Climate Change: We're Doomed

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Dave The Seeker » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:48 am

It seems this has gone a little off topic due to the reply to my post.

Lets really look at the way to solve this problem.

My generation in the US, I'm 42, will never see social security or a pension. It's up to us to start a more fulfilling way of living that includes taking steps to decrease the amount of polution and greenhouse gases.
To go to a more organic way of life. Problem is most kids are too lazy to follow us in many of our endevors.

Right now I'm in the process of starting a new business, one that will produce heirloom and open pollenated vegetables and medicinal mushrooms. We are forming our plan on a more "manual labor" platform. Not using machines to do a larger percent of the work. Problem is, people don't like manual labor. There's a tractor to do work like that, there's a chemical to get rid of the weeds, spray this on there and you'll be fine...........
These are the actual problems that need to be overcome to help save our world and the future generations chance to live a better life.
Step by step these things can be done, but one step at a time.

I am a commercial farmer now, grain and cattle.
I'm working with my dad to cut down our carbon footprint, but I assure you it's not that easy.
And to keep an operation running at even breaking even in this way is much more difficult.
The amount of organic farms in the US is on the decline, many of these farms are owned by boomers and their kids are just not willing to follow them in the work it takes to keep such operations going.

We all need to just do our best to help our situation and hope by example, others will follow.
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:57 pm

viniketa wrote:
Huseng wrote:Now my generation will have less, and the following ones will get even less... until we go back to 1930's standards of living.


I'm still not convinced of your oracular powers, though I do agree that change is needed and everyone needs to learn how to do more with less.


Unless some miracle technology is developed you can expect to see standards of living decline with the availability of cheap fossil fuels. This is the opposite of what happened before: as cheap fuels became available over time standards of living increased.

We might have technology and gizmos that weren't available before, but energy saving technology paradoxically creates more long-term demand for resources.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

In economics, the Jevons paradox (sometimes Jevons effect) is the proposition that technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource.


Even if some great new renewable energy source became available it would probably mean greater consumption of fossil fuels. The price of oil would go down and people would find new things to do with it, and consequently increased long-term consumption. Suddenly all the poor people in India might have access to plastic wrap and fridges.

You say change is needed, but unfortunately civilizations cannot voluntarily reduce their energy consumption. Austerity cannot be forced on people without them revolting. As the system experiences stress even more resources have to be spent on policing and legitimization (bread and circuses), which only put additional long-term stress on everything (once the people have bread and games, they feel entitled to them for good and will get violent if you take them away).





I don't understand Canada's system well enough to comment.


I have no idea where I'll be in the future. If I actually live to 70 I hope I'll be able to retire to some cave in the mountains where people bring me a bit of tsampa and orange juice once in awhile.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:01 pm

Dave The Seeker wrote:
The amount of organic farms in the US is on the decline, many of these farms are owned by boomers and their kids are just not willing to follow them in the work it takes to keep such operations going.


I hope your aspirations come to fruition.

I hear a lot of youth who would do organic farming can't get into it because they need land and even if they got it they don't make enough money off their produce to pay taxes. They might be able to feed themselves fine, but the government won't accept corn on the cob instead of cash payments for your taxes.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby dzoki » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:12 am

I don´t see a shit hitting the fan any soon. I believed this hype some time ago, but I have let it go. Rather than SHTF situation will deteriorate at more or less even pace, as we can see here in our glorious EU (oh yeah, we won the Nobel pizza prize this year). There will be a lot of protesting all over, but people here are still ready to bend their backs to government. So Greece, Spain, Italy and possibly France are going to see a lot of unrest, but essentialy nothing will change. All of this is due to the karma of people and if people do not change, then governments won´t change either. My plan for the future, when things get really nasty (my estimate is between 2017 and 2020) is to get my butt to some remote corner of some remote country, like India, Bhutan, Russia or Brazil and spend my time as a hermit in the forest. Until then I have to prepare, so since I speak Russian I only need to learn a bit of Dzongkha, Hindi or Portuguesse. I am dabbling a bit in Tibetan, and I hope it is sensibly close to Dzongkha. I know Russia is a bit tough (climate-vise), but I have a family there, so they might help me. Other preparation is training in tsa-lung, which I do daily, so maybe I will really be ready to go in four years. Anyway that is just some idea of mine, who knows what will happen.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:08 am

Huseng wrote:I hope your aspirations come to fruition.


