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Thread: Changing Our Climate for the Better

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    I am reading the topic title ("Changing Our Climate for the Better") created by your mind and can only assume they are related.

    Regards

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    Personally, I doubt monastics will make much difference. Its a very basic issue that does not really require much thoughtfulness.

    Personally, I doubt the above is the main problem & is wrongly pointing blame. The billionaires & millionaires are making money from the expenditure of the mass of consumers. If the wealth of the "few" is distributed more equally to the masses, this will not necessarily stop environment threat because the masses will probably consume more.

    If Bhikkhu Bodhi has the above view, then it appears to be a wrong view generating conflict, similar to the conflict generating view of Karl Marx. While Marx was probably more accurate because Marx was concerned with labour exploitation, if Bhikkhu Bodhi exclusively blames the wealthy for threats to the environment, this sounds wrong.

    Again, the above idea by Bhikkhu Bodhi, emphasizing "social systems", appears to be a political call, similar to a Communist revolution, rather than a Buddhist call for individual responsibility. I have had environment consciousness for 30 years and, since then, modified my lifestyle accordingly, which includes not owning a motor vehicle.

    It appears the above is not related to climate change or environmental threat, given if those living on the edge of survival were giving more wealth, the threat to the environment would grow. Bhikkhu Bodhi sounds rather conflicted between climate change & what appears to be "communism".

    In terms of economics, we don't need to find any new "revolution" system. What we need to do is simply to return to the economic systems developed after WW2.

    Regarding nature, people need to 1st stop using motor vehicles so much and eat less. It starts with individual responsibility.
    I don't disagree with you about the need for individuals to reduce their consumption and make better, more environmentally friendly choices in how they live, travel, etc. But I also think that a singular focus on individual responsibility neglects the logic of current global economics and how it compels unsustainable levels of production on the supply side and consumption on the demand side, a system predicated upon the conversion of money into commodities into money plus a surplus that requires perpetual growth and consumption, otherwise it stalls, creating crises that require the destruction of unproductive capital (failing businesses, destruction of unsellable commodities, etc.) and labour (unemployment).

    I strongly believe that there will have to be some sort of systemic adjustment to compensate for any large scale reduction of production and consumption and the unemployment that will also result as a consequence. One could also argue that a rethinking of property rights and wealth redistribution are also needed to help with accelerating green tech R&D and promote the global sharing of green tech to make it widely available, otherwise poorer nations and those dominated by the fossil fuel industry will continue to rely on coal, oil, and gas. And none of that even accounts for things like the tendency of capital to accumulate, which isn't simply due to consumption but the very logic of capitalism itself. And how that tendency, along with other factors, conditions a great deal of the wealth inequality that we see.

    In addition, I think it's naive to think that we can return to post WWII economies without the conditions that made them possible, which included the destruction of European factories and manufacturing potential, scarcity of food and commodities, and a vast reduction of labour (due to casualties) that allowed for the post war boom and higher wages that followed due to the high demand for both commodities and labour, especially in nations that maintained their manufacturing capacities like the US. And that destruction created the space for such rapid economic growth worldwide.

    Once nations were rebuilt, commodity production increased beyond demand, and the labour pool increased with births and women entering the workforce, however, much of that began to decline. Wages started to stagnate in comparison with increased productivity, economic growth rates leveled off and couldn't be sustained without creating more artificial demand and high risk ways of making a profit, etc., creating multiple recessions and people surviving on credit, which is why we find ourselves where we are now.

    And I highly doubt that personal responsibility alone can't change all of this. It'll also going to require material changes in the way we produce and distribute commodities and how we organize the labour process and provide compensation. These kinds of changes usually take hundreds of years to naturally evolve, but I think we should consider a conscious implementation of drastic economic reforms and restructuring now. We simply can't sustain an economy that must keep growing and provide liveable wages for the whole world while also limiting our use of natural resources, limiting our consumption and hence production, and reducing industrial pollution. So I honestly don't think Bhikkhu Bodhi is far off base here. And I'm glad that monastics like him and others are speaking out about the need to address climate change, which also points to a need to address the mental and material conditions giving rise to the problem.

  3. #13
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I don't disagree with you...
    But I also think that a singular focus on individual responsibility
    I was referring to Buddhists and the green conscious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    neglects the logic of current global economics and how it compels unsustainable levels of production on the supply side and consumption on the demand side, a system predicated upon the conversion of money into commodities into money plus a surplus that requires perpetual growth and consumption, otherwise it stalls, creating crises that require the destruction of unproductive capital (failing businesses, destruction of unsellable commodities, etc.) and labour (unemployment).
    The above appears unrelated to Buddhism. This is not an economics forum. Its up to the world to decide or learn what economic systems are right for it.

