Buddhism and Peak Oil

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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:04 am

Huseng wrote:You're dreaming if you think you can maintain let alone grow industrial civilization with cow dung.


Chemically gasoline is Octane, C8H18, which is, as you can see, a fairly simple hydrocarbon. "Dung" implies all organic waste, not only what cows produce.
Crude oil found in earth is also a biological waste product, it is not something radically different from dung. This means that we can make from "dung" chemical products very similar to the hydrocarbon octane. Their energy density will be on the same level with Octane.
Energy in the form of electricity is same amount of energy as energy produced from oil products. It is capable of doing exactly same work. This is basic physics.
If you insist, it is possible to transform electricity into a liquid or a gas, that contains energy.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:26 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Huseng wrote:You're dreaming if you think you can maintain let alone grow industrial civilization with cow dung.


Chemically gasoline is Octane, C8H18, which is, as you can see, a fairly simple hydrocarbon. "Dung" implies all organic waste, not only what cows produce.
Crude oil found in earth is also a biological waste product, it is not something radically different from dung. This means that we can make from "dung" chemical products very similar to the hydrocarbon octane. Their energy density will be on the same level with Octane.
Energy in the form of electricity is same amount of energy as energy produced from oil products. It is capable of doing exactly same work. This is basic physics.
If you insist, it is possible to transform electricity into a liquid or a gas, that contains energy.



You forget that to produce cow dung you need cows and feed, both of which rely on inputs of energy. Those energy inputs need to be calculated when estimating how much energy you'll get out of cow dung.

The whole operation needs to produce more energy than goes into it. This is why fossil fuels work wonders. One barrel of oil (worth eleven years of human labour) used to produce three-hundred.

I don't think you'll get the same yields off cow dung.

If you could, you would have cow dung electricity plants being developed long before oil hit $100/barrel.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Nemo » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:07 pm

Capitalism will continue after the collapse. It will survive in large walled city states similar to Hong Kong or Singapore. Currently there are "sacrifice zones" where the destruction and poverty are unbelievable. The Tar Sands, Camden New Jersey, mountain top removal in West Virginia, Eastern Russia, the interior of China and the entire ocean are examples. These zones will simply grow larger until they are the majority of the planet. Humans have been programmed to love corporate capitalism. They look to it for solutions without the perspective that it is the problem.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby anjali » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:52 am

Nemo wrote:...Humans have been programmed to love corporate capitalism. They look to it for solutions without the perspective that it is the problem.


Humans have been programmed to survive and multiply. Technology and social systems are just tools to further those evolutionary ends. The problem is human nature. That we are in a state of carrying capacity overshoot with a collapse approaching shouldn't really be very surprising. When there is a feast to be had, we make babies. We will consume and reproduce until something inhibits the process. Here is a nice quote by David Price from his book, Energy and Human Evolution,
"All species expand as much as resources allow and predators, parasites, and physical conditions permit. When a species is introduced into a new habitat with abundant resources that accumulated before its arrival, the population expands rapidly until all the resources are used up."

What technology and social organization have allowed us to do is overcome predators, diseases, and physical conditions--at least for a while. In the end though, there is likely to be a lot of future suffering coming down the pipe as nature eventually corrects a serious imbalance.

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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:13 am

anjali wrote:What technology and social organization have allowed us to do is overcome predators, diseases, and physical conditions--at least for a while. In the end though, there is likely to be a lot of future suffering coming down the pipe as nature eventually corrects a serious imbalance.


I agree.

However, we are often prone to think there are technological solutions to real environmental and physical problems.

Nevertheless, technological solutions are becoming less effective and more costly as time goes on. Law of diminishing returns at work. There are less patents being issued per X number of scientists/engineers than before, so I have read in Joseph Tainter's research. There is a declining return on investment in engineering and scientific research actually. Think of how expensive those particle accelerators are, yet they don't really solve any tangible problems for humanity. We are perhaps at peak science where the cost of new discoveries, minute and largely unhelpful as they are, is becoming increasingly expensive while the results don't do much for us collectively.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:17 am

anjali wrote:Humans have been programmed to survive and multiply. Technology and social systems are just tools to further those evolutionary ends. The problem is human nature. That we are in a state of carrying capacity overshoot with a collapse approaching shouldn't really be very surprising. When there is a feast to be had, we make babies. We will consume and reproduce until something inhibits the process.

