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Aloka
22 Nov 16, 18:04
Here's an interview with a climate scientist from the Ecological Buddhism website:




Climate scientist James Hansen: “I may be alarming but I'm not an alarmist”

by Katherine Bagley

“We have a society in which most people have become unable to understand or appreciate science, and partly that’s a communication problem, which we need to try to alleviate.”


Climate scientist James Hansen has been a prominent figure in the global climate conversation for more than 40 years. His 1988 congressional testimony on climate change helped introduce the problem of rising greenhouse gas emissions to the American public, and he has led study after study examining exactly how our world will change as a result of global warming. Eight years ago, he made the rare decision to begin engaging in climate activism, and has since gotten arrested outside the White House in a rally against the Keystone XL pipeline. In this 2016 interview for Yale environment 360, Hansen opens up about his unconventional career path, his frustration watching policymakers’ four decades of climate inaction and what he believes the world could look like a century from now.

Continued:

http://www.ecobuddhism.org/science/featured_articles/jhi2016


Any comments about the interview, or anything else on the Eco Buddhism website ?


:hands:

daverupa
27 Nov 16, 14:49
I don't see human attitudes to climate issues changing very quickly at all, and I think they are not changing fast enough. The scientific community has begun saying that some consequences are unavoidable, and that other consequences - worse ones - are on the way. Despite being possible to avert, I really don't think there's enough time to make substantive changes for future generations... and, those generations aren't going to have enough time to do much at all.

Rising sea levels, mass species extinction, and wars & worse related to dwindling resources... yeah, humans are done, they just don't know it yet. Or so it seems to me.

Aloka
08 Dec 16, 10:11
Professor Brian Cox explains climate change to denier Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts. (13 minutes)




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxEGHW6Lbu8

daverupa
08 Dec 16, 23:01
This is beneficial to hear, sobering to consider, and -- I worry less & am more and more convinced of this (and as a result letting go) -- it is simply too late in the game with too many undecided/pseudo-skeptical/confused people generating inert governments responsible for the worst impacts. They are critically slow -- ineffectually slow -- and frankly, life on the planet will get worse for humans for a very long time before it gets better, and perhaps humans don't last that long.

woodscooter
09 Dec 16, 13:48
The video makes for a very interesting discussion.

The two opposed parties, Cox and Roberts, manage to remain calm enough to make their points and each listens to what the other has to say.

The video is an excerpt from a longer TV programme, but I think it's safe to say that neither party becomes convinced by the other's argument.

Amongst the more rational climate-change deniers, there is an acceptance that the climate is changing, but it's doing so naturally, part of some bigger cycle of change, and global warming is not caused by mankind at all.

Sadly, industrialisation has continued unchecked. Some governments are in agreement that "something must be done", but we need all governments and all people to co-operate against the effects we are seeing. That's not going to happen.

What's the world going to look like in twenty or fifty years time? Well, I suspect there will be new uninhabitable deserts, and there will be walled fortress cities where industry and technology will continue, providing habitation for the few, and continuing to generate pollution into the atmosphere.

Aloka
19 Jun 18, 15:35
Note

This topic was started in 2016 and I've moved it here now.

Does anyone have anything to add in connection with climate change?


:hands:

Olderon
20 Jun 18, 05:43
U. S. President, Donald Trump.

Nothing more to say.

(Not really!)

Wife and I had a discussion about this issue last week, which ended poorly. I remembered and shared with her (a big mistake) that I had never seen any reports in the newspapers or on T.V. , which stated that Donald Trump had actually taken any official action, which ended The U.S.'s participation in The International Climate Change agreement signed by U.S. President Obama in Paris. I had seen and heard that he promised to do so during his campaign for U.S. President, that he threatened to do so, and even bragged to do so both on Twitter and in person both before and after his various diplomatic tours of Europe. But, I had no memory of him actually doing it, which was a big mistake when dealing with a woman, a wife, and a member of MENSA. For the other blokes on the board, it is common knowledge that it is always a huge mistake to debate the accuracy of one's male memory with that of a woman's memory regarding any matter. Big, big mistake!

