Why Buddhists commit themselves for the climate

By Thomas Seifert.

garett sears

The man-made climate warming accelerated during the last decade and threatens the nature and the human beings:








The current climate change with its detrimental impact is only the beginning. All statistical graphs point upwards for example for carbon dioxide and average worldwide temperature. The harmful greenhouse gases will continue to increase and will stay effective in the atmosphere for centuries. It causes complete melting of ice, rise of the sea level, large scale floods, thawing of permafrost, weather catastrophes, mass migration and the risk of military conflicts.

theodor vasile 1t1RHW06m88 unsplashBuddhists are concerned about the well-being of men

Buddhists try predominantly to help people to free themselves from illusions and to reach awakening. But this is sufficient only as long as the basic needs are satisfied: nutrition, accommodation, clothing, absence of threats to the life and limbs.
When humans are endangered by an existential threat, the pressing concern must be the elimination of this threat and the protection of their existence.
Can Buddhists just look on this situation and hope for the help of others? Should they confine themselves to help people suffering by means of spiritual teaching? This would be an all too fatalist attitude.
And when Buddhists commit to avert an existential threat, does it have to happen outside the Buddhist community? Does a Buddhist have to take off his rakusu before averting a threat to humans or the nature? No! He or she can keep his rakusu on.

Buddhists are concerned about the well-being of nature

Someone who is concerned about the well-being of men has necessarily to be concerned about the condition of nature, since the life of men depends on the nature. Men can survive only with sufficient water and healthy food from nature. Consequently, all efforts must be directed to avert existential threatening to nature.
Furthermore, Buddhists care for the well-being of all sentient beings. Buddhism explicitly includes thereby all animals. Animals are not considered as objects only for the satisfaction of human needs, but as beings with their own value and right to live.
Therefore, many Buddhists refrain from eating meat or fish. The existential threat to animal species and their extinction is a very sad issue for Buddhists, regardless of which species is concerned. The protection of individual animals and animal species however requires the protection of all biotopes of wildlife: the landscapes of the earth, the rivers and oceans.
For this reason, Buddhists shall stay on the front line for the protection of men and nature against existential threats, like the climate change.


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