Humans have also evolved to communicate clearly and work together, though not on the scale that is now required. Still, this makes us distinct from other animals.

anjali wrote:What technology and social organization have allowed us to do is overcome predators, diseases, and physical conditions--at least for a while. In the end though, there is likely to be a lot of future suffering coming down the pipe as nature eventually corrects a serious imbalance.

Nature doesn't do anything. Nature is the balance. It could be argued that nature is the imbalance too.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby kirtu » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:12 am

Nemo wrote: Humans have been programmed to love corporate capitalism. They look to it for solutions without the perspective that it is the problem.


In the major English speaking countries except possibly New Zealand this is true. Germany and France less so. Corporate power is generally suspect in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Your observation doesn't hold in the Scandinavian countries and Australians show real promise as well.

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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby KeithBC » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:34 am

kirtu wrote:
Nemo wrote: Humans have been programmed to love corporate capitalism. They look to it for solutions without the perspective that it is the problem.


In the major English speaking countries except possibly New Zealand this is true. Germany and France less so. Corporate power is generally suspect in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Your observation doesn't hold in the Scandinavian countries and Australians show real promise as well.

Kirt

When identifying the faults of capitalism, it is tempting to do so in the context of contrasting it with socialism. But, whatever their differences, capitalism and socialism share the same flaws when it comes to their effect on the planet. They both require endless growth, and, notwithstanding their respective theories, they both create wealth by the appropriation of natural resources. When both systems have the same flaws, it really doesn't matter whether it is corporate power or government power that is doing the dirty deeds. When critical resources run out, both systems will collapse.

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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:21 am

KeithBC wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Nemo wrote: Humans have been programmed to love corporate capitalism. They look to it for solutions without the perspective that it is the problem.


In the major English speaking countries except possibly New Zealand this is true. Germany and France less so. Corporate power is generally suspect in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Your observation doesn't hold in the Scandinavian countries and Australians show real promise as well.

Kirt

When identifying the faults of capitalism, it is tempting to do so in the context of contrasting it with socialism. But, whatever their differences, capitalism and socialism share the same flaws when it comes to their effect on the planet. They both require endless growth, and, notwithstanding their respective theories, they both create wealth by the appropriation of natural resources. When both systems have the same flaws, it really doesn't matter whether it is corporate power or government power that is doing the dirty deeds. When critical resources run out, both systems will collapse.

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Quite true if by 'socialism' you understand authoritarian states forged by Stalinists (or Maoists) and their cronies - which states were/are in fact nothing but another form of oppressive state capitalism. Your evaluation will also hold true when applied to some presently active old school Marxist parties, in South America for instance, and to many pseudo-left institutions (e.g., the Labour Party or its other European equivalents). But the genuine left of today knows very well that the fix just must be green, there's simply no other option. Most of the people affiliated with ZNet would be a good example:

www.zcommunications.org/znet

A lovely initiative, Znet is.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:40 am

Huseng wrote:You forget that to produce cow dung you need cows and feed, both of which rely on inputs of energy. Those energy inputs need to be calculated when estimating how much energy you'll get out of cow dung.


I'm not talking merely about cow dung at all.
The question is about your own personal will, your own bodhisattva intentions. Like the final part of the Flower Ornament Scripture, where Sudhana meets the fifty three teachers. Many of whom produce all kinds of necessities of life, all kinds of good things in life, for an immeasurable number of beings. In the same way you should visualize that you produce energy and all good things for all beings on this planet. Or you can read the Flower Ornament Scripture, and think that it is literally true, that it portrays bodhisattvas who produce immeasurable things for people. This is what You should imagine, and the world will be like that.
The world is produced from intentions, from imagination, from will. You can just imagine that all these problems will be solved smoothly, and easily.There is abundant energy in the universe. You should not concentrate on lack and scarcity. You are free to imagine what you want to imagine. It is your own choice what you want to see, what you wish to imagine.
Do you want to see hell, fighting and scarcity, or do you want to purify the seeds of hell? Your spiritual practice should not be something totally separate from real life.
The fact is that many people actually want catastrophes, they are the seeds of hell in their minds. But You don't need to be like that.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:49 am

Aemilius wrote:The fact is that many people actually want catastrophes, they are the seeds of hell in their minds. But You don't need to be like that.


