Taking a fresh look at our “Topsy-Turvy World”

“Climate change isn’t on any serious political candidate’s agenda these days,” says Norman Fischer in “Topsy-Turvy World,” from our November magazine. “It’s entirely off the table. Which is crazy.”

There are some signs that the tide has turned, though, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. This week’s Bloomberg Business Report put it bluntly with its cover story: “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.” And yesterday afternoon, the magazine’s founder, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, made a surprise announcement that he was endorsing Barack Obama for president because he felt Obama was more likely to tackle the rising temperatures that contributed to the storm.

Faced with this ecological crisis, as well as economic and political woes around the world, Fischer writes, the strength of mind that comes from meditation can help us end the denial that keeps a world of problems spinning.

At present, several national economies, ours included, are dangerously teetering. Jobs and basic social services are becoming scarce, governments are bankrupt, and the economic arrangements that have served us more or less (usually less) reasonably for so long begin to seem untenable. Behind this economic crisis, and the pain and injustice it has revealed, is a looming ecological crisis. The climate is certainly changing, yet there are still people who deny the existence of human-caused climate change, though the scientific consensus is clear. So we remain divided and confused. Climate change isn’t on any serious political candidate’s agenda these days. It’s entirely off the table. Which is crazy.

What’s the alternative to all this denial? Is there a way we can digest, hold, and live with the scale of our current problems?

Fischer has some suggestions — read the rest of “Topsy-Turvy World,” now online in its entirety, here.

Read more about Buddhism, politics, and the environment on our Mindful Politics and Buddhism and Green Living Spotlight Pages. And browse what else is inside our November magazine here.

One Comment

  1. Aparna
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Very succinctly put. We suffer, yet we do not see, because we think joy lies in the indulgences the culture of consumption brings us. Right view, environmentally, is a rare thing yet.

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