    Regardless, what was written appears to be mere rhetoric because world economic growth is not actually that large. In other words, zero growth will not cause economic problems. Its a normal part of business cycles that some businesses, industries and commodities entire decline & extinction. The suttas refer to cycles of evolving (vivaṭṭa) & devolving (saṃvaṭṭa) worlds (loka). Here, they are not referring to physical universes but to personal & social worlds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I strongly believe that there will have to be some sort of systemic adjustment to compensate for any large scale reduction of production and consumption and the unemployment that will also result as a consequence.
    Less consumption correlates with less income and less time worked. I recall the Dhammic Socialism Economics Master Bhikkhu Buddhadasa once saying people shouldn't really work more than 5 hours per day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    One could also argue that a rethinking of property rights and wealth redistribution are also needed to help with accelerating green tech R&D...
    I disagree. As I already posted, the nimmanarati deva in the corporate and scientific world will accelerate green tech R&D. While these people are greedy, they are not totally stupid. Every major in the auto & oil industry is currently involved in green tech R&D. They want to maintain corporate control & domination.

    The problem with Eternal Revolutionaries has always been that of ingratitude, which is a horrendous sin for the Buddha. The Buddha said to be grateful for any favour received.

    It was a small group of "intelligentsia nimmanarati deva" that invented the Agricultural, Industrial, Medical & Technological Revolutions that brought tremendous material & health benefits to mankind. We should be grateful for this. However, it is these same "intelligentsia deva" that have caused what the Hysterical Climate Change Neurotics call "overpopulation" and "climate change". Yet these "intelligentsia nimmanarati deva" are also the best people to find a solution. The socialist or communist mob won't find any solutions because they generally don't have scientific knowledge. The socialist or communist mob, as was shown in the French Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution or George Floyd Revolution generally only know destruction. For example, from 1917 to 1925, is it said the Bolsheviks decimated the industrial & social capital of Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    and promote the global sharing of green tech to make it widely available otherwise poorer nations and those dominated by the fossil fuel industry will continue to rely on coal, oil, and gas.
    Currently, it is Western and Industrialized nations (including China) dominated by coal, oil & gas, but, yes, also nations like India. But these countries are also working on Green R&D. For example, the world's largest manufacturer of LIB batteries is CATL, a Chinese company.

    Poorer nations don't use as much energy. Also, lots of African countries have hydro-electric power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    And none of that even accounts for things like the tendency of capital to accumulate, which isn't simply due to consumption but the very logic of capitalism itself. And how that tendency, along with other factors, conditions a great deal of the wealth inequality that we see.
    This non-Buddhist obsession with wealth inequality appears unrelated to Climate Change. The Buddha did not ever oppose the Four Caste Structure. The Buddha only said the Four Castes are abolished within his monastic sangha, as follows:

    Quote Originally Posted by AN 8.19
    Just as, when the great rivers … reach the great ocean, they give up their former names and designations and are simply called the great ocean, so too, when members of the four social classes—khattiyas, brahmins, vessas, and suddas—go forth from the household life into homelessness in the Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathāgata, they give up their former names and clans and are simply called ascetics following the Sakyan son. This is the fourth astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline….

    https://suttacentral.net/an8.19/en/bodhi#sc21
    The Buddha did not teach Old Testament or Monotheistic inspired Communism or Equality.

    Buddhism teaches there are various worlds people psychologically & socially dwell in, some as human, godly, animal, ghost & hell, including the many deva different deva realms.

    It seems while many appear well-studied in Buddhism, they often do not appear to apply their Buddhist knowledge to the here & now but imagine these "worlds" or "loka" are material planes in another place.

    The devas are here, in this world. The devas are people. The scientific devas will invent new technology to help alleviate the potential crisis. Buddhism teaches us to practise recollection of the devas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    In addition, I think it's naive to think that we can return to post WWII economies
    I was referring to the systems of regulated capitalism, higher taxation, greater domestic production, better labour relations & rule of law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    without the conditions that made them possible, which included the destruction of European factories and manufacturing potential, scarcity of food and commodities, and a vast reduction of labour (due to casualties) that allowed for the post war boom and higher wages that followed due to the high demand for both commodities and labour, especially in nations that maintained their manufacturing capacities like the US. And that destruction created the space for such rapid economic growth worldwide.
    Valid point but unrelated to what i was referring to, as posted in previous comment. Economics remains a supply & demand closed system.

