Buddhist Climate Action Network

white_buddha_thaiThirteen dharma brothers and sisters from several different Buddhist traditions had a planning session on January 4, 2015 for the Buddhist Climate Action Network (BCAN) in Berkeley, CA. The meeting was led by Ayya Santussika of the Karuna Buddhist Vihara, a monastery in Mountain View, California. It was an organizational meeting for BCAN. The meeting lasted over 3 ½ hours if you include the subcommittee meeting of those interested in supporting the media presence and communication.

Lyn Fine took notes and Ayya will edit them. I will make them available when they are ready.

After a 20 minutes of introductions, we talked about our purpose, which is to mobilize Buddhists and connect us with Buddhist and non-Buddhist groups interested in taking action on climate change. One of the main ideas is to join in on what groups in the larger climate movement are doing rather than initiating events ourselves.

We plan to hold international conference calls to discuss issues that are coming up. Our next conference call is at 2:00 PM PST on Sunday, January 18, 2015. We plan to participate in some way in the March for Real Climate Leadership on February 7, 2015 in Oakland, CA. The idea is to push Governor Jerry Brown to ban fracking in California.

We then discussed the organizing model, which calls for bi-directional spokes between Global BACN, local BCAN groups, and national and global climate change action groups like 360.org, Sunflower Alliance, and others.

The types of action we anticipate participating in consist of global, national, regional, and local events. We intend to be 100% peaceful and be in line with justice. We intend to practice deep listening to what people want to do.

Finally, we discussed media presence and communication. I volunteered to host a WordPress blog for the Global BCAN group. The website is set up but there is no content yet. In a few days or a week, there will be a place where you can sign up to receive updates from the Global BCAN group.

We also agreed to allow local BCAN groups to have their own blogs if they want. These would be subdomains of globalbcan.org. For example, the NY group might want something like nybcan.globalbcan.org. The Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg group might want tbbcan.globalbcan.org. These will be provided at no cost and there will be a mechanism to promote a local posting to the global web site. I will set up the WordPress installation for the local groups, but they will be entirely responsible for all the content. Training videos on how to use WordPress will be provided.

If you are a subscriber to Meditation Practices, you know about the email I send out weekly containing the most recent dozen or so articles. This type of emailing list will be set up on global.bcan.org, and it can also be set up for local BCAN group. You are invited to sign up for these emails and there is a way for you to easily unsubscribe.

This whole thing is a work in progress and I am grateful to participate. How would like to participate in the Buddhist Climate Action Network?

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