What does Buddhism have to offer in terms of Deep Adaptation to catastrophic climate change and ecological extinction? Can Buddhist practice work for us as a source of resilience required for Deep Adaptation?
Going forward with Engage! I will focus on what is without question the over-riding existential crisis of the 21st century: catastrophic climate change and ecological extinction, and concomitantly, the possibility of Deep Adaptation. This is an existential crisis, personal, communal and global. Deep Adaptation is what I am calling a range of responses to these conditions that human beings will make instinctively, whether wise or not, that will enable us to survive this crisis. Mass migration of human and animal populations is most certainly one means of Deep Adaptation, one that we must be prepared to either undertake or accept as a fact of life in these conditions. Mass starvation, disease and displacement are all possibilities that loom on the horizon. If we are going to face this grave situation with any wisdom, we must consider seriously whether our Buddhist dharma or practice gives us the resilience required to face these monumental consequences.
I am not assuming that it does, and I question not just whether Buddhism provides this resilience, but what kinds of dharma or wise practice does provide the kind of resilience required for Deep Adaptation? This is an ongoing question and investigation for me as well as for my readers. I welcome your thoughts and contributions in the comments section. I appreciate longer comments from readers that could be an article on its own terms. I really want to open up the discussion to readers who take this ecological crisis seriously.