Barbara Weinstein: "This Earth Day, we must seek the renewal of our earth, liberation from dependence on fossil fuels, and freedom from environmental injustice that continues to plague the most vulnerable populations worldwide."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 22, 2014 -- In honor of the 44th annual Earth Day, Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action and Associate Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement:
On this Earth Day, as people around the world are reminded of the preciousness of our planet, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting it for future generations, l'dor v'dor. This year, as in too many years past, we saw the devastation that is wreaked by extreme climate events like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. And at home, we know that from the severe heat waves on the West Coast to the debilitating snow storms in the Southeast - we are not immune to the escalating effects of climate change.
Recent estimates have recorded that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have now exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm), the highest level found on earth in millions of years. The only way to arrest climate change and reduce CO2 in the atmosphere to safe levels is to quickly transition to the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficient technologies as well as significantly cut our overall greenhouse gas emissions. On this Earth Day, we must commit to curbing our personal impact and call on our leaders to enact meaningful measures to reduce our national impact.
Today also marks the last day of Passover, a time in which we celebrate the renewal of spring and mark our redemption from slavery. This Earth Day, we must seek the renewal of our earth, liberation from dependence on fossil fuels, and freedom from environmental injustice that continues to plague the most vulnerable populations worldwide.