While most Israelis take pride in having made the desert bloom, some of the imported “blooms” have been contested over the years as threats to the ecosystem. In a land where Biblical passages echo everywhere, it’s sometimes disconcerting to realize just how dramatically the face of the landscape has been changed in recent years, and […]
It’s hardly surprising that “Survivor” is a hit: who doesn’t come home from work and immediately hunger to watch white trash in bikini tops hurling bleeped insults at each other over a picturesque campfire? Is it just us? Anyway, it turns out that “Survivor” is not just the last refuge of the dregs of every […]
For years it has seemed that Israel and Thailand were enjoying a trade agreement that should keep both sides happy: we send Thailand our pushy and notoriously litterbug tourists, and they send us their illegal workers to scrub floors for half price. But it seems that Israel has something else to offer Thailand in addition […]
Kids in Beit Shemesh schools–religious and secular alike–will soon be learning about environmental issues. A new initiative on the part of Sviva Israel, a religious environmental NGO, is bringing discussion of ecological topics into the classroom. In particular, kids will learn how to recognize their “ecological footprint” and be encouraged to tread lightly with some […]
Israel was ranked #1 in the Middle East on Yale and Columbia’s 2008 Environmental Performance Index, a system which consists of variables that relate to environmental health and ecosystem vitality. But in comparison to the rest of the world, we’re #49.
The Kishon River was once a notorious dumping ground for seven chemical plants, with the result that the entire ecosystem died and the river was even blamed for causing cancer in soldiers (though that has never been proven conclusively). In recent years, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has initiated what they refer to as a […]
It could only happen in 2008. During the year of Shmitta, which is every seven years, Jewish law dictates that we not work the land of Israel in any way. The Jewish National Fund customarily organizes tree-planting activities that attract thousands of people in honor of Tu B’Shvat…but not during Shmitta.
I recently had the opportunity to interview poet laureate and known environmental activist Robert Hass (full interview is here).Hass was in Israel for the “Poetic Natures” conference in Tel Aviv last week, and while he was here he explored some of Israel’s unique environmental features.Among many topics, Hass spoke about the environmental parallels between Israel […]
By now, many people have heard of the electric car grid project that Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi is launching with $200 million capital. Agassi plans to build a grid of charging stations in all parts of the country that would provide a free power charge to electric car batteries. The idea is to provide an […]
It’s a yearly ritual in Israel: we worry about rain. We worry when we don’t have rain in the winter, when it is supposed to fall; and we worry when we get rain if it’s the wrong time for the crops. This is not a new phenomenon: the Jewish religion is richly interwoven with customs […]
One of my more vivid childhood memories is of the drive across the George Washington Bridge from New York to New Jersey, and zoning out to stare at what seemed like an endless procession of towering billboards displaying images of shiny cars, shiny models, and shiny promises of success. Seriously, is there a kid in […]
Environmental Energy Resources, Ltd. (EER) is using Israeli-developed technology to set up Romania’s first plasma waste treatment facility. The system was developed by scientists at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and the claim is that it can handle radioactive and medical waste as well as the more conventional kinds. Cost of the project: $30 […]
Citizens and tourists rejoice: the Clean Coast Project of 2007 has ensured that we can hit those beaches in 2008. At least that’s according to the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection, which reports that 80% of Israel’s beaches have been declared clean, with a mere 2% getting the dreaded rating of “dirty.” This is is […]
In previous articles, we’ve illustrated that religious Jewish practices such as Shabbat and Shmitta have the potential to affect the environment in a positive way. This makes us happy, as we at Green Prophet like when Jewish customs dovetail with the ideals of sustainability that we want to promote. We therefore regret to report that […]
Poetry lovers take note: from January 8-9, Tel Aviv University will be hosting a conference on literature and the environment, entitled “Poetic Natures: The Environment, Literature and the Arts. ” Guests include US Poet Laureate Robert Hass, a National Book Award Winner and Una Chaudhuri, Professor of English, Drama and Performance Studies at New York […]
We’ve just learned that a national conference on business and the environment will take place in Kfar Maccabiah in Ramat Gan on January 21 – 22, 2008. Organized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the conference is described as “a meeting ground between business and the environment and creating mutual integration and growth, both economically […]
Four days ago and in honor of the shortest day of the year, the Jerusalem Municipality covered the lights illuminating the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City with green filters–with the result that as we are writing this, the walls are glowing green against the night. Why green? Apparently this special lighting, which was inaugurated […]
The other evening we were chatting with a friend from Hebrew Union College, which is located in the heart of Jerusalem’s city center. She told us that the HUC students have taken the initiative to stop using disposable coffee cups and cutlery, in an effort to make their daily meals and beverages more eco-friendly.
The truth hurts: that adorable sweater you found on sale at Banana Republic for $25 is no harmless indulgence. The production, transportation and washing of clothing is responsible for approximately 25 percent of an individual’s C02 emissions- -about one ton per person. In a move to green their products, Israeli clothing company Delta Galil has […]