Appreciate Issue Commemorating the Holocaust
As a former associate director of the Baltimore Jewish Council with responsibility for annual Holocaust commemoration, I really appreciate the Jan. 27 issue of the Baltimore Jewish Times.
Ruth B. Hurwitz, Baltimore
Thank You for Expressing the Depth to Colleagues’ Relationship
I appreciated Ruth Velder’s beautiful words about her father that so eloquently described Eli Velder and Rolf, two wonderful friends and Goucher College colleagues who mentored me in my professional journey (Opinion, “The Jews and the Nazi,” Jan. 27).
Respected as scholars and teachers, they both served as longstanding role models for the Goucher faculty, administrators, staff and students, as well asfor the broader community.
I thank her for expressing the difficulty, depth and “joy” in the sincere relationship that Rolf and Eli developed over the years.
Frona Brown, Ed.D.
Goucher College, Baltimore
Look to the Trees to Help Prevent a Climate Catastrophe
Tu B’Shevat, celebrated this year from the evening of Sunday, Feb. 5 to Monday, Feb. 6, is Rosh Hashanah L’ilanot, the “New Year for Trees,” a time when the fate of trees for the next year is determined.
Unfortunately, trees have not been doing very well recently, and their future prospects are even worse.
Consider: More than 40% of the world’s ice-free land, much of which was previously forested, is now being used for grazing and growing feed crops for animals. This has resulted in a reduction from 6 trillion trees to 3 trillion worldwide. This is a major reason that atmospheric CO2 has increased from 285 parts per million (ppm) before the industrial revolution to about 420 ppm now, far above the 350 ppm that climate experts think is a threshold value for safety, and it has been increasing by more than 2 ppm annually.
Because meat production is protected to double by mid-century, many more trees will most likely be destroyed. In addition, because of climate change, additional trees will be destroyed by wildfires, which have increased in frequency and severity in recent years.
To have a chance to avert a climate catastrophe, it is essential that animal-based agriculture be sharply reduced so that vast areas currently being used for agriculture are reforested.
This would sequester much of the atmospheric CO2, reducing it to a far safer level and greatly reducing climate threats.
At a time when climate experts are issuing increasingly dire warnings that the world is heading for a catastrophe — and there has been a major increase in the frequency and severity of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms, floods and other environmental events — such dietary shifts are essential so that we can leave a habitable, healthy and sustainable world for future generations.
Richard H. Schwartz, Professor Emeritus
College of Staten Island, N.Y.