Tag Archives: ecology

A message from David Suzuki of the David Suzuki Foundation

Dear friends,
Some of you may have seen media coverage about my decision to step off the board of directors of the David Suzuki Foundation. I am writing to tell you more about this and what it means.

After my children and grandchildren, my greatest pride is the David Suzuki Foundation.

I am fiercely proud of how the Foundation brings science and solutions to environment problems. I’m determined to ensure that the Foundation continues to have the ability to solve critical environmental issues and bring hope for the future.

But I have reached a point in my life where I would like to consider myself an elder. I want to speak freely without fear that my words will be deemed too political, and harm the organization of which I am so proud. I am keenly aware that some governments, industries and special interest groups are working hard to silence us. They use threats to the Foundation’s charitable status in attempts to mute its powerful voice on issues that matter deeply to you and many other Canadians.

This bullying demonstrates how important it is to speak out.

The Foundation’s science-based, solutions-oriented research and educational work has enriched our democracy and reflected Canadian values for two decades. While not always happily received by governments or industrial interests, this work is strictly non-partisan, as required by the laws governing charities, and has made the Foundation one of the most trusted environmental voices in Canada.

Our opponents, however, are redoubling their efforts to marginalize the Foundation by getting at me, personally.

So last year, I made the decision to step off the board of directors of the David Suzuki Foundation. I remain one of its most active volunteers and committed major donors. This way I can fulfill my personal mission and the Foundation can continue to build on its inspiring work—for us and our grandchildren—in finding solutions to our shared, and very real, environmental challenges.

I hope you understand this decision and will continue to show your, steadfast support for my work in this concrete way:

Please share this letter with your family and friends and, at this critical moment, invite them to become supporters of the David Suzuki Foundation, by joining our online community or donating today.

Sincerely,
David Suzuki

Art and the environment – Emma Lindsay

Artist, Emma Lindsay, is driven to speak up for the environment and our highlight our impact upon it. Watch this space for updates on this very talented artist … who happens to be a good friend.

James Lovelock: it’s too late … we’ve pulled the (environmental) trigger

James Lovelock said that while the earth’s future was utterly uncertain, mankind was not aware it had “pulled the trigger” on global warming as it built its civilizations.

The human species is but a bit-player in the long story of the planet Earth. What we do affects little of the overall narrative. But nonetheless we have unwittingly pulled the trigger and shot ourselves in the foot. So enjoy the rest of your life because that is all you can really do. Enjoy it even if you have to limp for the rest of the time.

Do we need an Ecological Buddhism?

Coming back to blogging here I had to rethink what exactly am I trying to achieve here. Why do I want to write about ecology and Buddhism? Are they compatible or is this just one person’s argument?

Let me start by asking then ‘was Buddha an environmentalist’? An easy question with an easy answer. No, not in the conventional sense. In Buddha’s time and place conservation or environmentalism as a concept simply did not exist. It has been pointed out that he was one against the some of the dominant contemporary ideas of the time, especially within Hinduism. But there is much more to Buddha and his thought than that.

Would he have been an environmentalist if it had existed in his time? I think asking such questions really is irrelevant. He may have been but this is only idyll thought, a game that even Buddha would have rejected as a waste of time.

So then is ecology and Buddhism compatible, and should these two words be said in the same breath? Buddhism, as a lifestyle, has many similarities to ecological conservation or ecology, and is perhaps one of the gentlest lifestyles without going to extremes. It most certainly was influenced by the other popular then contemporary philosophy, Jainism, which tries to not affect the environment by wearing masks and carrying brooms so as not to harm other life.

Clearly Buddhism respects all life in a way similar to ecology, but that does not mean all Buddhists are ecologists. The question of whether there is such a thing as Ecological Buddhism (or Buddhist Ecology) is only a matter of names. It just so happens that I like both ecology and Buddhism, but I don’t think it is possible or even necessary to consciously combine the two, just as there is not a need to combine Buddhism and ethics to create a philosophy of Buddhist Ethics.

Buddha would probably not deal with these questions. More than likely he would have thought them unnecessary. So let’s stop here and get on with the important issues.