Climate Change: We're Doomed

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby greentara » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:22 pm

Kim, Please, you're getting carried away. No one is telling anyone to do nothing. Everyone has to do their bit and more. The argument as I see it is the third world with its massive population hankering to live like the first world....who can blame them? Yet that hankering will bring about the monumental enviromental degradation the scientists see coming.
Sure the 'greens' are brilliant and do very good work but nevertheless the solar rebates have ceased and electricity prices keep going up and up...they're soaring!
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:33 pm

Nemo wrote:I can no longer find huge schools of fish or the massive flocks of birds that still live in the memories of my youth.



Some are predicting a huge die off of megafauna over the next century or two.


Also I keep reading about how trees are taking a hit year after year. The warmth means pests devour them more easily. Their leaves are not as bright as they once were (even a few years ago).
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Nemo » Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:25 pm

I don't think young people now get that you could walk in a cacophony of thousands of birds. All you could see and feel is them swirling around you. The ocean was the same. So much life, like a meditative absorption being completely immersed in these wondrous species.

Overpopulation is the biggest issue. Unless that is dealt with immediately the rest is irrelevant. All you buy at best is a few more decades and pop growth literally eats all your environmental gains. There is no will to deal with our excessive breeding anywhere on earth. I am sort of arguing to enjoy the time we have left and not worry too much. Look after your spiritual development and try to avoid having progeny. We don't even have a political system to switch to that includes ecological values. We need to invent a new system of governance and philosophy from scratch. This is very unlikely as our liberal classes have been destroyed and co-opted by the forces that are destroying our world. Politics is now a violent struggle to enforce the status quo. The worldwide police state is mostly installed already. The environmental sacrifice zones being burnt on the altar of free market capitalism are growing and in our lifetime will start meeting each other.

I have basically reached the point where I have an environmental bucket list. It's a great time to see the Great Barrier Reef and some Equatorial rainforests. Don't fool yourself thinking that buying a solar panel and shopping at Whole Foods will make it all better. That may have helped 30 years ago, but those ideas were deliberately sabotaged. It's progressed to stage 3 cancer. It's a bit late to quit smoking.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby greentara » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:15 pm

It's worth noting that these mega cities also greatly contribute to global warming. The term ''urban heat island'' refers to increased warmth caused by the buildings, pavements and asphalt retaining heat. The temperature difference between urban and rural areas is often most noted at night when the heat continues to radiate after sunset.
Still all said and done with this massive population the globe is groaning under the pressure of innumerable feet! Anything you do now (riding your bike, growing your own vegies etc) is really just tinkering at the edges.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:40 am

greentara wrote:Kim, Please, you're getting carried away. No one is telling anyone to do nothing. Everyone has to do their bit and more. The argument as I see it is the third world with its massive population hankering to live like the first world....who can blame them? Yet that hankering will bring about the monumental enviromental degradation the scientists see coming.
Sure the 'greens' are brilliant and do very good work but nevertheless the solar rebates have ceased and electricity prices keep going up and up...they're soaring!

Addressing all responses since this one, but starting with this one ...

Please, you're getting carried away. No one is telling anyone to do nothing.
Not getting carried away :smile: but sitting here quite calmly. On the other hand, anyone who says "We're doomed anyway" or "it's too hard" or "It's too late" is implicitly telling everyone "It's okay to do nothing" and is therefore part of the problem they (and I) see, not part of the solution.
Everyone has to do their bit and more.
:twothumbsup: :jumping: :good:
The argument as I see it is the third world with its massive population hankering to live like the first world....who can blame them? Yet that hankering will bring about the monumental enviromental degradation the scientists see coming.
Two dubious assumption are lurking in there: (1) that there is no benefit to the whole world from the first world reducing its environmental footprint, and (2) that there is a 1:1 correspondence between between industrialisation (and material wealth) and environmental destruction. Each is partly true, sure, but only partly - and every bit of mitigation we can throw at the problem is worthwhile. That, in fact, is another lesson of the wedge theory: there is no single solution but enough partial solutions cobbled together provide a solution ... and if it's too late for a complete solution, it's definitely not too late for a partial solution which will still alleviate a lot of the suffering that would otherwise come our way.
Sure the 'greens' are brilliant and do very good work
:twothumbsup:
but nevertheless the solar rebates have ceased
In Australia, not all of them. In other countries, who knows? Some countries haven't started down that solar-rebate track and others are still well and truly galloping along it.
and electricity prices keep going up and up...they're soaring!
Umm, that's part of the solution, not part of the problem. The closer we come to paying the real cost of our energy, the fairer we are being to people in our future.