Thank you my friend

They might be able to feed themselves fine, but the government won't accept corn on the cob instead of cash payments for your taxes.


I know and I heard they won't take carrots either!!!! :shrug: :rolling:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Sara H » Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:49 am

Huseng wrote:
Dave The Seeker wrote:
The amount of organic farms in the US is on the decline, many of these farms are owned by boomers and their kids are just not willing to follow them in the work it takes to keep such operations going.


I hope your aspirations come to fruition.

I hear a lot of youth who would do organic farming can't get into it because they need land and even if they got it they don't make enough money off their produce to pay taxes. They might be able to feed themselves fine, but the government won't accept corn on the cob instead of cash payments for your taxes.

Yes,
My spouse and I have actually seriously considered farming.

But we do need land to do that.

It's not for lack of hard work ethic;

The way is blocked.

In Gassho, friend,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Namgyal » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:54 am

dzoki wrote: My plan for the future, when things get really nasty (my estimate is between 2017 and 2020) is to get my butt to some remote corner of some remote country, like India, Bhutan, Russia or Brazil and spend my time as a hermit in the forest.

...Seems like the forests and caves are going to get pretty crowded :smile: As for location, have you considered Tuva or Buryatia....their Buddhism desperately needs help.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby dzoki » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:00 am

Raksha wrote:...Seems like the forests and caves are going to get pretty crowded :smile: As for location, have you considered Tuva or Buryatia....their Buddhism desperately needs help.
:namaste: R.


Haha that would be great if we had places like that crowded with meditators.
I am not sure I could help Buddhism in Buryatia, Tuva or any other place for that matter. I am no teacher and have no such qualifications or desires.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby icylake » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:42 pm

1) jungto society korea

2) http://www.indramang.org/ (korean only... :| briefly speaking. full name: indra-net life community, long -life ecological networking association. helping returning to the farm program. running altanative schools. running life-long cooperative with agricultral villages. the head qurter is in the silsangsa(實相寺)temple(the first estabilished Zen temple in the "nine mountains" in the 9the century) with other cooperative temples, villages, associations.
and others.

all of korean engaged buddhist movement are based on avatamsaka sutra.(法界緣起, dependant origination of dharma universe) and relatively emmphasizes enviremental movement along with traditional charity work. put less emphasis on "merits"(pure land) compared to tiwanese organizations.

but i think in western world, there are many civic-christian associations dealing with this topic already. so it seemed to me.. there is relatively not so much room left for newly upspringing werstern buddhist groups. and western buddhist groups seemingly pay too much attention to individual progress, meditation and so on..it's very admirable indeed, considering most asian lay people just praying for merit :tongue: . but the strong motivation of "engagement" must be from "religious faith". practiton itself can not guarantee raising of compassion. i think...

the most important word of comtemparary western world is "i". it seemed that even in western buddhist groups, "i" is very important. my understanding of sutra, my practition. i tried Rinzai zen, then i'll try Korean zen, then tibetan, just like choosing commodities in the supermarket, but without "sangha" community. hmm..sorry in advance if there was misunderstanding :anjali:

but anyway western buddhists are giving great motivation of practiton for lay-people in Asia indeed. :bow:
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:13 am

We do have problems but we're not doomed:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Meade

I'll get back with more on this soon - no time now. :smile:


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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby greentara » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:54 am

If you are on Facebook staring at your computer screen with apathy and
boredom, the cure for indifference might be to awaken your wild curiosity for
how the natural world works. Mother nature does not have a happy ending
because hers is a never-ending story. However, the human species may decide to
end its own story on earth prematurely by continuing to make the same choices
that it has been making since the industrial revolution. These choices are based
on an economic model that depends on infinite resources and unlimited economic
growth. That is a fairy tale. If we continue to believe these things we will suffer
the consequences. We cannot change the laws of physics and it is a fact that
there are now seven billion people crowded on this planet consuming resources at
an unsustainable rate. Let us say goodbye to those who encourage us to live in
delusion. Let us say goodbye to creating more environmental conferences where
businessmen and politicians read speeches they did not write so they can agree
yet again on maintaining the status quo. It is time to ask harder questions. We
need a paradigm shift.

