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Feb 2 2011

Global Warming and Me

By at 2:49 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the snow. (With so much of it, it’s hard to think about anything else.) And I’ve been reading lots of Facebook and Twitter posts about people getting stuck, unable to go on vacations, frustrated that they can’t get out of their house with their babies (oh wait, that’s me), and more.

Last week’s snowstorm almost caused some serious trouble for us. My husband was in Israel on a business trip and was supposed to land on Friday morning at 6 am. So that we could move to a new apartment on Saturday morning at 8 am. Of course we had movers coming, and of course we were about 75% packed before he left… but there was still a lot to do. And then his flight was delayed. And I was sitting in Brooklyn, trapped in my house, without the babysitter who was supposed to come entertain the baby while I packed because the NYC buses weren’t running…having a minor freakout.

Luckily, it all worked out. But as I packed box after box, wrapping dishes in paper, using packing tape to seal them, writing on them in magic markers, I started thinking. Maybe the storm is my fault.

Let me explain. As we prepared to move, I went through all sorts of stuff. I threw away broken toys, I gave away clothes that we no longer wore, and I shredded bank statements that I’d kept for 10 years. It felt good to get rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff. But we threw a lot away. (I recycled everything I could, took as much to the Salvation Army as I could, but some of it was just trash.)

And it made me think about my own personal impact on global warming, and how global warming is probably the cause of this weekly winter storming.

Though your first reaction might be, “wait, I thought global warming made it warmer. What does that have to do with freezing rain?” it actually turns out that global warming means the earth is getting warmer, which means that weather patterns are out of sync. It can cause worse storms–such as these. Now, I am going to say this clearly–I have not consulted with scientists on this. I do not know whether these storms are a direct result of me wrapping dishes in lots of packaging. But I kind of believe it.

Maybe this is God or Mother Nature or someone telling us to get it together. Stop tossing everything. Recycle more–or better yet, reuse. Work on decreasing your carbon footprint. Don’t behave like you can always get another of whatever it is you’re throwing out today. Bal taschit–be a caretaker of the earth, don’t destroy it. And maybe if we all do a little something, we won’t get as much freezing rain next week. Hey, a girl can hope, right?


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4 Responses to Global Warming and Me

  1. David says:

    Is the Proposed Trans Global Highway a solution for population concerns and global warming?
    One tremendous solution to future population concerns as well as alleviating many of the effects of potential global warming is the proposal for the construction of the “Trans Global Highway”. The proposed Trans Global Highway would create a world wide network of standardized roads, railroads, water pipe lines, oil and gas pipelines, electrical and communication cables. The result of this remarkable, far sighted project will be global unity through far better distribution of resources, including including heretofore difficult to obtain or unaccessible raw materials, fresh water, finished products and vastly lower global transportation costs.
    With greatly expanded global fresh water distribution, arid lands could be cultivated resulting in a huge abundance of global food supplies. The most conservative estimate is that with the construction of the Trans Global Highway, the planet will be able to feed between 14 and 16 Billion people, just using presently available modern farming technologies. With a present global population of just under 7 billion people and at the United Nations projection of population increase, the world will produce enough food surpluses to feed the expected increased population for the next 425 years. Thomas Robert Malthus’s famous dire food shortage predictions of 1798 failed to take into consideration modern advances in farming, transportation, food storage and food abundance. Further information on the proposed Trans Global Highway can be found at http://www.TransGlobalHighway.com .

  2. Sam says:

    I can identify with the feelings of guilt when throwing away clutter. However, most of the climate changing gases are produced from making the goods, not from their disposal. It’s better to concentrate on buying less than on not throwing things away. I doesn’t help the planet to just turn your own home into the landfill site.

  3. Rivka says:

    Hi Mayim! I am a fan of yours – I used to watch Blossom as a kid, and now as a mom I find I share some of your opinions on child rearing (pro bf and more.) I live in Midwood :) What I wanted to tell you is that as a fellow Jewish mother (I am Orthodox/Yeshivish), the commandment of Bal Tashchit is actually a Rabbinic law extended from the Biblical law which forbids cutting down fruit trees. Devarim 20:19 (http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5763/shavous.html) In line with the importance of keeping the Mitzvot in the Torah which Hashem gave us, I felt it necessary to point out that the Torah obligates the Jewish people to keep Shabbat and avoid Melacha (purposeful, creative activity). (http://www.ou.org/chagim/shabbat/concept.htm)

    I hope you have a great Shabbat and enjoy the delicious food as well as the spiritual uplifting which it brings. Try reading this set of Sefarim to learn more about keeping the Laws of Shabbat in their entirety http://www.eichlers.com/Product/Books/Book_Sets/39-Melachos—4-Volume-Slipcased-Set-%5BHardcover%5D-_F368-5.html

  4. Carla says:

    I agree completely. And I think my first step will be to move somewhere warm so we don’t waste so much energy heating the house. And we won’t have to buy new winter coats and boots for the girls each year. You in?

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