More generally, look at this list of denialist memes: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?f=taxonomy
It's not happening is dead amongst all genuine scientists, almost all decision makers (except a few, especially in the US, who are being paid off by fossil fuel interests and a few in the developing world). Many ordinary folk haven't caught on to the fact that the debate is over but they are learning fast.
It's not us is very nearly as dead.
It's not bad is nearly dead too - especially because extreme weather events have ramped up so dramatically in the last year or two.
That only leaves It's too hard and denialists are exploiting it as hard as they can because it's almost all they have left. But it's not true, for reasons I've already given. If you want more technical detail on mitigation strategies, that page is a good starting point.

:namaste:

Kim

C.F. Aked wrote:For evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:54 am

The solution to overpopulation is education, specifically the equal education of women in the third world. The west and Japan are underpopulated, this is going to cause problems for them, specifically for Japan, a nation that by and large takes pride in being basically one race, meaning they do not like too much immigration. These nations have educated men and women equally, and educated families have fewer children. As a nichiren Buddhist, the following fact does not bother me, but it might seem cold or mechanical thinking to other Buddhists, it all comes down to money. There was a time when more children was a blessing, you needed them as farmhands, even in the industrial revolution, more kids means more hands to hire out to factories. But now? Kids require education, much more than previously, and education costs money, even in nations where the public picks up the tab in the form of taxes like I think they do in Nordic countries. Also as my folks are discovering, more time, we are not done after 4 years of collage anymore..."children" might remain "children" into their mid 20s in the future. This means that actually kids are kinda a drag, its not worth having a crap ton unless you are rich. thats one angle...but the fact is educated societies for whatever reasons in addition to what I just said have fewer children. its not just an ideal of egalitarianism, it actually saves the world to educate your females as much as your males.

It also should be noted that although the population still is growing, the rate of increase is decreasing, meaning that we are beginning to slow down.

we are an intelligent species that has gone through worse, its is so tempting to think the world ends with us, but even if the solution to population turns out to be something we dont want (population WILL stabilize...the question is how, and can we do it consciously?) like a plague or an asteroid or famine, we will survive as a species.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:10 am

Myoho-Nameless wrote:The solution to overpopulation is education, specifically the equal education of women in the third world. The west and Japan are underpopulated, this is going to cause problems for them, specifically for Japan, a nation that by and large takes pride in being basically one race, meaning they do not like too much immigration.


Japan isn't underpopulated, though its population is decreasing.

The immigration situation is quietly changing...

http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/ ... s-chinese/

Some problems though with relying on education to reduce population:

-Education is expensive, much of the overpopulated world cannot afford it, especially for their girls.
-Even if they can afford it, it will become unaffordable in due time as energy becomes a lot more expensive and climate change takes it toll.
-Old habits die hard. If a culture is used to having a lot of kids, it'll take several generations for the consumer mentality of less kids=more fun to kick in. We don't have time.




It also should be noted that although the population still is growing, the rate of increase is decreasing, meaning that we are beginning to slow down.


Not soon enough. The UN projections indicate this:

Image

One other thing to consider is that poor rural peoples use a lot less energy and resources than first world citizens. So, they have a few kids and it isn't comparable to a family of three running five computers 24/7 and owning three and a half vehicles in a giant air conditioned McMansion.

Population is one problem, but energy consumption is the killer. We produce most of our energy through fossil fuels. The electricity I'm using right this moment comes from a filthy coal fired plant. The internet in Taiwan operates on coal. :emb:




we are an intelligent species that has gone through worse, its is so tempting to think the world ends with us, but even if the solution to population turns out to be something we dont want (population WILL stabilize...the question is how, and can we do it consciously?) like a plague or an asteroid or famine, we will survive as a species.



