Climate Change: We're Doomed

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:13 am

anjali wrote:I'm not a gloom and doom kind of guy, but I am pragmatist. There are nasty trends in motion that show no signs of abating. In particular, the link between diminishing water supplies and ever increasing land cultivation (per my previous post) is enough to give anyone pause. Of course there are solutions--that's never has been the issue. The issue is the sheer magnitude of the problem and the limited time to do anything globally game-changing.

Hi, anjali,
As I have said to others, we are doomed if we think we are doomed. The choice is to do what we can, and make some difference to how bad it gets, or do nothing and make it worse.
I don't find that a complex choice.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:28 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:As I have said to others, we are doomed if we think we are doomed. The choice is to do what we can, and make some difference to how bad it gets, or do nothing and make it worse.
I don't find that a complex choice.


Here in Buddhism we believe this is a degenerate age. Things will only get progressively worse. That's always been agreed upon though the wording varies.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Thrasymachus » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:57 am

Humans in the developed world and much of the undeveloped world behave exactly like parasites or virus's on the earth, that take from earth far more than the capacity of ecosystems to regenerate, while giving worse than nothing back. We destroy rather than give back, filling up landfills with a novel concept that only humans have invented and continue to create: waste. In nature there is no such thing, the feces of animals is food for flies, bacteria and micro-organisms. But we have created many toxic substances through our interventions and unearthed many toxic substances like oil, natural gas, methane and coal that the earth in its wisdom buried.

Even if the environmental movement was a huge and omnipotent movement, all the environmentalists still believe in living in a man-made environment far outside of nature. This is because religion regulates world-view and models of how to behave more than anything else. The religion even of environmentalists is that of progress, science, money and technology. This relegates the environment into being an issue in the back of people's minds competing with other issues. The issues that win out are those of escapism, which people need to function in this monstrous social order, precisely by ignoring it and money. In our man-made world it takes money to live, not a connection to anything real or lived in the environment, we only need paper depictions of dead labor.

There are about 4,000 languages in the world and most of them are going extinct at a breakneck pace. The people who speak languages that only one, two or few people know and that will go instinct soon, tend to be the societies not based on domination, where the earth and everything in it is sacred. The societies based on domination on the contrary, that of man against man and man's dominion over nature, are in no danger of extinction.

Most people never want to recognize that people operate in social structures in social space-time. If you allow people to consume alot they will, and you if you leave the decision up to them, the earth's capacity to sustain life as we know it will cease. That is what happening now and will continue. Only something like another 1859 Carrington effect solar flare that will decimate all highly domination based, waste producing, technological societies will change this and allow space for the near extinct peoples that can actually care about something beside money and power to flourish again. There is no other way, something will have to kill the people in the society I live in before they change. Indeed, most people who survive a heart attack or get diagnosed with heart disease, continue to eat meat afterward, that is to live by domination of helpless animals and die by the corollary affliction to that dietary behavior. Even the threat of death is not enough to stop them from consuming less resources, it is not enough to make them more ethical and healthy by just eating plant foods.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:16 pm

Huseng wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:As I have said to others, we are doomed if we think we are doomed. The choice is to do what we can, and make some difference to how bad it gets, or do nothing and make it worse.
I don't find that a complex choice.


Here in Buddhism we believe this is a degenerate age. Things will only get progressively worse. That's always been agreed upon though the wording varies.

That may be so, Huseng, but here in Buddhism we believe in compassionate action, whatever the time of day or eon.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:12 pm

Jeez peeps lighten up. It's not the end of the world. It's only the end of you.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:43 pm

A nice, well thought-out and well-researched paper - fresh from the virtual printing press:

http://www.zcommunications.org/the-plan ... amy-foster
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Nemo » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:10 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:Huseng, Nemo, peterpan,
Which side are you on?
Kim

The losing side obviously.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:38 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:Huseng, Nemo, peterpan,
Food for thought for you: http://www.alternet.org/environment/are-koch-brothers-single-biggest-obstacle-preventing-disastrous-climate-change
Which side are you on?

:namaste:
Kim

A sort of follow-up to this: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/news-corporation-climate-science-coverage.html
It goes quite a long way to explaining why so many folk are misinformed about the facts.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:03 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:A nice, well thought-out and well-researched paper - fresh from the virtual printing press:

http://www.zcommunications.org/the-plan ... amy-foster

A bit long and I ended up skimming a bit in the middle but very well documented - a third of it is footnotes.
A one-line summary might be, "Capitalism caused the problem and we won't solve the problem except by abolishing or totally re-making capitalism."
How to do that is, of course, the problem. Violent revolution doesn't have much going for it, and asking nicely doesn't seem likely to work, so my choice would be would be greater government regulation, backed by penalties. That's what many countries are already beginning to do, as many of us know - carbon taxes and cap-and-trade mechanisms, punitive fines for environmental damage (remember Deep Horizon), and so on.
Baby steps, as some of you will sneer, but baby steps are still, always, better than no steps.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby greentara » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:06 pm

