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“We Do Not Live Single-Issue Lives”: Climate Change

buddha with animals

Black lesbian feminist theorist Audre Lorde famously observed:

audre lorde single issue


At Buddhist Peace Fellowship, we are constantly exploring the interconnectedness of social justice issues: from climate change to colonialism, police violence to affordable housing.

Not only do we explore these issues — we act on them.

This week we’ll take a look at 5 of the areas where we’ve been working out the intersection of dharma and nonviolent action in 2015. First up:

Climate Change

Just a FEW examples from the year…

1. Katie, one of BPF’s Co-Directors, joined the famous Portland bridge blockade to stop Shell’s Arctic drilling.

(Shell has since ceased all drilling in the Arctic!)

Activists hang under the St. Johns Bridge In an attempt to block the Shell leased icebreaker, MSV Fennica from passing under the bridge and joining Shell's Arctic drilling fleet. According to the latest federal permit, the Fennica must be at Shell’s drill site before Shell can reapply for federal approval to drill deep enough for oil in the Chukchi Sea.

11781838_10204978712172942_1687198895798346352_nkatie bridge

2. New York BPFers held Wall Street meditations on climate justice during Pope Francis’ visit

3. BPF Co-Directors Dawn and Katie each presented in One Earth Sangha’s Ecosattva Training

The global webinar drew over 2,000 listeners for its conference calls and recordings.

Especially in light of the COP21 Paris Accord that has disappointed many indigenous communities (including some of those hit hardest by climate disasters), and doesn’t appear to have particularly robust enforcement mechanisms, it seems likely that our practices of nonviolent disruption, intervention, earth defense, and compassionate confrontation will continue to come in handy.


bpf fracking

Questions, comments, or concerns? Feel free to share in the thread below!

And stay tuned for tomorrow’s issue: Gun Violence.

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of this year?


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Comments (5)

  • Constant Illumination

    Why do you always speak of “Climate Change”?
    Is it because that is a respected topic there in USA etc.?
    Why don’t you say “Degrowth”?
    Climate Change is just a small part, probably not the most important, of the suicidal policy of modern humanity.
    Resources are being depleted, NATO soldiers and agents spread chaos all over the world, preparing to sweep 6 of 7 billions of people into oblivion, and you only care about a “Climate Change”?
    What about unrestricted consumerism in general, the backbone of our economy?
    And did you hear there is a “Buddhist economy” concept?

  • Arindam

    “And did you hear there is a “Buddhist economy” concept?”

    I believe E. F. Schumacher outlined it in his book, ‘Small is Beautiful’. For those interested, there’s a charity, Practical Action, that’s based on his ideas.

  • Shaun Bartone

    Climate change is not a “single issue”. It affects all 7 billion people currently alive, all future generations of human beings, and every living species on the planet. That’s not a single issue. It impacts the production of food for all 7 billion of us, both the over-production of toxic food from industrial agriculture for the rich and white, and the starvation of poor people in the global South,primarily people of colour, who are deprived of land, water, seed and livestock. That’s not a single issue. It involves corporate over-production of useless consumer goods, marketed to the global elite and the white middle class, while workers in developing nations are exploited to the point of death for their labour to produce the useless consumer goods, and poor people in the global South lack housing, food, clean water, electricity, education, and health care. That’s not a single issue. It involves the mining and extraction of fossil fuels from lands of indigenous people, from lands that are ecologically rich and vital to our ecosystem, the destruction of forests, the pollution of air, rivers, lakes and oceans, while workers who do the hard labour of extraction are used up and thrown away. That’s not a single issue. It involves the militarization of fossil fuel production regions, subjecting people in the those regions to brutal military regimes, civil war, police states, prisons, rape, and brutality. That’s not a single issue. It involves the corruption and control of governments by corporate elites, the imposition of totalitarian “security” regimes, the suppression of the peoples’ right to collective self-rule. That’s not a single issue.In short, in involves the material and social foundations of human civilization, the 6th mass extinction of land an ocean species, and the future of life on the planet, and that is by no means a single issue.

  • Shaun Bartone

    and how could I forget? the internal displacement and mass migration of human populations, their loss of home and culture and abandonment into a degraded “refugee” status, and the theft and destruction of indigenous lands culture and self-governae. I mean, the list goes on. The question is, what isn’t affected by climate change?

  • amy

    we are already in the 6th mass extinction. we will need all available water, grain, beans, veggies, fruit and energy to feed to humans directly, not to inefficiently convert into building muscle for livestock. animal agriculture is not sustainable. it is also excruciatingly cruel. our oceans are decimated and dead zones grow year by year. may all beings be free from suffering, liberated. go vegan!

© 2017 Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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