COEJL’s Webinar on “The Story of Noah and its Relationship to Climate Change.”
COEJL Director Sybil Sanchez hosted the webinar and began with a brief explanation about COEJL and how the organization is focused on moving the Jewish community forward on energy and environmental policy, networking with other Jewish environmental organizations, and promoting a religious understanding of our responsibilities as Jews towards our world.
Rabbi Saul J. Berman, Stern College Professor and Orthodox rabbi, began with a D’var Torah on the Jewish sources and content directly relating to environmental issues with specific references to Bereshit (Genesis) and Parshat Noach (the story of Noah). Rabbi Berman explained why as Jews we are responsible for caring for Creation and must live in a way that protects our environment and does not destroy the world in which all life exists.
Dina Kruger, the Director of the Climate Change Division at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), covered EPA rulemakings related to greenhouse gases, including the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule and Program, the Light Duty Vehicle Rule, and the Tailoring Rule. Dina also discussed the agency's Endangerment Finding, which determined that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare. Finally, Dina focused on ways everyone can make a difference and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as individuals.
Ken Mankoff, Scientist and public speaker formerly of Columbia University NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the Colorado Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics introduced the Antarctic continent, its scale, and some of the research being done there. The carbon-dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere (historically, currently, and in the expected future) was discussed, along with the potential associated sea level rise and local weather events for New York City residents.