Faiths May Hold the Key to Green China

October 6, 2007

Author: Stephen Scharper

Source: The

Can traditional Chinese religions help contemporary China clean up its environmental mess? A top Chinese official seems to think so.

Pan Yue, deputy director of China’s environmental protection agency, suggests an aggressive Western style of development, while powering China to the vaulted but smoggy heights of economic superpower, has come at a deleteriously high ecological price.

In a recent article in The Western Confucian, Pan Yue argues that all traditional Chinese belief systems accent the need for harmony and balance between humanity and nature.

“Whether it is the Confucian idea of (humanity) and nature becoming one, the Daoist view of the Dao reflecting nature, or the Buddhist belief that all living things are equal,” Pan Yue says, “Chinese philosophy has helped our culture to survive for thousands of years.

“It can be a powerful weapon in preventing an environmental crisis and building a harmonious society.” Pan Yue says ancient philosophical and religious systems, such as Confucianism and Taoism, may hold the key to a more sustainable human-earth relationship and help China balance its impressive economic might with its massive ecological plight.