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So, I'm new to Buddhism and I was attracted to the faith after I got fed up with all the callousness I saw in Christianity. I felt that people were finding convenient excuses to behave however they liked and were using bad theological arguments to excuse their actions. For instance, often times when I would talk to church members about global warming, they would say that it didn't matter since the world would be burned anyways according to the book of Revelation. This seemed like a very callous and dismissive answer to me. Even if we assume the Bible to be true, and even if the world was going to face some sort of biblical destruction, shouldn't Christians still try to protect the planet since it's a gift to them from God, "The Father". I doubt any of us would actively lay waste to a house that our parents built for us, so why would Christians (who overwhelmingly see God as a Father who built Earth for them), ignore the threat of climate change?
As an individual, this was the final inconsistency I could bare. I was left with little in terms of spiritual faith but through my collegiate studies, I found Buddhism. As we discussed the principles of Buddhism in my philosophy class, I couldn't help but to smile. There was an embarrassingly large grin on my face throughout the entire lecture; I fell in love with the messages of Buddhism (particularly Sunyata) and I've been trying to learn more ever since.
Now, as a Sociology student, I'm left with the question, "Do our spiritual views affect the way we view global warming?" This is a very concerning idea to me because if it bares true, then it might not matter what amount of scientific evidence exists, some people might never believe that the globe is facing an ecological crisis.
In my effort to find an answer to this question, I've created a questionnaire to compare both how an individual places one's self in relation to the Earth and how one feels about climate change. I'm particularly interested to see if people view themselves as dominators of the Earth or if they see themselves as dependent on the planet and it's ecosystem.
I'd be extremely grateful to anyone who is willing to complete this questionnaire as they would be helping me tremendously. It requires no personal information and all responses are anonymous.
Also, I'd love to hear your guys' opinions about what Buddhist teachings would have to say about climate change. I talked to a Zen master in my local area and she said that while it's important to seek harmony with the planet, it is more important for us to be ready to embrace and adapt to any change that may happen as a result of climate change.
Please let me know what you think by commenting and completing the questionnaire