Even those of us here at Lerab Ling, Rigpa's main retreat centre in the remote Larzac plateau of France, know that today is the International Day of Climate Action.
Everywhere in the world, people are gathering today to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis, in what is being called the "most widespread day of environmental action in the planet's history". Images from the more than 5,200 events planned for today will be collected and delivered to the world's media, and to world leaders who will be gathering for the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.
You can follow all these actions, learn about climate change and the issues at stake at Copenhagen on http://www.350.org
The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change
The worldwide Buddhist community is also active in pressing for real action on climate change.
Sogyal Rinpoche signed the Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change, along with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa (who recently hosted his 2nd Conference on Environmental Protection) and Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, many other Buddhist masters and 5,000 others.
Signatories to the declaration, which will be presented to the world leaders gathered in Copenhagen:
...acknowledge the urgent challenge of climate change, join with the Dalai Lama in endorsing the 350 ppm target and, in accordance with Buddhist teachings, accept our individual and collective responsibility to do whatever we can to meet this target.
What is the "350 ppm target"?
The Declaration explains:
For human civilization to be sustainable, the safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is no more than 350 parts per million (ppm)... Our current situation is particularly worrisome in that the present level is already 387 ppm, and has been rising at 2 ppm per year. We are challenged not only to reduce carbon emissions, but also to remove large quantities of carbon gas already present in the atmosphere.
You can read the full text of the Declaration here.
Lerab Ling Adopts Environmental Principles
Recognising our interdependence and the need to actively develop our sense of universal and personal responsibility, the Lerab Ling community is developing principles to guide its decision making. These draft principles are:
The Lerab Ling Community is committed to protecting our environment and responding to climate change by following these five principles.
1. Integrating environmental sustainability and climate change responses in all our policy making;
2. Adopting energy efficiency measures and maximising the use or renewable energy;
3. Switching, where possible, to environmentally friendly products and materials;
4. Protecting Lerab Ling's special environment - its air, water, land, flora and fauna; and
5. Implementing best waste management - the 3R's: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Stay tuned for more developments from Lerab Ling.