In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 28, 2007 / 10 Adar 5767

Another empty symbolic gesture

By James Lileks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If environmentalism is the new religion, the Oscar ceremony was the High Holy Mass.

Of course, if the Academy — a remarkable name for people who paint their faces and pretend they're secret agents or royalty — were truly serious about imminent global warming, it would have asked everyone to turn off their TVs and receive the results by some low-impact Earth-friendly means, such as carrier pigeon. Perhaps such drastic measures will be used in 2008, by which time the oceans will have risen 37 feet and everyone east of Cleveland will be clustered on the roof.

Does that seem like an extreme prediction? You're part of the problem, then. The debate is over! Stop Questioning Authority! Oh, perhaps you think it's wise to conserve and recycle; perhaps you think it's common sense to explore alternative energies. Perhaps you've come to suspect that the climate is changing. That is, after all, what climates do. You might believe all these things — and still be a heretic.

The demands of the faith are specific and exacting. You must believe that climate change is largely the fault of man — specifically, lard-bottom Americans driving around for no reason in cars the size of Spanish galleons. You must believe the change will be catastrophic — billions will be killed when the jet stream reverses and knocks everyone over, or drowned when a ceaseless series of Katrinas backs up the Mississippi and sends tsunamis across the heartland.

You must believe that this disaster can be prevented with fluorescent light bulbs, whirring cars that run on pixy dust, methane traps strapped to the hindquarters of cows, and magic federal dollars that invent new forms of energy by virtue of being congressionally bequeathed. You must believe that ruining the American economy will somehow convince India and China to ruin their own.

Any skepticism brands you an Enemy of the State — actually, an enemy of the State of Fear, which is required to bring about far-reaching change, like a one-car-per-family limit or mandatory limo pooling at the Oscars. Skepticism makes you a flat-Earther, a Luddite, a Holocaust-denying creationist oil-company stooge who would rent the Exxon Valdez and troll the Arctic, shooting polar bears marooned on ice floes.

Only the closed-minded have an open mind, in other words. How to convince the ignoramuses?

Step one: an important movie. Just as "The China Syndrome" and "Silkwood'' made us all dampen our drawers over nuclear power, so "An Inconvenient Truth'' will awaken our desire for clean, carbon-free energy sources, like — well, let's move on.

Step two: a concert. It worked wonders for the anti-nuclear power movement in the '80s, so ... nevermind.

Step three: a meaningless symbolic gesture. The latest craze is the lights-out movement, in which entire cities are encouraged to turn off all the power to show they care. And then turn it back on again, of course: let's not be drastic.

Paris did it a while ago; Sydney will have a light-free "Earth Hour'' March 31st, and there will soon be a national day to shut off all computers in America. Except for banks and NORAD and hospitals and, or course, news outlets.

The empty symbolism makes people think they're doing something; the general hysteria makes more people think that nothing, really, can be done. Neither helps reasonable efforts to nudge people toward greater energy efficiency.

There's also a curious form of self-loathing involved in the lights-off movement, a revolutionary's hatred of the old order's glories. Once the bright lights of a city stood as a sign of civilization, a candle that cast out the night and brought the boon of Prometheus to every humble shack; now darkness is a sign of enlightenment. The sensitive soul who feels the planet's ceaseless shrieks in all his various chakras is supposed to feel relief when the lights go off, as if darkness is aloe on a burn.

Why, look at those satellite photos of North Korea at night. State control of energy usage, no industry, no cars, no messy pointless "freedom'' to hurt our one and only Mother. Seen from above, it's utterly dark.

They're years ahead of the rest of us.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, James Lileks