Some meditators have suggested that it’s too late to save the planet, so we should focus on our own spiritual salvation. Zen priest and climate scientist Kritee discusses the concept of “planetary hospice.”
Sometimes I hear within the activist community and also in Buddhist community that what we are called to do now is to prepare for planetary hospice. There’s a belief that we have crossed our tipping point and all we can do at this point is to just be good caretakers of the planet as it enters hospice. And I want to say that is not true.
As a climate scientist, I know that there is not one single tipping point, but rather tens of tipping points for Earth as a system. We have crossed the tipping point, let’s say, for the Arctic, in that in the next five to twenty years we will completely lose the Arctic summer sea ice. However, there is still so much we can do in trying to protect the Greenland ice or Antarctica ice from melting and protect our coastal cities from going under water.
So, when we say we believe in the hospice paradigm, we are actually taking our power away from ourselves and not investing in saying “no” to what needs to be said “no” to. So, we have to prepare for a lot of loss and it’s important to grieve the losses which have happened, and which will come. They will definitely come. But we also have to be prepared to say “no” to what still can be said “no” to, and will protect us from a lot more suffering happening.