Big news! On Dec. 7, the Dalai Lama met with national leaders at the United Nations climate talks in Krakow, Poland. The weeklong conference was attended by 10,000 delegates and aimed at advancing a new global pact on curbing greenhouse gases worldwide.
The Tibetan spiritual leader urged all governments to take more action to cap the rate at which our climate is warming, saying in broken English that, “if present trend will go continuously without serious protection some of these major rivers covering Asia will dry … billions of human beings for life depend very much on these rivers.”
Sadly, the current president of the European Union, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was not able to negotiate an agreement between the nine European countries that are at odds over the new pact. I do admire President Sarkozy for meeting with the Dalai Lama despite China’s threats to pull back on China-France trade deals though. Viva la France!
The news of the Dali Lama’s address on global warming has left me asking several questions. Why didn’t this story receive more coverage in the U.S. media (or any real coverage at all)? Why are the world’s spiritual leaders asked to stand in the hallway at global warming pact negotiations, instead of being given a seat at the table? And where will future global warming talks lead–talks usually led by scientists and politicians–without the grounding of a spiritual perspective?
From His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself: “In order to achieve more effective environmental protection and conservation, internal balance within the human being himself or herself is essential. The negligence of the environment, which has resulted in great harm to the human community, resulted from our ignorance of the very special importance of the environment. We must now help people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people to understand the need for environmental protection.”
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