Global Warming and a Sustainable Planet

(public domain image by NASA) Today, we are facing the most significant challenge for the future of Planet Earth and the survival of many species including ourselves.

The Four Noble Truths centres around suffering, which is caused by our desires. In our consumer societies, we can become overwhelmed by all forms of encouragement to acquire well beyond our needs. And it is this consumerism, our desire for an excessively affluent way of living, which now threatens our home, our world.

Our economy in many countries is based on promoting affluence as a virtue. The Buddhist path is one of choosing the middle way, where we consume only what we really need, where we choose products mindfully and with consideration of their impact on others and the planet.

The Buddha taught the middle way and the Eightfold Path which offers guidelines for our journey to a more sustainable way of living.


Right Understanding

How do we become more aware, how do we learn about the climate changes that are happening and the implications for us all? (Hint - Read Al Gore’s book or see the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”)

Right Intent

Do we want to be part of the problem or part of the solution? What is our intention?

Right Action

We all have a part to play in this challenge, what is yours? How can we make a difference?

Right Effort

What is the most positive action, in every day and in our community? How can we engage others so that the effort becomes more effective?

Right Speech

How do we inform and engage others in a way that moves forward and builds bridges from past habits to a new model for sustainable business practices and sustainable consumerism?

Right Livelihood

Is the type of study, work, or home duties that we currently undertake consistent with a future which must generate a cleaner environment and depend more on green energy?

Right Mindfulness

How do we remain calm, caring and mindful of others and of all life on this planet, even those who are not yet on the same path to a sustainable future?

Right Concentration

What is the best way to reach our inner stillness and use this to focus our hearts and minds so that we can be most effective in addressing global warming and its implications?

The Buddha also taught dependent origination, and that every thought, every action has a consequence. What we do today will create our global future - each thought, each action, however small, has a major impact. It is just up to us to choose our thoughts and actions.