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Buddhadharma : Winter 2008
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly winter 2 0 08 36 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly winter 2 0 08 36 I f we continue abusing the earth this way, there is no doubt that our civilization will be destroyed. This turnaround takes enlight- enment, awakening. The Buddha attained individual awakening. Now we need a collective enlightenment to stop this course of destruction. Civilization is going to end if we continue to drown in the competition for power, fame, sex, and profit. — Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power We live in a time of great crisis, confronted by the gravest challenge that humanity has ever faced: the ecological consequences of our collective karma. Scientists have established beyond any reasonable doubt that human activity is triggering environmental breakdown on a planetary scale. There is an increasingly urgent need for Buddhists to reflect upon our ecological predicament and bring to bear the resources of our great traditions. Global warming in particular is happening much faster than predicted even a few years ago, occurring most rapidly at the Poles. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast that the Arc- tic might be free of summer sea ice by as early as 2100. It is now apparent Can Buddhism Save the Planet? Buddhism may be our planet's only real hope, say David Loy and John Stanley. They’re calling for an international gathering of Buddhist leaders to address the ecological crisis before it’s too late. (Opposite) The blue door, 1993 by Tomás Sánchez ©Tomássánchez,courTesymarlBoroughgallery,newyork,roBerToramoscollecTion David R. Loy is Besl Chair Professor of Ethics/Religion and Society at Xavier University in Cincinnati. His most recent book is Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution (Wisdom Publications, 2008). He is a Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan lineage. John Stanley is a biologist based in Ireland. He and his wife, Diane, are longtime practitioners in Dudjom Rinpoche’s lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. They recently established the website Ecological Buddhism (ecobuddhism.org), a Buddhist response to the global climate and energy crisis.