G. Colbert
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:20 am

:good:

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:33 am

There's such a lot to respond to in this thread that maybe I'll deal with a bit at a time. Let's dispose of the false uncertainty first.
Dave The Seeker wrote:Just one point though, we may not be the total cause of this. Our weather records really only go back less than 200 years. This could be a cycle the earth goes through on a regular basis. We might have just sped it up a bit. :shrug:

The science of climate change is as solid as any science ever is - which means that the experts are still working flat out to improve it but anyone who claims 'the science isn't settled enough to be reliable' is either ignorant, in denial or flat out lying. (And if they are lying, they are probably being paid off by the fossil fuel industry. That industry's huge, carefully orchestrated disinformation campaign is the least ethical and least forgivable part of the climate change debate. Read Merchants of Doubt or, if you haven't much time, look at http://www.democraticunderground.com/di ... 115x221080 )

Here is a much longer climate record for you. Watch carefully as the time scales change.
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html
Do you see anything remotely like the last fifty years? Nope. The changes we have brought about are on a whole different time and magnitude scale from anything natural - unless you include the giant meteorite impact that wiped out the dinosaurs under the 'natural change' heading.
The IPCC was right. Al Gore was right. Get used to it.

There is a good side to the fact that it's our fault, however: if we have the power to change the world so much in one direction, we have (in principle anyway) the power to reverse it.

:namaste:
Kim

Edit: found a better link on the disinformation campaign: http://www.desmogblog.com/exxon-caught- ... new-report
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Matt J » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:06 pm

As with all things, including science and doomsday predictions, nothing is static:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/ff_apocalypsenot/all/
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://nondualism.org/
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:18 pm

Matt J wrote:As with all things, including science and doomsday predictions, nothing is static:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/ff_apocalypsenot/all/


Sea levels are rising and if things get as warm as they're predicting part of the world will be uninhabitable for humans.

A lot of coastal cities will be permanently flooded, too.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:36 am

Matt J wrote:As with all things, including science and doomsday predictions, nothing is static:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/ff_apocalypsenot/all/

It's a cleverly written piece - enough truth to sound convincing, enough calculated gaps to allow him to reach the conclusions he wants to reach. Matt Ridley is a journalist with a Zoology degree, a right-wing libertarian political philosophy and a history of denying the science of climate change.
Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_White_Ridley,_5th_Viscount_Ridley and http://www.skepticalscience.com/skeptic_Matt_Ridley.htm - carefully - before deciding you can trust him further than you could spit him.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:39 am

Huseng wrote:Sea levels are rising

Yep. If you want the latest technical stuff straight from the experts, start at http://www.pik-potsdam.de/sealevel/index.html or http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/06/2000-years-of-sea-level/

Huseng wrote: if things get as warm as they're predicting

Latest observations - like most of observations made in the last ten or twenty years - are tracking the high end of predicted ranges, i.e. things have consistently been getting hotter a bit quicker than even the experts thought. That's partly because global CO2 emissions have ben going up quicker than predicted, and that in turn amplifies the problems we are going to see in the next few decades.
The latest overview of that linkage I've seen comes from PriceWaterhouseCoopers - hardly the kind of people you think of as raving greenies, and definitely not the kind of people to predict disaster without really solid evidence. Their report is only about ten pages and the pdf is here: http://www.pwc.com/en_GX/gx/low-carbon-economy-index/assets/pwc-low-carbon-economy-index-2012.pdf

Huseng wrote: part of the world will be uninhabitable for humans.
A lot of coastal cities will be permanently flooded, too.

