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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Dalai Lama issues environmental plea on Facebook

March 15, 2010

By JEFF MCMAHON /Scorched Earth
true/slant March 13, 2010

The 291-word message, which ends "We must act before it is too late," tells
us less about His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, than it tells us
about the last quarter century of environmental progress. The message issued
yesterday is identical to the one the Dalai Lama issued on World Environment
Day in 1986.

Perhaps he's hoping we'll realize we've accomplished nothing since.

The Office of the Dalai Lama posted the undated message on his new Facebook
page, which he launched March 4. He has more than 341,000 fans there, and on
its first day as a note, "An Ethical Approach to Environmental Protection"
received a thumbs up from 2,373 of them, as well as 201 mostly fawning
comments.

The message contains a few anachronisms from the 1980s, such as this
discouragment of space exploration: "Exploration of outer space takes place
at the same time as the earth's own oceans, seas, and freshwater areas grow
increasingly polluted, and their life forms are largely unknown or
misunderstood." Since 1986, the U.S., Russia and China have curtailed space
exploration, but not pollution.

The Dalai Lama refers to his audience as a "pivotal generation," but it's
one that didn't pivot in 1986. The phrase remains in the Facebook message to
a new generation.

The Dalai Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhists and the Tibetan government
in exile, has long been an advocate of environmental protection. Pope
Benedict XVI boarded the green bandwagon in his rambling encyclical letter,
Caritas in Veritate, last year.

The Pope urges environmental protection largely as a benefit to humanity:
"The environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a
responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards
humanity as a whole." The Pope blames environmental degradation on impiety,
including the popularity of Darwin's theory of evolution: "When nature,
including the human being, is viewed as the result of mere chance or
evolutionary determinism, our sense of responsibility wanes."

The Dalai Lama also emphasizes the benefit of passing a healthy environment
on to future generations of humans, but he pins the blame for environmental
destruction more clearly on "ignorance, greed and lack of respect for the
earth's living things." Read the full text of the Dalai Lama's message on
Facebook or at his Web page:

An Ethical Approach to Environmental Protection

Yesterday at 10:03am

Peace and the survival of life on earth as we know it are threaten by human
activities which lack a commitment to humanitarian values. Destruction of
nature and nature resources results from ignorance, greed and lack of
respect for the earth's living things.

This lack of respect extends even to earth's human descendants, the future
generations who will inherit a vastly degraded planet if world peace does
not become a reality, and destruction of the natural environment continues
at the present rate.

Our ancestors viewed the' earth as rich and bountiful, which it is. Many
people in the past also saw nature as inexhaustibly sustainable, which we
now know is the case only if we care for it.

It is not difficult to forgive destruction in the past, which resulted from
ignorance. Today, however, we have access to more information, and it is
essential that we re-examine ethically what we have inherited, what we are
responsible for, and what we will pass on to coming generations. Clearly
this is a pivotal generation....

via The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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