I am the Walrus

October 3, 2014
There are 35,000 walruses stranded right now on the beaches of northwest Alaska. Walruses, which rely on sea ice to rest periodically, are having a harder and harder time finding it in the Bering Sea due to ice sheets melting from rising global temperatures. Scientists, including those at the Walrus Research Center in Anchorage Alaska, have serious concerns over whether walruses will be able to adapt to shrinking sea ice levels. They may very well become one of the wide array of species that we can expect to go extinct as climate disruption ravages our planet. [embed]http://www.youtube.com/embed/rH77gte9lVI[/embed] And let’s not forget that walruses have a central, if comical, place in our cultural memory: [embed]http://vimeo.com/66989097[/embed] As we head into Yom Kippur and consider the year 5775, let us pray that we will be able to curb the worst effects of climate change and save not only the walruses, but all the species and peoples likely to suffer from the harmful impact we are making on the earth with our unmitigated production of greenhouse gases. We are commanded in Genesis 2:15 to “till the earth and tend it,” and yet we shirk that responsibility when we are inactive in the face of moments like that that demonstrate how quickly and substantially we are destroying the earth. If you are interested in doing more, talk to your congregation about getting involved in GreenFaith certification, take my Tishrei Green Challenge and stop using plastic bags, or tell the Environmental Protection Agency that you support carbon pollution standards for existing power plants.

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