Tuesday, January 23, 2007

an easy way to solve climate change

I was going to post this on Sunday, when I thought of it, but I was busy doing nothing!

In as little as ten years according to some estimates, London could be submerged under 200 foot of water. Not to mention poor old Bangladesh!

It's a pretty intimidating challenge, but at a time like this above all have faith. Do not worry about this.

One solution that has been overlooked because it is perhaps not as sexy as say, driving a Prius, or eating organic food, is one that the Orthodox Jews could tell us all about: Respecting the Sabbath. If we all rested on the seventh day it would give the earth time to regenerate. Just switch off your machines, stop running around like a mad thing and chill out. Spend the time sleeping, talking to friends, praying (which is simply talking to the ultimate Friend) sitting in silence, or going for a nice long walk. Revel in quietness. On no account use the time to catch up on work or go shopping. You'll feel better for it and so will the planet.

The highly respected editor of Resurgence Magazine, Satish Kumar, first proposed widespread observance of a day of rest and This is genius. Nothing would be easier to do than to do nothing once a week, and if we all did nothing it would make an extraordinary difference to our planet, not to mention the sanity of mankind.

The green movement seems to have got mixed up with voices crying in the desert saying 'Become carbon neutral or be damned!' I think it's a slightly deranged and unhelpful message. Why not suggest something achievable: Try taking a day of rest for the planet.

For an account of the Orthodox Jewish observance of the Sabbath, you could read the superlative novel Disobedience by Naomi Alderman. Not that I'm suggesting we all go as far as the Orthodox Jews (Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, after all) but it's a fantastic novel and you would enjoy it anyway. I trust that any Jewish readers will feel free to comment on my somewhat ignorant understanding of Sabbath observance.

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