Monday, June 22, 2009

The Dalai Lama And The 17th Karmapa On Global Warming

A Buddhist Response To The Climate Emergency

The Dalai Lama

It is difficult to fully comprehend great environmental changes like global warming. We know that carbon dioxide levels are rising dangerously in the atmosphere leading to unprecedented increases in the average temperature of the planet. The Earth’s great stores of ice—the Arctic, the Antarctic, and the Tibetan plateau—have begun to melt. Devastating sea level rises and severe water shortages could result this century. Human activity everywhere is hastening to destroy key elements of the natural ecosystems all living beings depend on. These threatening developments are drastic and shocking. It is hard to imagine all this actually happening in our lifetime, and in the lives of our children. We must deal with the prospect of global suffering and environmental degradation unlike anything in human history.

Eminent scientists have said that global warming is as dangerous for our future as nuclear war. We have entered the uncharted territory of a global emergency, where “business as usual” cannot continue. We must take the initiative to repair and protect this world, ensuring a safe-climate future for all people and all species.

The 17th Karmapa
The principle of interdependence shows us that all life is connected, and that our individual actions have consequences in the larger world. This is the karmic relationship between cause and effect. It clearly applies also to global warming, which has been caused by humans extracting fossil fuel reserves laid down hundreds of millions of years ago and burning them to produce heat, mechanical, and electrical energy. By doing this we have released fossil
carbon gas into the atmosphere of our planet.

We humans have already done such immense damage to the environment that it is almost beyond our power to heal it. The challenge is far more complex and extensive than Buddhists can tackle alone. However, we can take a lead, and to do so we must educate and inform ourselves. This is the time when our pure aspirations and our bodhisattva activity must come together. This is the time to ensure a safe-climate future for our planet. This aspiration comes from my heart.

No comments: