by Gillette de Bary
His Holiness the Dalai Lama became the first Nobel Laureate recognized for his concern for global environmental problems in 1989 when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Two years earlier, in 1987, he proposed a ‘Five Point Peace Plan’ to the government of China that included a provision for the “Restoration and protection of Tibet’s natural environment…” due in part because of China’s use of Tibet for the production of nuclear weapons and the dumping of nuclear waste since Tibet was invaded in 1949. It comes as no surprise that China never responded.
The fourth ‘Point’ of the Dalai Lama’s Peace Plan addresses the issue of ecological protection specific to Tibet, but the Dalai Lama’s concern encompasses the globe.
His Holiness’ main commitments, pertaining to human compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline can be transferred to our treatment and care for the environment. If we extend the ‘Golden Rule’ to ecological matters and show the environment compassion, nature may treat us in the same manner that we treat it.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will speak on Oct. 18 and 19 will speak at Western Connecticut State University, and the public is invited to a free showing (video simulcast) in the Ives Concert Hall, 181 White St. To help promote this opportunity, WCSU students in the Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Department's Advertising, Copywriting and Promotions class created a Twitter page and they are writing this blog daily.