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We are Noah: Charged with Destroying the World and Tasked with Saving It

It is humbling when a normally staid journalist, a critic of those who use religion for their own purposes, begins to quote the Bible. But that’s just what Thomas Friedman did in his article, In the Age of Noah (NYTimes, 12/23/63):

It struck me as I read that story that our generation has entered a phase that no previous generation has ever experienced: the Noah phase. With more and more species threatened with extinction by The Flood that is today’s global economic juggernaut, we may be the first generation in human history that literally has to act like Noah — to save the last pairs of a wide range of species.

Or as God commanded Noah in Genesis: “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.”

Friedman had just finished making a poignant comparison with Noah’s work in the Torah:

A couple of weeks ago, The Times’s Jim Yardley reported from China that the world’s last known female Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle was living in one Chinese zoo, while the planet’s only undisputed, known giant soft-shell male turtle was living in another — and together this aging pair were the last hope of saving a species believed to be the largest freshwater turtles in the world.

So here we are: We may be the first generation in human history that literally has to act like Noah — to save the last pairs of a wide range of species that are threatened with extinction. What are you going to do about it?

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