There were many special guests at the Glasto this year, but one made a lasting impression: His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
The spiritual Buddhist leader spoke at Glastonbury yesterday, Sunday the 28th of June on the last day of the festival.
The Dalai Lama was greeted onstage with cheers from festival goers. Then led by Patti Smith, the crowd serenaded him with “Happy Birthday” before cutting his cake ahead of his 80th birthday on July 6th.
Speaking on a panel alongside Katharine Viner and George Monbiot, His Holiness praised another spiritual leader: Pope Francis. He seconded the pope’s recent encyclical on climate change, which warned of the unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, adding that it was the duty of people to “say more – we have to make more of an effort, including demonstrations”. He called for more pressure to be put on international governments to stop the burning of fossil fuels and mass deforestation and invest more in green energy sources.
He said: “The concept of war is outdated, but we do need to fight.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.