Our Climate in Crisis
A constellation of powerful factors is undermining the global ecological system that supports and integrates all living species with the land, water and atmosphere of the Earth. The climate system in particular has provided the very basis for human civilization for the last 12,000 years. We are only now beginning to recognize the depth of our interdependence with it.
We are experiencing the early stages of anthropogenic (man-made) climate chaos, unleashed by our own emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Meaningful corrective actions are a matter of urgency for the survival of our own species, and half or more of all species.
On the upside, all the clean energy technologies we need to avoid disaster do already exist. On the downside, a hugely wealthy corporate sector derives its profits from fossil fuels and has extensively corrupted world governments. That is the primary block to meaningful remedial action.
The situation is fast-moving, multi-faceted and fraught with unprecedented risks. If global society drifts recklessly through a climate tipping point, we will be unable to intervene further and halt the geo-physical processes concerned. Natural feedbacks will become addtional large-scale drivers of warming.
We have established this website as an educational resource, primarily for the international Buddhist community. Its Science section covers the origins, dynamics and evolutionary implications of the climate emergency. This is complemented by a Solutions section focussed on appropriate technologies, policies and actions required to move forward constructively. A unique section of this website is devoted to Wisdom. Without wisdom it is unlikely that we will solve a profound existential crisis like the climate emergency. As the Dalai Lama  states, Buddhism must accept the facts--whether discovered by science or by meditative contemplation:
In one sense the methods of science and Buddhism are different: scientific investigation proceeds by experiment, using instruments that analyze external phenomena, whereas contemplative investigation proceeds by the development of refined attention, which is then used in the introspective examination of inner experience. But both share a strong empirical basis: if science shows something to exist or to be non-existent, then we must acknowledge that as a fact. If a hypothesis is tested and found to be true, we must accept it. Likewise, Buddhism must accept the facts—whether found by science or found by contemplative insights. If, when we investigate something, we find there is reason and proof for it, we must acknowledge that as reality—even if it is in contradiction with a literal scriptural explanation that has held sway for many centuries or with a deeply held opinion or view. So one fundamental attitude shared by Buddhism and science is the commitment to keep searching for reality by empirical means and to be willing to disregard accepted or long-held positions if our search finds the truth is different.
The Buddha summarized the central priciples he had discovered as Four Noble Truths. Thich Nhat Hanh  defines them as follows:
The First Noble Truth is that suffering exists. The Second Noble Truth is that suffering has causes. The Third Noble Truth is that happiness is possible. The Fourth Noble Truth is that there is a path that leads to happiness. We have to distinguish between the first truth and the third one. The first is called dukka in Sanskrit, suffering. The third is called sukha, happiness. They are quite different. Very often we mistake our desire or craving for happiness. We don’t need to be afraid of suffering; we can confront it. If you run away from it you will never have a chance to transform it.
The collective suffering unfolding as the climate emergency has a specific cause---fossil fuel-driven economic growth. This is is widely considered to be a kind of collective raison d'etre. However it is a fetish, driven by the mass manipulation of consumerism. We can confront this. If we engage in denial, we will never be able to transform it. And its consequence, global warming, may be an indicator of the collapse of our current civilization :
If we can accept the death of our own human bodily form, we can perhaps begin to accept the eventual death of our own civilization. This civilization of ours is just one civilization, and one day it will have to die in order to make room for another civilization to arise. Many civilizations have already come and gone. Global warming may be an early symptom of the death of our current civilization. If we don't know how to stop our over-consumption, then the death of our civilization will surely come more quickly. We can slow this process by stopping and being mindful, but the only way to do this is to accept the eventual death of this civilization, just as we accept the death of our own physical form. Acceptance is made possible when we know that deep down our true nature is the nature of no-birth and no-death.
1. Dalai Lama XIV  Universe in a Single Atom
2. Thich Nhat Hanh  The Art of Power
3. Thich Nhat Hanh  The World We Have