What’s Our Response to Environmentalists.

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    Every month there’s a new environmental craze these liberals like to push in order to control everyone. What is the Frum response to ideas like climate change and carbon footprint? They’ve just said most plastic doesn’t get recycled, so basically it’s a waste of time to. If you would say that a year ago, you’d get canceled.

    Shimon Nodel

    Here’s what you do: use as much plastic as you possibly can. Get as much plastic residue and microplastics into your body and your young children. I mean you don’t want your kids having healthy brains because they might start to think and possibly be concerned about the air they breathe and the food and water they consume. No, it’s much safer to just fill them up with plastic while you still can and so they won’t have healthy minds capable of rational thought. What could possibly be wrong with plastic? I mean, it just goes to a landfill and stays there right? It definitely doesn’t reenter our water and food supplies, and certainly doesn’t break into microplastics and fill the air. That would be insane!

    Go show those libs!


    Environmentalism is a good replacement for religious fervor for secularists. While people used to use their religion to drive their passion, they now turn to phantoms of “racism” and environmentalism


    My response is that I have one garbage can that everything goes into. I’ve never recycled.


    R’ Yosef: In some jurisdictions, you would be drowning in your own trash since the trash and recycling trucks would refuse to empty that one beloved garbage can you are so proud of. Some of the local rules are crazy but there is no logical reason not to separate out waste that can be kept out of scarce landfill space and profitably recycled or used to generate steam and/or electricity in CHP plants.


    Our response is: ledidi, the passuk tells us in bereishis 8:22 that Hashem will control the climate for eternity but ledidaichu, at least be moideh to the fact that science tells us that the world is billions of years old and has always had hot streaks and cold streaks, hot climates and ice ages, many of which happened long before humans were even present so what makes you think that all of those climate changes over the millions and millions of years were natural and humans had no power to cause it or prevent it but THIS one is different?


    Proud to say the BY girls here engage in the same Tikkun Olam projects as the Reform & sometimes they do it together.


    Our response in galus is to shut up. If a Jew (religious or not) asks what Judaism says about it then bring Torah sources to the best of your ability. If you don’t know any go to Aish.com or any reputable website that gives sources.


    Kuvult – yep, hischabrus im reshoim is something to celebrate.


    Rocky, unfortunately many online forums, particularly of the kiruv variety, traffic in misinformation, to use a modern term.

    Aish is extremely zionistic, moreso than mainstream israeli news outlets. It’s actually very embarrassing for us, because a jewish student who is disillusioned with zionism when they learn about der yassin and the other atrocities of the secular zionists, then they see “Orthodox judaism” whitewashing it… it’s doing us no favors.

    Kiruv places like to quote the same ridiculous “proof” of environmental activism that the RCA used years ago. Chazal say that Hashem took Adam all around gan eden and said “look how beautiful my creations are, take heed not to ruin my world”

    Do you know who has ever taken that medrash to mean physical destruction or pollution?

    You guessed it – zero.

    The seforim, including the ramchal and maharal, say it means that we shouldn’t destroy the world through sin.

    All throughout chazal and tanach, the one destructive force is sin. Not pollution. Not aerosols. Not greenhouse gasses.

    To say that these non-sinul entities destroy the world is like saying that the Holocaust happened because of mikrah, just nature.

    It’s apikorsus and denial of Hashem’s hashgocha, and denying that it is sin and mitzvos which benefit and destroy the world. Not what kind of car you drive.


    1. There is no halachic issue. If you accept their theory about carbon emissions causing devastating global warming that will put everyone’s life in danger, we would have no halachic objections to their demands. If as they believe with a religious fervor, that the world is ending, halacha would support measures to prevent it. It is their underlying theory that is questionable.

