Global Warming & Climate Change and Ecological Buddhism

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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christopher:::
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Re: 350: Global Events for Climate Action, Real Change

Postby christopher::: » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:22 am

Of course. We all do. :anjali: And i'm not strongly attached to the global warming hypothesis. I'm actually much more concerned with these other issues we've mentioned. The only "plus" about global warming is its very much in our face, so it catches people's attention. But if the hypothesis is wrong, GREAT... and if the data is skewed, lets dig into it. Scientists who point to the sloppy methods of Intelligent Design supporters are hypocrites if they don't approach the global warming (and cooling) data and theories with the same rigor...

Skepticism, careful inquiry and open-mindedness is absolutely crucial, in Science. And with that in mind, i've changed the title of the thread. Hope that's okay with the moderators...

:reading:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Annapurna
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Re: 350: Global Events for Climate Action, Real Change

Postby Annapurna » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:03 pm

christopher::: wrote:It's good to be skeptical... Still, seems to me like a switch to alternative energy technologies has a lot of potential for being largely a positive change, even omiting the global warming debate. Less reliance on fossil fuels 1) reduces pollution in our atmosphere, as well as 2) taking away the incentive for Western nations to meddle (violently) in Middle Eastern politics....

Add to that 3) potential economic benefits, if the price of alternative energy falls dramatically...

The sun and wind's energy, if harnested skillfully, could eventually (not counting technology costs) be free...


Renewable energy resources are clearly the most intelligent sources to bank on and invest in.

Fossil resources will run out. Pretty soon too.

Plus they cause pollution of all sorts.

Sun, water and wind, (renewable sources) won't run out, while this planet is our habitat.

All that has to be overcome is habits, the fear of change and the unknown, as well as sceptical conservative clinging to the past.

Any industry that is based on fossil energy will vehemently battle more innovative energy systems, as long as they don't make money with it.

That's all.

A private remark: As a house owner ,I am interested in saving money for energy. If I had the financial means right now, I would get:

1 solar energy on my roof, to go without oil all summer to give me warm water and support central heating. If America had Europes oil prices, it would be apoplectic.

2. photovoltaic to produce my own electricity, and feed excess into the community.

3. a cistern ,to wash laundry and flush toilets with rainwater.

The German Government subsidises solar energy and all public buildings get the newest technologies.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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

Postby Annapurna » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:20 pm

I'd like to have all those energies because I would be far more independent. Hopefully almost self-suffiicient.
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poto
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Re: Global Warming & Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?

Postby poto » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:18 pm

I came across this article about how climate change was given the same status as a religion in the U.K.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthn ... igion.html

I guess some people can believe in anything strongly enough to be considered a religion. I don't mean to insult anyone's religious beliefs, I just found it surprising.
"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

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

Postby catmoon » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:05 am

More reports in today's paper, this time from some guys travelling on foot in the Arctic. Their measurements show an average ice thickness of 1.8 meters and the article had photos of them crossing some open water in survival type suits. Again, predictions of seasonal open water within ten years and year-round navigability within 30.

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

Postby poto » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:48 am

catmoon wrote:More reports in today's paper, this time from some guys travelling on foot in the Arctic. Their measurements show an average ice thickness of 1.8 meters and the article had photos of them crossing some open water in survival type suits. Again, predictions of seasonal open water within ten years and year-round navigability within 30.


Was that from the Catlin expedition? I ask because what they are doing is not a real scientific expedition. It is a publicity stunt with well coordinated press releases and media exposure. The data they are collecting will not be used by any reputable scientific organization.

We have records of our submarines surfacing in patches of open water near the north pole as early as the 1940's. Patches of open water are not uncommon in the Arctic. The sea ice is dynamic and much of it is constantly moving due to wind and currents. It breaks apart and gets pushed back together on a regular basis.

I can't seem to find the earlier pics from the submarines in the Arctic that clearly show the open water, though I have seen them before. Anyway here's one from 1987. Notice it was taken in May, well before the height of the summer melt season.
Image
"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

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

Postby catmoon » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:55 am

Well well well. Isn't that interesting... hmmm. The previous stuff I'd been reading gave the impression that the norm was solid ice eighty meters thick. I'm starting to question that.

