[When] Lama Zopa Rinpoche [saw the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”] he realized that Al Gore knows something everyone should know: We are in an environmental decline of global proportions … Action must be taken.
“What Al Gore really wishes is for every sentient being, regardless of religion or nationality, including creatures of the land and sea, all to be free of the impure substances, pollution, and the atomic bomb that are harmful to all of us and the environment,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche said. “This includes beings such as nagas and worldly gods who are also involved in the elements, and who are harmed and even destroyed due to these man-made pollutions, harmful chemicals, and other things that are damaging the earth and air.
“People in business who think only of personal profit without consideration for others and the environment are causing great danger to all of us – the country we live in and this whole world,” Lama Zopa continues.
“Al Gore is making us aware of so many things that harm us and our environment. Your happiness depends on others, and others’ happiness depends on you. We all have to live in this world, so we need to be harmonious and happy in a healthy way. No matter who you are or where you are, we all have a responsibility to protect this world…”
Buddhism’s Environmental Roots
The Buddha himself was an early advocate for the environment, setting down specific rules for water conservation in the Vinaya Pitaka. Donald K. Swearer, Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College says, “The compatibility between the Buddhist worldview of interdependence and an ‘environmentally friendly’ way of living in the world, the values of compassion and nonviolence, and the example of the Buddha’s life-style and the early sangha are cited as important contributions to the dialogue on ways to live in an increasingly threatened world.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been advocating publicly for the environment for several decades. In 1988, in a speech entitled “Humanity and Ecology,” he said:
“Peace and the survival of life on earth as we know it are threatened by human activities that lack a commitment to humanitarian values. Destruction of nature and natural resources results from ignorance, greed, and lack of respect for the earth’s living things. … Just as we should cultivate gentle and peaceful relations with our fellow human beings, we should also extend that same kind of attitude toward the natural environment. Morally speaking, we should be concerned for our whole environment. … This, however, is not just a question of morality or ethics, but a question of our own survival. …We must now help people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people that conservation directly aids our survival.”
Tags: al gore, environment, global warming