    2. We have a longer perspective on history; our “memories” go back millenia, whereas most Americans go back decades, at most. Based on accounts of what crops grew where, it is clear that it was warmer in the past than it is today, particularly during the period of Bayis Sheini (the “classical period”) and the period of the Rishonim (the “high Middle Ages”). The goyim seem to be confusing routine climate and weather variations with a disastrous change in climate. When the environmentalists claim that their “science” asserts that there has been horrific warming since the late 18th century, they are choosing one of the coldest periods in human history as their “base”. They also ignore that the historic cold periods led to mass famines and migration of climate refugees is large numbers, often leading to acts of genocide, whereas the warm periods in the past were actually quite pleasant leading to higher food production and a flowering of civilizations. Note that even today, those with money go to Florida for the winter, rather than Alberta or Montana for the summer.

    3. There is a halachic dimension to be considered, in that the secular environmentalists seem prone to perceive whatever data they encounter as “proving” a pending “apocalypse” (note their similar response to Covid19), and this penchant for seeing a disaster behind every every data set is probably based on the Christian “bible”, leading to the idea that perhaps it is Avodah Zarah for Yidden to take such “apocalyptic” thinking seriously. We have been around a very long term, and by now we should trust Ha-Shem not to shmush us.


    I wonder why Jewish people have such a strong bias against environmentalism?


    Quayboard: Years ago, when I wanted to troll some of the more rabid “climate deniers” I would accuse them of being over the big Mitzvah of “Tikun Olam” for which they would lose their chelek of Olam Haboh (assuming the Olam Hazeh lasted that long). Invariably, aside from the cries of Kefirah and demands for a source in torah for this Big Mitzvah (No. 614) there was an underlying theme that even if specific actions (e.g. recycling) improved the environment and made economic sense, adopting such practices was either minhag hagoyim or simply encouraged more “extreme” demands from environmentalists (e.g. not paving over your front lawn to park 2 minivans or not trashing local parks during chol hamoed outings). Such demands were clearly anti-Semitic rants from self-hating yidden .
    The good news is that over the past decade there has been considerable progress in how the frum tzibur has adopted common sense environmental practices while pushing back against those who use “environment” as an excuse to deny yidden opportunities to expand their communities or attack our religious practices.

    Avram in MD

    Shimon Nodel,

    Just curious why you assume that concern about microplastics and other toxins is a liberal issue?


    Quay, maybe it has something to do with it being against the emunah of Hashem running the world and punishing us due to sin and sin alone, and not due to driving SUVs?


    Shimon, the liberals often create new environmental issues when they try to restrict the use of one material by replacing it with others. They can’t do anything right. Ok don’t use fuel so use more batteries instead. It’s narish.


    Avira: but humans can destroy the world, there is no real question about that. We can use nuclear weapons, for example. The only real question is whether we are.



    For the same reason so many Jews are “biased” against the animal rights movement. From its outset, many in the environmentalist leadership have pursued the “rights of mother earth” (a Greek Goddess) with a dogma crosses the line into religious extremism. It’s one thing to feel a sense of responsibility towards Hashem’s creations but another to believe they have rights superseding those of humanity.

    Shimon Nodel

    It’s unfortunate that people who are supposed to learn gemara are unable to distinguish between climate change and pollution. These are two separate things entirely. Specifically, plastic pollution destroys our bodies in more ways you can imagine. And plastic is literally ruining every aspect of our living conditions. It’s poison and it get everywhere! Go ahead and keep poisoning yourselves. Don’t worry, if you can’t notice any damage It’s probably because it’s already gotten to your brain. And of course you’re an apikores if you think poison is not a good thing


    We should of course care about the state of the olam haze that Hashem created for us. There are a lot of non-controversial things that we do: do not things away, fruit trees, city layout, not damaging property.

    The problem start with philosophies that make hard-to-prove claims that require, somehow, for money to flow from us to them. So, it then becomes entirely possible to pursue these goals at the expense of simple things we are required to do. Say, decrease population or at least have less kids to save the planet; close down nuclear and coal powerplants to increase dependency on Arabs and Russians.

    Bottom line, we are for environment – goodm healthy Jewish environment.


    Good for them. Environmentalism does little to affect Jewish life in the short term (oh boo hoo, I have to put my bottles in a different can, and bring my own bags to the supermaket) but out of all things that goyim can get worked up over, this one is probably the most in line with the Torah and best thing for life in the long run. I don’t know about you folk, but I like the fact that these days it’s not unusual to see the night sky above NYC. That was not always the case.