Well, we made it through the last ice age alive and well. We might make parts of the planet uninhabitable and our population will descend to pre-industrial levels, but that's not going to happen without a lot of problems.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby lowlydog » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:19 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Hi, lowlydog,
I recognise the kind of trap you're talking about (having fallen into it more than once myself) but falling into it is avoidable, especially after the first few times. :tongue:
So long as our motivation remains centred on the needs of others, we can reach out and help without losing our own balance. And it need not distract from our practice - instead, it can become an integral part of our practice, as a form of dana. And if we are mindful, it quietly and gently undercuts ego-centred action and thought rather than becoming a vehicle of self-aggrandisement.
If that is the case, to " practice and exemplify a simple happy existence" is not "all we can do". It is important but we can go beyond it, by speaking out against injustice, oppression and (in the climate debate) waste, pollution and dishonesty.

/ :soapbox:

:namaste:
Kim

Edit: fixed typo :emb:


Recognition will not prevent you from falling into the trap, if our focus remains outwardly on others then we are simply focused on the conscious mind and the subconscious mind will go on reacting as usual(blindly) we really will have no control of our actions and therefore the results will be formed by our cravings or aversions. Being mindful of the conscious mind will not generate wisdom and only wisdom can cut through the ego, to generate wisdom you need to observe the subconscious mind at the deepest levels.
Practice will develope awareness of the subconscious mind and one will remain rooted there, then the action one takes will not be blind reaction, only then one can be assured their action is of a selfless nature and not generating sankharas(mental formations) that will lead to misery in the future.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Nemo » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:58 am

Myoho-Nameless wrote: The west and Japan are underpopulated,


Japan currently imports 60% of it's food. Even though they have the world's largest fishing fleet. I have trouble seeing this as "underpopulated".

Australia has surplus food, but that is entirely dependent on fossil fuels. There is very little arable land in Aus, about enough to feed 1 to 3 million people without fossil fuel based agriculture. It's current population is 22 million. Once fossil fuels run out every country is overpopulated. If climate change kicks in where we grow food things get exponentially worse. There is no topsoil in the far North and very little sun.

The time for a peaceful solution to climate change is over. The cure would now be almost as virulent as the full blown disease in the short term and no one has the stomach for it. Most solutions are about feeling better and putting up token resistance to the inevitable. They remind me of those health food junkies who talk about living indefinitely, not growing old and never getting sick. All the while ignoring the withering visage in the mirror. You are getting old and the biosphere is dying at an alarming rate. Go and look. Swim in the bleached dead coral without schools of fish, listen to the silence in the woods where once you could not hear the person next to you talk for all the bird calls.

I hear lots of New Age positivism with it's concomitant denial of reality. It's counter productive and is being used by the spin doctors of the most destructive industries in the same way that climate change denial was previously. There is no collecting many tiny eco gold stars to redeem for a functioning biosphere. The cost of tackling overpopulation, population growth, industrialization and carbon emissions is no longer measured in dollars. It is measured in lives lost now versus lives lost later. At this late stage solutions have a very real cost in human suffering.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:23 am

Japan may not be underpopulated (they are old though) but Europe is.

I was never implying the "obvious solution" is easy
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby greentara » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:38 am

Nemo, Do you remember the humble 'case moth'? It had a cleverly crafted cocoon made of twigs. As I recall it used to hang on every fence as I was dawdling to school. Very rare to see one now.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:58 am

Nemo wrote:Once fossil fuels run out every country is overpopulated. If climate change kicks in where we grow food things get exponentially worse. There is no topsoil in the far North and very little sun.


Here's another terrifying thought: areas around the equator will be uninhabitable for humans and populations will migrate away from there, though the further north you go the less agriculture is possible and likewise sunlight becomes a problem.



It is measured in lives lost now versus lives lost later. At this late stage solutions have a very real cost in human suffering.


There isn't the political will to do anything. As I mentioned above, even with privileged greenies in the First World promoting environmentalism, that doesn't address countries like China and India which have no means to turn around. The political classes would be terminated if they tried to do anything other than what they're doing right now: industrialization and economic development. People in the third world want jobs and money, not eco-friendly organic farming.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby pueraeternus » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:28 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:That, in fact, is another lesson of the wedge theory: there is no single solution but enough partial solutions cobbled together provide a solution ... and if it's too late for a complete solution, it's definitely not too late for a partial solution which will still alleviate a lot of the suffering that would otherwise come our way.
Sure the 'greens' are brilliant and do very good work


The wedge theory won't work, since what we need are not a patchwork of solutions, but rather a complete overhaul of the entire system that governs how the majority of the human race functions, namely the macroeconomic, political and socio-cultural spheres, and they are all tied together. First, the monetary-based world economy has to be either radically changed or completely overturned - the idea of GDP-driven growth coupled with the perpetual debt monetary system is the primary culprit that drives us to consume the planet into near-collapse. Secondly, how are we going to do that, since the unholy triad of political, military and corporate powers (though it is primary the corporate interests that hold the lease of the other two) are in cahoots and will ensure the system will continue to exist since it benefits them?

