We will get straight to the point: Today we ask you to help Common Dreams. To maintain our independence, we will never run ads or take corporate funds. To maintain your privacy, we will never rent or sell your email address or your meta-data. Over twenty years ago, we created our media model -- non-profit, funded by thousands of small contributors -- guaranteeing us the independence to speak truth to power. We depend on our readers - with donations averaging about $31. Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone reading this gave $10, we could keep Common Dreams publishing for years to come. Most people ignore my messages. But I hope you’ll think about how independent journalism and democracy itself have never been more fragile, more at risk than now. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder
Support independent journalism. Common Dreams brings you the news that matters.Donate
Planting for the prince. Photo by Tendrel Initiatives via AP
For an alternative to Canada or Costa Rica if the unthinkable occurs and Drumpf....you know.... consider the tiny Himalayan mountain kingdom of Bhutan, the world's most eco-friendly, carbon-negative country. Last week, many of its 800,000 inhabitants - including the prime minister - turned out to plant 108,000 saplings to commemorate the first Royal Child of their popular King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema. The number was chosen to represent the 108,000 impurities Buddhists believe they must overcome to achieve enlightenment.
It seems Bhutan is well on its way. It has not only pledged to remain carbon neutral, but is a rare carbon sink, with its forests absorbing more carbon dioxide than they emit; its constitution mandates at least 60% of its land remain forested; it has banned export logging; it seeks to be 100% organic and have zero net greenhouse emissions by 2020; and it judges itself not just by economic indicators but by a “Gross National Happiness” Index that gives the natural world and its trees key symbols of longevity, beauty, compassion. "In Buddhism, a tree is the provider and nourisher of all life forms," says Tenzin Lekphell, who coordinated the plantings to honor the new prince. Now, the people of Bhutan are "nurturing the plants as if we are nurturing the little prince."