Insights | Chinese culture endowed with rich ecological civilization philosophies: Yale Scholars

2024-07-04 Editor : Xue Lingqiao ECNS App Download

By Xue Lingqiao

(ECNS) -- "Confucianism is a fascinating topic of one of the great civilizations. It also has a tremendous ecological sensibility. It has a sense that we are not just humans alone, but we're in relationship to society, family, and nature," said Mary Evelyn Tucker, Confucian scholar and professor at Yale School of Environment in the United States, while attending a showing of her award-winning documentary Journey of the Universe recently at Peking University in Beijing. 

The documentary, co-directed by professor Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim throughout the past ten years, helps explain the evolutionary processes of the universe and Earth with visual beauty, calling for human beings to recognize the living values of other species on our planet. It also raises people's awareness to connect ourselves more closely with the Earth, in the context of a deteriorating environment, climate change and social crisis.

During the sharing session, Tucker and Grim also gave their insights on China's dual carbon goal, green lifestyle as well as the proposal of building an ecological civilization of life for humans and nature. 

Professor Tucker noted that human-nature relations are primary in Confucianism, and the unity of humans and nature (or “天人合一” in Chinese) are one of the great contributions of Confucianism to world philosophy. 

She also believes that as one of the oldest traditions in the world, Confucianism serves as the philosophic foundation of the over 5,000-year-old Chinese civilization., which is different from the individualism in the West. She holds that Confucianism is a holistic thought that combines human beings, nature, and ecology as well as social order. 

Talking of China's efforts in promoting ecological civilization, Tucker pointed out that the "dual carbon goals" is a very important commitment made by the Chinese government. "China is one of the major economies in the world. So, I think it's extremely significant for everyone on the planet," she said. 

John Grim, senior research scholar at School of Environment at Yale University echoed her opinions. He noted that it's a significant change that people are talking about the temperature rise limit to 2℃ from the previous level of 1.5℃, following the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) meeting held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, late last year.

"I think China's commitment to reducing carbon emissions and then achieving carbon neutrality is a path that might keep temperature rise at 1.5℃," added John, saying that he finds this exciting. 

Noting their trips to northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region this June, John said that many wind turbines alongside the journey impressed him, adding that they are of great significance in the transition away from coal, oil and other forms of fossil fuels.

In March 2018, China incorporated ecological civilization into its Constitution for the first time. In this regard, Tucker said that it has both legal and practical significance.

During the interview, Grim also said that China's proposal of building an ecological civilization of life for humans and nature is important as it implies environmental responsibility, which is significant for China's commitment to carbon neutrality and other goals, and may further inspire Western countries.


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2024 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
[网上传播视听节目许可证(0106168)] [京ICP证040655号]
[京公网安备 11010202009201号] [京ICP备05004340号-1]