According to my wife's version of reality, fact is Trump did what he promised, or at least tried. However, as our legal action folks at The NRDC pointed out (contested), legally, according to the contractual terms of the international agreement signed in Paris by President Obama, Trump cannot independently do so:

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/america-actually-out-paris-agreement

My wife, however, ... a "died" in the wool Trump hater..., (pun intended),....but seriously, " a dyed in the wool Trump Hater", insists that the "bozo", U.S. President Trump, and his class clowns (The U.S. President's Cabinet Members) have effectively denied The U.S.'s ability to participate in The Paris Climate Change Agreement with various administrative actions and inactions.

So, the disagreements and arguments amongst and between U.S. citizens, family members and their political affiliations goes on.

At this point, for the sake of mental equanimity, some level of domestic peace and tranquility, the common welfare, and even the common defense, I have personally chosen to accelerate and advance my work to become a Tathagata regarding the matter:

"What does it mean to become a Tathagata?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tath%C4%81gata

Ironically, both my wife and I are scientifically and factually on the same side of The Global Warming issue: "Global Warming is not a beneficial thing." "It has the capacity to cause great harm and dukkha". "Mankind is in fact making a significant contribution to its proliferation and increase in magnitude." The only disagreement between us is in the conclusions we draw about our President."...or at least... "my President"...as she has never accepted Donald Trump as hers. (Hmmm? Does this mean she and all the Democrats are now illegal aliens???... will have to check that out with the NRDC.) As a political independent and a social and financial conservative this thought somehow strangely appeals to me. :P

Bottom line: I watch FOX news and CNBC. Wifey watches CNN and MSNBC. "Chaos!" :( What saves our marriage is that we both watch PBS, with is replete with shows from The BBC for those board members, who reside in our Mother Country. (Guess which one of us has to wear his headsets, while she and I are watching our preferred shows simultaneously!)

Widening the humoristically political divide further complicating our relationship: My wife watches and laughs at the antics of Steven Colbert, and I Greg Gutfeld, both very funny guys. :)

justusryans
20 Jun 18, 06:22
My ideas on the matter are that no matter the cause or reason behind it, global warming is here. The deniers are so convinced it’s a hoax or flawed science that I can’t see the world wholeheartedly getting behind this in time to effect a change, or at least effective change. It’s too bad when profits are placed ahead of environmental responsibility.
It doesn’t help that our current administration has taken to drinking the kool aid. This needs to be addressed

philg
20 Jun 18, 11:42
When I was taking O-level Geography at school in the UK in the 1960's I was taught about global warming, how the ice sheets and glaciers were receding, how much of this was part of the normal pattern of warming and cooling over millions of years, and how much was attributable to human causes. Since then the warming he told us about is coming true, and so are the consequences.

Even if there were no human contributions to global warming, the consequences for life on Earth are so dire that we should be working flat out to do something about it. One problem is that people think that these things happen over millions of years. They do, but the consequences of those millions of years can take a couple of years to reach fruition. Another problem is that there is too much money tied up in present human causes of warming, and people would rather untold millions die than shares collapse. It's not just capitalism, of course. Communist Soviet Union has dome much the same thing for political reasons, and the same in China.

With extremists like Putin, Trump, May and others in charge there is very little chance that anything constructive will be done in the time scale left to us. As Buddhists we can just accept the end of life as we know it as part of the process of continual change, or try to actively participate in attempts to educate the world, or move to less low lying areas, or build ourselves shelters against the huge storms that will appear as the atmosphere warms, or any combination of these. Your choice really.

Aloka
26 Jul 18, 14:29
From the UK's BBC website today:


Regular heatwaves 'will kill thousands'

By Roger Harrabin


The current heatwave could become the new normal for UK summers by 2040 because of climate change, MPs say.