Visualizing a nicer version of samsara merely because we feel self-entitled to one is not going to address the problems as they actually exist.

Visualizing more oil in the ground or some eco-friendly utopia in the future run on cow dung will not prepare people psychologically, spiritually and materially for the hard times ahead. In fact it will just encourage them to ignore the issues facing them in real life expecting "they'll figure something or other out".

Providing immeasurable delightful objects for beings is to demonstrate lack of craving, and to benefit beings wherever possible. That being said, we still need to address reality as we are collectively experiencing it now. We are subject to the fruits of our collective actions. This is inescapable unless you have transcended samsara.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby KeithBC » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:15 pm

Aemilius wrote:This is what You should imagine, and the world will be like that.
The world is produced from intentions, from imagination, from will. You can just imagine that all these problems will be solved smoothly, and easily.

That is not the Dharma. That is "The Secret", a thoroughly discredited piece of New Age claptrap.

Imagining that all will be nice does not make it so. And to say that to imagine unpleasant possibilities is to wish for them is slander.

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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Nemo » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:10 am

KeithBC wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Nemo wrote: Humans have been programmed to love corporate capitalism. They look to it for solutions without the perspective that it is the problem.


In the major English speaking countries except possibly New Zealand this is true. Germany and France less so. Corporate power is generally suspect in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Your observation doesn't hold in the Scandinavian countries and Australians show real promise as well.

Kirt

When identifying the faults of capitalism, it is tempting to do so in the context of contrasting it with socialism. But, whatever their differences, capitalism and socialism share the same flaws when it comes to their effect on the planet. They both require endless growth, and, notwithstanding their respective theories, they both create wealth by the appropriation of natural resources. When both systems have the same flaws, it really doesn't matter whether it is corporate power or government power that is doing the dirty deeds. When critical resources run out, both systems will collapse.

Om mani padme hum
Keith


That is why a dialogue is needed.

Marxian economics is based on industrialization. It helps to partially transcend our worst problem. The global corporate totalitarian plutocracy that is modern capitalism. It has no tools to transcend industrialization and meet the limits of ecology but until the corporations are slain that is irrelevant.

We start with what we know and go forward. I am tired of the propaganda that There Is No Aternative. T.I.N.A. is dead. The chips are down and we need to get our shit together to fight the behemoths of totalitarian corporatism, totalitarian neo-communism and totalitarian Muhammadism.

It seems obvious to me that subverting totalitarian systems would be the first step. Open critical analysis of the current systems of governance would then become the priority. Making the rules apply to elites would be next. If we ever get there we can decide what's next.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:14 am

KeithBC wrote:
Aemilius wrote:This is what You should imagine, and the world will be like that.
The world is produced from intentions, from imagination, from will. You can just imagine that all these problems will be solved smoothly, and easily.

That is not the Dharma. That is "The Secret", a thoroughly discredited piece of New Age claptrap.

Imagining that all will be nice does not make it so. And to say that to imagine unpleasant possibilities is to wish for them is slander.

Om mani padme hum
Keith


It is not like that. The will and intention of a hundred thousand people, of ten million people and so on, have an effect. Because of it things will be done in the real life.

As Buddha says in the Dhammapada, Verse1. (Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation): "Phenomena are preceded by the heart, ruled by the heart, made of the heart,..."

It should be clear and simple.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:51 pm

Aemilius wrote:It should be clear and simple.


If only you could get the rest of the world on that band wagon.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby gyougan » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:32 pm

Aemilius, do you 100 percently trust that you are so free of "seeds of hell" that you can just imagine a better world and avoid the karma?
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby gyougan » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:38 pm

I think there is no way mankind can avoid the severe consequences of our actions. If we could, we would never learn to love and respect our wonderful livegiver Earth.

We are being evil towards our lifegiver which has produced a helluva lot of bad karma collectively.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:43 am

In the sutras there is wise attention and unwise attention. Actions accumulate everyday without noticing. What you pay attention to increases, it increases your interest in that thing, without noticing. You make small decisions daily, and they accumulate. If you look at the sky daily, you will gradually develop a boundless state of mind. Everything starts with attention. You can pay attention to the sun, to the wind, etc...
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