Global Warming & Climate Change and Ecological Buddhism

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Ecological Buddhism

Postby Potato » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:39 am

Unfortunately, the only peers who reviewed those papers were ones who agree that climate change is nonsense, and almost none of whom are specialists in climate change:

http://mind.ofdan.ca/?p=1125


(Edited to correct punctuation)
User avatar
Potato
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:46 am

Re: Ecological Buddhism

Postby Lampang » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:08 am

I'd like to point out that crop yields have increased a good bit since CO2 has risen from 350ppm to present levels. Anyone in favor of reducing CO2 to 350ppm is advocating reduced crop yields and the murder of countless beings via starvation.


Unfortunately higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 mean higher temperature and pretty much all the studies show that heat stress will reduce crop yields. In addition to this, disruption to precipitation caused by climate change will also further reduce crop yields. You're the one looking forward to the premature deaths of billions, I'm afraid. And, as an aside, I think you meant "from 280ppm to the present level". 350ppm is level which many people believe is the maximum beyond which the climate system will become in the long term unsuitable for human life. We're currently at around 390ppm (though when you take into account the forcing for other greenhouse gases - NOX, CH4, CFCs, HCFCs, etc - we're a lot higher still.)

Fair enough. Is 450 peer-reviewed papers enough?


Did you actually read that page? I had a quick look at a few papers. I'm extremely doubtful about how many of the papers can be categorised as "skeptical" (though I can think of more descriptive adjectives.) For example, the abstract of one paper begins:

This set of papers chiefly presents a critique of the IPCC's Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES), which claims to "provide the basis for future assessments of climate change and possible response strategies". The 40 scenarios are technically unsound in that, contrary to accepted international practice, they convert national GDP data to a common measure using market exchange rates.


That's a criticism of the forecasts for growth in emissions, not of ACC. Actually, as it's turned out, we're on the worst of the IPCC forecasts for increases in emissions, so I'm not sure how much point there was in posting the paper anyway. But, that said, it's typical of denialists to conflate questions about the mechanics or consequences of climate change with questions about climate change itself. The move from 'we don't know everything' (which is true) to 'we know nothing' (which is false) is very, very common. Another example, further down the page is a set of papers on deaths related to climate change. The same false reasoning seems to be at play: questioning the number of deaths which is forecast as a consequence of climate is not the same as questioning the reality of climate change. The fact that this move is so common amongst denialists is revealing. Denialists, on the whole, have no interest in establishing the truth; their interest is exclusively focused on establishing - by any means necessary - that ACC is wrong.

Also, I see that one of the articles is by Nigel Lawson. I presume this is the Nigel Lawson who is the former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer and notorious free-market ideologue and denialist - and a man with precisely zero expertise on climate change. And I'd also wonder how much expertise the editorial board of New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter bring to the complex issues of climate change.

Really, there's a Himalaya of evidence in favour of ACC and against this the denialists have a few grains of sand. I don't know why people are so adamant that black is white, but then the "Intelligent Design" people similarly hold out in the face of absolutely convincing evidence that they're wholly wrong. What seems shocking is that even if we take the denialists "arguments" at face value, it still makes no sense to hang on to an economic system based on digging stuff out of the ground and burning it. Extraction of petrol, gas, and coal is all going to peak and then go into decline (if, in the case of petrol, it hasn't already). The world is going to have to give up the carbon economy, whether it likes it or not (and, actually, it's going to have to give up an economic system based on infinite growth) so why not do it now? Even if ACC is completely wrong - and it's not - why not take the opportunity to rid ourselves of an economic system which is - by it's very nature - guaranteed to collapse and which - as we all know - is making us miserable? A life - enjoyed by the masses of the West and elites in the global South - based on the endlessly increasing consumption of things we don't want or need, funded through work we don't enjoy is crazy.
User avatar
Lampang
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:26 pm
Location: Thailand

Re: Global Warming & Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?

Postby poto » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:09 am

Annabel wrote::( I'm sorry, Poto. I wasn't aware of that. Please know that when I am disagreeing with you, I'm still far from arguing with you. I don't enjoy arguments either, but discussions, anytime. Please don't take it personally either when I disagree. It doesn't mean I reject you as a person or think lowly of you. Not at all.