    It appears a Communist Revolution by the Hysterical Mob remains unnecessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Once nations were rebuilt, commodity production increased beyond demand, and the labour pool increased with births and women entering the workforce
    For me, Feminism was merely a Corporate Revolution, socially engineered to increase consumption. Regardless, the above point appears irrelevant. That a husband & wife both work 8 hour days appears unnecessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    however, much of that began to decline. Wages started to stagnate in comparison with increased productivity
    Decline in wages appeared due to corporate greed; including offshoring of jobs to Asia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    economic growth rates leveled off and couldn't be sustained without creating more artificial demand and high risk ways of making a profit, etc., creating multiple recessions and people surviving on credit, which is why we find ourselves where we are now.
    There is no need for constant economic growth. Regardless, my impression is the American & Australian debt based economies are largely a result of the offshoring of manufacturing industries to Asia. Regardless, the above is not related to climate change.

    I have mentioned a number of times the subject of wealth distribution and now place of production is unrelated to climate change.

    You appear to unnecessarily lump of these theories into the same basket; which seems wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    And I highly doubt that personal responsibility alone can't change all of this.
    The correlation of class-theory with climate change is non-sequitur therefore the statement quoted above is also non-sequitur. Therefore, returning to the topic, personal responsibility, including renunciation, will certain address the conceived threat of climate change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    It'll also going to require material changes in the way we produce and distribute commodities and how we organize the labour process and provide compensation.
    No. You provided ZERO argument for the above. It appears the above is mere unsubstantiated (abhutam) rhetoric. There is ZERO relationship between wealth-distribution and climate change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    These kinds of changes usually take hundreds of years to naturally evolve, but I think we should consider a conscious implementation of drastic economic reforms and restructuring now.
    No. HYSTERICAL REVOLUTION by the MOB is not necessary. i recall the United Nations or a Bunch of Scientists (whoever) recently admitted there is actually no climate change emergency. What is necessary is to calm down, be patient and to practise recollection of the nimmanarati deva. The nimmanarati deva will solve the problem. A Kampuchean (Cambodian) Pol Pot Year Zero Revolution won't achieve anything apart from return to the animal realm witnessed in the French Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution and in Cambodia.

    I think you need to reflect upon the benefits the industrial, agricultural, medical & technological revolutions brought to mankind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    We simply can't sustain an economy that must keep growing and provide liveable wages for the whole world while also limiting our use of natural resources, limiting our consumption and hence production, and reducing industrial pollution.
    The above does not appear to make sense. Possibly it should be rephrased.

    I already said, in an ideal world, people will work less, will have smaller houses, will consume less, etc.

    However, i doubt this will ever occur because, while not really on topic, in my opinion, TOTALITARIANISM is a far greater imminent threat than climate change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    So I honestly don't think Bhikkhu Bodhi is far off base here.
    Most of what you have posted does not make sense to me. It appears similar to the Revolutionary Rhetoric Bhikkhu Bodhi often talks about.

    Both of you do not appear to realise there has been an enormous growth in population due to the compassion of modern medicine and highly efficient food production. Therefore, the challenge of this must now be met.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    And I'm glad that monastics like him and others are speaking out about the need to address climate change, which also points to a need to address the mental and material conditions giving rise to the problem.
    I am glad I am not influenced by the hysteria of these Western monastics who don't view the Dependent Origination of the social world.

    In summary, these same monastics that teach false materialistic interpretations of Dependent Origination and the Buddhist Cosmology appear to fall back on Old Testament Monotheism & Creationism when attempting to address worldly matters. They appear to not believe in the real nimmanarati deva. In fact, I actually sent an email to this radiant nimmanarati deva today. Also, today, the only fossil fuel I used was to cook two meals and I turned on the hot water (only in winter) for two hours then turned it off. I walked for four hours.

    Last edited by Element; 26 Jun 20 at 12:27.

  4. #14
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    To paraphrase post #13, everything's working just fine except for a changing climate. Leave it to the scientists to come up with a solution.

    We certainly don't need a revolutionary mob to make change. Yes, spontaneous revolution destroys indiscriminately and creates nothing.

    Historically, such revolutions have provided a void into which a new system can grow...

    I recall the United Nations or a Bunch of Scientists (whoever) recently admitted there is actually no climate change emergency.
    That sounds like something coming from the climate change denial experts. I think of them as a minority voice. I've listened to their arguments and they are pretty selective in the statistics they quote.

