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Rain Water 4. Rain Water. This has been condensed from the clouds.

The first drop is distilled water. But when it falls as rain, it picks up germs, dust, smoke, minerals, strontium 90, lead and many other atmospheric chemicals. By the time rain water reaches the earth it is so saturated with dust and pollutants it may be yellowish in color. Water is supposed to act as an atmosphere purifier. If we had no air pollution, we would have far less pollution in our drinking water. Global

Warming Poses Severe Threat To The 'Richest' Natural Areas

WWF Calls on U.S. Congress to Take Responsible Action on Global Warming
WASHINGTON - Global warming threatens even the world's most biologically diverse natural areas, according to a new report, Habitats at Risk: Global Warming and Species Loss in Globally Significant Terrestrial Ecosystems, from WWF. This report is the first to look specifically at how global warming in the coming decades could impact our most treasured natural habitats -outstanding areas still rich in species and biological distinctiveness. It examines 113 land-based regions of significant size and vegetative surface and finds that huge parts of the world, from the tropics to the poles are at risk.The report also finds that as global warming changes their habitat, many species will be unable to move to new areas fast enough to survive, raising the possibility of a 'catastrophic' loss of species in one-fifth of the world's most vulnerable nature areas.To address this global threat, WWF today calls on all nations to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol emission targets. Human-induced emissions of CO2 and other gases blanket the earth, trap in heat and cause global warming."It is shocking to see that many of our most biologically valuable ecosystems are at special risk from global warming. If we don't do something to reverse this frightening trend, it would mean extinction for thousands of species," said Dr. Jay R. Malcolm, author of the report and a professor at the University of Toronto.Among the U.S. ecosystems at risk, areas in California, the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Prairie may be hardest hit. Dramatic changes may devastate the shrub and woodland areas that stretch from Southern California to San Francisco, prairies in the northern heart of the United States, Sierra Nevada mountains, Klamath-Siskiyou forest near the California-Oregon border, and the Sonoran-Baja deserts across the southwestern United States.Worldwide, the areas most vulnerable to devastation from global warming include the Canadian Low Arctic Tundra, the Central Andean Dry Puna of Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, the Ural Mountains and the Daurian Steppe of Mongolia and Russia, the Terai-Duar savannah of northeastern India, southwestern Australia and the Fynbos of South Africa. The release of this report coincides with the start of an international WWF campaign to ensure that countries around the world protect these distinctive ecosystems from global warming by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol this year so it becomes legally binding. WWF also calls on the U.S. Congress and Bush Administration to immediately put in place strong domestic plans to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets.The solutions to global warming are at hand and the risks are high. Responsible leaders must act now to help protect America's richest natural treasures for future generations," said Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF's Climate Change Campaign. "As this new report clearly shows, to delay action on reducing our carbon dioxide emissions puts the survival of many species - plants, animals and people worldwide - at unnecessary risk."Members of the U.S. Congress can put in place a strong domestic plan by passing legislation to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from power plants; increase the percentage of the nation's power that comes from clean, renewable energy resources; and increase the fuel economy of motor vehicles to 40 miles per gallon. By passing current legislative initiatives such as a Renewable Portfolio Standard and higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, the U.S. Congress can help protect America's richest natural treasures for future generations. These same measures will reduce our dependence on foreign oil thereby increasing our national security, and reduce the air pollution that causes acid rain, smog, and respiratory illness.

