Golan Fire May Have Been Caused by an Environmentalist

Sadly, the source of the recent Golan fire in Israel (before the Carmel fire) may have been an “eco-friendly” Rainbow Festival participant.

Environmentalists can get it so horribly wrong sometimes.  They may decide to buy certified organic out-of-season produce from thousands of miles away instead of buying local and seasonal.  Or they may ditch their small, second-hand, highly fuel efficient cars in favor of a brand spanking new Prius.  And a few weeks ago, sadly, a participant at a Rainbow Festival thought she was being more eco-friendly when she decided to burn her toilet paper instead of leaving it in nature… and caused the dry grasses in the area to catch on fire immediately.

This sparked a fire in Israel’s Golan region, spreading in four directions.  In light of the raging Carmel Fire that devastated 5000 hectares of forest land, destroying countless trees and habitats, the act has special significance.

Under different circumstances, in a wetter forest and another season, perhaps, this might have been the right thing to do.  But in the dry forested area of northern Israel during pre-winter heat and with strong winds, that “green” Rainbow Festival participant should have thought twice about what she was doing.

What’s wrong with a little composting?

Rainbow Festival gatherings are temporary intentional communities, and usually take place in outdoor settings.  They consciously express an alternative to consumerism, capitalism, and mass media, and instead promote the ideals of peace, love, harmony, community, and all that groovy hippy stuff.

It can sometimes be easier to get caught up in the rules or vibe of what you supposedly believe in, however, than to step back and think about what you’re doing.

Being an environmentalist doesn’t mean following a set list of “should” rules or being able to mindlessly use a bunch of buzzword terms like “carbon footprint”, “food miles” and “locavore”.  It may mean those things too, but first and foremost one should always use one’s head.


Image via: Cameron Russell

Read about the recent Carmel Fire:
Greenpeace Responds to Israel Carmel Fire and States “Climate Changes are Already Here”
Israel Carmel Fire – Taking Stock of How it Happened
Leading Researcher Says Replanting Trees in the Scorched Carmel Forest is a Mistake

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