Just how devastating this combination can be became evident in late August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina came onshore on the U.S. Gulf Coast near New Orleans. In some Gulf Coast towns, Katrina's powerful 28-foot-high storm surge did not leave a single structure standing. New Orleans survived the initial hit but was flooded when the inland levees were breached and water covered everything in large parts of the city except for the rooftops, where thousands of people were stranded. Even in August 2006, a year after the storm had passed, the most damaged areas of the city remained without water, power, sewage disposal, garbage collection, or telecommunications.


# # #

Adapted from Chapter 3, “Rising Temperatures and Rising Seas,” in Lester R. Brown, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008), available for free downloading and purchase at www.earthpolicy.org/Books/PB3/index.htm.

For information contact:

Media Contact:
Reah Janise Kauffman
Tel: (202) 496-9290 x 12
E-mail: rjk@earthpolicy.org

Research Contact:
Janet Larsen
Tel: (202) 496-9290 x 14
E-mail: jlarsen@earthpolicy.org

Earth Policy Institute
1350 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 403
Washington, DC 20036
Web: www.earthpolicy.org

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10. MIT Study: Global Warming Will Likely Be Worse Than Thought


Thanks to JVNA's dedicated, efficient Secretary/Treasurer for forwarding this article to us:

limate change odds much worse than thought

New analysis shows warming could be double previous estimates

David Chandler, MIT News Office
May 19, 2009

The most comprehensive modeling yet carried out on the likelihood of how much hotter the Earth's climate will get in this century shows that without rapid and massive action, the problem will be about twice as severe as previously estimated six years ago - and could be even worse than that.

The study uses the MIT Integrated Global Systems Model, a detailed computer simulation of global economic activity and climate processes that has been developed and refined by the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change since the early 1990s. The new research involved 400 runs of the model with each run using slight variations in input parameters, selected so that each run has about an equal probability of being correct based on present observations and knowledge. Other research groups have estimated the probabilities of various outcomes, based on variations in the physical response of the climate system itself. But the MIT model is the only one that interactively includes detailed treatment of possible changes in human activities as well - such as the degree of economic growth, with its associated energy use, in different countries.

Study co-author Ronald Prinn, the co-director of the Joint Program and director of MIT's Center for Global Change Science, says that, regarding global warming, it is important "to base our opinions and policies on the peer-reviewed science," he says. And in the peer-reviewed literature, the MIT model, unlike any other, looks in great detail at the effects of economic activity coupled with the effects of atmospheric, oceanic and biological systems. "In that sense, our work is unique," he says.

The new projections, published this month in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate, indicate a median probability of surface warming of 5.2 degrees Celsius by 2100, with a 90% probability range of 3.5 to 7.4 degrees. This can be compared to a median projected increase in the 2003 study of just 2.4 degrees. The difference is caused by several factors rather than any single big change. Among these are improved economic modeling and newer economic data showing less chance of low emissions than had been projected in the earlier scenarios. Other changes include accounting for the past masking of underlying warming by the cooling induced by 20th century volcanoes, and for emissions of soot, which can add to the warming effect. In addition, measurements of deep ocean temperature rises, which enable estimates of how fast heat and carbon dioxide are removed from the atmosphere and transferred to the ocean depths, imply lower transfer rates than previously estimated.


This work was supported in part by grants from the Office of Science of the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and by the industrial and foundation sponsors of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

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11. Expanded Coalitions Support U.S. Climate Bill

Worldwide Institute

By Ben Block June 8. 2009


Thanks to JVNA advisor Ron Landskroner for forwarding this article to us.

In an effort to broaden support for sweeping climate legislation, environmentalists are forming atypical alliances with other progressive social organizations.

Groups such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), MoveOn, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are part of a growing coalition of social welfare, labor, religious, and healthcare organizations joining forces with the traditional environmental lobby.

