Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What Do You Get When You Mix The Talmud With Environmentalism

Answer: Quicksilver: A commentary on rabbinic texts and toxicality.

Written by the mysterious Kaspit, Quicksilver covers a number of topics that people generally don't think about, much less discuss, in the same paragraph (or page):
Environmental, health and safety policy. Technology and business. Jewish thought, rabbinic texts, Judaism and religion.

For a taste, check out a few recent posts:

The dose makes the poison? Ask your Rabbi...

It’s not simply the toxin, it’s the dose. Bit of a dose-response lesson in the Talmud: Rav Bivi’s daughter was given lime as a depilatory. The lime was applied gradually, one limb per session. However, a gentile neighbor tried lime for his daughter. She was given the lime all at once and she died. (Shabbat 80b) Don’t try this at home.

Lime aka calcium hydroxide is still used today as a depilatory. Depending on the dilution, calcium hydroxide can cause serious alkali burns and poisoning. But it’s generally safe, if you’ve got a Talmudic sense of the dose-response curve.

Conversely, some hazards are
not safe at any level.

Sin and Synergy: comparative Jewish and environmental regulatory classifications

One strategy for a hermercurial critique is to find insightful analogies between Jewish law (halakhah) and environmental protection.[1] As we read about complex rabbinic classification(s) of sins in daf yomi (Shab 70b-72), might we see an analogy here to the regulatory classification of toxic substances?

I want to advance a hypothetical analogy to help critique regulatory classification schemes that could unduly minimize desirable pollution controls and liabilities. Notably, might regulations overlook the synergistic effects of pollution?

Wal-Mart green, greening and grim

Wal-Mart’s true colors:

Legends of the Sprawl.” Al Norman, anti-Wal-Mart activist at Grist.

Jews talk about Wal-Mart and greed at DovBear.

Confined Space on Costco: The Anti-Wal-Mart and the Anti-Wall Street

Anti-union tactics anecdote. (A therapist rants. Blame technorati.)

Wal-Mart’s new colors: Wal-Mart goes green.

You be are the judge. Where do you shop?

Finally, a question that has kept many of you awake at night: Is Harry Potter patur (permitted) for Jewish readers?

Related Article
Safe Synagogues, June 2, 2004