When I first realized that the world is standing by, watching the destruction of millions, or hundreds of millions of its inhabitants through climate change - heat, drought, food scarcity and so on - it reminded me of those who 'stood by' and watched the deliberate attempted annihilation of the Jewish people. This new genocide is avoidable and I am writing to assure you of my on-going, dedicated support for the principle of Contraction and Convergence.
As I understand it, this is an equitable, essentially simple, mathematical formula through which it becomes possible for scientists to calculate the Carbon Emissions which the planet can sustain at any time and to determine the per capita (tradable) allowances for fair distribution.
The sooner the formula or one clearly based upon it is adopted, the sooner futile arguments, obfuscation and delay can be ended and there can be a determined effort to reduce our fossil fuel energy use and replace them with renewable.
I will do all I can to support you and others in publicising your idea and turning it into reality.
In friendship and with love,
Rabbi Jeffrey Newman
Thank you for this heartfelt message.
The whole 'genocide' angle on this story is almost too dreadful to contemplate. The precedent of looking away as you suggest is difficult to refute. But, as before, it is looking away that turns us to stone so face it we must.
There have been times when one feels cast down as the issue is so huge and this effort has just seemed futile. But knowing that you are committed to bringing C&C to bear is uplifting to me . . . .
. . . and there are others now, so hope springs eternal . . . .
With the greatest respect and affection to you,
‘I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life’. (Deuteronomy 30:19)
In February, the Board of Deputies of British Jews,an august and somewhat conservative body more usually concerned with anti-Semitism and defence of Israel than with the environment, inaugurated a new web-site hosted by Operation Noah,an environmental group celebrating its tenth anniversary. The web-site highlights good practice and encourages the community, both individuals and synagogues, to change behaviour. Currently under consideration is an ambitious proposal to ‘green the community’ by providing model projects of energy conservation and renewable generation for communal institutions, schools, synagogues and families.
One group, the Rabbis of the Reform Movement, has voted to endorse the Earth Charter, a global declaration of principles for a just, sustainable and peaceful twenty-first century and are now being urged to join the Archbishop of Canterbury in campaigning for Contraction and Convergence. This is an international movement asking governments of the world to agree to contract the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere to an amount the Earth can bear and share out the right to emit greenhouse gases on a per-head-of-population basis.
Those richer countries where the emissions far outweigh the population, in justice,pay for their surplus and the payments go to those countries where the emissions are much less but the populations much greater, namely the developing world.
Dominion or Degradation - Rabbi Jeffrey Newman
"Anyone who thinks C&C is Utopian simply hasn't considered the alternatives honestly."
Rowan Williams - Archbishop of Canterbury
Rabbi Jeffrey Newman agrees with Archbishop Rowan Williams
David Hare Interview with Archbishop Rowan Williams in the Guardian Magazine 8th July, 2011
I ask if that's the criterion – that the world should make sense. "Make sense not in a great theoretical system, but that you can see the connections somehow and – I tend to reach for musical analogies here – you can hear the harmonics.
You may not have everything tied up in every detail, but there's enough of that harmonic available to think, 'OK, I can risk aligning myself with this.' Because you're never going to nail it to the floor and eat your heart out, Richard Dawkins!
"You know that scene in the Woody Allen film where they have an argument in a cinema queue, and Marshall McLuhan is standing behind them and able to interrupt to settle the argument? Woody Allen turns to the camera and says, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if life were like that?' Well, no Marshall McLuhan will ever step forward in the queue and say to Richard Dawkins, 'The archbishop's right.' It's not going to happen."
ABC is on record with accomplished C&C advocacy in the CoE dcoument 'Sharing God's Planet' and on page 66 of the DAVOS document Faith and the Global Agenda: Values for the Post-Crisis Economy . . .
. . . . and Richard Dawkins will yet make his peace with Plato.