Major environmental groups say a nationwide grassroots effort is necessary to raise support for binding federal legislation to address climate change, especially during an economic recession when leaders are concerned that such reforms may adversely affect manufacturing industries and energy costs.

Climate legislation took a major step forward late last month when leaders of a House of Representatives energy committee convinced several moderate legislators to support the "American Clean Energy and Security Act." The bill promises to reduce U.S. carbon emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, compared to 2005 levels, through a national cap-and-trade system.

Climate campaigners are now devising strategies to "pass and strengthen" the bill, despite intense industry opposition. The legislation is expected to undergo a House vote sometime this summer. A more challenging fight will take place in the U.S. Senate, where complementary legislation must gain support from moderate legislators concerned about how their states' economies could be affected.


Ben Block is a staff writer with the Worldwatch Institute. He can be reached at bblock@worldwatch.org.

This article is a product of Eye on Earth, Worldwatch Institute's online news service. For permission to reprint Eye on Earth content, please contact Juli Diamond at jdiamond@worldwatch.org

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12. GreenFaith Fellowship Program Seeks Applicants

Forwarded message from GreenFaith's Larry Troster:

Interfaith Environmental Leadership Education and Training

Is God calling you to become a religious-environmental leader?

GreenFaith, an interfaith environmental coalition, announces the opening of the application process for the third class of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program for clergy and laity from diverse religious traditions. The Program is the only comprehensive US training program to turn lay and ordained leaders from diverse traditions into environmental leaders. Application materials for this national program are at www.greenfaith.org, and the deadline for applications has been extended to June 16th.

“This is a fantastic program,” said LeeAnne Beres, GreenFaith Fellow and Executive Director of Earth Ministry, a Seattle-based ecumenical Christian group. “It's well suited to clergy or lay leaders looking to strengthen their environmental ministry, and provides a well-rounded curriculum of eco-theology, environmental justice, and practical application.”

Creating a Cadre of New Leaders

Each year, the GreenFaith Fellowship Program gives a new class of clergy and laity the unique tools they need to become effective environmental leaders.

Each Fellow attends three residential retreats focused on eco-spirituality, environmental justice, and sustainability. Fellows also write their own eco-theological statement, and carry out an environmental leadership project. “There is a shortage of religious leaders in the United States who are speaking out on environmental issues,” said Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, Director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University. “The GreenFaith Fellowship Program is indispensable.”

Fellows are selected through a competitive application process. GreenFaith strongly encourages applicants from the African American, Asian, Latino, Jewish, Islamic and Catholic communities.

Join a Leader

Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition which educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds as environmental leaders.

GreenFaith is widely recognized as a leader in the international religious-environmental movement. Through a range of innovative programs, GreenFaith helps diverse religious institutions put their beliefs into action for the earth. From eco-themed worship services and religious education to 'green' facility management and environmental justice advocacy, GreenFaith provides a unique variety of resources and opportunities for religious-environmental action. To find our more about GreenFaith, see www.greenfaith.org.

GreenFaith is grateful to the Richard Oram Charitable Trust, the Kendeda Fund, the Edgebrook Foundation, and to GreenFaith members for the support that makes the Fellowship Program possible.

For further information about the Fellowship Program or to request an application form, contact Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Fellowship Program Director, at rabbiltroster@greenfaith.org or 732-565-7740, ext. 302.

Rabbi Lawrence Troster,
Director, Fellowship Program,
201 833-5166 (home office)
732 565-7740 ex. 302 (office)
46 Bayard St.,
Suite 401,
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

"How great are Your works, O Lord,

How very profound Your designs!"

(Psalm 92:6)

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13. Israel Taking Actions Against Global Warming


Israel Joining the Fight Against Global Warming

by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) The Knesset held an Environment Awareness Day on Tuesday, while outside, several dozen people demanded more public transportation as a way of fighting Israel's contribution to global warming.

