Environment

Environment

Economic Globalization and the Environment

Among many preposterous claims, advocates of economic globalization argue that it increases long-term environmental protection. The theory goes that as countries globalize, often by exploiting resources like forests, minerals, oil, coal, fish, wildlife, and water, their increased wealth will enable them to save more patches of nature from their ravages and they will be able to introduce technical devices to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of their own increased production. There is ample evidence, however, that when countries increase their apparent receipts in a global economy, most of the benefit goes to global corporations who have little incentive to put their profits back into environmental protection. Instead, they plow them back into further exploitation, or they just take the money and run, right out of the country. This is normal corporate behavior in a global economy.
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Environmental Activism

Clinton’s Environmental Legacy

When Jimmy Carter was inaugurated, he said that he would spend every day of his presidency thinking about how to reduce the threat of nuclear war. Four years later, the United States and the former Soviet Union possessed more nuclear weapons in their arsenals than before Carter’s arrival in the White House. What was Carter thinking about on those long afternoons in the Oval Office?
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Environmental Activism

The Challenge of the Twenty-First Century

As our century draws to a close, we are facing a whole series of global problems which are harming the biosphere and human life in alarming ways that may soon become irreversible. Concern with the environment is no longer one of many “single issues”; it is the context of everything else–of our lives, our businesses, our politics. The great challenge of our time is to build and nurture sustainable communities–social, cultural, and physical environments in which we can satisfy our needs and aspirations without diminishing the chances of future generations.
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Climate Change

A Global Gamble

The debate about global warming is a debate about the outcome of a gamble. We are betting that the benefits of our industrial and agricultural activities will outweigh the possible adverse consequences of an unfortunate by-product of our activities, an increase in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases that could lead to global warming and global climate changes.
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Eco-Spirituality

A Kabbalah for the Environmental Age

A longing for Kabbalah is abroad in the land. Even people with little connection to Judaism, no knowledge of Hebrew, many of them in fact non-Jews, are seeking initiation into the secret chambers of Jewish esoteric knowledge. Differing from the interest in Hasidism that centered mostly around Chabad in the preceding decades, this turn to Kabbalah has rather little to do with Jewish observance or with nostalgia for a romanticized shtetl past (a past that many denizens of “Kabbalah centers” in fact do not share). The Kabbalah seekers are after the Truth, with a capital T.
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Biodiversity

The Ultimate Therapy

While the twentieth century was shaped largely by the spectacular breakthroughs in the fields of physics and chemistry, the twenty-first century will belong to the biological sciences. Scientists around the world are quickly deciphering the genetic code of life, unlocking the mystery of millions of years of biological evolution on Earth. Global life science companies, in turn, are beginning to exploit the new advances in biology in a myriad of ways, laying the economic framework for the coming Biotech Century.
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Eco-Spirituality

Happy Birthday, World

There is an ancient talmudic tradition that affirms that the world was created on Rosh Hodesh Tishrei, a day also known as Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. Our Mahzor also reminds us that the world was created on this day. So it’s particularly appropriate for Jews to stop and think about how we are celebrating this most ancient Earth Day, how we are honoring the birthday of our home, the planet earth.
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Environmental Activism

Toward a Meaningful Ecological Politics

The word “ecology” comes from the Greek root oikos, meaning “home.” The idea is that the earth is a place of close relationships – that plants, animals, minerals, and humans matter to each other and together constitute an integrated whole. Ecology, as a scientific discipline, studies the interconnections between species and habitat. It arose from the insight that nature’s character could not be understood by merely concentrating on individual parts but that one must also focus on nature’s mutualities and interdependencies.
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