The Environmental Audit Committee warns of 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the government doesn't act quickly.

Higher temperatures put some people at increased risk of dying from cardiac, kidney and respiratory diseases.

The MPs say ministers must act to protect people - especially with an ageing population in the UK.

Scientists differ on whether the current global rash of heatwaves is definitely caused by climate change.

But all agree that future heatwaves will be hotter and more frequent thanks to carbon emissions.

The MPs highlight a warning from the Met Office that UK summer temperatures could regularly reach 38.5C by the 2040s.

Continues at the link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44956310




Any thoughts ?

Olderon
26 Jul 18, 17:26
philg: "With extremists like Putin, Trump, May and others in charge there is very little chance that anything constructive will be done in the time scale left to us. As Buddhists we can just accept the end of life as we know it as part of the process of continual change, or try to actively participate in attempts to educate the world, or move to less low lying areas, or build ourselves shelters against the huge storms that will appear as the atmosphere warms, or any combination of these."


If you live in an area prone to inclement weather (floods, hurricanes, tornados, monsoons, and etc.) you should have already taken appropriate actions to keep from ending up on the mortality list. One of the big frustrations for me is folks not building appropriate structures in such areas and insurance companies paying for rebuilding the same vulnerable structures, only to see them destroyed during the next weather event.


If you are concerned about CO2 levels, plant some trees and foliage every chance you get. Rid yourself of the lawns and plant "plants" that require more carbon to build their living matrices.


If you are concerned about C02 and toxic emissions from various modes of internal combustion engines, walk, ride your bicycle, or buy an electric vehicle. The same for your sources of electricity. Solar panels are not all that pretty, but neither are deserts.


If you are concerned about CO2 and CH4 emissions, stop buying and eating animal protein and change your diet to vegetation, or at least become a scavenger, collecting preparing and eating the thousands of road-kill left on our highways every day. Cattle and dairy cattle contribute as much or more global warming gases as our Autos.


Don't blame global warming on Trump, and the other politicians. We vote them in. The problem is us, not them.

philg
27 Jul 18, 10:41
No, Olderon. You may have voted those people into power, but I didn't. They have the power to limit damage, or, as they are at the moment, to promote damage. They turn us away from limiting CO2 and other emissions. They stop the trend towards low carbon energy. They support the meat industry and keep us eating high on the food chain instead of low. They are the gatekeepers determined that the flow of money stays as it is, whatever the consequences for the planet.

We can play our part as individuals, but we all get caught up in the same catastrophic event that is global warming. For my part I've been taking groups of children to the Center For Alternative Technology in Wales for around 30 years, following it up in the classroom for all those years. They have a great website here: http://www.cat.org.uk/index.html and, if you are in the UK, are well worth a visit.

Olderon
27 Jul 18, 11:29
No, Olderon. You may have voted those people into power, but I didn't. They have the power to limit damage, or, as they are at the moment, to promote damage. They turn us away from limiting CO2 and other emissions.

There is an old Buddhist saying: "Is it better to cover the world with leather, or to wear sandles?"

My point as well as the saying's is that we "each" have a responsibility "individually" to act to correct a wrong or to effectively solve any given problem.

So long as we blame the world's problems on someone else, someone we didn't vote for , spend our energy protesting instead of acting responsibly and beneficially, then the problems will progress unattended and unabated.

I think it is wonderful that you are educating children about the climatological issues. You also need to teach them how to choose appropriate leaders if you want someone in offices of power and leadership, who will join with other leaders to make the Macro-changes necessary to abate global issues. However, even if you do vote, there is the chance that your party of choice will not win. That is the nature of democratic government. This does not negate your personal obligations to act responsibly.

This is why it is up to us as individuals to act personally and responsibly on those issues that will make a difference in anthropogenic global warming reversal:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. (Are we doing everything we can?)