Contact: Kathleen Sullivanmailto:kathleen.sullivan@wwfus.org Richard H. Schwartz

The greatest threat to Israel's survival may not be terrorism or Iran, as serious as these threats are, but a variety of environmental problems, especially global warming. Jews are properly concerned about the well-being of Israel and wish her to be secure and prosperous. But what about security, wealth, and comfort of another kind -- the quality of Israel's air, water, and ecosystems? What about the physical condition of the eternal Holy Land? While not discussed frequently enough, these and other environmental dangers and degradations have increasingly become serious issues that will greatly affect Israel's future. The State of Israel has accomplished amazing things in its few decades - in agriculture, education, law, social integration, technology, Torah study, human services, and academics. But simultaneous (and sometimes related) neglect and ruthless exploitation of its land, water, air, and resources have left Israel ecologically impoverished and endangered. Like other countries, Israel is increasingly threatened by climate change, arguably the greatest current threat to humanity. There are almost daily reports about present and future effects of global climate change, including severe droughts, storms and floods, wildfires, endangered polar bears, melting glaciers and polar ice caps and much more. While this has occurred due to an average temperature change of little more than one degree Fahrenheit in the past 100 years, climate scientists are projecting an increase of from three to eleven degrees Fahrenheit in the next 100 years. Some climatologists are warning that global warming could spin out of control, with catastrophic consequences, within a decade, if major changes do not soon occur. Israel is especially threatened by global warming, as indicated by a 2007 report from the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (IUED; Adam Teva V'Din). According to the report, The Forecast is in Our Hands, unless major changes are soon made in Israel and globally, global warming could have catastrophic consequences for Israel, including: * Temperatures will rise an average of 5 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit, and there will be an increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves. In the spring of 2008 there were several major heat waves, with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Tel Aviv on at least three days. * The number of rainy days will drop and annual rainfall will decrease by up to 30 percent. Since Israel is already a semi-arid area with limited rainfall, this decrease will be very serious at a time of population growth and increased demands for water from industry and agriculture. Uri Shani, the director of the Israel Water Authority, said in July, 2008 that Israel's water situation is facing "the worst crisis in 80 years." The Water Authority plans to cut the allocation of fresh water to agriculture from 450 million to 300 million cubic meters a year. Shani notes that this step will lead to the drying out of large cultivated areas, especially the Hula Valley, the Golan and the Galilee that depend on fresh-water irrigation. Prices of fruit and vegetables will continue to rise as a result, * There will be an increase in the number and severity of storms, causing major flooding and other disruptions.

* In the worst-case scenario, global warming could cause the Mediterranean Sea level to rise by 5 meters (about 16 feet), causing major flooding of low-lying areas. In such a case, Haifa's coastal highway could be inundated, and Tel Aviv's shore could reach as far as Ibn Gvirol Street, a main thoroughfare. Even an increase of half a meter (about 20 inches) in the Mediterranean Sea could flood residential areas and damage ports and power plants and other coastal infrastructure. * Israel's water resources would be threatened by a decline in groundwater replenishment, an increase in groundwater salinity due to rising sea levels, pollutants penetrating drinking water reservoirs and a decrease in the quality of water in the Sea of Galillee and other water resources due to reduced rainfall and increased evaporation caused by higher temperatures. * Israel's agriculture will suffer due to decreased rainfall, intensive heat waves and an increase in other extreme weather conditions. * Israel's flora and fauna, already widely affected by human activities, are especially vulnerable to the effects of major climate changes. Some species may disappear, while others that are sensitive to lower temperatures may proliferate, resulting in changes in Israel's flora and fauna beyond recognition. * Increased erosion of gravel cliffs in coastal cities, including Hadera, Netanya, Herzliya, Tel Aviv, Rishon le Zion and Ashkelon, and other coastal cities will put nearby buildings at risk of collapsing. * The southern desert would expand significantly northward from Beersheba where it is today, potentially reducing land necessary to grow food and meet other human needs. * The warming and rise in heat waves could cause wider distribution of disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. * The economic cost to Israel due to global warming effects could be as high as $33 billion annually, a major price in a country striving to reduce poverty and improve its health, education and other societal programs while maintaining its security in the face of many threats. According to Friends of the Earth Middle East's report, Climate Change: A New Threat to Middle East Security, climate change is likely to act as a threat multiplier in the Middle East - exacerbating water scarcity and tensions over water within and between nations linked by hydrological resources, geography, and shared political boundaries. Poor and vulnerable populations, which exist in significant numbers throughout the region, will likely face the greatest risk. Water shortages and rising sea levels could lead to mass migration in the Region. Economic unrest across the region, due to a decline in agricultural production from climate impacts on water resources, also could lead to greater political unrest, which could threaten current regimes, thereby affecting internal and cross-border relations. These factors place greater pressure on the entire region and on already-strained, cross-border relations, and potentially foster more widespread heightened tensions and/or conflicts. However, addressing the projected climate impacts provides opportunities for local, cross-border and international cooperation to

