The redundancy of environmental Buddhism

What is the difference between an ecobuddhist and a regular ol’ Buddhist?

Yesterday I discovered ecobuddhism.org, which conveys environmental messages in slightly different packaging. Here’s a quote from an interview with Dudjom Rinpoche on the site:

“Well, then it seems renewable energy is possible, but the negative forces who seek to continue excessive use of fossil fuels are still too strong. It would be very difficult to change all these things at once.  If we want to climb upstairs, we have to go step by step. If we build a house, first we lay foundations, and that takes time.  Scientists and others should work together to progressively establish the benefit of new, harmonious energy sources.  We have to make real effort to achieve the benefits of renewable energy. It is probably not possible to change everybody’s attitude immediately. But I think, cooperative, progressive efforts can lead to better results in the future.”

When Dudjom Rinpoche says “negative forces,” I hear the NRDC saying “the oil industry.”

When I spotted this site, I thought, pshaw, aren’t all Buddhists environmentalists, anyway? Buddhism asks adherents to take responsibility for their minds, their worlds–it’s not a leap to environmentalism from there.

Well, I was wrong. According to a U.S. religious landscape survey at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, not all Buddhists are environmentalists. A mere 75 percent of U.S. Buddhists said “stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost.”

I guess they’re worried about that other 25 percent.

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