    So instead of plastic straws let’s destroy all the trees to make paper straws which last maybe one drink before falling apart and then we all have less oxygen and food. Do you liberals think these ideas through before blindly following? Liberals don’t do anything right.


    Shimon, localized air pollution is an observable phenomenon, but your theories on the use of plastics is not proven.

    Aaq, it’s true that we’re not supposed to be wasteful, but the mitzvos of bal tashchis etc are to teach us to appreciate Hashem’s world, not that we’re baalei batim on it and that we have the ability to destroy or help it without it being Hashem’s will.


    aaq, the apikorsus, unadulterated anathema of yiddishkeit that you so nonchalantly throw around, about decreasing the population in order to help the environment, made me make a double-take. You start out with mitzvos of bal tashchis…and you end up with denying the mitzvah of lesheves yatzarta and le’erev al tanach yadecha?!!?!?!?

    it is a mitzvah to have as many children as possible after fulfilling the minimum, chazal say this explicitly. the torah is NOT concerned with limited resources, because “hayad Hashem tiktzar?”

    And to prove it in physical terms that you might be more agreeable with in your heresy, scientists predicted mass famine if the population continued to increase in the 1960s.

    Well, the population more than doubled in the worldf since then…and guess what? There’s less world hunger now than ever before in recorded history!!! That’s Hashem’s way of showing how twisted, evil and anti-life the people are who subscribe to your heresy.


    Avira > the apikorsus, unadulterated anathema of yiddishkeit that you so nonchalantly throw around,

    Maybe I was not clear – I brought these as examples of perversions these ideologies take them, similar to Nazis and Commies – and to Christians before them – who committed their crimes in pursuit of “higher good”. As Russians are now saying to Ukrainians – “we need to kill you to save you”.


    Avira > that we have the ability to destroy or help it without it being Hashem’s will.

    this is nothing new and applies to everything. We go into business and deal with people whose only goal is money, into medicine where everyone feels they are in charge of health. So, you first make sure that your motivation is correct, protect yourself from bad influence, and then try to make them see the better side.


    And please don’t throw everyone with a pen into the same bin as “scientists”. Same as putting Rabonim and Reform Rabbis in the same “clergy” category.

    The klal is that the closer a researcher is to reality and experiment, the more yashar he is. Physicists are rarely know to fake nuclear experiments. Nuclear bomb worked as predicted … Satellites fly, GPS takes you to your destination without you even knowing how it is being done. It is worse when it comes to economics, and worse to obvious political areas.


    > the people are who subscribe to your heresy.

    cool down. As I said I am for environment, for good Jewish environment.


    Aaq, that wasn’t at all clear, it seemed that you were endorsing having fewer kids, or at least being pareve about it

    If you don’t accept that, then disregard what i said

    Shimon Nodel

    It’s not proven?? That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard recently. The evidence is all around and literally in front of you. Take your head out of your artscroll gemara for one moment


    Shimon: A far better idea would be for you to put your head in a Gemora, for once.


    Shimon, if there’s something in the world that requires me to get ky head out of a gemara, the dvar Hashem, and enter into the words of goyim reshoim, then I’d rather have my head in the gemara for as long as I’m able to, and I don’t have to worry about the tzar ham’nabayach, barking screaming evil doers who want there to be less life and who think that they control the world, for better or worse.

    As for evidence, when i was a kid, the scientists were saying that in 10 years, coastal cities would be submerged, there would never be any snow, and in 20 years life would all be destroyed. They made so many predictions that at least some of them happened, so they can point to them, ignore their false claims, and say “look, we were right!” And the masses gobble up their nonsense.


    > when i was a kid, the scientists were saying that in 10 years, coastal cities would be submerged

    The scientists I know spoke about different things, and achieved many of them. That includes plastics. btw. I know a little from my father O’H how difficult it is to develop a new type of plastics that fits a particular purpose and can be produced commercially.

