So, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Stephen Batchelor, etc. can’t be bodhisatvas? (They might be compensating their air travel carbon footprint by contributing to forestry. This is good but ultimately only greenhouse-non-positive.) For a broader 2×3 view here are potential female bodhisattas: Cheng Yen, Joanna Macy, Martine Batchelor.
So, what is missing? Why can’t they be bodhisattas? No Ksitigarbha etc. today, 21st century? Not even an avalokitasvara looking down from heaven (perhaps, if relevant for essential practical purpose, i.e. survival of current life)?
The second proposition forced upon us at this moment in the histories of civilization, the hominin and hominids and life at large – with historiographic orders of temporal extension ranging from a decade, a century etc. across the Holocene over the recent periods of glaciations down to microbial times of life, certainly embracing the history of mammals – is this:
* Not carbon negative, no sangha.
For, the challenge need not be burdened individually. Some carbon is worth being burnt.
But is there any way?
From Bellamy et al.:
More than twice as much carbon is held in soils as in vegetation or the atmosphere, and changes in soil carbon content can have a large effect on the global carbon budget.
Massive reforestation alone would not solve the climate problem. But a massive build-up of soil could help. The key to the future (if Homo S “Sapiens” is any interested) would be a carbon negative agriculture building soil instead of destroying it. There is a simple stone age tech tool that helps a lot in that effort: Char coal. A bodhisattva dwelling in a Himalayan cave could instantly go carbon negative by just peeing into his fire place (to the dismay of Sigmund Freud) every evening and mix the char in his compost…