Resolution on the Support of Science and Science-based Policy in Government

How great are Your works, O Lord, Your designs are very deep;
The brute does not know nor does the fool understand this. (Psalm 92)

Whereas the Jewish tradition teaches that “the seal of the Holy Blessed One, is truth.” (BT Yoma 69b) and has long supported a worldview that sees the human study of creation as a path to the better understanding of how God acts in the world as in Maimonides’ assertion that what we would call scientific knowledge is the fulfillment of the commandments to love and fear God (Mishneh Torah, Yesodei Ha-Torah 2:2), and

Whereas in the last 150 years, many Jewish scientists significantly contributed to the rapid growth of scientific knowledge and beneficial technology allowing humanity to solve many problems and to aid governments in the development of scientifically valid policies and regulations especially in the areas of health and safety, and environmental protection, and

Whereas in the last decade, there have been unprecedented attacks on science-based policies which have led to a general decrease in the understanding and knowledge of legitimate science and scientists also have also been publicly attacked and their integrity has been questioned, and

Whereas this has been especially true when it comes to developing a science-based response to climate change, one of the greatest challenges to face humanity, and

Whereas the scientific evidence for human-caused climate change has been developed and verified over more than thirty years, yet there are still those who do not accept the findings of climate science, and

Whereas climate change is already causing major disruptions in Earth’s climate systems and disproportionately harms poorer communities and countries, we consider climate change to be primarily a moral challenge and

Whereas it is now necessary “to protect the rights of scientists to pursue and communicate their inquiries unimpeded, expand the placement of scientists throughout the government, build public policies upon scientific evidence and support broad educational efforts to expand public understanding of the scientific process.” (Statement by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science), and

Whereas since 1991 the Rabbinical Assembly has articulated the Jewish responsibility to address global climate change and work towards an environmentally responsible energy policy on a personal, communal, and national level with 15 resolutions,

Whereas the vast majority of scientific and medical research are funded by the United States government and federally-funded researches assures research is undertaken independently and to the highest academic standards without the influence of vested interests,

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly support efforts to increase understanding of climate change and funding for continued research and enforcement, and 

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly urge federal officials, including elected officials, to restore full funding for scientific and medical research in the federal budget, and

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly affirm our previous resolutions on climate change, and

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly affirm our support for the scientific community, and

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly affirm our support for global action and most specifically the 2015 Paris Accord of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly call upon all governments to continue to utilize only science-based evidence for environmental and energy policies, and

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly affirm the need for a strong Environmental Protection Agency to vigorously enforce the environmental laws of the United States, as well asking all governments to enact and enforce appropriate legislation to safeguard the climate.