    Just do some meta-thinking. Imagine you talk to someone whose knowledge of Gemora is based on NYT or some more intellectual magazine. You would not expect him to have a clue, right? So, if you are learning about science from similar sources, do you think you know more?

    I had once an experience that I hopefully learnt from. A local rov in a small town decided to write a small article about what I was doing there in a local Jewish publication. We sat down and he asked me a bunch of questions and wrote down the answers. When I read the article, the number of errors was astounding. Whatever was the source of misunderstandings, it taught me to take any published info with a grain of salt.

    emes nisht sheker

    I find this whole conversation funny as frankly many of the ideas “environmentalists” want to enact are beneficial regardless of whether climate change is or is not an issue.

    What type of lunatic do you have to be to not want us to move off fossil fuels? The streets of our cities will be quieter and the air cleaner. The amount of respiratory related issues will decline. Many in the frum community have lost their marbles and are terrified over a vaccine, but breathing in partially combusted hydrocarbons that were buried at least since the ‘mabul’ is fine with them.

    As to garbage… Where does all that garbage we produce go? It is not an easy job transporting it. If we can figure out a better way to handle garbage, such as better recycling and the like, it would save places like NYC lots of money. And for those who think you can just throw garbage in massive heaps with no consequence, clearly you have no idea what type of gasses this dumps exhaust and how they can impact groundwater. So as much as you think “environmentalists” are what is driving these things, you are clearly ignorant of the practical needs here as well.

    As to plastics, etc… Have you considered the impact on water and fish populations? Perhaps environmentalists raised these issues first, but it is the practical reality that these resources need to be better managed to avoid shortages in the long-run that drives lots of the actual legislation.

    FYI, you should all research some history about access to clean water in NYC. There were bodies of water used for drinking that were also used for various waste products with the end result is you had people getting sick. Issues like this led to development of water resources and served as a warning that you can’t simply ignore problems and hope they will go away themselves.


    emes, you are right to consider issues on their observable merits. Then, there is a hope to figure them out.

    for example, fossil fuels made our cities so much cleaner – comparing with the horses that previously occupied and polluted the streets. When you have something even cleaner – and cheaper – everyone will switch to that. “Cheaper” is important – expensive means spending more resources on producing that thing.

    And also need to take reality into account – look at Germans who went off their gas and coal, and clean nuclear energy and depended instead on buying cheap Russian gas while growing their “clean” resources – while also enjoying cheap dirty energy that was critical for their manufacturing exports – and not spending enough on defense. I think their behavior is more dangerous to the world than eating from plastic plates.

    similar thing may be with some recycling: China used to buy it, now I think it does not, and there is no reasonable way to deal with it. My info may be outdated though.


    Emes the reality is like any other ideas that liberals push sound good at the surface but in reality they end up doing more harm than good for humanity.


    The opening poster implies that there are no conservatives who have concerns or support action – governmental or otherwise – against climate change. Is this correct?

    Avram in MD


    “I wonder why Jewish people have such a strong bias against environmentalism?”

    It’s not environmentalism that engenders frum opposition per se, but rather the anti-humanism expressed by many so-called environmentalists under the guise of environmentalism. Separate the two successfully and you’ll find that the hostility drops considerably.

    Avram in MD


    “adopting such practices was either minhag hagoyim”

    Given your high level of hostility to and unfamiliarity with frum Jews, I suspect that either you did not understand the responses you got, or are making up this response. I have never heard “minhag hagoyim” as a reason to not recycle.

    “or simply encouraged more “extreme” demands from environmentalists (e.g. not paving over your front lawn to park 2 minivans or not trashing local parks during chol hamoed outings).”

    Wow, who needs anti-Semites? You’ll perhaps be disappointed to know that when I went to Hershey Park for the first time on chol hamoed Sukkos, there were thousands of frum Jews in attendance, yet the park was clean and orderly, and the patrons well behaved.


    Huju. There are conservatives who might acknowledge that there’s data. If they support action they’re probably RINOs if anything or some other corporate hackery.

