Saperstein: “Now, more than ever, we must call on our leaders in Washington, DC and around the world to adopt environmental policies that address the root causes of climate change.”
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Washington, April 21, 2008 – In advance of the 39th International Earth Day, which will be celebrated on April 22, 2008, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
“As millions of individuals around the world celebrate the 39th annual Earth Day, Jews worldwide will also be celebrating the joyous holiday of Passover. As we reflect on our journey from bondage to freedom, oppression to redemption, we are reminded of the urgent need to, continually, throw off the shackles of oppression to create a more just society.
Though there are many challenges facing our nation, few are more pressing or provide us with so many opportunities to bring about significant change as does the global threat of climate change. Now, more than ever, we must call on our leaders in Washington, DC and around the world to adopt environmental policies that address the root causes of climate change.
Currently in Congress there are a multitude of critically important bills awaiting debate. America’s Climate Security Act, proposing the steepest cuts practical and possible in carbon dioxide pollution, the Clean Water Restoration Act, and clean energy tax incentive programs deserve prompt, full and free debates in both chambers. The Administration must also do its part: In particular, we urge President Bush and the Department of Homeland Security to rescind their decision to waive more than 30 laws protecting endangered species, clean water standards, and native vegetation in favor of constructing a southwestern border fence.
We add our voices to the chorus of those who champion our environment and proudly join the many environmental groups, faith communities, and caring citizens around the country in celebrating our nation's environmental achievements to date. In this season of renewal, we renew our resolve to address the environmental challenges that remain before us.”