“Alleviating the Climate Change Crisis through a Middle Way of Life”

By Danuse Murty.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

It is an unavoidable truth that we are living during a major environmental crisis of which large scale pollution, global warming, poverty of many millions of people and extinction of many species are clear signs. While the deep causes of this crisis are indeed human selfishness and ignorance of the natural laws of cause and effect, it is vital, like during any medical or humanitarian crisis, that we deal with the immediate dangers first and then focus on alleviating the deeper causes and establishing a preventive or environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Just as ethical rules of conduct so simplifying and purifying our basic life requisites is essential to establishing an environmentally sustainable way of life - a Middle Way between the two extremes of self-indulgence and self-injury. This way of life was taught by the Buddha 2500 years ago, but unlike then our basic life requisites are not naturally pure and environmentally sustainable, so we now need to address these much more than it was necessary then. To achieve an environmentally sustainable lifestyle does not require much time or money, but a general understanding of what a modern sustainable lifestyle means, a standard to measure our lifestyle by, and an effective method to achieve such lifestyle.

This paper explains how we can apply both the Buddha's teaching of the Middle Way of life and our modern knowledge and tools to achieve a sustainable lifestyle and to alleviate the current environmental crisis.

Keywords: Buddha, Climate Change, Global Warming, Environmental Crisis, Environmentally Sustainable Lifestyle, Middle Way, Millennium Development Goals

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.7-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.770MB).

Dr. Danuse Murty

Buddhist Council of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Danuse Murty has been cultivating a healthy lifestyle since 1971, including a vegetarian diet and yoga. She has a BSc in applied mathematics and PhD in mathematical biology from University of NSW. She has experience in both scientific research and laboratory teaching of ecology and her PhD and postdoctoral research from 1991-2001 contributed to the Australian and international global climate change programmes. Her latest interest is in how to alleviate the current environmental crisis through establishing environmentally sustainable lifestyle and communities. In the last 2 years she has given presentations on climate change from a Buddhist perspective to several Buddhist groups and also at a NSW environmental educators conference and at interfaith conferences in Sydney. She is currently coordinating a community computer centre, which is providing free IT services to disadvantaged people of the local community. This is a grassroots project, which aims to contribute to achieving Australian social and environmental sustainability goals.

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