Conservation Efforts

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Conservation Efforts

Postby LastLegend » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:17 pm

So I have a couple premises regarding conservation efforts that I adhere to:
1) Conservation should focus on finding efficient and sustainable energy sources
2) Focus on *equal distribution of resources, family planning, health care, education, etc. In short well being of human beings.
3) Man should not tamper with the environment and its animals...Currently there are laws in many countries to protect wild animals.
4) All human beings especially those who are in office or in position of powers should focus on compassion and step away from greed

Score 1000% for Buddha's teaching of increasing compassion and walking away from greed. I believe that pretty much all of human problems are caused by greed, and, and ignorance. And notice that these premises do not go by its order listed. That says you do have some sort of compassion if you like to see equal distribution of resources throughout the globe.

*Correction: just distribution of resources not equal distribution
Last edited by LastLegend on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:11 pm

Who owns the resources? The rich.
Who protects the resources? The soldiers.
Who produces the resources? The workers.
Who organises the production? The managers.
Who distributes the products? The merchants.
etc. etc.

The idea of equal distribution is great. Communism, however, didn't work out so far.
The Buddha's recipe for the perfect world is the five precepts. How do you convince everybody to abide by it?
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:17 pm

Astus wrote:
The idea of equal distribution is great. Communism, however, didn't work out so far.


Screw the proletariat, the consumers must seize the means of production, and create a dictatorship of consumption...!

(oh wait...that won't work...)
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Astus » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:37 pm

Namdrol wrote:Screw the proletariat, the consumers must seize the means of production, and create a dictatorship of consumption...!

(oh wait...that won't work...)


It won't work only because consumers have no idea where those "means of production" are. Never even heard of them.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby LastLegend » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:44 pm

Astus wrote:Who owns the resources? The rich.
Who protects the resources? The soldiers.
Who produces the resources? The workers.
Who organises the production? The managers.
Who distributes the products? The merchants.
etc. etc.

The idea of equal distribution is great. Communism, however, didn't work out so far.
The Buddha's recipe for the perfect world is the five precepts. How do you convince everybody to abide by it?


I don't know about equal distribution of resources in terms of communism. Maybe I should have not used the word "equal" at least not in a communism sense. I am talking about governments of developed countries should help the poor countries out by distributing their resources. All the premises above are linked together. If we want to save the earth, then we have follow the first premise and since premise 2 is required for premise one to work. If premise 2 is followed, then premise 3 will work. And premise 4, if people want to save the earth, they have to learn to give or share resources.Giving is an antidote for greed...the 3 poisons indeed are poisons. Now we can see that.

If they don't want to save the earth, then we are screwed.

We are not advocating change of system or government.
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:37 pm

LastLegend wrote:
If they don't want to save the earth, then we are screwed.



They don't and we are.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby KeithBC » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:30 am

LastLegend wrote:So I have a couple premises regarding conservation efforts that I adhere to:
1) Conservation should focus on finding efficient and sustainable energy sources

I don't disagree with this. But until you define sustainability, it doesn't actually mean much. Call me a cynic, but the standard definition of sustainability seems to be, "Let's try to keep the d*mned environmentalists off our backs until after the next election."

The definition needs to be, "Zero net consumption of natural resources." Yes, I know, everyone will scream at that one. All of a sudden, the capitalists and communists will be allying with each other to oppose that idea. Yet anything short of that is, by definition unsustainable. And anything unsustainable means that conservation is doomed to failure.

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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby LastLegend » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:48 am

KeithBC wrote:
LastLegend wrote:So I have a couple premises regarding conservation efforts that I adhere to:
1) Conservation should focus on finding efficient and sustainable energy sources

I don't disagree with this. But until you define sustainability, it doesn't actually mean much. Call me a cynic, but the standard definition of sustainability seems to be, "Let's try to keep the d*mned environmentalists off our backs until after the next election."

