Climate Change Daoism

The idea of environmental stewardship has found it's way into Daoist discourses many times in history. Conservation is a Daoist precept and has often found its way into government policy decisions over the long history of Daoism's relationship with the state. This is not a human centered enviornmentalism, and because of that, Daoist have sometimes found themselves on the "wrong" side of population debates.

Still, many Daoist precepts have a personal/collective conservation ethic: For instance, "Own only one pair of shoes," "do not set fire to uncultivated fields of mountain forests," "improperly pick flowers or fell trees," "throw poisons into the sea, lakes, ponds, or rivers," "do not frighten birds or animals..."

So it was with great interest that I read this news article:
Something unprecedented happened in China in late October. It may not have been as glitzy spectacular as the Olympics in Beijing over the summer. It did not attract heads of state or world celebrities. But it possibly leave a more lasting imprint on the future of China and indeed the world.

Taoist masters from all over China gathered near the ancient capital of Nanjing to agree on a seven-year plan for climate change action. Anybody with minimal knowledge of China will immediately understand that this is more than a curiosity.....


Fourth, the Taoists are walking the walk. Over the last year or so they have installed solar panels on half of their thousands of temples around China and the job will be completed soon for all their sacred places. They are providing comprehensive guidance on all aspects of environmental and climate stewardship: water and land management, protection of biological diversity, energy efficiency of buildings, educational curricula, moral teachings, outreach through media and advocacy to business, etc. They will use their Seven-Year Plan to make a holistic and systematic contribution to climate responsibility and environmental stewardship in China. The perspective goes beyond seven years. The ambition is to change the course for generations to come. Because the Taoists plan to be around for quite a while longer, continuing their sacred cosmic dance that transcend time and space.

Then I read this comment at the bottom:
In order to save the environment, first you must realize the truth: that there is no global warming. Then, it is not the environment which is changed, but your mind.

There is a Daoist precept against challenging the veracity of local cults. The wuwei approach to politics is all about spin. Pollution and filth are reason enough to get together and issue a policy statement on the environment. Daoist have been dealing with apocalyptic cults who claim human conduct is the reason the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket since the first century CE. Notice, there is no quote from a Daoist claiming doom is here, now!