Several different panels and discussions were held on various environmental topics in the Knesset, dealing mainly with the topic of global warming and Israel's preparations - or lack thereof - for the new U.N. international climate agreement that will succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Israel is currently not listed among those countries that are required to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, but this is expected to change in 2012.

The United Nations will hold its preparatory Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December of this year.

Proponents of more government support for public transportation say that 14% of Israel's carbon emissions come from transportation, and that much of this is caused by private vehicle use.

MKs Zev Bielski, Nitzan Horowitz, Ophir Paz, Eitan Cabel and Dov Hanin took part in the outdoor demonstration on Tuesday, which featured a two-meter tall mock weight-scale, with a large globe on one side and a pile of private cars on the other.

The organizers called on Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz of the Likud to “lead a dramatic change regarding transportation emissions. Instead of traffic jams, air pollution, an end to open spaces [which are turned into highways], and traffic accidents, the correct approach is to invest much more in the encouragement of public transportation and improvement of its infrastructures.”

The Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva issued a report last month estimating that climate change now accounts for over 300,000 deaths throughout the world each year. The report also found that climate change "seriously impacts on the lives of 325 million people.”

Forum President Kofi Annan said that climate change “is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time. Already today, it causes suffering to hundreds of millions of people, most of whom are not even aware that they are victims of climate change… We can no longer afford to ignore the human impact of climate change. Put simply, the report is a clarion call for negotiators at Copenhagen to come to the most ambitious international agreement ever negotiated - or continue to accept mass starvation, mass sickness and mass migration on an ever growing scale.”

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14. Update Re Possible Fur ban in Israel

Forwarded message from Herma Caelen of EVANA:

Subject: Fondation Brigitte Bardot: Fur soon to be prohibited in Israel

5 June 2009

A bill aiming at prohibiting the importation, production and sale of any fur in Israel was recently filed in the Knesset and will be put to the vote by the House Deputies.

Supporting this text, Brigitte Bardot wrote to Nitzan Horowitz, author of the proposal, to congratulate and thank him: “This bill represents a major step forward, an example to the world which needs to respect and recognize animals as sensitive beings. As we all know, the fur industry condemns million of animals to be locked and piled up in cages, then tortured before being gassed or electrocuted, it is a shameful and indignant industry! I have a deep respect and a sincere admiration for your personal fight against any form of discrimination, any violence perpetrated on those suffering despite their race or species. The political powers governing our world seem deprived of all humanity and empathy, we would need a Nitzan Horowitz in each country to try to restore the balance, but alas that is a far way off....


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15. Israeli Company Produces Environmental T-Shirt

Thanks to Rabbi Dovid Sears, JVNA Advisor and author of “The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysicism” for forwarding this article:

Israel T-Shirt - Environmental. Olive Green

High quality, machine washable - 100% cotton

Show your love for Israel - and the environment - with this wonderful t-shirt! Its great artwork and quality production will make it perfect for anybody.

According to Jewish tradition, on the 6th day of creation, G-d showed Adam the Garden of Eden and told him to protect it. The Hebrew text (from Kohelet Rabba) under the olive branch gives G-d's message to Adam, which translates as:

Be attentive not to ruin or destroy my world, for if you ruin it, nobody will come after you to fix it.

The English text at the bottom reads Protect the Environment.

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16. Film Aims to Expose Dangers in US Food Industry

Tuesday 09 June 2009

by: Christine Kearney |


New York - Bigger-breasted chickens fattened artificially. New strains of deadly E. coli bacteria. A food supply controlled by a handful of corporations.

The documentary "Food, Inc." opens in the United States on Friday and portrays these purported dangers and changes in the US food industry, asserting harmful effects on public health, the environment, and worker and animal rights.

Big corporations such as biotech food producer Monsanto Co., US meat companies Tyson Food Inc. and Smithfield Foods, and poultry producer Perdue Farms all declined to be interviewed for the film.

But the industry has not stood silent. Trade associations across the $142-billion-a-year U.S. meat industry have banded together to counter the claims. Led by the American Meat Institute, they have created a number of websites, including one called SafeFoodInc.com.

