In Our Only Home, the Dalai Lama calls on political decision-makers to fight against deadlock and ignorance of environmentalism. He argues we all need to stand up for a different and more climate-friendly world. Plus, we must allow the younger generation to assert their right to regain their future. To do this, we have to take personal responsibility and utilize education. The younger generations must learn to grasp peace of mind and non-violence. Cooperation is the only way we can solve this issue.
About The Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama is the 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. He describes himself as a Buddhist monk and is currently the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was previously named Lhamo Dhondup and was born to a farming family in a tiny area in northeastern Tibet.
The Urgency of Environmentalism
The Dalai Lama has chosen to write this book now for two reasons. Firstly, he is reaching the latter stages of his life. He is now 85 years old. Secondly, he has become increasingly aware of the immediate danger of climate change. The Dalai Lama starts the book by talking about a conversation he had with a Chinese scientist. This climate scientist explained the result of a couple more decades of inaction. Within just a couple of decades, if we do not make significant changes, many of the rivers in China would be dead. The Dalai Lama has observed the rivers and lakes of China reducing over the years. The ecology is now so severe that places like Tibet, which used to be filled with water reserves, could become like Afghanistan. Due to global warming, the millions of people who depend on these rivers will struggle to survive. This will be the case all over the world. Humans depend on water.
Solving Global Warming Is Our Duty
The Dalai Lama claims it is our duty to prevent global warming from destroying our only home. National leaders claim to be putting policies in place to tackle global warming. However, The Dalai Lama is adamant that more needs to be done. More attention needs to be drawn to this emergency. Plus, the world’s wealthiest countries need to move money away from weapons of mass destruction and war. A more imminent issue is the climate emergency. This is an issue that could potentially destroy our only home. Hence, all available resources need to be invested in solving global warming. On top of this, he encourages readers to also raise the issue of global warming. As an individual, you have a responsibility to talk to others about this issue and encourage others to make changes. Plus, you have the responsibility to lead by example. The Dalai Lama suggests one way you can lead by example is to become vegetarian. Giving up meat has a huge positive impact on the environment for multiple reasons.
How to Convince Global Leaders of the Severity of the Climate Issue
The Dalai Lama jokingly offers a solution to getting global leaders to pay attention to the climate issue. Specifically, he says we should lock the global leaders in a room together. Then, start pumping the room with carbon dioxide. This is used as a joke, but also to highlight that this is what we are doing with our only home. This will be the reality for many people in the future if the world leaders do not act. Plus, it is what is happening for many less fortunate people around the world.
Education is Key
Education is essential for the wider public to understand that our planet is everybody’s responsibility. We already have education regarding compassion for your physical body. However, The Dalai Lama believes other areas are being neglected. Young children need education on compassion for their mental health, compassion for their emotional health, and compassion for the world. He describes that the Indians have been taught for over 3000 years the importance of peace of mind and non-violence. Non-violence and compassion should not just be part of Indian schooling.
The Dalai Lama believes that these fundamental concepts should be included in the school curricula worldwide. The most important thing to teach young children is how to develop peace of mind. Additionally, children should be taught that non-violence is crucial for genuine change. Climate change will require us to all work together. The most effective way to collaborate is by effective communication. We must be open to different views and solutions.
We Are One Big Community
The Dalai Lama outlines we have solved historical issues within communities. The difference between the past and now is we are more connected today. Climate change is an issue that will affect all of us. Technology has allowed the whole world to be connected. Therefore, we must utilize this interconnectedness to solve climate change as one big community. The best way to take care of yourself is to take care of others by taking care of the environment.
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