    We do need a change in the world systems of investment and production, in my opinion. Gradual change would be preferable to avoid a revolution. I think the problem lies in clearly defining where we should all be heading

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    Less consumption correlates with less income and less time worked. I recall the Dhammic Socialism Economics Master Bhikkhu Buddhadasa once saying people shouldn't really work more than 5 hours per day.
    I agree. A reduction in hours of labour is something I think we all need to work towards, for this reason and others.


    Most of what you have posted does not make sense to me.
    I can see that.
    Last edited by Jason; 26 Jun 20 at 15:07.

  6. #16
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I can see that.
    As I pointed out, you appear to keeping bring 'Class-Warfare' into the 'Climate Change' rationale, which to me sounds like my impression of Bhikkhu Bodhi's Eternal Rage Against The Entire Machine.

    When I lived in Dhammic Socialist Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's monastery, his American translator named Santikaro was similar, eternally raging (aka Virtue Signalling) against the entire machine, appearing to never take a breath to consider how increasing the wealth of the lower classes would probably lead to more resource use and environmental destruction.

    I logically pointed out if more wealth is given to the lower classes it is likely carbon pollution will grow. For example, this link shows how carbon emissions for a developing country, such as Thailand (home of Dhammic Socialism), continue to grow. This is what happens when the lower economic classes gain more wealth. For example, as I already pointed out, African nations with large population growth have very low carbon emissions, as shown here.

    In short, these Sub-Saharan African nations have carbon emissions of 0.9 tonnes per capita, compared to primitive countries such as the USA & Australia, that have 16.5 and 15.4 tonnes per capita. The average Yank & Aussie pollutes 20 times more than the average African.

    Since I am very close to being an Environmental Arahant or say definitely at least a Once-Returner, i.e., being a rabid Tree-Planter with tiny carbon footprint, I think I can discern what is relevant.

  7. #17
    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    Leave it to the scientists to come up with a solution.
    Indeed. If we examine the data, countries such as Sweden (down to 4.5 tonnes per capita) and our beloved UK (down to 6.5 tonnes per capita) have greatly reduced their carbon emissions. Note: In the UK's case, some of this was due to loss of industry but much was due to reform. It was not the Buddhists that did this! It was the scientists and governments.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    We certainly don't need a revolutionary mob to make change.
    Indeed, as shown above. Sweden+France and the UK have a carbon footprint that is 28% and 40% of the USA and Australia respectively. Sweden & the UK made changes without any revolutionary mob. Even France. Germany has 50% of US-Aussie emissions.

    Note: Sweden does have the advantage of hydroelectric power due to geography plus uses nuclear power. France uses lots of nuclear power. Britain has some nuclear power but has a large growth in using renewables.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    That sounds like something coming from the climate change denial experts.
    I just checked this letter to the UN. OK, it admit it appears a bit dodgy. Here.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    I've listened to their arguments and they are pretty selective in the statistics they quote.
    Personally, the above is not so relevant to me. Since I am Australian, I notice a huge addiction to using motor vehicles here. Most of my friends are greenies where I live but they never use our perfectly adequate local bus service.

    As I have done, above, I think what has been done and what has not been done should be examined. Many countries have reduced their pollution greatly and many have not.

    Many countries with high population growth are not large polluters.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    We do need a change in the world systems of investment and production, in my opinion.
    The above sounds like a monolithic or monotheistic generalization rather than a case by case consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    Gradual change would be preferable to avoid a revolution.
    I agree. I pointed out already most large corporations in the energy space are entering into alternative energy, including BP. I know BP is partnering into proposed large scale battery gigafactories.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    I think the problem lies in clearly defining where we should all be heading
    My main point previously is this Climate Change matter appears unrelated to Buddhism. Buddhists like Bhikkhu Bodhi won't be saving the world here with some special wisdom.

    The whole world knows about "Climate Change", regardless of if they are believer, deniers, moderates or agnostics. It is on the lips of basically every major corporation.

    People like Trump are probably pushing oil and coal, but particularly oil, because they are probably simply maximizing its short term revenue, discerning is imminent demise. This includes loss political control in the Middle-East (thus their urgent regime change covert wars towards non-aligned countries). Oil prices remain low, despite many major historic sources of supply derailed by politics (such as Iran, Libya & Venezuela).

    As I suggest, the nimmanarati deva appear best placed to provide a solution.

  8. #18
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    I am not privileged to the Truth, therefore I can not comment, Propaganda on TVs all across the Globe makes sure the truth is kept away from all onlookers. Capitalist Global control? I think so. Is Buffet and his friends going to stop raping the forest?, are the rich gonna give to the poor? will there be a revolution, well they all seem unlikely judged on past evidence.

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