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Over the coming months the AJDS is developing our approach to this campaign. In this meantime this page should be considered a skeleton of what we hope it will be. Please join our supporter mailing list to keep up to date on progress.

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Statement

We are living at a time of unprecedented biophysical crisis. Human civilisation is facing a perfect storm of problems driven by climate change, environmental destruction and pollution, biodiversity loss and resource depletion, all of which are intensifying global socio-economic and regional problems.

Two centuries of exploitation of readily accessible energy resources have facilitated a population explosion and driven ongoing land clearing and exploitation to satisfy ever-growing human consumption. Land and water resources, including waterways and marine environments have been degraded and polluted. Biodiversity loss, both terrestrial and marine, has accelerated due to over-harvesting and loss of natural habitat compounded by climate change. This loss is threatening to collapse the very ecosystem services on which all life depends.

Entrenched inequalities worldwide are rising, feeding social alienation, political upheavals, the growth of fundamentalism and an escalating refugee crisis. Climate change is hitting the have-nots hardest and will amplify social and political unrest.

Climate change and population movements are also producing new threats of global epidemics. Threats of war over increasingly scarce, sought-after resources, are likely to intensify.

The ruling political philosophy is built on the erroneous belief in infinite growth on a finite planet. This blind belief, which underpins neo-liberal globalisation, is at the core of the biophysical crisis that confronts us. The challenge besetting all progressive movements today is to find a common path to confront this global crisis.*

Guiding Principles

The Australian Jewish Democratic Society places itself amongst progressive voices globally, striving for peace and social justice for all of humanity. Today, the progressive vision has inevitably become entwined with environmentalism. A holistic progressive vision recognises that social goals cannot be achieved in a world threatened by climate catastrophe and environmental destruction.

The need to restore the health of the biosphere and the stability of the climate system has become an integral part of the progressive struggle. Furthermore, the struggle to attain vital environmental goals can only be realised through the adoption of new economic and social paradigms based on ecological sustainability.

The proposition that nuclear energy is a clean and safe alternative to coal must be rejected outright as a false claim leading to a myriad of problems along the nuclear fuel cycle.

Climate change and environmental degradation disproportionately impact already disadvantaged peoples and those whose lives are directly tied to the land.

A viable future for humanity is predicated on building sustainable systems that respect the natural world and exist within its bounds but crosses borders.

What we do

  1. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact. We are guided by the principle of ecological sustainability throughout our operational activities.
  2. Staff and members are called upon to reduce their consumption of energy and materials and to recycle where possible. We minimise printing and use recycled paper with 100% recycled content with post consumer fibre.
  3. We evaluate the environmental impact of any new products and office supplies we intend to purchase.
  4. We use Serversaurus, a carbon neutral web host.
  5. We encourage our members and supporters to consider the environment in their day-to-day lives.
  6. We engage with other organisations in order to address the issue of ecological sustainability.
  7. We support moves by environmental movements globally to recognise the social justice aspects of environmental conservation.
  8. We support the work of various environmental organisations and join them in organising events and campaigns.
  9. We support Indigenous led campaigns to protect areas of significance and to be able to manage their lands sustainably, recognising that Aboriginal people have developed intricate and complex land management practices over millennia, suited to their countries.
  10. We draw attention to the ecological degradation and disregard for indigenous rights caused by the JNF’s afforestation programs and promote alternatives. whatsbehindjnf.com.
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Recent news from AJDS

Animals Australia’s campaign to end live exports – an update

Ongoing campaigns by Animals Australia and several Israeli NGOs, about which we’ve recently posted, are proving to have some traction. So far as to prompt Uri Arial, Israel’s Agriculture Minister, to say this: The issue of shipping live animals to Israel from Australia for slaughter is a very painful one and we are working in […]

The Jewish reasons to be vegetarian

By Naor Bar Zeev (Appeared originally in the Australian Jewish News in March 12, 2004). From a Torah perspective, vegetarianism was originally the norm. Initially permitted by God to eat only vegetables, it was only after animals were saved by Noah that humans were permitted to eat meat (Bereshit 1:28-9). Even then, wanton killing of […]

Live Exports and Climate Change

Animal rights NGO, Animals Australia, along with three Israeli animal protection groups – Anonymous for Animal Rights, Let the Animals Live, and Israel Against Live Shipments – have launched a campaign to end live exports. The trade is objectionable to most Australians, due to the horrific conditions sheep and cattle are subjected to on the long […]

The Forest Industry Taskforce: an opportunity for a better future

In November of 2015, the Victorian government implemented its Forest Industry Taskforce, following Daniel’s election promise.  The taskforce, funded by the Victorian government, brings together various interest groups representing unions and environment groups to develop policy recommendations for the future of Victoria’s forests. The Taskforce will seek broad community support to address key challenges facing […]

South Australia’s push to be the world’s nuclear waste dump

By Jim Green. The South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission released its report in May. Its main recommendation was to consider turning SA into the world’s nuclear waste dump by importing 138,000 tonnes of high level nuclear waste and 390,000 cubic metres of intermediate level nuclear waste. How much money might be made by […]

Is your money funding climate change?

By Pablo Brait. (Originally published in The Well, July 27, 2016) If your neighbour asks to borrow something from you that you know he will use to commit a crime, would you lend him what he needs? Or say your neighbour asks to borrow paints and paintbrushes from you in order to make racist placards […]

The water conundrum of the Middle East:

By Timetraveller (pseud.) As populations of the Middle East become more urbanised and adopt Western-style living standards, the demands on the area’s water resources will become more immediate and desperate. Of 33 countries worldwide predicted to suffer severe water shortages by 2040 due to changing populations and life-styles, as well as the effects of climate […]

Climate Emergency

By David Rothfield. It hardly got media coverage but, yes, they said it.  Those gathered for the U.S. Democratic Party Convention last July declared that they could not to wait for others “…to lead the world in combating the climate emergency” (my emphasis). The closing declaration of the Convention went on to say that “… […]

On Fracking

By Bonnie Gelman. ‘Fracking’ is an abbreviation of a process of coal seam gas extraction called ‘hydraulic fracturing’. Gas extracted in this way is known as ‘unconventional gas’. Fracking involves pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into rock at high pressure. The rock fractures and gas (or oil) is forced out. There are […]