Buddhism and Climate Change

topic posted Fri, February 1, 2008 - 7:59 PM by  Unsubscribed
What are your thoughts?

"As many religious people view it, Buddhist reality is profoundly ecological, and Buddhism itself is an ecological religion. It powerfully expresses human identification with nature. Buddhists believe that all things, including humans, exist by their interrelationship with all other parts of nature To think of one's self as isolated from the rest of nature is be unrealist.

José Kalapura said:

"The Buddha taught that respect for life and the natural world is essential. By living simply one can be in harmony with other creatures and learn to appreciate the interconnectedness of all lives. The simplicity of life involves developing openness to our environment and relating to the world with awareness and responsive perception. It also enables us to enjoy without possessing, and mutually benefit each other without manipulation."

Buddhist teachers and masters constantly remind us of the importance of living in tune with nature and respecting life.

Buddhist precepts direct the faithful to seek a right livelihood, an essential dimension of which is concern for the life of all creatures. This puts emphasis on "ahimsa" (avoiding injury to any sentient creature) .

Note that the Buddhist king Asoka the Great established hospitals for both human and animals. He insisted on kindness to animals, and forbade their killing even for food.

Buddhism teaches that if we wish to save the environment, we must .first analyze our lives to determine how our self-deification is destroying the world by depleting, overpopulating, and polluting the environment. This sure would fall under the category of "self-cherishing."

The Buddhist approach to solving the global ecological crisis then includes :

1. Compassion is the basis for a balanced view of the whole world and of the environment.
2. The use of the "save and not waste" approach means that nothing in nature is spoiled or wasted. Wanton destruction upsets the vital balance of life.
3. Ecology is rebuilt through the philosophy of Sarvodaya (uplift of all), which is based on loving kindness, compassionate action, and altruistic joy.

Some folks suggest even a modification of the four noble truth to include ecological aspects.

see here>>>>>>>>>
posted by:
  • Re: Buddhism and Climate Change

    Fri, February 1, 2008 - 10:00 PM
    Please consider using the term "global warming" to describe the consequences of what we're doing to the planet. The term "climate change" was coined by the Bush Administration in an attempt to minimize the unfolding catastrophe.

    • Unsu...

      Re: Buddhism and Global Warming

      Sat, February 2, 2008 - 9:23 AM
      thanks for the information...
      that is indeed a very good point to consider....
      in that case "climate Change" = "harsh speech"
      we don't want that, right? :-)
      • Re: Buddhism and Global Warming

        Sat, February 2, 2008 - 6:49 PM
        My understanding is that in the case of 'spin doctoring' such as this, where the intent is to mislead and/or cause divisiveness, it is therefore 'wrong speech' and results in the accumulation of negative karma. If the person who says it does not have this intent, even if the phrase was created by someone with this intent, it is neutral throwing action, as the speaker is merely acting out of ignorance. Not that you are ignorant Maya ;)
        • Unsu...

          Re: Buddhism and Global Warming

          Sun, February 3, 2008 - 12:06 PM
          I am more interested in the issue.... I am sure ignorant in my own way and not afraid to admit it. I choose that link as a jump start for a discussion in which I still need to be educated. My interest and intention is to mainly to find out "how dharma relates to various social/global issues and what we can do to help in the most benevolent manner possible."

  • Re: Buddhism and Climate Change

    Thu, February 7, 2008 - 3:36 PM
    I am glad you brought this up!

    I am not a scientist or anything like that... just a dreamer... I was pondering the other day... many of us are very worried that our planet is getting warmer. It is said to be unnatural. It is also said to be warmer then it has been in previous ages. However, I wonder this... perhaps our earth is meant to be warm. If I have my primary school science classes right, didn't the earth have a massive freeze many years ago? You know the one, possible astriod, sun blocking, everything goes to ice in a tray- so to speak... that thawing made us... but we cannot be 100% sure how warm earth was in prehistoric times. Perhaps there were never ice caps. Perhaps, we humans are being aren't being "bad" to the earth, but helping her regain her former warmth? The only bummer about getting too hot is that we die... or change... is this way off? Or way to optimistic... ;)
    • Unsu...

      Re: Buddhism and Global Warming

      Thu, February 7, 2008 - 8:08 PM
      I got this from a friend of mine and I think some important issues are being raised. I am so glad the wise ones are aware of the issue and address all of our concerns and questions.

      Here is what I got:
      "Today we have launched the new website Ecological Buddhism, A Buddhist Response to Global Warming ( This marks the conclusion of over a year’s work, and takes place with the blessings and encouragement of eminent Buddhist teachers. The website has 3 integrated sections—Science, Spiritual Wisdom and Solutions.

      The Wisdom section contains teachings, interviews, or original aspiration prayers by Thrangu Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyenste Rinpoche, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Ato Rinpoche, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and Ringu Tulku Rinpoche. There are extensive commentaries by HH Dalai Lama and Gyalwang Karmapa. You can also view video clips.

      The Science section is a fully illustrated and up-to-date series of articles on all aspects of global warming. The Solutions section presents the latest developments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate protection—the positive solutions to global warming.

      Great teachers such as the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa have recently stated that education about these issues should now be a prime concern for all Buddhists. In this spirit, we hope you will have a look at the site and if you like it, please pass this message and link on to as many friends as possible. This is an ongoing project and we welcome help and participation."
      Search harder and you can also find the livestock report - as our diet seems to matter greatly in regards to global warming.

      I sure am grateful for all the people out there trying to make a difference.