"Each sector of the industry that's named is doing its part to counter a lot of the misinformation in the movie," said Lisa Katic, a dietitian and consultant with an unnamed coalition of trade associations representing the food industry.

Their campaign promotes the U.S. food supply as safe, abundant and affordable, whereas the film asserts that images of animals grazing on grassy farms emblazoned on U.S. food product labels are misleading.

"Food, Inc." explores the argument that food comes not from friendly farms but from industrial factories that put profit ahead of human health.

"The film pulls back the curtain on the way food is produced," said Michael Pollan, who appears in the film and is the best-selling author of several books including "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.

"Products with farm labels attached - this stuff comes from factories now," he said.

But an industry spokesman said 98 percent of U.S. farms were family owned and operated and they accounted for 82 percent of farm production.

Mace Thornton of the American Farm Bureau, the nation's largest farm group, said the industry was interested in the well-being of farm animals.

"If a farmer or rancher is not the kind of person to take care of their animals, they're not going to be in business long," he said.

A Peek Inside

The film shows footage inside cattle, pork and chicken production plants, some secretly recorded by immigrant workers under cramped conditions for both workers and the animals.

Maryland farmer Carole Morison let cameras in to show chickens collapsing and dying before they are put on the market because, she said, of fast weight gain caused in part by antibiotics in the feed. Morison said she lost her contract with Perdue.

The film says U.S. food corporations now widely use industrial techniques linked to growing problems like obesity, diabetes, salmonella, toxic strains of common E. coli bacteria and environmental pollution.

"Confined animal agriculture is so unsustainable in so many ways. It depends on using antibiotics in the feed that lead to antibiotic-resistant diseases. It produces more pollution than any other industry," Pollan said.

"It costs treasury, costs the public health system," he said. "The film vividly shows it costs the people who do the work and of course it is brutal to the animal."

Barbara Kowalcyk, whose 2-year-old son Kevin died from an infection of E. coli, appears in the film trying to persuade Congress to pass "Kevin's law," which would give the U.S. Department of Agriculture the power to shut down plants that produce contaminated meats. It has not passed.

Consumers can effect change, the film says, pointing to Stonyfield Farm's Gary Hirshberg, who now offers his line of organic products at giant chain Wal-Mart due to demand.

"You vote for what you eat by what you buy at the supermarket," Pollan said.


(Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Michelle Nichols and Philip Barbara)

Comments on the documentary by vegetarian activist Susan Kalev:

Last week I attended premier of the docu film FOOD, INC directed by Robert Kenner, who worked over 6 years on the film, at the elegant TIMES CENTER. It is a dynamite investigation of the food industr y, exposing the mechanized food production - incl. animal and human and environmental suffering - exploitation of immigrant workers, the corruption of gov't regulatory agencies, the agricultural monopoly giants that terrorize farmers. Makes the link between unsafe food production and health, such as obesity, e-coli, diabetes and even world hunger. It includes long interviews with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan and founders of the organic movement.

Makes clear the disastrous results of feeding cows corn and soy instead of grass. ( Take note of last Friday's NYT article on how we must change cow's diet to reduce methane gas).

Expounds the point over and over as to how consumers are kept in the dark, the conspiracy to hide info from consumers. We are in effect hostages of the food giants.
We in the animal & environmental movements know a lot about this, but you will discover new terrors in the film. Believe this! The mother of a baby who died from e-coli in a hamburger is not "allowed" to say on camera that hamburgers are bad for threat of being sued by the company. Is this not terrorism?

The film is reviewed in the NYT Arts section of last Sunday june

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17. More Global Warming Threats

Thursday 11 June 2009

by: Alister Doyle |

Climate change seen worsening disasters. Small islands, other developing nations most at risk.


Bonn, Germany - Climate change will aggravate natural disasters and people in developing nations such as Dominica, Vanuatu, Myanmar and Guatemala are most at risk, a U.N.-backed study showed on Thursday.