Yep. But long before that, even a small rise in sea level amplifies the effects of high tides, storm surge and river flooding. It's happening already - think Katrina and Sandy - and people are already being forced out of coastal cities - see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/04/new-orleans-population-census.
And it's happening in spite of engineering 'solutions' - look up "Venice floods 2012".
I have seen longer term projections of climate change refugee numbers in the tens of millions.

We are still not 'doomed', Huseng, but we do need to work a lot harder in the next ten years than we did in the last ten!
Fortunately, extreme weather events are forcing the (slightly) longer term disaster on people's attention in a way that mere words never could.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:56 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:We are still not 'doomed', Huseng, but we do need to work a lot harder in the next ten years than we did in the last ten!
Fortunately, extreme weather events are forcing the (slightly) longer term disaster on people's attention in a way that mere words never could.

:namaste:
Kim


Work harder to do what? The alternative to climate change, which is tied to economic growth, is contraction which even most environmentalists are unwilling to live through, let alone the average global citizen.

It'll take awhile for the reality to allow for the political will to actually do something, but by then we won't have any ice in the North Pole and countless species (a lot of megafauna) will have died off by then.

In the long-term the warming will probably continue even if we halt emissions (this will happen inevitably as fossil fuels are finite). The world will get a lot warmer. At the equator it will possibly become uninhabitable.

So even if you get people's attention, what can you do? Reduce, reuse and recycle? That won't help when people drive cars and eat energy intensive foods, to say nothing of the vast infrastructure supporting our energy intensive lifestyles. Are you going to try to get them to do otherwise? You can't. In democracies politicians don't get elected promising sacrifice. Tyrants remain in power by providing sufficient levels of comfort to enough of the citizens they rule over.

Even if a country like the US cut its emission in half, India and China are not likely to do so. They can't because to try and curb industrialization would mean social revolts. There is minimal political will in much of the world for real environmentalism. Cutting C02 omissions basically means collapsing all economic growth and the hard reality of that is intolerable for most people. Economic contraction looks like what we have in Greece and Spain at the moment. No jobs, no future prospects, no proper medical care, etc... most people would trade the well-being of future generations who cannot protest for access to comfort in the present. This lends political will for invading foreign countries and pillaging their resources as an energy subsidy.

Climate change aside, peak oil also means in the long-term we'll have declining energy available to us. The social complexity fossil fuels afford us will diminish and a lot of the technologies we take for granted will become unaffordable in terms of energy expenditures. This is why alternative energy sources to fossil fuels are ultimately unable to give us the same level of energy as we consume now in the first world. Less energy means the economy slows and halts, whereby the fiat money system generated by debt, which is predicated on economic growth, falters.

So it won't be the end of the world, but we're definitely collectively doomed as our present industrial civilization collapses for having overshot its resource base and expanded too much. It is an age old story you see throughout history. A civilization overshoots its carrying capacity and it collapses. This time though we're not just bringing down human societies, but a lot of the animal and plant life with us.

Our species will survive, but how many remains to be seen.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:50 am

Hi, Huseng,
That's a hard post to reply to because you have scattered overstatements and partial truths all the way through.
What I will do is grey-out your words where I don't agree and replace them or reply to them in (appropriately :smile: ) green. Here goes:
Huseng wrote:Work harder to do what? Make every bit of difference we can!
The alternative to climate change, which is tied to economic growth, is contraction (that's a very misleading over-simplification, about 60% true) which even most environmentalists are unwilling to live through, let alone the average global citizen.

It'll take awhile for the reality to allow for the political will to actually do something (Hang on there! The political will is already there to do something. We have carbon taxes, we have government schemes encouraging uptake of renewable energy, etc, etc. Not enough, but not nothing!) but by then we won't have any ice in the North Pole and countless species (a lot of megafauna) will have died off by then.

In the long-term the warming will probably continue even if we halt emissions (this will happen inevitably as fossil fuels are finite). The world will get a lot warmer. At the equator it will possibly become uninhabitable. (I doubt it.)