Ok, you've got to laugh! The irony. BHP Billiton is upgrading its coal export terminal in Queensland to better withstand climate-related extreme weather events.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby viniketa » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:34 pm

Technologies such as this have the potential to change the equation on the petro tipping point, but would be stop-gap measures rather than real "solutions":

Biofuel Technology

KiOR has developed a proprietary technology platform to convert sustainable, low-cost, non-food biomass into a hydrocarbon-based renewable crude oil. Using standard refining equipment, the company processes its renewable crude into gasoline and diesel blendstocks that can utilize the existing transportation fuel infrastructure for use in vehicles on the road today.

KiOR processes its renewable crude oil in a conventional hydrotreater, which is a standard process unit used in oil refineries, into gasoline and diesel blendstocks that can be combined with existing fossil-based fuels and used in vehicles on the road today.

KiOR differs from most traditional biofuels companies because its end products are “drop in” gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil blendstocks, which are similar to their fossil fuel-based counterparts. This means KiOR’s fuels:

Are the energy equivalent of their fossil fuel based counterparts;
Do not require changes to car engines to warrant significant production scale-up unlike other biofuels (e.g., E85/Flex fuel vehicles for ethanol);
Do not face a “blend wall” (eg, E15), but instead could be combined with conventional gasoline and diesel fuels at various percentages;
When blended with conventional fuels, the final fuel products can meet standard, ASTM International specifications for finished gasoline and diesel fuels;
Can be delivered to consumers through established distribution channels, from pipelines to gas stations, and used in cars in the road today.

Unlike other renewable fuels such as ethanol, which is alcohol-based, or biodiesel, which is composed of fatty acids, KiOR’s fuels can leverage existing equipment and infrastructure. This would allow KiOR to be able to scale its technology quickly with lower downstream capital requirements and lower market acceptance risk.

http://www.kior.com/content/?s=5&s2=21& ... Real-Fuels


Please read the first sentence closely before attacking me or the post.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby justsit » Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:51 pm

Image

Busily arranging deck chairs on the Titanic....

Seriously, until corporations have a financial incentive to change their environmentally destructive processes, they will not. If continuing the present course doesn't affect their bottom line, they do not care and will not change.
The US government, at least, is extremely reluctant to apply restrictions for fear of the more immediate economic consequences, with even more jobs shifting overseas.

Yes, as individuals we must all do what we can, but let's not labor under the illusion that our individual efforts will have some long term positive effect. We do what we can because it's the right thing to do, not because it will change the outcome.

Just a small case in point - I live not far from a US Air Force base. Every Wednesday, regular as clockwork, the giant C5-A's lumber through the sky, pilots shoot landings. Around and around they go. TONS of fuel are used, TONS of junk dumped into the air. All my little reduce-reuse-recycling, my hybrid car, my lights turned off -geez, my whole town could go as green as grass for a whole year, and we wouldn't save the amount of crap dumped in one day by the behemoths.

So what to do? You do what you can, but leave off the rose colored glasses.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:14 am

greentara wrote:Ok, you've got to laugh! The irony. BHP Billiton is upgrading its coal export terminal in Queensland to better withstand climate-related extreme weather events.

And Exxon is planning to drill for oil in the newly ice-free Arctic.
:guns:
Where's Greenpeace when you need them??
Umm, here, actually - http://www.greenpeace.org.au/blog/?p=728.
Oh, and here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9496802/Greenpeace-scales-Russian-Arctic-oil-platform.html

Memo: write to Greenpeace to thank them for what they have done and encourage them to keep doing it.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:01 am

justsit wrote: All my little reduce-reuse-recycling, my hybrid car, my lights turned off -geez, my whole town could go as green as grass for a whole year, and we wouldn't save the amount of crap dumped in one day by the behemoths.


I think recycling has become an industry in itself. Originally it seems the idea was to reduce landfill usage. At the time that seemed like a good idea, but that's a small issue compared to climate change. The whole process of recycling creates carbon emissions on top of the initial production and distribution of items that are recycled.

In some cases it costs more energy to recycle something than it does to produce it from scratch. Recycling has associated energy costs such as transport, sorting, etc... and then the recycled products need to be shipped out a second time to wherever they go.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby anjali » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:33 am

justsit wrote:So what to do? You do what you can, but leave off the rose colored glasses.


In these kinds of discussions about such ponderous large scale events that seem to take on a life of their own, I am reminded of a brief story from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's autobiographical memoirs, Blazing Splendor. Here is the story as recounted by TUR. Jokyab is a scholar monk who was receiving some teaching from an eccentric elderly master, Jamdrak.