    Amil Zola

    lakwhut, point of information: The majority of wood grown for pulp (paper applications boxes, tp, paper plates etc) come from plantations. Timber (alder) is grown on plantations and cut and replanted based on the end use. (For the purpose of plywood and construction different strains of alder are planted and harvested at different times.) Timber for pulp and building are managed renewable resources. Plastic never goes away. If you hate paper straws so much invest in some silicone ones or stainless steel.

    Avram in MD

    emes nisht sheker,

    “I find this whole conversation funny as frankly many of the ideas “environmentalists” want to enact are beneficial regardless of whether climate change is or is not an issue.”

    You perceive the notion that environmental policies are objectively beneficial to humanity as poshut, but actually this is one of the cruxes of the disagreement, so if you actually want to convince people instead of just insulting them to demonstrate your intellectual superiority, maybe tone down the laughter and hostility.

    “What type of lunatic do you have to be to not want us to move off fossil fuels? The streets of our cities will be quieter and the air cleaner.”

    The streets would be quieter and cleaner, and electric vehicles are certainly a better prospect than diesel, which Europe adopted en masse to reduce emissions, and are now dealing with the far more toxic exhaust in urban areas than gasoline emissions as a reward for their short-sightedness. However, electric cars are currently more expensive to produce and buy than conventional combustion based vehicles. Their reliability is perceived to be poorer. The distance they can travel before requiring recharging is shorter than the distance between each refueling of a conventional vehicle. Charging an electric vehicle takes longer than refueling a gasoline vehicle. So I’m not surprised that consumers who are already stressed by increasing costs and demands with decreasing time in the day for family, learning, and personal needs would feel resentful towards shaming, “nudging” or outright regulating (i.e., California) the purchase of vehicles that would increase the stress. For this to change, electric cars must become superior to conventional combustion cars. Then people will buy them!

    Now move beyond the consumer perspective. Electric cars must be charged. This requires them to be plugged into power grids that are already decrepit, functionally obsolete, and overtaxed. When Californians hear that electric vehicles will be mandated, but the state cannot even provide sufficient electricity to its citizens over the summers right now, and we hear nothing of big plans to improve the power-supply infrastructure, why shouldn’t there be opposition?

    Also, what impact on places such as Africa where the materials originate would the dramatic expansion of demand for large lithium based batteries have? When mandating electric vehicles, is California being a good global citizen by ensuring other places are not negatively impacted?

    “breathing in partially combusted hydrocarbons that were buried at least since the ‘mabul’ is fine with them.”

    Just curious – why did you put mabul in quotation marks?

    “As to garbage… Where does all that garbage we produce go? It is not an easy job transporting it. If we can figure out a better way to handle garbage, such as better recycling and the like, it would save places like NYC lots of money.”

    So demonstrate this benefit clearly and calmly to people. The current perception is that recycling has little overall benefit, as the material has to be transported long distances, much of it is ultimately landfilled anyway, and there are companies who are make a lot of money from recycling operations while those who are actively separating the materials see little benefit, e.g., reduced taxes or increased services from the supposed savings.

    Avram in MD


    I think it’s not kefira to say that a human being can change or even destroy his house. And on a bigger scale, his block. Or neighborhood, or city, or even region. Fly across the expanse of the U.S. on an airplane and one can see that humans have drastically altered the entire countryside, with roads, cities, and farmland like patchwork quilts. At what point or scale do we say that the idea that humans can change their environment becomes kefira? I’m honestly curious where the boundary is.


    Avram, bechira allows a person to decide to do something, but does not allow it to happen unless it’s min hashomayim. There’s no other power besides Hashem in the world.

    Avram in MD


    “Avram, bechira allows a person to decide to do something, but does not allow it to happen unless it’s min hashomayim. There’s no other power besides Hashem in the world.”

    I agree. This doesn’t really answer my question; however. Hashem set up our universe with a sense of cause and effect to allow us to participate in it. If I walk across the street, I’ll find myself on the other side. If I put a flame to a candle wick, the candle will light. If I turn the furnace on in my home, the home warms up. And I don’t have to be desiring or even cognizant of the effect for the effect to occur. If I dump garbage out of my window, it may land on someone’s head, even if I didn’t know someone was there. So on the one hand, that garbage would not have landed on the person’s head unless Hashem willed it, but on the other hand, the garbage landing on his head was a result of my action. So could we say that of course AGW will not occur unless Hashem wills it, but if Hashem does will it, its physical cause is due to human activities?

