Saturday, April 4, 2015

Stuck in Egypt - Omer Day 1

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

According to a recent study by NASA, "droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains during the last half of this century could be drier and longer than drought conditions seen in those regions in the last 1,000 years." The Washington Post reported on this study: 
The long and severe drought in the U.S. Southwest pales in comparison with what’s coming: a “megadrought” that will grip that region and the central Plains later this century and probably stay there for decades, a new study says.Thirty-five years from now, if the current pace of climate change continues unabated, those areas of the country will experience a weather shift that will linger for as long as three decades, according to the study, released Thursday.

An article in the New York Times discussed where Americans might go to find relief from climate change:

Forget most of California and the Southwest (drought, wildfires). Ditto for much of the East Coast and Southeast (heat waves, hurricanes, rising sea levels). Washington, D.C., for example, may well be a flood zone by 2100, according to an estimate released last week.Instead, consider Anchorage. Or even, perhaps, Detroit.“If you do not like it hot and do not want to be hit by a hurricane, the options of where to go are very limited,” said Camilo Mora, a geography professor at the University of Hawaii and lead author of a paper published in Nature last year predicting that unprecedented high temperatures will become the norm worldwide by 2047.“The best place really is Alaska,” he added. “Alaska is going to be the next Florida by the end of the century.” 
It's all incredibly scary. Think Katrina. Think Hurricane Sandy. Think Midwestern and western drought. Think Boston's winter snowfall record.

Think not enough food to go around. Think being hungry. Think not being able to stay cool in summer or warm in winter. Think no clean water. Think not being able to breathe well. Think. Let your imagination go.

And remember, as you think, that this is just in our own part of the planet. This doesn't reach the expanding Sahara desert of the disappearing islands of the Pacific.

This, and so much more, is bondage. This, and so much more, is climate change. This,and so much more, is the world's future.

Today is the first day of the Omer.
The first day of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a co-convener and coordinator of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network.

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