by Rabbi Menachem Lester, Former rabbi of South London Synagogue
In addition to his work on relativity and Brownian motion, Albert Einstein is famous for his pithy remarks. Here are three:
1) Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
2) Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
3) The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
Delegates at the recent climate change conference in Paris all agreed on the world’s changing climate and their determination to address it; in particular limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C. King Canute tried that. It failed.
While climate changes over centuries, man’s contribution is insignificant compared to solar activity and sunspot variation. Does the puny contribution to CO2 made by Britain compare with that of China, India, South Korea – all busy launching new coal-fired power-stations?
Britain’s noble gesture in shutting its coal-fired stations in favour of wind and solar power is chivalrous but misguided. There is limited scope for solar power and wind power is expensive, must be subsidised at user’s expense and doesn’t provide what’s claimed on the tin. During long periods of high pressure in winter, wind-less Britain will need to import (nuclear-powered) electricity from France or resort to stand-by generators at enormous cost. Worse, Britain is legally obliged to phase out fossil- fuelled power; its last deep coal mine has closed and miners poured concrete down the shafts to ensure they could not be reused.
Britain endures the most expensive electricity on the planet and faces a future of power cuts.
Parts of northern England have experienced extensive flooding, following the Somerset Levels disaster of 2014. The human misery was compounded by the cost running to billions of pounds. The common thread with these tragedies is that the over-flowing rivers had not been dredged. Now, under the European Water Framework Directive which became law in Britain in 2000, newts, otters and the like are protected but humans are vulnerable.
Since the year 2000, there have been numerous terrorist outrages perpetrated in the name of Islam, yet our leaders vehemently deny this. Obama declares: “Islam is a religion of peace” and asserts that “99.99 percent of Moslems think like we do”. Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, Hollande and the rest read from the same script. They are deluded. How can they address the problem which they refuse to identify and how can we trust what they say generally?
At her wits’ end to address the problems caused by encouraging uncontrolled immigration, Chancellor Merkel made a deal with Turkey, which will receive £2 billion annually for helping to control immigrant traffic. The part Turkey must play is poorly defined, while the EU commitment to fast-track Turkey’s EU membership is clear. Setting aside the advisability of 70 million Turks entering Europe, Merkel has failed to notice Ataturk’s secular Turkey has become Erdogan’s Islamist Turkey, with human rights vanishing.
And of course there’s the issue of where to house the immigrants and how to integrate them successfully – which is beyond the EU’s ken.
From the Jewish perspective, “the peace process” represents a strong case of insanity. In 2000, Bill Clinton attempted to forge peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. The “magic bullet” was “land for peace” whereby Israel gave land and the Arabs delivered peace. Arafat walked away much to everyone’s surprise and initiated the Second Intifada, in which 10,000 Israelis were murdered or crippled for life.
Gaza was handed to the Palestinians and brought unremitting rocket fire and terrorist attacks; Oslo was used as an opportunity for the Palestinians to build up weapons.
Arafat’s successor, Abbas, mouthed “peace” to the US and EU technocrats while simultaneously inciting his people to kill Jews. Nevertheless, he is respected in the Oval Office and commended for his efforts in “the peace process”. The US and the EU have wilfully ignored the evidence and wished a situation which doesn’t exist. How Einstein would have smirked.