The definition needs to be, "Zero net consumption of natural resources." Yes, I know, everyone will scream at that one. All of a sudden, the capitalists and communists will be allying with each other to oppose that idea. Yet anything short of that is, by definition unsustainable. And anything unsustainable means that conservation is doomed to failure.

Om mani padme hum
Keith


Well efficient and sustainable energy sources so that we don't continue to pollute the earth and deplete its resources.

Now whatever the decision politicians choose to make is beyond my control. If they start recognizing that we need to keep the earth habitable, that would be a big change.
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:58 am

KeithBC wrote:All of a sudden, the capitalists and communists will be allying with each other to oppose that idea.


Of course, since communism is predicated on the capitalist mode of production.
Last edited by Malcolm on Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby LastLegend » Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:59 am

^ I did not write that. KeithBC wrote that.
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Astus » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:07 am

"Infinite source of energy" does not exist, especially not on Earth. Keeping population low (it's already too high) and living in a rural environment would mean a sustainable livelihood where small communities can live on locally produced food and move regularly to arable land until the used land regenerates. That's quite medieval and would require a global catastrophe to reduce humanity into such a culture. Another option - if we want to believe in the salvational nature of science - is to reach a higher technical development, like in the Star Trek universe, that brings with itself the cultural change and so even money disappears. Religions, however, have already proven to be ineffective as social forces, same with other ideological systems, the reason for that is probably in the diversity of humans and opinions.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby LastLegend » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:17 pm

Ok let me explain myself clearly so that you understand what the premises are all about.

Premise 1, we want to save ourselves by save the earth through finding efficient and sustainable energy sources so that we don't deplete and pollute the earth (our home and other living things'). Premise 2, we should distribute resources to help with family planning, education, health care, etc. Family planning is to deal with the problem of overpopulation. People from poor countries tend to have more children as compared to developed country. Italy for example has the lowest birth rate in the world. The explanation for having many children is they contribute economically to the family, and since they have to deal with poverty, they don't have access to medical services the children tend to not survive. So having more children seems logical. But having more children means an increase in population. Overpopulation is very bad for the environment as the human consumption of resources increase. So when we are dealing with poor countries, we are dealing with a host of interrelated problems. Education, school education and education regarding using contraceptive methods as means for birth control. Health care will save lives-if poverty, family planning, education, and health care are dealt with, they won't need to produce many children. So if we want to save ourselves, we must also try to save others [to live for oneself is ignorance]. So premise 1 and 2 are linked. For premise 1 to work, premise 2 must follow.

Now premise 3 will work if premise 2 is followed. When human beings are well-off, educated (not ignorant for example recognizing how his actions affect everything around him), and such through premise 2, we will know not to mess with the environment and its animals. When human beings are not well off, we tend to mess up the environment which in turn will create more problems. Premise # 4, if we want to save ourselves by not polluting and depleting the earth of its resources, we should give/distribute resources (premise #2)-instead of greed, we want compassion.

Once again greed, anger, and ignorance are the root cause of all human problems. And man cannot separate himself from his environment for his environment is not habitable, he will not survive. And in order to save himself, he must save others. Like a body, all the organs must be well and functioned together. We cannot ignore our liver if it is ill. So we cannot ignore others when they need our help.


Astus wrote:"Infinite source of energy" does not exist, especially not on Earth.


Astus, I don't know about infinite source of energy. But we must fix what's at stake right now. And the root cause of that is greed, anger, and ignorance. At least we are recognizing what that we are the problem.

Keeping population low (it's already too high) and living in a rural environment would mean a sustainable livelihood where small communities can live on locally produced food and move regularly to arable land until the used land regenerates. That's quite medieval and would require a global catastrophe to reduce humanity into such a culture.


No, we will not going back to medieval era. We are discussing about what we should or need to do right now to fix the current situation. So I don't understand where you came up with this.

Another option - if we want to believe in the salvational nature of science - is to reach a higher technical development, like in the Star Trek universe, that brings with itself the cultural change and so even money disappears. Religions, however, have already proven to be ineffective as social forces, same with other ideological systems, the reason for that is probably in the diversity of humans and opinions.