Eliminate (ban) our personal use of internal combustion engines. ( Don't patronize the auto dealerships, the bus systems, the airlines, the energy suppliers, which use energy sources, which produce decomposition products of combustion, which are global warming gases, a.k.a. green house gases.)

Plant trees in every open space to sequester CO2.

Build your houses from stone or clay bricks instead of wood and plastics and save a tree.

Use "reusable" shopping bags instead of paper or plastic.

Stop eating meats (animal flesh). Instead eat vegetables and fruits.

There is a lot we can do to educate our children as you may be in fact be doing, but what are "you" teaching them by personal example?

We are at a point now where the process of global warming may not in fact be reversible in human time frames, even if we all immediately do the right things. Should we throw our hands up in the air and blame Trump and Putin and let it go at that? Or, should we personally act effectively and responsibly and set the example for our children so that future generations know how to survive and have even a small chance at reversing the process of global warming?

Should we teach them who to vote for and why we should vote for them when they become of voting age?.....or what?

Aloka
27 Jul 18, 13:02
There is an old Buddhist saying: "Is it better to cover the world with leather, or to wear sandles?"




The real version is part of an 8th century Mahayana text called "A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" by Shantideva (I have a copy myself) - and is in the chapter "Guarding Alertness".





13.

Where would I possibly find enough leather
With which to cover the surface of the earth?
But (wearing) leather just on the soles of my shoes
Is equivalent to covering the earth with it.




Here's an online translation:

https://www.tibethouse.jp/about/buddhism/text/pdfs/Bodhisattvas_way_English.pdf

:hands:

Olderon
28 Jul 18, 11:38
Thanks, Aloka.

I have never seen the book which you just cited. My memory of that quote comes from two sources: Śāntideva > Quotes : source: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/29132._ntideva. I should have noted that it was paraphrased. My error.

And, my vague memory of a conversation between a Tibetan Master sharing his wisdom with a novice in a movie about novices collecting the necessary equipment to watch a soccer match while they were growing up in a Buddhist monastery. I am not sure of the title, but I remember the plot as well as the quote. The quote must have come from the very book you cited.

philg
29 Jul 18, 11:11
My point is that we are way past the time when the effect of individual action can reverse global warming. Within a year or two the major oceanic streams will stop or change pattern, with huge effects on the weather we experience. We may see catastrophic melting of the ice caps this decade and billions of lives cut short by the resulting flooding, with subsequent global break down of law and order. It is only top-level action now that could possibly have any effect. There simply isn't time to build up an effective individual response, however well meaning.

Olderon
30 Jul 18, 10:31
Hi, philg.

I understand your reasoning, but I could not disagree more. Leaders, especially those who are elected, tend to respect and follow the values of their constituents. They also tend to speak the same language as their constituents.

Secondly, while our sun has been heating up since its formation from its predecessor, a super nova, and continues to heat up till it evolves into a Red Giant, which will eventually consume all of the rocky planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) within our solar system, we intelligent life forms must continue to do what we can to preserve the life on this planet, which we as cognizant members of all life on this planet will have to eventually abandon taking only that life with us to our next planet, which our life-preserving ships can hold. These ships we can call our future arks. No (G)od is ordering these arks this time. It is human reason generated by our evolved minds, which commands this action. Our elected leaders will only do this if our collective individual values demand it. After all, this is survival of the species, which has dictated the behavior of survival worthy life-forms since life began . Those life-forms, which did not follow this behavioral pattern, or didn't have the capacity to follow it have since gone extinct.

We individual life-forms are the parts, which form the whole. Leaders don't dictate the nature of the whole, despite what their egos invent.

We collectively can either act in the modality expressing the survival capabilities that we genetically possess, or die. It is our choice, it is our human nature, not the choice of our leaders. Leaders are in fact expendable. Individuals collectively are not, for when all the individuals are extinct, life is extinct.

