Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread: Changing Our Climate for the Better

  1. #1

    Changing Our Climate for the Better

    An article by Ajahn Sucitto:

    https://ajahnsucitto.org/articles/ch...or-the-better/


    Any thoughts about the article ?




    PS Ajahn Sucitto has also written a book about our environment and the effects that Buddhism has had and can have upon it. Its called : "Buddha-Nature, Human Nature": and is available on the Forest Sangha and Amaravati Monastery websites.


    .

  2. #2
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    731
    A well written article. The main problem is of course that money is the problem in that much of the world's wealth is held by a few people who seem to think that it gives them the right to continue generating wealth for themselves, whatever the consequences. Call them sociopaths or whatever, they hold the power. We don't, or rather we do, but choose not to wield it collectively for whatever reason. At an individual level we do what we can to lessen the burden on the world's ecosystems, even if seems like a losing battle. In my own case our neighbours seem determined to get rid of most of the trees and shrubs in their gardens, going for minimalistic planters and bare fences, at a time where we need every tree and shrub to filter out the pollution and oxygenate the air. We seem to be the only ones encouraging ours and even planting more. The local council doesn't help with it's 'Extreme Pollarding' of trees in the local area, doing their best to finish them off without the political fallout of cutting down too many. We complain, but they merely invent some other reason for their actions.

  3. #3
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    An article by Ajahn Sucitto:

    https://ajahnsucitto.org/articles/ch...or-the-better/


    Any thoughts about the article ?




    PS Ajahn Sucitto has also written a book about our environment and the effects that Buddhism has had and can have upon it. Its called : "Buddha-Nature, Human Nature": and is available on the Forest Sangha and Amaravati Monastery websites.


    .
    I think it's awesome more monastics are addressing this issue, and appreciate the thoughtfulness behind it. I also agree with philg that, "The main problem is of course that money is the problem in that much of the world's wealth is held by a few people who seem to think that it gives them the right to continue generating wealth for themselves, whatever the consequences." Which is why I agree with Bhikkhu Bodhi and others who say that, "We have to turn away from social systems driven by greed, by the quest for limitless profits, by competition, exploitation, and violence against other people and the natural world ... that allow a few to flourish while millions, even billions, live on the edge of survival. Instead, we need to envision new collective systems of global integration that give priority to cooperation and collaboration, to living in harmony with each other and with nature, systems that will enable all people to flourish economically, socially, and spiritually."

  4. #4
    Global Moderator Element's Avatar
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I think it's awesome more monastics are addressing this issue, and appreciate the thoughtfulness behind it.
    Personally, I doubt monastics will make much difference. Its a very basic issue that does not really require much thoughtfulness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    "The main problem is of course that money is the problem in that much of the world's wealth is held by a few people who seem to think that it gives them the right to continue generating wealth for themselves, whatever the consequences."
    Personally, I doubt the above is the main problem & is wrongly pointing blame. The billionaires & millionaires are making money from the expenditure of the mass of consumers. If the wealth of the "few" is distributed more equally to the masses, this will not necessarily stop environment threat because the masses will probably consume more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Which is why I agree with Bhikkhu Bodhi
    If Bhikkhu Bodhi has the above view, then it appears to be a wrong view generating conflict, similar to the conflict generating view of Karl Marx. While Marx was probably more accurate because Marx was concerned with labour exploitation, if Bhikkhu Bodhi exclusively blames the wealthy for threats to the environment, this sounds wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    "We have to turn away from social systems driven by greed, by the quest for limitless profits, by competition, exploitation, and violence against other people and the natural world ...
    Again, the above idea by Bhikkhu Bodhi, emphasizing "social systems", appears to be a political call, similar to a Communist revolution, rather than a Buddhist call for individual responsibility. I have had environment consciousness for 30 years and, since then, modified my lifestyle accordingly, which includes not owning a motor vehicle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    that allow a few to flourish while millions, even billions, live on the edge of survival.
    It appears the above is not related to climate change or environmental threat, given if those living on the edge of survival were giving more wealth, the threat to the environment would grow. Bhikkhu Bodhi sounds rather conflicted between climate change & what appears to be "communism".

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Instead, we need to envision new collective systems of global integration that give priority to cooperation and collaboration
    In terms of economics, we don't need to find any new "revolution" system. What we need to do is simply to return to the economic systems developed after WW2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    to living in harmony with each other and with nature, systems that will enable all people to flourish economically, socially, and spiritually."
    Regarding nature, people need to 1st stop using motor vehicles so much and eat less. It starts with individual responsibility.

  5. #5
    I thought the following points were important in Ajahn Sucitto's article in the OP #1,


    in the 1950s the population of the planet, half what it is today, began to grow rapidly. And as it did so, the forests of S E Asia came crashing down, with Thailand alone losing half of its natural forest after the Second World War. So monks like Ajahn Buddhadāsa began speaking up for Nature:

    "The entire cosmos is a cooperative. The sun, the moon, and the stars live together as a cooperative. The same is true for humans and animals, trees, and the Earth. When we realize that the world is a mutual, interdependent, cooperative enterprise – then we can build a noble environment. If our lives are not based on this truth, then we shall perish."

