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If conservatives support Israel, they should fight climate change

Paul Jaskunas argues climate action fails because environmentalists don't appeal to conservatives' values ("Acknowledging climate change in GOP's best interest," Nov. 26).

Conservative R Street's Eli Lehrer discusses carbon taxation as the best way to fight global warming from a conservative perspective. Do Republicans admire his morally courageous decision to leave the Heritage Institute because of warming? Is his focus too economically wonky? Not religiously moral enough?

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Former Rep. Bob Inglis and scientist Kathryn Hayhoe, religious conservatives, speak extensively on warming. Do Republicans heed them?

How about appealing to conservative America's moral imagination via Israel? On a recent train trip from California to Boston, I shared a dining car table with a conservative Christian couple. They affirmed their support for Israel and hoped the Obama administration also stands by Israel.

I responded that climate change is the greatest threat facing Israel. Israeli research indicates Israel and her region already experience global warming. Extreme rainstorms put millions of Israelis at risk from deadly floods. Warming temperatures mean more mosquito-borne illnesses. Severe droughts impact neighboring states and Africa. Droughts mean lack of food and water, leading to refugees and political instability like ISIS. Since Israel produces less than 45 percent of its food, it needs other countries for food — a bad position when facing long term drought.

President Barack Obama's defense secretary has warned about climate change and national security. Israeli researchers concur with his findings and worry that Israel isn't adequately prepared for a flood of refugees, food shortages and extreme weather.

I have a son living in Israel, so climate change triggers my imagination. How about yours?

Rabbi Judy Weiss, Brookline, Mass.

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