Glastonbury music festival-goers got one hell of a treat this past weekend – and I’m not just talking about kickass female artists Mary J. Blige, Florence + the Machine, or even Patti freakin’ Smith.
The Dalai Lama, renowned Tibetan spiritual leader, joined a panel to discuss climate change before crowds of sweaty music enthusiasts in England. During the talk, he discussed nuclear disarmament, Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical, and the responsibility of world powers (including the United States and Russia) to stop burning fossil fuels. The Guardian has the details:
[The Dalai Lama] said: “The concept of war is outdated, but we do need to fight. Countries think about their own national interest rather than global interests and that needs to change because the environment is a global issue.
“It is not sufficient to just express views, we must set a timetable for change in the next two to four years.”
The Dalai Lama said individuals also had their own responsibility towards the planet. Speaking about his own efforts, he said he always turned the lights off when leaving rooms and took showers instead of baths – though he admitted taking two showers a day.
Well, it is good to know that despite his dedication to eco-consciousness, he’s still has at least one small indulgence. And after spending a day at a music festival, who could really blame him for that second shower?
But he didn’t just stick around for the climate change panel. Music legend Patti Smith later brought the Dalai Lama onstage where she presented him with an 80th birthday cake, read him a handwritten poem, and led her audience into singing him “Happy Birthday.” You can watch the celebration in the video below.
After blowing out the candles, the Dalai Lama said he was thrilled to see so many young people at the festival.
Speaking to Smith and her fellow musicians on stage, the Dalai Lama said: “Most of you have white hair – but the voice and the physical action looks very youthful. So that gives me encouragement myself. I’m now 80, but I should be more active like you.”