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

Postby poto » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:40 am

catmoon wrote:Well well well. Isn't that interesting... hmmm. The previous stuff I'd been reading gave the impression that the norm was solid ice eighty meters thick. I'm starting to question that.


There's a lot of disinformation out there. To my knowledge Arctic sea ice has never been 80 meters thick since we humans have been measuring and recording it. It may have been that thick sometime in the distant geological history, but certainly not in modern times.

There has been thinning of sea ice in recent years, but nothing that I would consider dire. We did a have record melt in 2007, but it's already rebounding.

Image
Patterns of average winter ice thickness from February to March show thicker ice in 1988 (above), compared to thinner ice averaged from 2003-2008 (below).

source: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/featur ... kinny.html

The average sea ice thickness pictures can be somewhat deceiving though, as they tend to represent the sea ice as monolithic, which as you can tell from the pic of the submarines, even when the sea ice was "thicker" it was still not a solid monolithic thing.

btw, the article I sourced that image from seems to be fairly political and biased, which saddens me seeing as it comes from NASA. My tax dollars hard at work promoting 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

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

Postby gavesako » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:22 pm

See these Sutta quotes for a Buddhist perspective on "climate change":

http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2009/07 ... l-conceit/
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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

Postby BlackBird » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:55 pm

gavesako wrote:See these Sutta quotes for a Buddhist perspective on "climate change":

http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2009/07 ... l-conceit/


Theravadin is an excellent blog. I see it's affiliated with Ven. Bhikkhu Nanananda, I still wonder who writes it though.

:anjali:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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

Postby BlackBird » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:25 pm

BlackBird wrote: I still wonder who writes it though.


Not important Jack.
:focus: :rolleye:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

adamposey
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Re: 350: Global Events for Climate Action, Real Change

Postby adamposey » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:19 am

poto wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:In Praise of Scepticism

A fine article by Clive James on the BBC Website.


+1 for skeptics!

The whole 350ppm CO2 limit thing strikes me as nonsensical. One of my hobbies is horticulture. I know from experience with CO2 supplementation that plant growth doubles to triples with CO2 concentrations at around 800-1200ppm. Higher CO2 means crop yields will increase and we can feed more people with less land...

In the past our planet has had CO2 concentrations well above 4,500ppm without disaster.

Some interesting points on this issues I've seen mentioned elsewhere:
Again, let me point this out, because somehow it completely gets lost
in the message. Every time someone says “CO2 has increased 100ppm since
the start of the industrial revolution”, they always try to portray that
the entire 100ppm CO2 rise is from human emissions. Even if they don’t
think it, they leave out any notion that would reveal that only 3% (3ppm)
of that CO2 is from human emissions.


When I was in high school we were taught the composition of air.
CO2 concentration was reckoned to be so small that it was,
for all practical purposes, zero. Nowadays even a smidgen of
CO2 will heat us up and two smidgens will boil our livers.

Can’t someone design a simple experiment with a constant long
wave radition source and air with different concentrations of
CO2 in a closed atmosphere to see if adding CO2 actually does
warm the air due to a greenhouse effect? Has this already been done?

reply:

We’ve already done this experiment. Take 2 greenhouses [top vents open],
leave 1 at ambient CO2, @390 ppm, and pump CO2 into the other to 1000 ppm
[common commercial greenhouse CO2 levels]. Take temperature measurements
at different times during the day. You will find that there is virtually
NO difference in temperature between the two greenhouses, but the plants
in the 1000 ppm greenhouse will grow much better and faster.


Also, if we humans somehow manage to start containing and reducing vast quantities of atmospheric CO2 and we overshoot that 350ppm target by a large margin or somebody gets overzealous, we risk killing most all life on earth. As all plant life pretty much stops at CO2 concentrations below 150ppm. That concerns me a bit, but as we humans don't seem technologically advanced enough to start capturing vast amounts of CO2 form the atmosphere, I'm not too worried yet.