What? Star Trek world is your fantasy. We are not even discussing anything remotely closed to what you are saying. And religion? Who said anything about religion? Premise 4 is clear-giving/distribution. But I had to gloss it with the term compassion. And since it is Buddhist teachings, I have to make it relevant so that we can understand. But we can definitely avoid using Buddhist terms. And we are not forcing Buddhism in anyone's throat.

You talk about what does not work-this is how you condition your mind to think, and it will not work. Why don't you talk about something that could work. After all we are the problem, I don't see why we can't be the answer. Like finding a common ground that we can all work on regardless of what religion, creed, or background that you are with. And if we can do this, then it will work. It's not about Buddhism alone can do this. No, we all inhabit this earth coming from different background and religions, so all have to work together that is if we want to fix human problems. It's not about my religion or your religion...it is not bad to have discussion like this.

What the hell have you been smoking?
Last edited by LastLegend on Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:43 pm

Astus wrote:"Infinite source of energy" does not exist, especially not on Earth. Keeping population low (it's already too high) and living in a rural environment would mean a sustainable livelihood where small communities can live on locally produced food and move regularly to arable land until the used land regenerates. That's quite medieval and would require a global catastrophe to reduce humanity into such a culture.


I don't think so -- environmental systems and human cultures respond to inputs of energy in the same way. Slowely remove the inputs and the community falters and gradually dies back. Unless we find oil in Greenland and in the Artic poles that is easy to recover as it was in Texas in 1880, we have reached the limit of easily extractable oil. Since that is the case, we will see a gradual decline in human population because well, there won't be enough food to feed everyone. The oceans are becoming increasingly acidic due to higher amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere and so on. We will see industrial civilization come to a shuddering halt over the next three hundred years. We lived through the high point of industrial civilization, and it is all downhill from here, unless you follow Ray Kurzweil's theories.

But one thing is a fact, persistent 4% growth a year is an economic fantasy.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Astus » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:44 pm

LastLegend,

"efficient and sustainable energy source" in my understanding - and I can be wrong of course - is the same as an infinite source of energy. Not realistic. But my knowledge is very limited here.

You may call it giving, compassion, enlightenment, etc. - these are ideas. You can't make people give - unless you start a so called "proletariat dictatorship". Since you can't make them give, can't convert them to new views either, the plan fails. That's what I was saying with the failure of religions and ideologies. Therefore, either we go medieval or new technologies. Both are mostly external (i.e. easier to recognise and accept by the majority) forces that make people follow new rules.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:52 pm

Astus wrote:LastLegend,

"efficient and sustainable energy source" in my understanding - and I can be wrong of course - is the same as an infinite source of energy. Not realistic. But my knowledge is very limited here.

You may call it giving, compassion, enlightenment, etc. - these are ideas. You can't make people give - unless you start a so called "proletariat dictatorship". Since you can't make them give, can't convert them to new views either, the plan fails. That's what I was saying with the failure of religions and ideologies. Therefore, either we go medieval or new technologies. Both are mostly external (i.e. easier to recognise and accept by the majority) forces that make people follow new rules.


I don't think it is either or. We will continue to have a high educational culture -- rural does not equal fuedal, though perhaps for Europeans this is the only equation they are familiar with. You have to bear in mind that during the 19th century, literacy rates in the United States was the highest in the world, with 80 percent literacy for adults and among non-immigrants (apart from blacks) nearly 95 percent.

As long as people stay highly educated, whatever civilization we can imagine will likely be based on agriculture and biotechnologies that require low energy inputs. But the steel and electric civlization made possible by oil will die.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby LastLegend » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:53 pm

Astus wrote:LastLegend,

"efficient and sustainable energy source" in my understanding - and I can be wrong of course - is the same as an infinite source of energy. Not realistic. But my knowledge is very limited here.


Yes. But we can play the active part. Once again, who said anything about infinite source of energy. But we are messed up right now, this is what we need or should to fix right now.

