Two Forms of Preservation

The motto that derives from the above is preservation. The preservation motif is fundamental in the organization of a society and a community. These first "guard themselves from," and only then "act for." In a wider sense, a community will guard itself from the outside, but also the garden within must be maintained. Both forms of preservation have an environmental significance: guarding the community includes guarding in the face of various ecological hazards; the barn -important as it may be - threatens the community. Maintaining the garden has a totally different meaning: God guards nature; man was extracted from it; it must be guarded from man, who cannot be trusted and needs to be made aware of this.

More importantly, man needs to join with God to help guard the garden from mankind. The first concept of preservation - the urban/communal - is important because it places the idea of partnership before private ownership, a basic tenet for any environmental organization. However, if there is an educational aspect to this, it is especially salient in its utilitarian aspect. On the other hand, the Garden, which is protected from man, provides a challenge of an entirely different sort: it is not merely the guarding but the avoidance of entry, which is important - man's self-restraint in the face of the temptation to divert energy toward battling God's guardianship.

The topic of global warming provides a challenge quite simply, because it deals with something distant. Indeed, it may draw inspiration from sources that deal with more proximate matters; nevertheless, thanks to its distance that it directly impinges upon those same ancient matters that involve Man in the Garden of Eden.

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