The principles of the Tao have been helpful in "environmental philosophy, [for those] who see the non-anthropocentric nature of Taoism as a guide for new ways of thinking about nature and environmental ethics."2 One book that is extremely helpful is Daoism and Ecology: Ways Within a Cosmic Landscape, edited by N.J. Girardot, James Miller, and Liu Xiaogan, which is "currently the most thorough introduction to studies done on concepts of nature and ecology within Taoism."3 Chinese philosophy is concerned primarily with the realness of existing problems and how to solve those issues in a concrete fashion. As the writer Jordan Paper says in "Chinese Religion, 'Daoism,' and Deep Ecology" in the book Deep Ecology and World Religions,
In other words, real solutions for the problems of the environment are probably going to come from those who hold Taoist beliefs, or beliefs similar to Taoism/Daoism. Why is this It is probably because Taoism teaches tenets that reflect a concern for the environment. Chinese tradition does not, on the whole, intellectualize these problems like the environment. However, as one has seen as recently at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, the Chinese have a long way to go in terms of regulating their own environment as far as pollution is concerned. "A miasma of lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other elements of coal-burning and car exhaust hovers over most Chinese cities."5
Why is there not more activism and involvement regarding the environment in a country where there is such a great percentage of the population that is religiously committed to conserving its environment This remains a mystery. Perhaps it is because those Chinese who are Taoists/Daoists are not in positions of power to be able to create effective change in China with regard to the pollution. It is large corporations who are committing the crimes against the environment, which likely do not care about Taoist values, and could care less about the Chinese environment and the environment of the rest of the world, such as the U.S., which sees smog from China on its West Coast which travels across the sea.
The pollution problem is an issue that should concern the Chinese, and it is possible that it does, with breathing difficulties becoming an increasing liability. However, companies' powers trump the activism of only a few individuals. Unless there is a unified, organized movement in China in order to create effective change, there will not be change in China with regards to the pollution problem. Jordan Paper, in his chapter in Deep Ecology and World Religions, further emphasizes the difference between Chinese mode of thought which centers on experience and Western tradition, which focuses on dogma:
"Hence, Western intellectuals and Western-influenced Chinese intellec-
tuals tend to derive theories from Chinese texts that have