In Buddhism, there is no distinct “self.” Rather, the “self” extends to everything: every person, every tree, every planet, and so on. It is no wonder, then, that Buddhism often connects well to environmental awareness. After all, how could you not worry when a piece of yourself is damaged?
Even though the goal of a national park is preserve and protect the land, the Grand Canyon is a battleground for its richness in uranium. Political figures are fighting to sell parts of the Grand Canyon to those seeking to earn profits from the uranium mining industry, while the Navajo nation fights to protect both the land they have lived on and their own wellbeing.
When Richard Nixon, a Republican president, signed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into law in January 1970, nobody found it entirely too startling. If President Ronald Reagan had done the same only ten years later, however, the nation would have been shocked. What made it so that environmental issues became a question of political affiliation by the 1990s?
On March 24, 2018, I participated in the March for our Lives, a nationwide rally fighting against gun violence. At the rally in Boston, I was stunned by the sheer number of young people present. I have become acutely aware of the power of our voices and the need for social movements to further our cause. My cause is sustainability.
When the fundamental 1970 Clean Air Act and 1972 Clean Water Act were passed, they were popular bipartisan bills, yet now, a climate change denier heads the EPA in what looks to be an awfully bleak situation. How have policies changed so drastically from the fervent environmentalist movements of the 1970s?