I can hardly remember you from e sangha. :shock: (My memory is hopelessly overloaded)

maybe I should just leave you all alone and do nothing except work and meditate...


Oh, no, please stay. Perhaps I was wrong? You provided some very good explanations here, that I really benefitted from and that would be greatly missed by me and others. :hug:

I'm sorry to have caused you negative feelings.*sigh*

Now I feel like withdrawing behind my books... :spy:


Sorry, maybe I was reading too much into your posts. I replied to your PM. :)
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
User avatar
poto
 
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:21 am

Re: Global Warming & Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?

Postby pink_trike » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:01 am

Annabel wrote:
Again, it must be done with legal means.



Hi Annebel,

Buddhism doesn't exist for the purpose of making sure our actions are "legal" or to protect laws. Its the careful and consistent development and perfection of both awareness and compassion so that our view is consistent with what "really is" (to the best of our ability) and our actions in the world are more beneficial than destructive. Sometimes the most beneficial, sane, effective actions falls outside legal limits - in these cases sometimes civil disobedience might become necessary. Legal limits are often corrupt, oppressive, dangerous, and/or outdated. Imo, a "legal/good, illegal/bad" view isn't consistent with the Dharma and has nothing to do with Buddhism.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
User avatar
pink_trike
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 am

Re: Global Warming & Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?

Postby Annapurna » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:39 am

pink_trike wrote:
Annabel wrote:
Again, it must be done with legal means.



Hi Annebel,

Buddhism doesn't exist for the purpose of making sure our actions are "legal" or to protect laws. Its the careful and consistent development and perfection of both awareness and compassion so that our view is consistent with what "really is" (to the best of our ability) and our actions in the world are more beneficial than destructive. Sometimes the most beneficial, sane, effective actions falls outside legal limits - in these cases sometimes civil disobedience might become necessary. Legal limits are often corrupt, oppressive, dangerous, and/or outdated. Imo, a "legal/good, illegal/bad" view isn't consistent with the Dharma and has nothing to do with Buddhism.


Hi Pink,

Buddhism doesn't exist for the purpose of making sure our actions are "legal" or to protect laws.


:shock: I never said so.

My first reply to this was Buddhadharma, the other posts explained the legal situation.

I haven't even begun yet to elucidate on their combination.

Imo, a "legal/good, illegal/bad" view isn't consistent with the Dharma and has nothing to do with Buddhism.


You misinterpret my posts if that is what you got out of it.

I only spoke of the example at hand, which I explained with another.

From those can't be concluded onto others.

Furthermore, many States have constitutions and many laws which are in alignment with the Buddhas teachings.

Murder, rape, burglary, theft, fraud, false testimony, dealing with humans, etc.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
User avatar
Annapurna
 
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:04 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Ecological Buddhism

Postby poto » Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:10 am

Potato wrote:Unfortunately, the only peers who reviewed those papers were ones who agree that climate change is nonsense, and almost none of whom are specialists in climate change:

http://mind.ofdan.ca/?p=1125


(Edited to correct punctuation)


I'd like to point out that we now have documentation that there have been efforts to keep skeptical papers out of peer reviewed journals and the media. Read the leaked CRU e-mails, see for yourself. We've all been lied to by people promoting political agendas.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
User avatar
poto
 
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:21 am

Re: Ecological Buddhism

Postby poto » Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:18 am

Lampang wrote:Unfortunately higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 mean higher temperature and pretty much all the studies show that heat stress will reduce crop yields. In addition to this, disruption to precipitation caused by climate change will also further reduce crop yields. You're the one looking forward to the premature deaths of billions, I'm afraid. And, as an aside, I think you meant "from 280ppm to the present level". 350ppm is level which many people believe is the maximum beyond which the climate system will become in the long term unsuitable for human life. We're currently at around 390ppm (though when you take into account the forcing for other greenhouse gases - NOX, CH4, CFCs, HCFCs, etc - we're a lot higher still.)


No, I am not looking forward to any premature deaths. I want to do everything I can to keep more people alive. I fully believe the larger population we have, the more geniuses, scientists and maybe even Arahants we will have as well. We need those people, and a lot of them to help fix our problems.

CO2 has been much higher in the past, and at times it has been much warmer in the past without the earth turning into a massive desert. My grandparents were farmers, and I've spent a lot of time with plants. I know a lot about heat stress, and I don't buy the argument that somehow the planet will rapidly heat to the point of making crops fail or making plants not grow.