You may call it giving, compassion, enlightenment, etc. - these are ideas. You can't make people give - unless you start a so called "proletariat dictatorship".


You are correct. These are just ideas. We are not making people doing anything. There is nothing wrong with discussing ideas here. It's not up to us but to big governments. These are just discussion. You find something wrong with discussion.

Since you can't make them give, can't convert them to new views either, the plan fails. That's what I was saying with the failure of religions and ideologies. Therefore, either we go medieval or new technologies. Both are mostly external (i.e. easier to recognise and accept by the majority) forces that make people follow new rules.


You are talking ahead of yourself. We are not advocating revolutionary or change of government or system. Why people have to bring this in every time?. We are only discussing ideas. But I think there are organizations out there that have people who come from different backgrounds, working on world peace. We can all sit and think it won't work-how is it gonna work? It will not work because that's what we think. Why don't we think that we can at least try?
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Astus » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:28 pm

rural does not equal fuedal, though perhaps for Europeans this is the only equation they are familiar with. You have to bear in mind that during the 19th century, literacy rates in the United States was the highest in the world


I don't find the perspective of a peasant civilisation that enticing, even if it's sustainable. And when you keep yourself busy on the farm and you are isolated from other areas, literacy disappears as it is useless. Also, don't forget that the 19th century was already the modern age with steam power and gun powder.

You are talking ahead of yourself. We are not advocating revolutionary or change of government or system. Why people have to bring this in every time?. We are only discussing ideas. But I think there are organizations out there that have people who come from different backgrounds, working on world peace. We can all sit and think it won't work-how is it gonna work? It will not work because that's what we think. Why don't we think that we can at least try?


I am discussing such ideas and I'm not marching on the streets or anything like that. But I don't find much to discuss about "how nice it would be if the world was a utopia", but rather considering ways that can be actually effective. Leaving change to those who are already in power, well, why would they want to make any changes? They already have it all, except they want more. Rich people are not less greedy than the poor.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:36 pm

Astus wrote:
rural does not equal fuedal, though perhaps for Europeans this is the only equation they are familiar with. You have to bear in mind that during the 19th century, literacy rates in the United States was the highest in the world


I don't find the perspective of a peasant civilisation that enticing, even if it's sustainable. And when you keep yourself busy on the farm and you are isolated from other areas, literacy disappears as it is useless. Also, don't forget that the 19th century was already the modern age with steam power and gun powder.



That is completely false. American literacy is based on the notion that an educated population is necessary for full civic participation in a democratic republic.

You seem to think farmers don't need to read.

As I said, perhaps rural literacy is hard for some Eurpoeans to grasp, given their history.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Conservation Efforts

Postby LastLegend » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:41 pm

Astus wrote:I am discussing such ideas and I'm not marching on the streets or anything like that. But I don't find much to discuss about "how nice it would be if the world was a utopia", but rather considering ways that can be actually effective. Leaving change to those who are already in power, well, why would they want to make any changes? They already have it all, except they want more. Rich people are not less greedy than the poor.


I am thinking you don't understand my train of thought regarding the premises. So if you please go back and read my explanation about the premises. We are talking about if not certainty or fantasy about what will happen. No utopia and none of that you are anticipating in the conversation...yes there are organizations out there that want to make changes and they are not affiliated with governments. Somebody has to do it. Yes, there are activists out there. If they don't parade, who will know what they all are about. While the rest of us sit in here and say shit won't work. It is the effort that we are talking about here. If more people are on the same page, then things can work.

Why would they want to make changes? Because they will be frak if they don't and we all will be frak too.

Going green is the effort right now.

Even if nothing is accomplished through this topic or subject of discussion, we will at least understand: 1) where all the human problems come from, from a Buddhist standpoint 2) we are facing an energy crisis and deterioration of earth's resources 3) Overpopulation is a problem for all and it is a result of poverty. And perhaps we will be able to explain to others why we are facing so many problems today. Buddhist thinking is really logical and I think people can relate to if we can explain it clearly.

So is this real enough for a discussion?
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