Thread: Buddhism and Climate Change

  1. #1

    Buddhism and Climate Change

    This is an article from "One Earth Sangha" website in 2015:

    The Time to Act is Now

    Friends, do you have any thoughts about this in 2021?

  2. #2
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
    London UK
    Six years have passed since that declaration was made. I agree with the content and the sentiments. They are as valid today as they were then.

    This month sees the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26), the UN's coordination of national response to the climate emergency. Since COP21 in 2015 we have seen plenty of lip service in favour of limiting the use of fossil fuels, reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide and stopping the destruction of huge areas of forest. There has been much less action in these areas.

    Some steps have been taken in the right direction: there are wind-powered generators, there are solar panels, electric cars are beginning to appear on the roads. I would have expected much much more, in view of the fact we have been aware of the climate emergency for so many years now.

    The evidence is all there, in weather statistics, in the more extreme weather patterns and most of all in the receding ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic.

    I'm glad to see the Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change. It's an important statement. But I see no evidence that it has been heeded any more than other grave warnings.

  3. #3
    Forums Member Fenchurch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    To be honest I'm not entirely sure whether or not human beings are directly causing Climate Change themselves. According to geologists during earth's history there's been about SEVEN Mass Extinction events over a period of millions of years, of which the one with the dinosaurs is probably the most famous one.
    HOWEVER, when you see huge increases of floods, fires and storms I DO believe that the world's climate is definatley begining to change and that human beings are contributing a huge amount (but not all) to it's effects.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post

    I'm glad to see the Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change. It's an important statement. But I see no evidence that it has been heeded any more than other grave warnings.
    Yes, action from goverments around the world appears to have been either very slow or non existent, and certainly activists in this country glueing themselves to busy motoways does nothing other than endanger people's lives.

  5. #5
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Hi all. There are some interesting points to be made here. One is that we are indeed in an inter-glacial period where the ice has been receeding since the last ice age. Another is that greenhouse gasses do have a effect on any global warming going on naturally by speeding it up. I learned about this in school 55 years ago, so it's not a new phenomenon to anyone but there has been little action. Most people assume that they can kick the problem down the road to unborn generations because of the timescale they read about in terms of changes to the Earth.

    Unfortunately long term climate change can result in disatrous climate change in the space of a few months. For us in the UK we have a problem with the Gulf Stream slowing and jet streams moving. We rely on both to maintain our cool summers and mild winters. No longer. We are so far north that we can expect extreme variations of temperature, similar to places like Canada, Norway and Sweden in the winter but in summer uncomfortably close to the extreme heat southern Europe has experienced. We managed to escape getting close to 40C this year, but who knows about next year?

    In global terms we may have a winter where there is little ice formation at the poles, leading to catastrophic ocean level rises. So what can we do? The right-wing extemists behind Western governments hold pole position at the moment, in control of the media as well as politicians. Money is everything to them, saving lives coming much lower on the scale of things. Even if they agreed to do something now, I suspect it is far too late for untold millions here and around the world. We as individuals can do what we can and put pressure on those in power to do more, but using what strategies? I suppose we could glue ourselves to a motorway or two, but do we as Buddhists really want to do that? Do we fight fire with fire, or in this case media exposure with media exposure? If so, how?

    Anyway, to save the planet for us as a species we need to not only look to undoing what we as a species have done to it, but we have also to consider how we are going to deal with any natural climate change too. If an ice age returns what can we do? If it doesn't and the Earth continues to warm up even without human factors involved what do we do? Can we do anything? It may be the great test to see whether intelligence and conscious reasoning is the survival feature we consider it to be, or whether we go the way of the dinosaurs (who were around a lot longer than we have been).

  6. #6
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
    Where I live, is mostly bushland. But we never have bushfires because every year there is controlled cool burning during the cool season.

    Governments spend less & less money on public services today. But where I live is World Heritage Listed area therefore the government must protect it. Video below from 1971:

  7. #7
    Forums Member Thinker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Climate protection is not on the real agenda of businesses, what is on the agenda is to be seen to talk about it, and so far that is all they are doing.

    One would hope that all wars will cease, that the nuclear industry would be abandoned, that weapons would not be produced, that space trips would stop - all that smoke etc, but the greedy have the opposite plan.
    Last edited by Thinker; 26 Oct 21 at 15:38. Reason: adding

  8. #8
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Nova Scotia
    Aside from underestimating the rapidity of the disaster, this article from more than 100 years ago, got it right. They should have listened.climate change 1912.jpg

    Om mani padme hum

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