    The reverse of this is that had I not dumped the garbage from my window and the person below deserved a petch, he would have gotten it by some other means. But does this mean I can be unconcerned with the impacts of dumping garbage out my window?


    Avram – i hear you. Direct cause and effect, like dumping the garbage, is a good example, which begs a question..why does it natter what my decision is if it’s going to happen anyway? The answer is that it depends on whether or not the decision to do something falls in line with Torah. If the Torah says you’re not supposed to waste food by throwing it out the window, or that you’re not supposed to throw garbage out of a window indiscriminately, because there might be someone there, then a decision to do so would be a bechira decision against the Torah.

    But are we commanded not to do actions which harm the environment? If we make smog and hurt people’s breathing, which is a visible, dirext consequence, like throwing garbage out of the window, then such a decision would be a bechira decision against the Torah. But as you said, the damage done would have happened anyway, and the only difference is in the judgement of those responsible.

    This is like paroh’s claim to Hashem, that He decreed the jews would be slaves, so why is He mad at paroh? Hashem answered, who asked you to be the rasha to do it?

    But for environmentalism as a movement, which believes that humans can hurt the environment or save it, we’d ask ourselves; does the Torah say anywhere to investigate things like the greenhouse effect and other things that climatologists say will ruin or damage the planet? The Torah places us as responsible for the well-being of ourselves and others, but does it ever say that we are to be tasked with protecting the world? Or is that something that we leave up to Hashem as we go about our lives living chayei tevel?

    It would be similar to a scientific prediction that a meteor is about to hit earth in 25 years. Countries will start a space race to make colonies on the moon; does that mean a Torah jew should join the movement? No, because without a world, there can be no proper kiyum hamitzvos. We either accept that the world is ending, and do teshuva and daven, knowing that it is only in the hands of Hashem, or we deny it and say that the scientists are wrong.

    Same thing here. My main problem is that frum jews who believe in the climate cult do not respond with calls to do teshuva and daven. Instead they think they can fix it on their own. I personally side wirh rav avigdor miller, who called the whole thing a left wing conspiracy. But i can definitely see room for a believing jew to accep their predictions – as long as the response is that of a jew dacing a gezerah min hashomayim.


    why “gezera” when it might be possible to do something? At the yam suf, Moshe is told not to daven, but to act. Maybe, you don’t need to run away from the meteor, but simply shoot it or send a rocket to confront it and redirect with a magnet – even a small change far away will be enough to save the planet, or maybe just EY … Same as when a person is sick – is it a gezera or a cure is possible? A poshute yid and a Rabbi Dr may come to poosite conclusions …

    Maybe, you have a similar cognitive dissonance with the meteor: you clearly need to know physics and engineering to confront the meteor, but this would require you to admit that going to college is useful, and you would rather have the whole world destroyed than admit you were wrong. Understandable.


    The “only” problem with E-sts is that they mix up priorities making Earth into an idol, and in misusing lofty far-away goals in order to extract money frmo us today. Nothing new here. Christians, Communists, etc did the same

    emes nisht sheker

    Avram in MD –

    the word “mabul” was in quotes (single quotes) because it was a hebrew word. If you look I put “environmentalists” in double quotes to give emphasis to that word. The single quotes was to indicate the change in language. Hope that makes sense.

    As to the rest there are a lot of points that can be made in favor or against various things but my main point was that perhaps most of the legislation that passes that aligns with what the environmentalists want actually passes due to practical benefits and not because of environmentalists.


    This is the age of the Moshiach and many hold the world will only exist 6,000 years. Thus, there is only 216 and a half years until the latest time for Moshiach to come and the end of the world as we know it.
    There is nothing we can do, it is totally in the hands of G-d. Anything they do only creates more problems.

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