What We Can DO!
Get informed: a beginning selection of resources are offered below …
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by Gil Fronsdal
Buddhism teaches that personal practice and safeguarding our environment are closely connected. This is because both of these endeavors ask us to overcome the forces of greed, hate, and delusion. The intimate relationship between the world and ourselves means that when we properly care for ourselves we will care for the world, and when we do what’s best for the world, we benefit ourselves.
by Joan Halifax Roshi
Let’s begin by saying what hope is not: hope is not the belief that everything will turn out well. People die. Populations die out. Civilizations die. Planets die. Stars die. Recalling the words of Suzuki Roshi, the boat is going to sink!
If we look, we see the evidence of suffering, of injustice, of futility, of desolation, of harm, of ending all around us, and even within us. But we have to understand that hope is not a story based on optimism, that everything will be ok. Optimists imagine that everything will turn out positively. I consider this point of view dangerous; being an optimist means one doesn’t have to bother; one doesn’t have to act. Also, if things don’t turn out well, cynicism or futility often follow. Hope of course is also opposed to the narrative that everything is getting worse, the position that pessimists take. Pessimists take refuge in depressive apathy or apathy driven by cynicism. And, as we might expect, both optimists and pessimists are excused from engagement.
by Guhyapati, EcoDharma Centre in Spain
Unless our equanimity grows out of a caring intimacy, deeply alive to the pulse of life, unless it holds within it a passionate and committed engagement with the suffering of the world, unless it’s illuminated by joyful appreciation, it’s not the equanimity the Dharma points us towards.
In the course of their conversation, Ocasio-Cortez and Thunberg discuss what it is like to be dismissed for their age, how depressed we should be about the future, and what tactics, as an activist, really work. Ocasio-Cortez speaks with her customary snap and brilliance that, held up against the general waffle of political discourse, seems startlingly direct. Thunberg, meanwhile, is phenomenally articulate, well-informed and self-assured, holding her own in conversation with an elected official nearly twice her age and speaking in deliberate, thoughtful English. They are, in some ways, as different as two campaigners can get – the politician working the system with Washington polish, and the teenager in her socks and leggings, working from her bedroom to reach the rest of the world. There is something very moving about the conversation between these young women, a sense of generational rise that, as we know from every precedent from the Renaissance onwards, has the power to ignite movements and change history.
EcoDharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis
by David Loy Wisdom Publications 2019
This landmark work is simultaneously a manifesto, a blueprint, a call to action, and a deep comfort for troubling times. David R. Loy masterfully lays out the principles and perspectives of Ecodharma—a Buddhist response to our ecological predicament, introducing a new term for a new development of the Buddhist tradition.
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
Edited by Paul Hawken Penguin Books 2017
Drawdown describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. For each solution, we describe its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. The goal of the research that informs Drawdown is to determine if we can reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon within thirty years. All solutions modeled are already in place, well understood, analyzed based on peer-reviewed science, and are expanding around the world.
A summary of solutions by overall rank can be found here
Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy
by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone New World Library 2012
The challenges we face can be difficult even to think about. Climate change, the depletion of oil, economic upheaval, and mass extinction together create a planetary emergency of overwhelming proportions. Active Hope shows us how to strengthen our capacity to face this crisis so that we can respond with unexpected resilience and creative power. Drawing on decades of teaching an empowerment approach known as the Work That Reconnects, the authors guide us through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality, and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess we’re in and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.
A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency
Edited by John Stanlye, David R Loy and Gyurme Dorje Wisdom Publications Boston 2009
with contributions from The Dalai Lama, The Seventeenth Karmapa, Robert Aitken, Joanna Macy, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Joseph Goldstein, Susan Murphy, Thich Nhat Hanh and many others
Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse.
Extinction Rebellion operates on a metric drawn from the research of political scientist Erica Chenoweth and policy analyst Maria J. Stephan. In their long-term study of campaigns for revolutionary, secessionist and regime-change movements from the past 150 years, they come to a few vital conclusions. First, that nonviolent movements have a vastly improved chance of success over those that pursue armed struggle or terror tactics, including under authoritarian regimes where the consequences of even peaceful dissent can be life threatening. And second, that you don’t need everybody: you only need about 3.5 per cent of the population to achieve a critical mass of sustained popular noncompliance.
“Extinction Rebels” by Scott Ludlum The Monthly July 2019 See full article here
Our Government isn’t acting in accordance with what science and history tells us. Therefore our Government is criminally negligent. We have a moral duty to rebel, whatever our politics. History shows us that peaceful civil disobedience is an effective way to bring about change.Our lives have meaning when we follow our conscience and fight to protect what we love.
ARRCC is a multi-faith, member-based organisation of people from around Australia who are committed to taking action on climate change. Our members represent a variety of religious traditions. We believe that as people dedicated to the common good, inspired by our beliefs and energized by our spirituality, people of all faiths can and should be at the forefront of creating a safe climate. While celebrating the uniqueness of our different traditions, we stand together in working for an ecologically and socially sustainable future.
ARRCC acknowledges the special place that Aboriginal culture and spirituality have in upholding care for the Earth. We have much to learn from the intimate connection our Aboriginal brothers and sisters have to country.
The science is clear: It is understood that we are facing an unprecedented global emergency. We are in a life or death situation of our own making. We must act now.
We believe Aotearoa can chart a just course to a zero carbon future, powered by 100% renewable energy. We are a growing network of 22 New Zealand civil society groups, non-governmental organisations and social movements who support each other and our allies to take real action to protect New Zealanders and others from climate change, to protect New Zealand’s unique environment, and build a more fair, just and safe New Zealand for us all.
Our planet is careening towards an uninhabitable future. Without radical changes taken at emergency speed, our society will collapse within the next several decades, causing mass migration, starvation, and unimaginable human suffering. The end of society means the end of billions of human lives. We only have ten years left to completely alter our society if we want to prevent this future from unfolding.
Our leaders are failing to take the crisis seriously. Congress continued the pattern of the last 30 years when it refused to vote on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Earl Blumenauer, and Bernie Sanders’ joint resolution declaring a national climate emergency.