Every day at dusk, without fail, Jamdrak would perform a short subjugation ritual and throw a torma--an offering cake, which symbolized a weapon--toward the east.

"Rinpoche, who do you do this every day?" Jokyab asked him

"Oh dear!" the master explained. "From a country in the east, an evil force will rise up. It will utterly and completely destroy the Buddha's teachings in this snowy land of Tibet and leave the country in pitch-black darkness. This force cannot be stopped, but merely trying to stop it brings more benefit than if I were to chant the ritual for the peaceful and wrathful deities one hundred times and light ten thousand butter lamps. When I throw this torma, I imagine hitting the demon square in the head. It won't help, though; no one can repel this demon. Nevertheless, simply by trying, I will accumulate great merit and purify obscurations on the path to enlightenment.


This was prior to the Chinese invasion. So, we realistically face what's coming and still do what we can to benefit ourselves and others. Even little actions can be an act of shining a light in the approaching darkness.
  • The object of the game is to go on playing it. --John Von Neumann
  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby viniketa » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:01 am

anjali wrote:So, we realistically face what's coming and still do what we can to benefit ourselves and others. Even little actions can be an act of shining a light in the approaching darkness.


Not only that, I can show tons of research showing that social change almost invariably begins from myriad "little actions" at the local level rather than large actions at the global level. Well, I can later on...

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:25 am

anjali wrote:
justsit wrote:So what to do? You do what you can, but leave off the rose colored glasses.


In these kinds of discussions about such ponderous large scale events that seem to take on a life of their own, I am reminded of a brief story from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's autobiographical memoirs, Blazing Splendor. Here is the story as recounted by TUR. Jokyab is a scholar monk who was receiving some teaching from an eccentric elderly master, Jamdrak.

Every day at dusk, without fail, Jamdrak would perform a short subjugation ritual and throw a torma--an offering cake, which symbolized a weapon--toward the east.

"Rinpoche, who do you do this every day?" Jokyab asked him

"Oh dear!" the master explained. "From a country in the east, an evil force will rise up. It will utterly and completely destroy the Buddha's teachings in this snowy land of Tibet and leave the country in pitch-black darkness. This force cannot be stopped, but merely trying to stop it brings more benefit than if I were to chant the ritual for the peaceful and wrathful deities one hundred times and light ten thousand butter lamps. When I throw this torma, I imagine hitting the demon square in the head. It won't help, though; no one can repel this demon. Nevertheless, simply by trying, I will accumulate great merit and purify obscurations on the path to enlightenment.


This was prior to the Chinese invasion. So, we realistically face what's coming and still do what we can to benefit ourselves and others. Even little actions can be an act of shining a light in the approaching darkness.

:good:
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:28 am

viniketa wrote:
anjali wrote:So, we realistically face what's coming and still do what we can to benefit ourselves and others. Even little actions can be an act of shining a light in the approaching darkness.


Not only that, I can show tons of research showing that social change almost invariably begins from myriad "little actions" at the local level rather than large actions at the global level. Well, I can later on...

:namaste:

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My first post to this thread: viewtopic.php?f=42&t=6973&p=137747&hilit=meade#p137747
:twothumbsup:

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:38 am

Upcycled with additionsfor balance:
Huseng wrote:I think recycling has become an industry in itself, albeit one that consumes remarkably few natural resources. Originally it seems the idea was to reduce landfill usage, and it did succeed to some extent in that. At the time that seemed like a good idea, especially since it could keep a lot of expensive, valuable but toxic materials out of landfill, but that's a small - though not totally insignificant - issue compared to climate change. The whole process of recycling creates carbon emissions on top of the initial production and distribution of items that are recycled. This reduces the net benefit of recycling rather than manufacturing from raw materials but does not eliminate it.

In some cases it costs more energy to recycle something than it does to produce it from scratch, and in very many others it doesn't. Recycling has associated energy costs such as transport, sorting, etc, just as manufacturing from raw materials does, but is worth noting that these costs ($ and environmental) may be far lower ... and then the recycled products need to be shipped out a second time to wherever they go, just as goods manufactured from raw materials have to be, again reducing the net benefit but not eliminating it.


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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:53 am

Kim my point is that recycling is just another cog in the industrial machine. To remedy our problems requires reducing industry, which is not feasible to do voluntarily.

We need to consume less altogether, which means not so much recycling your pop bottles, but simply not drinking pop nor using plastic bottles. Of course to expect consumers and businesses to both stop using the amount of plastic, aluminum and paper that they do would be impossible.

For one thing, we've gotten used to hygiene. This is unlike in the Third World where dried beans and grains sit in the open air for flies to rest on. Convenience food (frozen pizzas and canned food) are likewise a huge part of people's diet nowadays in the First World.

Recycling is basically tantamount to putting a bandaid on a gaping wound.
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