FOREWORD - Only Love Can Save Us from Climate Change
It is getting cold and the autumn leaves displace their pretty colors. The new moon is greeting the Earth from the edge of the sky; it is almost in November, and the rain is yet to come. Why hasn’t it rained yet? California, both to the south and north, is burning--wildfires are almost everywhere. On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the Tropical Storm Matmo has just swept through the central provinces of Vietnam. Floods, droughts, and natural disasters are happening everywhere. Climate change is real and it is affecting us all.
According to the United Nations, “Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, weather events are becoming more extreme and greenhouse gas emissions are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is likely to surpass 3 degrees centigrade this century. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.”
In this urgent matter, we are asking the same question as Johan R. Platt: “Can Buddhism Help Save the Planet?” The new book, Ecodharma argues that yes, it can — but only if Buddhism saves itself first.” Since one of the noble goals of Buddhism is the alleviation of suffering that ultimately leads to enlightenment, it should be, as Engaged Buddhism encourages, that it is not only for individual enlightenment, but a broader societal and/or human illumination. The way we move forward positively is lifting each other up.
Thus, the fundamental education in Buddhism is planting-the-seeds and training and practicing: Sowing, nurturing, watering these Bodhi seeds, our tree of happiness and peace will grow. The foundation of Buddha's teaching is the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. These fundamental truths must pass on to future generations so that each individual as well as the members of the human community live responsibly, peacefully, and in harmony with all people and species as well as in a way that we protect and nurture our Mother Earth.
In the face of climate change, this is a serious issue that needs our immediate attention and action right now. The climate emergency is the defining issue of our times. We, the publishers Hoa Dam and Lotus Media Inc. are compiling English articles, written by many well-known authors, which have been published in international newspapers about climate change. This collection is made for all ages, but especially for our young readers and the Vietnamese Buddhist Youth Families born and raised abroad, in order to raise awareness and take action against the impeccable disasters due to the negative behaviors of humans.
This collection also brings together articles related to the environment and climate change from scholars and practitioners of Buddha's teachings, especially Thay Nhat Hanh, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and many Lama West. Tibetan, Western scholars, etc.
Let us together practice frugal living, and live in a way that "we offer the joy in the morning, and make life less miserable in the afternoon", live with the Four Ways of Persuasion (Catuh-samograha-vastu) (Tứ Nhiếp Pháp - the Four all-embracing (Bodhisattva) virtues: Giving (Dana), Affectionate Speech (Priyavacana), Beneficial Actions (Arthakrtya), Co-operation (Samanartharta), and diligently transform internal and external hurdles and obstacles to become better human beings and leave this beautiful Earth a better place for all.
With that, we would like to introduce this collection, “Only Love Can Save Us from Climate Change".