ameliorate the problems that are already occurring and that are projected to intensify. Improving local demand- and supply-side water and energy management policies is essential. Israel as a developed economy must join OECD country commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Israel could play a leadership role in developing technological solutions domestically to help mitigate and adapt to projected climate impacts. Technologies, such as dry toilets, compost toilets, and household rainwater harvesting systems already are being used in other parts of the world. The Israeli and Jordanian governments should play leadership roles in providing pricing reforms and reducing the subsidies for agriculture. More recycled wastewater should be used for agriculture throughout the region, rather than fresh water, and less water-intensive crops must be produced. The governments also should provide incentives to households for household harvesting systems that collect rainwater that can be used for flushing toilets and other purposes, or for other water-conserving technologies. In addition, far greater public awareness is needed. The governments could facilitate media campaigns on a range of possible individual water conservation efforts. Friends of the Earth/Middle East (FoEME) is a group that operates in Jordan, Palestine and Israel to implement cross-border water-related projects in an effort to facilitate environmental problem solving and peace building. Through one of its projects, Good Water Neighbors, the group is implementing rainwater harvesting systems at schools in Palestine and Jordan. The collected water is used for bathrooms that particularly enable girls to attend school, because without operational bathrooms, they cannot attend school at all. FoEME also is implementing reconstructed wetlands to provide a "low-technology" method to treat sewage and return it to rivers to extend water supplies in these bodies. These cross border efforts will help address water resource impacts that could result from climate change as well as facilitate peace building efforts. Israel also suffers from other environmental threats. According to the IUED, 1,100 people die annually from air pollution in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area alone, and about 20 percent of Israeli children suffers from asthma or other breathing difficulties due to air pollution. Most of Israel's rivers are badly polluted and the country lacks sufficient open spaces and areas for garbage disposal. In addition to alerting Israelis to the great threats they face from global warming and other environmental problems, IUED and other Israeli environmental groups, including the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), Friends of the Earth Middle East and Green Course, a university-based group, are initiating campaigns to respond to the threats. They are calling on the government of Israel to generate a national response to global warming without further delay. IUED believes that there are compelling moral, environmental, economic and national security justifications for Israel to join the global effort. IUED believes that Israel has a moral duty to join the ranks of responsible nations rising to the global challenge, notes Tzipi Izer Itzik. Executive Director of IUED. Israel had led the field in innovations in irrigation technologies, desert agriculture, forestation in arid regions, and solar energy. We should be using this expertise to advance global solutions instead of behaving as if the global climate crisis is nothing to do

with us. IUED is calling on the State of Israel to take steps to develop a national response to climate change that consider all aspects of Israeli life. Among their many recommendations are: steps towards energy independence, energy efficiency and reduced consumption in public and private sectors; a switch to an efficient mass transportation system and the use of cleaner fuels; an advanced waste management policy that promotes reduction, reuse and recycling of resources; sustainable agriculture and water use geared towards energy saving and re-use of water resources; and development of economic incentives for technologies to reduce emissions and aid carbon capture and storage (CCS). Israel needs to respond to the challenge of climate change by providing a legislative framework and economic incentives that will put Israel at the forefront of the global struggle, says Iser Itzik. IUED believes that a timely national Israeli response will provide new business opportunities, encourage new technologies, and provide new jobs. In parallel, a concerted program will improve local environmental conditions. IUED's report recommends that Israel should adopt the European Union's approach and commit to reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, using 2000 as a baseline, and by 60% by 2050, taking into account the anticipated growth in population, rising standard of living and the steps required to adapt to projected warming. She also stresses that speedy responses are essential: There are a few short years in which we can work with the global community for the benefit of all. We need to start tackling climate change right now. There is one important response to global warming that is generally being ignored. A 2006 UN Food and Agriculture Organization report indicated that animal-based agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (18 percent, in CO2 equivalents) than the entire transportation sector (13.5 percent), and that the number of farmed animals is projected to double by mid-century. Therefore, what we eat is actually more important than what we drive and the most important personal change we could make for the environment, as well as for our health and the lives of animals, is to switch to vegetarianism. Such a change would also improve the health of Jews and others, and be more consistent with Jewish teachings on preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, preserving the environment, conserving natural resources and helping hungry people. As the above factors indicate, Israel, the U.S. and, indeed, the entire world is endangered today, as perhaps never before by global warming and other environmental threats. Hence, it is essential that tikkun olam, the healing and repair of the world become a major focus in Jewish life today and that Jews play our mandated role as a light unto the nations in helping the world's people know about the seriousness of the threats and the need for speedy actions in response. This would help revitalize Judaism by showing the relevance of eternal Jewish teachings to current threats and help move our precious, but imperiled, planet to a sustainable path. ------------------------------------------------------Friends of the Earth/Middle East contributed material for this article.