So even if you get people's attention, what can you do? Reduce, reuse and recycle? Yep! And lots of other stuff too.
That won't help when people drive cars and eat energy intensive foods, to say nothing of the vast infrastructure supporting our energy intensive lifestyles. Are you going to try to get them to do otherwise? You can't. In democracies politicians don't get elected promising sacrifice. Tyrants remain in power by providing sufficient levels of comfort to enough of the citizens they rule over. (Way OTT!)

Even if a country like the US cut its emission in half tomorrow, India and China are not likely to do so the day after tomorrow. They can't because to try and curb industrialization would mean social revolts. There is minimal political will in much of the world for real environmentalism, (true, but it will grow rapidly with every major climate disaster. Have you checked whether the New Orleans folk voted for or against better flood barriers?) Cutting C02 omissions (i% per year?) basically means collapsing all economic growth (tomorrow??) and the hard reality of that is intolerable for most people. Economic contraction looks like what we have in Greece and Spain at the moment. No jobs, no future prospects, no proper medical care, etc... most people would trade the well-being of future generations who cannot protest for access to comfort in the present. This lends political will for invading foreign countries and pillaging their resources as an energy subsidy. (Again,way OTT!)

Climate change aside, peak oil also means in the long-term we'll have declining energy available to us. (Huh? I think you may have forgotten about solar power, tide power, geothermal power, biofuels and ... oh, a few other technologies) The social complexity fossil fuels afford us will diminish and a lot of the technologies we take for granted will become unaffordable in terms of energy expenditures. (Doesn't apply - see previous comment) This is why alternative energy sources to fossil fuels are ultimately unable to give us the same level of energy as we consume now in the first world. (Huh? I don't see any logic to that bit.) Less energy means the economy slows and halts (exaggerating again), whereby the fiat money system generated by debt, which is predicated on economic growth, falters. (Yes, the financial system does need fixing.)

So it won't be the end of the world, but we're definitely collectively doomed (exaggerating again) as our present industrial civilization collapses (exaggerating again) for having overshot its resource base and expanded too much. It is an age old story you see throughout history. A civilization overshoots its carrying capacity and it collapses. This time though we're not just bringing down human societies, but a lot of the animal and plant life with us.

Our species will survive, but how many remains to be seen.

Preview mode shows me that is not the easiest thing to read, but it will have to do for now because that's about all I have time for.
Basically, though, I think you have exaggerated our problems and understated our progress towards solutions, and end up in such a hole that you can't see any way out. That's unnecessary and unhelpful.

I will be back -with more good news about solutions. :twothumbsup:

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

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:54 pm

Solutions
There's a simple explanation of the wedge concept at http://www.wri.org/stories/2006/12/wedge-approach-climate-change
and an updated presentation of it by one of the original authors at
http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/wedges-reaffirmed/P2
A cautionary note is sounded at
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/10/the-cost-of-inaction/ but the warning is basically that the sooner we act, the less stressful to society and the environment our actions can be.

But for me the broader usefulness of the wedge concept comes from generalising it. Why stop at seven or fifteen wedges? Why make them all so big that only governments can do anything about them?
In fact, each of us can contribute a climate wedge - can be part of the solution - just about any time and any place.
Huh?
Yep.
If you're reading this at night, stand up and walk around the house/apartment/whatever. If a light is on in an empty room, turn it off. That's one!
If you're reading this in the middle of winter with a heater going full blast, turn it down and put on a sweater. (If you're reading in the middle of summer with the aircon going full blast, turn its thermostat up and take off a sweater.) That's two!
And so on … most of us have been told these things before, haven't we? They do work and will make a real difference if enough of us do them - and even more difference as our example spreads until this thinking becomes the new normal.

And don't you dare say it's futile! Okay, we can't stop bad things happening - but we can reduce them. We have a simple choice: we deploy every single wedge we can find, as quickly as we can, or we make life worse than it need be for everyone alive in ten years, twenty years, fifty years from now.
What's the compassionate choice?

:namaste:
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