If life can survive the cataclysm of super-novas and worse over galactic periods of some fifteen billions of years since The Big Bang, then life can survive the few decades stupidity of a few expendable political leaders. Proof of this: The preponderance of the horrible leaders from the two million years of human existence are now dead. We as individuals are still here and will continue to be here until our sun turns this planet into a cinder.

Should we as individuals and as a species give up our struggle for the survival of all life-forms on our planet, because our planet's demise in four billion years is a certainty?

Or, should we continue the struggle in behalf of all life and teach our progeny to do the same?

philg
30 Jul 18, 23:47
I can't believe you still think our leaders are representing us. They don't. They represent themselves and those funding them, and are leading us to the environmental disaster that is the choice of our leaders at the moment. The timescale is such that action has to be taken now. Action which can only be undertaken at the highest levels.

My personal opinion is that neither they nor anyone else is intelligent enough to do anything about it and we will die off pretty soon. Good job I'm a Buddhist eh?

Olderon
31 Jul 18, 17:35
philg: "My personal opinion is that neither they nor anyone else is intelligent enough to do anything about it and we will die off pretty soon."

Well if really bad leaders, I mean horrific leaders, were a good reason to give up, lay down, and die, then just imagine how many folks would have given up under Stalin, Mao, all the North Korean leaders, Po Pot, Gengis Khan, Kublai Khan and etc..

Let me know where to send flowers and I will send some to you so that you can begin your funeral early. :P

Aloka
31 Jul 18, 22:29
An article worth reading from today's Guardian newspaper:


It's 50 years since climate change was first seen. Now time is running out

By Richard Wiles


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/15/50-years-climate-change-denial

.

Olderon
01 Aug 18, 01:51
Thanks for the article, Aloka.

The Global Warming skeptics, my brother-in-law a piezo-electric physicist being one of them, don't disagree that the global climate is warming, just that it has not been shown conclusively that anthropogenic causes have turned the tide for the worse. You can see where they are coming from, when it is well documented that forest fires are dumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere as of recent experience in the western hemisphere. Then there is methane clathrate, which is bubbling up from the oceanic deep adding billions of tons of methane into the atmosphere, which has gone pretty much unnoticed until recently discovered.


Then there is the chicken and the egg thing, where northern tundra is producing methane as a result of the permafrost melting. As these "natural" sources of global warming gases increase, including sub-oceanic volcanic sources around the world, and the sun continues to warm, the skeptics have even more reason to ….be skeptical.

It is mankind that cuts down trees by the megatons to build their homes and to make baseball bats, and furniture. It is coal and oil that was buried billions of years ago mined and pumped up by mankind to burn as fuel to drive human engines and generate their electricity. It is mankind that breeds cattle, sheep, goats, and other ruminants which flatulence yields tons of methane and CO2. As mankind breeds all of his needs multiply and continue. We can no longer say that at least we have made a contribution to global warming.


Change to cleaner sources of energy are possible as have been demonstrated around the world. Choking on its own coal combustion decomposition products China has doubled its capacity of clean energy production between solar, wind, and hydro-electric in the last decade. The U.S. has dramatically reduced automotive emissions with the use of catalytic converters, hybridized vehicle production, and incentivizing solar energy for homes, industrial applications, and municipalities. Our local hospitals here in Concord have recently installed photoelectric systems. In our region of he North-East U.S.A transmission lines are being laid for the utilization of hydroelectric power originating in Canada.


Nuclear power industries have made significant advances in nuclear reactor safety and governments are now reconsidering the use of nuclear power as clean energy sources, which put not one ounce of CO2 into the atmosphere.


So, it is not like the world is doing nothing to make beneficial change. Europe, especially Germany is doing a great deal to incentivize the use of electric vehicles. The same is happening in The U.S. The world is taking notice of industries like Tesla, Ford, and Toyota and their efforts towards bringing electric vehicles into the market place. But, to make it work quickly, citizens need to be willing to support these changes by purchasing these vehicles and letting go of the gasoline guzzlers.



10 Solutions for Climate Change:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/10-solutions-for-climate-change/