The flip side of this coin is that the people who have the most interest in stopping this bill have investments in coal, oil, and other similar products. :) I can get numbers if you like, but I'd look to see which lobbies are buying whom before we start suggesting that only one side is corrupt. :)

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Re: 350: Global Events for Climate Action, Real Change

Postby poto » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:12 am

adamposey wrote:The flip side of this coin is that the people who have the most interest in stopping this bill have investments in coal, oil, and other similar products. :) I can get numbers if you like, but I'd look to see which lobbies are buying whom before we start suggesting that only one side is corrupt. :)


I apologize if you interpreted any of my comments to infer that some group of politicians or lobbies were not corrupt. I was not trying to suggest than any politician was above corruption or without an agenda. In fact, I dislike both major political parties partly because of the rampant corruption. I was just attempting to address the science and disinformation that has been spread on this issue.

With all the charts and graphs I posted, and all that I wrote... all of it is insignificant to us as Buddhists compared to what Venerable Gavesako posted.
gavesako wrote:See these Sutta quotes for a Buddhist perspective on "climate change":

http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2009/07 ... l-conceit/


Thank you Venerable Gavesako, I very much enjoyed reading that.
:namaste:
"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

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

Postby pink_trike » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:14 am

gavesako wrote:See these Sutta quotes for a Buddhist perspective on "climate change":

http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2009/07 ... l-conceit/

Thanks for posting this.
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.

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

Postby pink_trike » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:57 am

Imo, what's missing from the debate on climate chaos is that whether or not global warming is actually taking place right now - the potential always exists in Planet Earth for catastrophic conditions that far exceed the strength of our society's infrastructures. We have built our infrastructures to be insanely inconsistent with the way the natural world actually works.

We now know that the earth's temperature can rise drastically beyond the puny 3-5 fahrenheit degrees predicted by those who support the theory of global warming - ice core evidence shows that repeatedly in the relatively recent past temperature has soared by up to at least 27 fahrenheit degrees in a single event (9,600 BCE).

We know with certainty that periodically the world's fresh water supply evaporates away during global drought that culls the planet's life drastically (70,000 BCE - human dna studies show that at this time human life was reduced to around 2000 people).

We know that oceans sweep across continents (China 2,300 BCE).

We know that volcanic lava can cover an area of 250,000 square miles up to 100 feet deep in a single period of activity (Northwest U.S.A, India) and that volcano ash can drop a hundred feet of ash in one period of activity (1790 CE).

Meteors crash into the planet regularly causing global climate chaos.

There are two large rips in the magnetosphere that is allowing solar radiation to flood into the Earth's atmosphere...more with every increase in the intensity of solar storms.

The Uniformitarian/Gradualist era is dead, and our ignorant certainty of a stable world died with it. The "endless cycles of cycles" described in premodern cultures, also known as "the burden of time" are speaking of an endless history of cyclical change ranging from minute to global that have been observed and carefully recorded for tens of thousands of years. This unstable history is the foundation of all premodern cosmologies and religions. The Earth is a dangerous place - it always has been and will be. Our entire modern global culture was built on the relatively recent widespread delusion of solidity and stability, and it will come tumbling down like a house of cards during the next active period of astro/geophysical movement

“The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between the way nature works and the way [hu]man[s] thinks.”. - Gregory Bateson (bracketed info is my addition)
Last edited by pink_trike on Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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.

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Re: 350: Global Events for Climate Action, Real Change

Postby adamposey » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:26 am

poto wrote:
adamposey wrote:The flip side of this coin is that the people who have the most interest in stopping this bill have investments in coal, oil, and other similar products. :) I can get numbers if you like, but I'd look to see which lobbies are buying whom before we start suggesting that only one side is corrupt. :)


I apologize if you interpreted any of my comments to infer that some group of politicians or lobbies were not corrupt. I was not trying to suggest than any politician was above corruption or without an agenda. In fact, I dislike both major political parties partly because of the rampant corruption. I was just attempting to address the science and disinformation that has been spread on this issue.

