Conservation news

What would the Dalai Lama do?: spiritual leader speaks out on climate change

The Dalai Lama has given up taking baths in favor of showers and makes certain all lights are off when he leaves a room to help lower his carbon footprint, he told a crowd of reporters in Sydney, Australia today.

The 74-year-old spiritual leader of Tibet, said that “taking care of the environment … (is now) part of my life. Taking care of the environment should be part of our daily life.”

The Dalai Lama further highlighted the possible devastating impact of warmer temperatures on glaciers in Tibet, from which he is exiled. These glaciers feed major rivers vital to billions of people in Asia.

“These major rivers, which actually almost cover all Asia, these rivers ultimately come from Tibet. So I think many human beings depend on these,” he said. “From that view point we need special care about Tibetan ecology.”

While the Dalai Lama called recent attention by world governments to tackle climate change “encouraging”, he added that governments should focus more on global issues as opposed to making decision based solely on the state of a nation’s economy.

“Sometimes in government their number one priority is national interest, national economic interest, and global issues are sometimes secondary. That I think should change. The global issue should be number one. In some cases in order to protect global issues, some sacrifice of national interest (is needed),” the Dalai Lama said.
Australia is currently in a heated debate over legislature to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, which are currently the highest in the world per capita.

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