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Save the Planet
by Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover

Leaders of eight wealthy nations convened last June to discuss initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are believed to cause global warming. President Bush, however, refused to commit himself to the plan proposed by German Premier Angela Merkel, who pressed for a commitment from the must industrialized nations to cut their emissions in half.

Politically, the issue is sensitive, since the global warming debate pits industrial and technological interests on one side versus science and concern for the future of the planet on the other. It is clear that any approach that would drastically cut gas emissions would also have a severely curtailing effect on manufacturing and industry, with unpredictable consequences for the economy. However, how can we allow industry an unchecked reign to release gases that may have a harmful, permanent effect on the planet?

* * *

The Midrash relates that when G-d created Adam, He entrusted him with all of His creations, to partake of them according to his needs. However, if Adam were to abuse this trust, he could bring permanent harm and destruction to the world. Yet G-d did not set up a situation that was entirely devoid of hope. Even before the world was created, G-d already prepared the soul of Moshiach. Through the leadership of Moshiach, the universe will be brought to its ultimate state of perfection. King Moshiach, through his divine wisdom, will guide us in the proper way to utilize the resources that G-d has hidden within nature, without abusing them. Our hope and anticipation for Moshiach’s coming means that we believe that mankind will never be given the power to destroy itself. Before we reach that stage, G-d will send us His messenger, Moshiach, to guide us and rescue us from that fate.

For reasons known only to Him, for the time being G-d has chosen to leave the direction of the world in the hands of leaders who are short-sighted and self-centered, and lack the all-encompassing vision that allows them to make optimal choices. It appears that our fate and our future is in the hands of limited, often foolish human beings. However, in truth it is not so. G-d created us, and constantly sustains us and the entire universe. It is impossible for us to do anything that negates G-d’s plan. This does not mean, however, that we are free to abuse the planet as we wish. On the contrary: knowing that G-d created us with a purpose gives the impetus to exercise control and treat His world with respect.

Through following the guidelines of our holy Torah, which enjoins us to utilize the world’s treasures responsibly, we will hasten the day when G-d reveals His glory to all, with the imminent revelation of Moshiach.

Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover is chairman of the Center of Magnetohydrodynamic Studies and Training at Ben-Gurion University.



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