The official word is in – it’s hot out there! Scientists recently proclaimed 2012 to be the hottest year ever recorded, and in Australia, temps have skyrocketed so much, they had to redraw the weather map to accommodate the rising heat.
In addition to the literal warming of the globe, which increases drought, wildfires and dangerously hot summers, climate change is linked to the increase of drastic and damaging weather events – floods, hurricanes, tornadoes – that we have witnessed in recent years, most recently with Hurricane Sandy.
The Jewish holiday of Tu Bisvhat begins this Friday night, January 25th. Originally an ancient agricultural tax holiday in Israel, Tu Bishvat has evolved into the Jewish calendar’s answer to Earth Day – a day to reconnect to nature, celebrate its gifts, and evaluate how we can help safeguard the planet for future generations. With climate change making more and more headlines (and not for positive reasons), the time to act is now. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
- COEJL: Be a clean-energy advocate! Join the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life’s Jewish Energy Network to gain the skills you need to make a difference in your community. You can also sign up for COEJL’s community organizing training in Washington DC, Mar 13-14.
- Jewish Farm School: Check out this awesome organization’s (and Repair the World partner) Feast Forward video series, which covers all sorts of important environmental and agricultural topics, including an inspiring interview with 350.org’s co-founder, Bill McKibben.
- Hazon: Learn about the connections between Jewish tradition and teaching and climate change (there are more than you might think!) on Hazon’s blog.
- 350.org: Join in 350′s growing movement to encourage colleges and universities to divest financial support for fossil fuels. Whether you’re a current student, or an alum, there are plenty of ways to make a difference at your alma matter.
- Sierra Club: Take part in the Sierra Club’s campaign to move America “beyond oil – they give you all the tools you need to influence your congressperson, support green fleets, and more.
Jewish tradition reminds us about the importance of taking care of the earth. With that inspiration in mind, how will you help make a difference? Let us know by tweeting @repairtheworld, or in the comments below.