It urged governments to invest hundreds of billions of dollars to curb mounting impacts of hazards such as cyclones, floods, droughts, landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis.

"Risk is ... felt most acutely by people living in poor rural areas and slums," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote in the report, issued on the sidelines of June 1-12 U.N. climate talks in Bonn working on a new treaty to combat global warming.

"Climate change will magnify the uneven distribution of risk, skewing disaster impacts even further towards poor communities in developing countries," the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction said.

Andrew Maskrey, lead author of the report, said that developing countries with big populations - led by China, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia - suffered the most fatalities from natural disasters.

"But you also have to look at it in relative terms - the proportion of the population at risk," he told a news conference. By that yardstick, those at risk were "mainly small countries - many small islands ... and small countries."

The list was topped by Dominica in the Caribbean, Vanuatu in the Pacific along with Myanmar and Guatemala.


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18. Reducing Abuses of Sheep Exported From Australia

Forwarded message from JVNA advisor Ivan Kessel:

It's not often that I forward emails on - it's only in cases like this that I feel very strongly about.

I would encourage all of you I have forwarded this to to stop for 1 minute to think about this, and if you wish to forward it on to others.

Kind regards


This not a joke and has real consequences. You literally have the fate of thousands of lives in your hands. You can help to end the cruelty of live sheep export from Australia to the Middle East and stop the needless deaths of tens of thousands of animals a year en route. During their transport by sea, sheep are generally confined in poorly lit, cramped conditions. They are at risk of injury, heat stress and disease. Many starve due to stress or because they fail to recognise unfamiliar pellets as food. The sheep that do reach the Middle East are often exposed to appalling handling and slaughter techniques that would neither be legal nor tolerated in Australia. But worst of all, this suffering is completely unnecessary, as alternatives do exist. Visit www.humanechain.org to bring an end to this intolerable cruelty by joining the Humane Chain that's spreading across Australia. Jason Buckwalter in NSW received this letter, did not respond in any way and as a result, nothing happened to him. Thousands of sheep a year however, are not so fortunate. Please send this letter immediately on to five friends. Act quickly, as this isn't a question of superstition. No animal deserves to suffer the ordeal of live export. The longer you delay, the longer this cruelty will continue.

Don't be afraid to send on this letter.
Be afraid not to.

Visit [humaneChain.org]

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19. Update on Podcasts

Forwarded message from Joseph Puentes

This time we have three new Audio Presentations for the VSSE podcast:

1) Pythagoras, Plato, and Socrates:

2) Pamela Rice "Fossil Fuel Alchemy" - Read by Dawn D'Arcangelo:

3) Kathy Freston: "A Few More 'Inconvenient Truths' " - Read by Tricia Orr:
The VSSE podcast has a Facebook presence. You can send me your friend suggestions (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=757836449&ref=name) and join the group here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=40863727638 Please spread the word that the podcast exists share with your "Environmentalist" friends. Also we have a FB Event for the Howard Lyman and Jerry Cook Discussion, The Pythagoras, Plato, and Socrates; Pamela Rice and Kathy Freston Podcasts: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=110806093618

I NEED 5-10 people to help me Veg-Evangelize to Environmental Groups on Facebook (and off facebook too). Here is what I need. We'll each send out a short message (I can supply the message) to 4 FB Environmental Groups per week/per month/or just as often as you'd like. The problem is that I've already had my FB account suspended a few weeks ago for being too "aggressive" in trying to spread the word about transitioning to a plant based diet and the next time it might be permanent. I've already gained two more warnings and feel like I'm walking on thin ice. So the plan is to gather a "Few" good folks to send out these messages with the goal being to FORCE the conversation in the direction of "The single most important thing an individual can do for the environment is to go Vegan."- email me: NoMeat@h2opodcast.com and I'll give more details - Please Help!


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