SHATIL's Avi Dabush is taking advantage of the New Year Tav-Shin-Ayin (5770), which spells out the word "nine" in Hebrew, to urge Israel's leaders to take on nine critical tasks to save the environment: The following is excerpted from his Ynet article (See the full piece in Hebrew here).
To the Ministry of Environmental Protection: To lead a clear and focused strategy for coping with climate change. Only three months are left before the UN Copenhagen Climate Conference to formulate Israel's commitment to lower carbon emissions.
To the Ministry of National Infrastructure: To shelve the plan to build a coal power station in Ashkelon and to make streamlined energy usage here and now your top priority.
To the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety: To understand that your national priority is the creation of a top notch public transportation system within a few years. This is necessary in order to bridge social gaps, lower the accident rate and reduce the lethal air pollution in our cities.
To the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, the Histadrut Labor Union and the industrial organizations: The future of work is in environmental businesses. Countless reports and examples point to the environment as the fastest growing economic sector. Workers' interests are not opposed to environmental interests, but are similar on the strategic level. Develop a national plan that will create thousands of jobs yearly in the industries of tomorrow – the green industries.
To the Planning Authority: To firmly stand behind the principle of not founding new settlements in Israel and instead to strengthen existing communities. Approving more and more towns/communities for homogeneous populations ruins any chance for social solidarity and for preserving open spaces.
To the Prime Minister's Office: To learn from the public outcry against the privatization of state land and to establish in the next reform you are planning – in the planning and building law – a real process that takes into account varied voices and strives for clear goals. Understand that proper planning processes are the basis for a successful society.
To the Finance Ministry: Understand that we are losing the technological-environmental race. The global market is promoting cleantech industry with billions of dollars of government aid. For us to be players in this arena, we need concerted investment in research and development and penetration of clean Israeli technology in the marketplace.
To the Israeli environmental movement: Forge ties with community activists who want to implement their perception of what's right through environmental action. To support them and leverage their actions in reduction and recycling of waste, energy efficiency, saving water, environmental education, the creation of communities who are aware of environmental politics, and more. This way, you will create a strong, influential movement.
To each one of us: To create a family environmental plan that will focus on streamlining the use of resources. If you want to take just one meaningful step: Let's each of us designate a pail for organic garbage and make compost from it. It's easy, efficient, and brings about real change.