* During the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today.
* The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm -- about 18 times higher than today.
* The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today.
* To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today -- 4400 ppm.


Also, the argument that a warmer climate somehow is bad is wrong. A warmer climate would be great, it would increase biodiversity and make more life possible. Warmer temps should causes more evaporation from the oceans, which means more rainfall, not less. The idea that a rise in temperate will make the earth unsuitable for humans is wrong. Warmer temps would open up vast tracts of land in northern Canada and Russian for agriculture and human habitation.

Many of the other greenhouse gasses are very minor trace gasses. They are present in such tiny amounts as to have nearly no impact on climate.

Lampang wrote:That's a criticism of the forecasts for growth in emissions, not of ACC. Actually, as it's turned out, we're on the worst of the IPCC forecasts for increases in emissions, so I'm not sure how much point there was in posting the paper anyway. But, that said, it's typical of denialists to conflate questions about the mechanics or consequences of climate change with questions about climate change itself. The move from 'we don't know everything' (which is true) to 'we know nothing' (which is false) is very, very common. Another example, further down the page is a set of papers on deaths related to climate change. The same false reasoning seems to be at play: questioning the number of deaths which is forecast as a consequence of climate is not the same as questioning the reality of climate change. The fact that this move is so common amongst denialists is revealing. Denialists, on the whole, have no interest in establishing the truth; their interest is exclusively focused on establishing - by any means necessary - that ACC is wrong.

Also, I see that one of the articles is by Nigel Lawson. I presume this is the Nigel Lawson who is the former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer and notorious free-market ideologue and denialist - and a man with precisely zero expertise on climate change. And I'd also wonder how much expertise the editorial board of New Concepts in Global Tectonics Newsletter bring to the complex issues of climate change.

Really, there's a Himalaya of evidence in favour of ACC and against this the denialists have a few grains of sand. I don't know why people are so adamant that black is white, but then the "Intelligent Design" people similarly hold out in the face of absolutely convincing evidence that they're wholly wrong. What seems shocking is that even if we take the denialists "arguments" at face value, it still makes no sense to hang on to an economic system based on digging stuff out of the ground and burning it. Extraction of petrol, gas, and coal is all going to peak and then go into decline (if, in the case of petrol, it hasn't already). The world is going to have to give up the carbon economy, whether it likes it or not (and, actually, it's going to have to give up an economic system based on infinite growth) so why not do it now? Even if ACC is completely wrong - and it's not - why not take the opportunity to rid ourselves of an economic system which is - by it's very nature - guaranteed to collapse and which - as we all know - is making us miserable? A life - enjoyed by the masses of the West and elites in the global South - based on the endlessly increasing consumption of things we don't want or need, funded through work we don't enjoy is crazy.


Lampang,

I have hesitated to respond to messages of yours because of the language you used. I feel that 'denalist' is a derogatory term that likens to holocaust deniers. I do not appreciate being called a denier just because I am skeptical. I would be glad to talk to you and debate with you in a civil manner, but I just do not wish to be insulted as a denier, flat-earther, etc.

You mention economics. As a small business owner, I am a fan of free markets and in particular the Austrian school of economic thought. I would like to say that I do not think we should take actions that damage our economy until we have a better system to replace it. I fear that taking rash actions now based on questionable science would threaten to plunge many people in poverty and greater suffering. We have many years of fossil fuels left, and imho we should use that time skillfully to develop new energy sources.

I am well aware that the current capitalist system is rife with problems, but it's the best system we have come up with to date. It's also not a static and unchanging system, and given time I hope it will adapt to the new challenges we face and overcome them. I don't want to turn this into an economic debate, because it will end up getting even more political than it already is, and I dislike politics.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
User avatar
poto
 
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:21 am

Re: Global Warming & Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?

Postby Annapurna » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:20 am

My grandparents were farmers, and I've spent a lot of time with plants. I know a lot about heat stress, and I don't buy the argument that somehow the planet will rapidly heat to the point of making crops fail or making plants not grow.


I think that depends on where you live. Germany will largely benefit from global warming, except for the tornados that we are getting since recently. Before that we hardly ever had any, and if, very very occasionally a rather amusing baby tornado. :juggling:

We will benefit in such a way that we will be able to grow more crops, such as Mediterranean fruit, -oranges, lemons, in the south and West. Our wines will benefit too.

