There are many different responses that people have to the Climate Emergency - active denial and obfuscation; a hope that if I ignore it, it will go away; wishing to just carry on with my life as though it won’t affect me; anger and grief; a desire to do what we can to avert the worst consequences of the Emergency.
But whatever our response, there is mounting evidence from many sources that humanity, and indeed all life on Earth, is facing the most serious crisis we have ever faced. The potential consequences are dire to say the least - food shortages, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, mass migration, social breakdown, conflicts and war over reduced resources, even civilisational breakdown and mass extinction.
The Dharma teaches us that we must face up to reality, not turn away from it or ignore it, as that only leads to further suffering. It also provides us with many resources and tools to help us face up to that reality - meditation, clear ethical guidelines, Sangha and the creation of positive community, wisdom teachings, contentment and happiness coming from within rather than through consumption etc. Most importantly, it provides a vision of human life dedicated, through wisdom and compassion, to the welfare of all beings - what is called the Bodhisattva Ideal in Buddhist tradition.
Whilst there are things we can do as individuals - e.g. stop flying, move towards a vegan diet, reduce plastic consumption etc. - there is a limit to what can be achieved through such action and the timescales to bring about the political and social change necessary for wide scale adaptation are not long. Hence collective action seems the only viable way forward.
So many of us at the Centre feel we can no longer stand by and let this Climate Emergency turn into a Climate Catastrophe and are choosing more active ways to engage with these issues.
Come along and find out how to do this.
Led by Saccanama