While publicly expressing hope regarding the fate of the human species on a rapidly warming planet, an increasing number of climate scientists are discreetly embracing Buddhism and its emphasis on the present moment.
“It’s encouraging to see people’s increasing awareness about global warming,” said climatologist Richard Hayes. “Over 70 percent of Americans now believe that it’s real, meaning that we’re poised for real change..”
After sharing this message of hope, Hayes inhaled deeply, and then slowly exhaled. “That being said, I find it soothing to focus on my breath. Now is really all we have, you know?”
Climate expert Brenda Peterson expressed similar views. “I’m extremely optimistic. All it will take to prevent global catastrophe is swift, positive, collaborative action by governments around the world, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to accomplish that. We got this!”
Like Hayes had done, Peterson drew a deep breath and then slowly released it, murmuring, “In, out." She smiled beatifically and said, “After all, what does ‘tipping point’ really mean, anyway? All just words, just thoughts, just noise our brains manufacture because that’s what brains do. Generally speaking, I find it best not to dream of the future. I would urge people to concentrate their minds on the present moment.”
These and other climate scientists insist, however, that their fairly recent interest in Buddhism and living in the now has nothing to do with their perception of the accelerating nature of climate change.
“Total coincidence,” said Richard Hayes. “I have full faith in humanity. I firmly believe we’re on a trajectory toward nirvana.”