    Since then environmental concern has risen, and there is an ongoing lineage of ‘ecology monks’ in Thailand who work to preserve forests and encourage conservation.

    and also:


    Thai scholar monk, Ven. Payutto, in his address to the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago. He outlined three false perceptions from which our social and environmental problems stem:

    The perception that humankind is separate from nature, and that it must control, conquer or manipulate nature according to human desires.

    The perception that fellow humans are not our fellows; the tendency to focus on the differences between us rather than the common ground.

    The perception that happiness is dependent on gaining and keeping an abundance of material possessions.

    And what we have to shift to, through international agreements and networks, is a way of operating that is based on empathy for the world as a whole. After all, one of our regular chants is ‘ I will abide pervading the all-encompassing world with a heart imbued with compassion…’ and my suggestion is merely that we back up that attitude with some clear thinking.




  6. #6
    Global Moderator Element's Avatar
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    we can build a noble environment.

    international agreements and networks

    chants

    pervading the all-encompassing world with a heart imbued with compassion
    Very idealistic ideas above from some navel gazers & book worms.

    However, in respect to what is real, Buddhism teaches about the "gods" or "devas", including the gods that have power over the creation of others (paranimmita-vasavatti deva) and the devas delighting in creation (nimmanarati deva).

    For example, it was obviously an extremely small number of rare individuals (nimmanarati deva) who invented the technology that sparked off the Industrial Revolution, which is now purported to threaten the Earth's sustainable environment.

    Similarly, the climate change doctrine is something overtly mainstream in the world and many of the world's largest corporations (paranimmita-vasavatti deva) and brightest scientists (nimmanarati deva) are heavily involved in researching and creating alternate energy technologies. The paranimmita-vasavatti deva don't want to lose their economic, financial & political control of the world and the nimmanarati deva always exist if they are not repressed or exterminated by a communist rabble of tiracchana.

    It appears these deva, who delight in the world, are doing more to address the environmental threat than the average Buddhist with their Pol Pot Year Zero mentalities.

    While it is reported alternative energy technologies are yet to prove themselves to be super energy efficient, they are current said to be better (example, here; here & here). However, as said, there are many nimmanarati deva working diligently, such as here and here.

    I doubt hysterical, fear mongering, superstitious and self-righteous Buddhist idealists & chanters for protection will change much.

    It is is probably best, unless one is a nimmanarati deva, that Buddhist focus on their personal individual practice.


  7. #7
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    1,784
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I think it's awesome more monastics are addressing this issue, and appreciate the thoughtfulness behind it. I also agree with philg that, "The main problem is of course that money is the problem in that much of the world's wealth is held by a few people who seem to think that it gives them the right to continue generating wealth for themselves, whatever the consequences." Which is why I agree with Bhikkhu Bodhi and others who say that, "We have to turn away from social systems driven by greed, by the quest for limitless profits, by competition, exploitation, and violence against other people and the natural world ... that allow a few to flourish while millions, even billions, live on the edge of survival. Instead, we need to envision new collective systems of global integration that give priority to cooperation and collaboration, to living in harmony with each other and with nature, systems that will enable all people to flourish economically, socially, and spiritually."
    Well said, Jason.

    We only have to look around us to see how unbalanced and unequal the world has become.

    The environmental damage is made possible by investment in plant and machinery by those who have the funds. But the impetus for that damage is the result of grievous overpopulation.

    I can see three groupings: (1) those who would like to find a way to live in harmony with nature; (2) those who are just surviving and have no chance to imagine another way to live; and (3) those who consider themselves too comfortable to want to change anything.

    We are so out of balance that I can't see how positive change will occur on a large enough scale.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Element
    (paranimmita-vasavatti deva) and the devas delighting in creation (nimmanarati deva)
    .

    To be honest, I've no idea what you were talking about regarding the deva thingies in #6, Element, but I recognise Ratana Sutta! I listen to this version sometimes when I get out of bed and have my morning coffee. (Mainly because I like the tune!)







  9. #9
    Global Moderator Element's Avatar
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,371
    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    Well said, Jason.
    But the impetus for that damage is the result of grievous overpopulation.
    I think the above is a very dangerous idea because birth rates are static and even declining in the Western nations that are doing most of the consuming & environmental damage. Where as those nations that have the largest population growth (such as in Africa) consume far less natural resources than the Western nations.

    I pointed out previously how the notions of overpopulation and economic inequity are contradictory. Western people are the culprit and, like good Buddhists, should focus on their own practice & lifestyle.



    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    .To be honest, I've no idea what you were talking about regarding the deva thingies in #6, Element
    Then possibly you should re-read the post. I think what I wrote is very clear.

    You are posting on a Buddhist forum appearing to believe your posts will change the world; while there are actual real nimmanarati deva working in scientific research facilities who are working on technological breakthroughs that will probably change the world; similar to those nimmanarati deva who in the recent past found cures for many diseases.

    In short, I doubt Buddhism has any significant role in addressing the environment threat.

    Kind regards

  10. #10
    Global Moderator Element's Avatar
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Element hunni, you're a really bad mind reader!
    I am reading the topic title ("Changing Our Climate for the Better") created by your mind and can only assume they are related.

    Regards

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Tue, 8:26 PM Tue, 10:26 PM Wed, 4:26 AM Wed, 8:56 AM Wed, 11:26 AM Wed, 1:26 PM