With all the charts and graphs I posted, and all that I wrote... all of it is insignificant to us as Buddhists compared to what Venerable Gavesako posted.
gavesako wrote:See these Sutta quotes for a Buddhist perspective on "climate change":

http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2009/07 ... l-conceit/


Thank you Venerable Gavesako, I very much enjoyed reading that.
:namaste:


I think the facts in this case are thus:

(1) The Climate Changes.
(2) It is always changing
(3) That change will (as it has before) impact and inconvenience humanity
(4) Humanity should take steps to be prepared for that.

Outside of that anything is irrelevant. Whether or not mankind is helping is irrelevant and YES the world is HEATING so global warming is truly a reality. Although I doubt the relationship of CO2 to that change. I noticed you posted about the sea ice, the issue with the sea ice is that it's not reforming as thick as it did before, and it's melting faster. Soon there will be none in the summer, and little during the winters.

Climate change is the great unsung villain/hero in human history. Had it not been for climate change many great migrations of humanity would never have occurred, and today would be very different. It was a serious inconvenience when it happened, but the results were good. The doomsayers may be right, there may be a major climate catastrophe incoming, if so I doubt humanity has the ability to collectively influence it in a conscious way. We should, instead, be focusing efforts on things like contingency plans and farming, etc., etc.,

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

Postby notself » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:24 am

We need to focus on water, lots and lots of water. As it stands now de-salinization is inefficient and expensive. De-salinization is every bit as important as clean energy. The weather can become unstable and humanity will survive. Without water, nothing survives.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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

Postby Lampang » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:54 am

Whether or not mankind is helping is irrelevant

Wrong. If humanity is changing the climate for the worse, there exists the possibility of slowing and reversing that change; if it's not, the chances of being able to make that change are considerably reduced. Fortunately - in some ways - climate change is man-made - and you really have to be utterly ignorant of the facts to stand in opposition to that simple statement - so there is a chance that disaster can be averted. Unfortunately, humanity is spectacularly stupid, selfish and short-sighted - and none are more stupid, selfish and short-sighted than the wealthy - so the chances of actually averting disaster are rapidly shrinking to the vanishingly small - as the growing debacle of the Copenhagen talks proves. As the astonishing intransigence of the rich nations so amply demonstrates - and this intransigence is surely a crime on at least the scale of the Nazis or of Stalin - our best hope is simply that the worst fantasies of the peak oilers come to pass and so force our collective hand for us. It's an amazing thing, but economic collapse is probably our best hope of avoiding ecological collapse, clearly a far worse outcome.

I guess some people can believe in anything strongly enough to be considered a religion. I don't mean to insult anyone's religious beliefs, I just found it surprising.

What's shocking about the judgement is that it's - it seems - not enough to have a belief grounded in extremely well established science; no, it needs to appeal to the absurdities of religious faith to be taken seriously. It's an astonishing - and an astonishingly depressing - story.

With all the charts and graphs I posted, and all that I wrote... all of it is insignificant to us as Buddhists compared to what Venerable Gavesako posted

One estimate puts current annual deaths attributable to climate change at 300,000 people a year. As a person, I care about the suffering of others and my complicity in this. Those deaths are the most significant thing here.

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Ecological Buddhism

Postby Aloka » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:25 am

I wasn't sure where to put this so I thought I'd post it here. There's a number of articles and a declaration on climate change which can be signed online :

http://www.ecobuddhism.org/


:anjali:

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Re: Ecological Buddhism

Postby Ben » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:52 am

Thanks Aloka
I would like to encourage all members, if they have the volition, to sign the Buddhist declaration on Climate Change which will be presented at the Copenahagen Climate Change talks.

We are happy to announce the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) will present the Declaration and signatories to world leaders at the Copenhagen Climate Conference, December 7-18th. You may be interested to look at the analysis of signatories by country and affiliation. Others can still sign the Declaration.
www.ecobuddhism.org continues to attract visitors from across the world—over 1.25 million in the last 12 months. You will find informed new articles and updates in the lead-up to COP-15…and beyond. We will continue to examine the challenge and opportunity of the climate crisis, in the light of integral, contemplative activism.

http://www.ecobuddhism.org/


Kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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