On the other hand, we will need more water to keep them alive.

We also observe since years that poisonous insects are migrating in from the South, they used to get wiped out in our harsh winters, but now they can hibernate, and spread, due to to milder temperatures.

A part of our Northsea coast may go downunder, however, or get in trouble with springfloods, just as we expect the Netherlands to lose land to the ocean.

But if Australia is getting any hotter, fun was had. Farmers already report more deaths in their herds on hotter days.

We have many years of fossil fuels left, and imho we should use that time skillfully to develop new energy sources.


Actually, a lot of them are already developed and being installed in nations like Switzerland and Germany who don't have the oil or gas resources other nations have.

Wind, sun, and water are powerful renewable resources.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
User avatar
Annapurna
 
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:04 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Global Warming & Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?

Postby poto » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:17 pm

Annabel wrote:
My grandparents were farmers, and I've spent a lot of time with plants. I know a lot about heat stress, and I don't buy the argument that somehow the planet will rapidly heat to the point of making crops fail or making plants not grow.


I think that depends on where you live. Germany will largely benefit from global warming, except for the tornados that we are getting since recently. Before that we hardly ever had any, and if, very very occasionally a rather amusing baby tornado. :juggling:

We will benefit in such a way that we will be able to grow more crops, such as mediterranean fruits, -oranges, lemons, in the south and West. Our wines will benefit too.

On the other hand, we will need more water to keep them alive.

We also observe since years that poisonous insects are migrating in from the South, they used to get wiped out in our harsh winters, but now they can hibernate, and spread, due to to milder temperatures.

A part of our Northsea coast may go downunder, or get in trouble with springfloods, however, just as we expect the Netherlands to lose land to the ocean.

But if Australia is getting any hotter, fun was had. Farmers already report more deaths in their herds on hotter days.

We have many years of fossil fuels left, and imho we should use that time skillfully to develop new energy sources.


Actually, a lot of them are already developped and being installed in nations like Switzerland and Germany who don't have the oil or gas resources other nations have.

Wind, sun, and water are powerful renewable resources.


Actually, if as CO2 increases you need less water to sustain your crops. Higher levels of CO2 decrease the plant's transpiration rate, which is the rate at which water evaporates from the plants. Which is an awesome benefit in addition to the vastly increased yields.

From what I've read on tornadoes, they aren't increasing in frequency or intensity above any natural variation. It's just that there are more people spread out over larger areas and more buildings in the path of storms when they do happen. So, we see higher dollar amounts of damage when big storms happen just because there's more stuff in the path of the storms now.

Hurricane activity is actually down, at 30 year lows.

Image


I live in Ohio, which is a similar climate to Germany and is probably the reason why my ancestors settled in the area when they came over from Germany in the late 1600's. Ohio would likely benefit from warming too, which is part of the reason I would like to see some warming. Unfortunately, I'm not convinced that it is warming.

I remember the scare talk in the media about killer bees migrating up here from the south a few years ago, but that never happened. It still gets pretty cold here in the winters.

I'm a big fan of wind, solar and hydro power. However, I also realize the reality that they are not suitable for base-load power generation. We don't yet have adequate power storage technology to take full advantage of those renewable sources yet, but people are working to develop that. What I mean is you can build one coal or nuclear power plant for base-load power, or you can build one wind farm plus you still have to build a coal or nuclear power plant for base-load power. We still need something to provide power when the wind doesn't blow. Hydro is great and provides constant base-load power, but the developed world has already run out of large rivers to dam up for power generation. Solar has much the same problems as wind, lack of power when there is no sun. Wave power looks very promising for base-load power, but unfortunately the technology isn't developed enough yet to be feasible.

We just need a little more time. There is a lot of technological development work going on, and lots of promising new technologies on the horizon. We're also close to having fusion power with the new Polywell fusion research, which is a game-changing technology. In addition there are new safer cleaner nuclear reactors like the pebble-bed and Thorium reactors being developed that should hopefully revitalize the nuclear power industry. I see nuclear power is an ideal intermediate step between fossil fuels like coal and a cleaner and more powerful base-load power source like fusion.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
User avatar
poto
 
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:21 am

Previous

Return to Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Slapsko and 6 guests