Climate change, economics and Buddhism — Part I: An integrated environmental analysis framework
The maintenance of climatic conditions that support biotic integrity and human life is a critical aspect of sustainable development. Serious instability in global economic and environmental spheres calls for an intensive search for new paradigms guiding human understanding, motivation and action. This two-part paper examines how central Buddhist world views and themes can contribute to effectively addressing climate change and other sustainability problems confronting consumer economies. Environmental, economic, ethical and cosmological dimensions of Buddhism are presented as a logical and practical basis for reducing the climate change pressures deriving from prevailing global modes of production and consumption. This first paper presents an analytical framework and philosophical base for understanding the causes and refining the goals behind human and societal endeavor. This frames the relevant adaptive responses outlined in the concluding paper. The paper begins by developing an innovative systems framework for analyzing major environmental problems such as climate change. Building on this framework, we then examine Buddhist insights into the fundamental nature of the behavior and driving forces that generate climate change. The model not only provides an improved basis for human-environmental analysis in general, but is applied to demonstrate and specify how the Buddhist world view could be operationalized to tackle anthropogenic climate change - the task is undertaken in second paper. Buddhist notions of interconnectedness, dependent origination, and mindful consumption and production can help explain and reshape human motives and actions for climate and other forms of environmental sustainability.
Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified