New Delhi: “This planet is our only home. Environmental experts say that over the next few decades, global warming will reach such a level that many water resources will go dry. So ecology and combating global warming are very important,” said Nobel peace laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama whose latest book on climate change titled “Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World” will be published in November this year.

Speaking exclusively with Asianet Newsable, Tsewang Gyalpo Arya, Secretary, Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), said, “His Holiness the Dalai Lama has always spoken for the protection of the environment and climate friendly world. He says that we are all a visitor to this planet and this planet belongs to all of us including the animals and plants. That we should all take united global responsibility in making this planet a better and healthy place to live in and refrain from doing anything that may harm the environment and climate.”

“The upcoming book ‘Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World’ will have His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s important and timely messages to the world leaders and common people to take this climate change issue more seriously and to work together to make this planet a safer and healthier place to live in,” Arya added.

In the book, the Dalai Lama calls on political decision-makers to finally fight against deadlock and ignorance on the issue of climate change and to stand up for a different, more climate-friendly world and for the younger generation to assert their right to regain its future. He has been a steadfast advocate for environmental conservation and for many decades, has called for global cooperation on climate change and global warming, Arya said.

In 2018, “Ecology, Ethics, and Interdependence: The Dalai Lama in Conversation with Leading Thinkers on Climate Change” was published, where Dalai Lama’s discussions with leading scientists, academics and activists on the urgent climate issue, formed the basis for the book. The book ‘Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World’ is scheduled to publish in November. It follows Dalai Lama’s 2019 publication dedicated to children “The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama” and previous works including his autobiography and on philosophy.

“In the past, when I was flying over Afghanistan, there were clear signs that what used to be lakes and streams were already dry. I feel that Tibet, the ultimate source of water in Asia, also may become like that soon. We human beings have these marvelous, brilliant minds. But we are also the biggest troublemakers on the planet. Now we should utilise our brains with compassion, and a sense of concern. This is why one of my commitments is promotion of deeper human values,” Dalai Lama said.

He added, “From birth, we rely on others, particularly our mothers. From then, each individual’s existence entirely depends on a community, because we are a social animal. Community is the source of our happiness, so we must take care of the community. So now, in modern times, the concept of humanity is one community. East, west, north, south: everyone is interdependent. The modern economy has no national boundaries. Therefore, now we need a sense of oneness of all seven billion human beings.”

“In the past, many problems were created because of too much emphasis on our differences, such as nationalities and religions. Now, in modern times, that thinking is out of date. We should think about humanity, about the whole world. Hours, minutes and seconds: time never stands still. We also are part of that nature. The past is important, but already past. The future is still in our hands, so we must think about ecology at the global level,” he said.

Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, secretary, office of the Dalai Lama, told Asianet Newsable that Bloomsbury Sigma has acquired the book on climate change to publish this November.

The book will be published as a pounds 10.99 hardback on November 12. It has been co-written with German environmental journalist Franz Alt. Puffin, who published the Dalai Lama’s first children’s book, “The Seed of Compassion”, in March 2020. He previously co-wrote a book about joy with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, published by Cornerstone in 2016.

However, according to the publisher’s (Bloomsbury Sigma) synopsis, within its pages the Dalai Lama calls on political decision-makers to “finally fight against deadlock and ignorance” on the issue of climate change.

“He argues that we all need to stand up for a different, more climate-friendly world, and to allow younger generations to assert their right to regain their future,” Bloomsbury's description reads. “From the voice of this beloved religious leader and thinker comes this eye-opening manifesto, one that empowers the generation of today to step up, take action and protect our world.”

Jim Martin, commissioning editor at Bloomsbury Sigma, said, “I am absolutely delighted to have the once-in-a-career opportunity to bring His Holiness to the Sigma list, and it was pleasing to take the book on in a spirit of friendship with HarperCollins in the US. As we slowly emerge blinking from the torment of the Coronavirus epidemic, we need to focus our efforts on the existential challenge of climate change. In this book, the Dalai Lama shares his vision for how change can happen. The world needs to hear and heed his words.”
 
Martin acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in “Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World”, while HarperCollins US secured the rights for the US and Canada, from Benevento. Originally it was offering world English language rights, but rather than go head-to-head in an auction, Martin for Bloomsbury and commissioning editor Peter Joseph for HarperCollins US agreed to share the rights, “acknowledging this would be more in keeping with the spirit of the book and its author”.

The 14th Dalai Lama was born in 1935 in Takster in Eastern Tibet and fled to India after the occupation of Tibet by China in 1959, from where he has since worked for the genuine autonomy of his homeland. In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and he now lives in McLeod Ganj.