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island Author of "Judaism and Vegetarianism," "Judaism and Global Survival," and "Mathematics and Global Survival," and over 130 articles at www.JewishVeg.com/schwartz President of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) www.JewishVeg.com and Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV) www.serv-online.org/ Associate Producer of A SACRED DUTY (asacredduty.com) president@JewishVeg.com Back to the Schwartz Collection on Judaism, Vegetarianism, and AnimalHumanity is about to

face the most devastating catastrophe that mankind has encountered since the Bubonic Plague during the Middle Ages. This largest threat to humanity is global warming. Sure, some people are still debating if global warming is in progress and the long term effects of pollution in the environment, but the general consensus among most scientists and researchers is that global warming has started and is going to increase at an uncontrollable rate in the very near future. Either our world leaders are going to recognize global warming as a real threat to humanity and address it properly, or the entire human population may become extinct. The effects and consequences of global warming are both frightening and overwhelming. Currently, global warming is modestly increasing the average temperatures throughout the world. However, these temperature increases will continue to spiral upwards and cause massive climate changes throughout the world. For instance, these temperature changes will increase the average worldwide rainfall yet decrease rain in some areas, thus negatively affecting farming everywhere. Seasons to grow foods will shorten in some areas and lengthen in other areas, while few farmers will be to adapt to these changes quickly enough. And farmers will be unable to properly change the types of their crops, because the local climate changes will be continuously too unpredictable and changing too quickly. Eventually, both polar ice caps will start melting at a very fast rate because of global warming. This will cause the world's oceans to rise rapidly. Not quickly enough to cause tsunami like conditions to drown thousands of people, but rather people will be forced to evacuate coastal cities, where most of the world's population now lives, to higher ground that is more inland. No one knows for certain how high the world's

oceans will increase; but whatever the height, global warming will decrease the amount of land available for human use. This will decrease the amount of farm land available, thus further decreasing the amount of food mankind can grow. Since a large percentage of the world's population already do not grow enough food, this will cause mass starvations. The sudden increase in population densities in smaller cities not prepared for a surge in population growth will cause huge sanitation issues and diseases will spread much more rapidly, especially with food becoming more scarce. Furthermore with the ice caps melting, the amount of sunlight reflected back into space will decrease thus increasing the temperature of the Earth even faster. Underneath these receding ice caps and glaciers is dead organic matter that when thawed with release even more heat trapping greenhouse gases (carbon emissions) into the environment. While all this time, humankind will continue to produce an ever increasing amount of carbon emissions via pollution into the environment. Eventually, global warming will melt enough of the polar ice to modify the world's oceans in two ways. First, the oceans will start to desalinate, in other words the salt in the sea water will be more diluted by the fresh water from the ice. Second, the oceans' water temperature will drop because of the cold melting ice, and this will cause the oceans' currents to change. Since the world's ecosystem is regulated by the ocean's currents, this will cause another ice age. That's right, global warming will start another ice age. Human civilization is not equipped to survive an ice age that will last a few years let alone a few thousand years. No one knows when this ice age will start, but the world's agriculture can not sustain the world's population during an ice age. This may even cause the extinction of mankind. No one knows when this ice age will happen, but it is coming. We know that the cycle of temperature increases are followed by ice ages, but this time the changes are not natural. These changes are caused by man-made greenhouse gases released in the environment. Therefore scientists believe that the next ice age will start much sooner than the scientific evidence has proven to have happened in the past. Let's review for a moment. Global warming is the effects of greenhouse causing gases released into the environment that increases the average temperature of the world, thus adding more energy into the atmosphere. This increase in temperature and energy will cause an increase in rain and hurricanes, and wreck havoc to the agriculture of the world's food supply. Eventually, enough of the world's icecaps will melt to increase the world's sea levels, thus further destroying the world's agriculture

land. Furthermore, the melting ice water will disrupt the world's oceans that regulate the world's temperatures and cause an ice age. And finally, human civilization currently can not survive an ice age. As a result, our world leaders have to recognize global warming as a real threat to humanity. They need to both try to slow down global warming and prepare for its eventuality. If they do not, the collapse of the human civilization is almost certain, and the entire human race is at risk of becoming extinct. by Phil B.