Decarbonize Buddhism

A proposal from DANCE-Atlantic (Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement):

A Buddhist No-Fly Pledge.

Buddhist teachers and practitioners take too many air-flights over long distances to teach, go on retreats, study or engage in ‘spiritual tourism’. These flights are taken by the very same people who claim to teach and practice environmental awareness. I am challenging all Buddhist teachers and practitioners to stop flying altogether. What’s more, the development of internet-based teaching makes these flights unnecessary. A good example is Worldwide Insight that hosts sessions with teachers live over the net every week. It’s time to stop making excuses (I must spread the dharma, I must meet this teacher in person) and localize our forms of practice. The climate doesn’t care ‘why’ you take a flight—C02 builds up and causes harm to every living being regardless of your good intentions.

Decarbonize Buddhism: Pledge to Stop all Air Flights for Dharma Purposes.

Buying carbon offsets does not solve the problem of carbon pollution from air travel; in fact, it only makes it worse. When I buy carbon offsets, it gives me permission to fly more often. That increases the total number of flights, prompting airport expansion, more runways, and increasing flights to more locations. I pledge to stop flying altogether in order to shrink the airline industry, reduce the size of airports and the number of runways, reduce the number of planes in the air, and the total number of global flights.


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