Buddhism, Climate Change, and Economics: Video

On February 18, 2016, I had the honor to be invited to speak, along with Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, at a colloquium on “Buddhist Responses to Climate Change” at Harvard Divinity School. This is the video of the event. My talk was titled “Beyond ‘Small is Beautiful’: Buddhism and the Economics of Climate Change.”

Author: Julie A. Nelson

Julie A. Nelson is a writer on gender, ethics, economics, ecology, and Zen; a Professor of Economics, Emeritus; a Dharma Holder and Teaching Coordinator at the Greater Boston Zen Center; and mother of two grown children.

5 thoughts on “Buddhism, Climate Change, and Economics: Video”

  1. Wonderful talk, Julie! Thanks for sharing! This is the first time I’ve heard a deconstruction of the old vs. new economy narrative. It is very helpful for my own thinking in Buddhist economics, and I feel it also provides a much needed perspective for sustainability communities. I’d love to learn more about your take on post-capitalism. What sorts of transition pathways do you envision would be more or less helpful, given a non-dual orientation to the old vs. new economy? Are there papers you recommend on the topic?


    1. Thanks, Zach! Unfortunately, the debate has gotten quite polarized and the people trying to draw it back together are relatively few. Within the Buddhist academic community, this talk and two books (in which I have chapters) Ethical Principles and Economic Transformation – A Buddhist Approach (ed. Laszlo Zsolnai, Dordrecht: Springer, 2011) and Business within Limits: Deep Ecology and Buddhist Economics (ed. László Zsolnai and Knut Johannessen Ims. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2006) are about the only sources I know about. I also have an as-yet-unpublished piece with a Buddhist lawyer I could send you if you email me. In terms of my own take on the issue, I’ve also written much about this (though not in an explicitly Buddhist context) in my book Economics for Humans (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2006), and in other works you can find through my CV on my website https://sites.google.com/site/julieanelsoneconomist/home. If you want to see how some in the business community are trying to integrate values and business, see http://www.ceres.org/, http://www.consciouscapitalism.org/, or google “business buddhism.” (Of course, like with anything else in this world, you have to watch out for instances of insincere hype among the sincere efforts–but to question sincerity BEFORE investigating indicates closed-mindedness.)


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