If we want to change the direction of where the world heading towards, I think we will need to strike at the heart of the issue, instead of doing patchwork remedies within the very framework that caused this problem in the first place.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby pueraeternus » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:32 am

Huseng wrote:There isn't the political will to do anything. As I mentioned above, even with privileged greenies in the First World promoting environmentalism, that doesn't address countries like China and India which have no means to turn around. The political classes would be terminated if they tried to do anything other than what they're doing right now: industrialization and economic development. People in the third world want jobs and money, not eco-friendly organic farming.


That's one of the key problems - the third world wants to be in the game as the first world, but it's the very game that is driving us to calamity. So the game must be changed, but this requires a very big revolution. But I am afraid this revolution may only reach a critical mass after serious and irreversible damage have been inflicted on the planet and entire swaths of the human race, and by then maybe it might be a little too late, at least for a large portion of the population.
When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path I promised a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern humans deny with words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, conditions they call peace. Even as they speak, they create seeds of turmoil and violence.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Nemo » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:36 am

Huseng wrote:There isn't the political will to do anything. As I mentioned above, even with privileged greenies in the First World promoting environmentalism, that doesn't address countries like China and India which have no means to turn around. The political classes would be terminated if they tried to do anything other than what they're doing right now: industrialization and economic development. People in the third world want jobs and money, not eco-friendly organic farming.

To think you can change a few little things and everything will be fine is a North American neurosis. Once you travel you realize North America doesn't really matter anymore. The world has moved on. Enjoy your privilege while it lasts. You won't change anything hiding out in an ecobunker drinking your own filtered urine. (Don't ask me how I know.)

greentara wrote:Nemo, Do you remember the humble 'case moth'? It had a cleverly crafted cocoon made of twigs. As I recall it used to hang on every fence as I was dawdling to school. Very rare to see one now.

I haven't seen one in years. I also miss frogs.

So what are the last great things to see if we are losing our natural world? My enviro bucket list includes the Rockies, Great Barrier Reef and rainforests of East Asia. It might be a good time to see the poorer megacities since you are burning a few thousand litres of jet fuel anyway. Whale watching is fun. Monkeys are awesome.

I've dragged my daughter to a few crazy places. It feels a bit tainted to fill her head with all these memories though. She loves the environment and has no idea that it won't last. The ability to even travel like we do know has a very imminent expiry date. She probably wonders why I drag her out to see all these natural wonders. What do you tell your kids? Recycle that pop can and walk to the store instead of drive and everything will be fine? Eventually she'll find out Santa isn't real either I suppose. God I hope I didn't do that here regarding our environmental demise.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:15 am

Some news from the Guardian:

Carbon dioxide emissions from industry rose an estimated 2.6% this year, according to a study of global carbon emissions.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... ge-certain

This is also related to what I was saying about India and China:

China's carbon emissions grew 9.9% in 2011 after rising 10.4% in 2010 and now comprise 28% of all CO2 pollution compared with 16% for the United States.

India's emissions grew 7.5% last year versus 9.4% growth in 2010, while emissions in the United States and the European Union fell 1.8% and 2.8% respectively in 2011.


There isn't the political will in either country to actually curtail industrial development. Stability depends on it. If petrol or cooking gas prices go too high people get really upset in India for example.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Nemo » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:29 pm

Climate change is only one of the doomsday scenarios we are facing. The political instability, violent unrest and eventually outright revolution this will cause unleashes many other demons. The most repressive of political regimes will be set up to protect the elites in their enclaves. They have the surveillance state, automated war and nuclear weapons at their disposal.

Just like war was industrialized it is now becoming automated. The X-47B has a full AI mode. It will happily find and identify armed persons in target areas and dispatch them without any human intervention.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyfjCgTUpq0
http://rt.com/usa/news/us-drone-launch-autonomous-986/
Eventually the killer robots will be built by manufacturing robots who get resources from automated mining and resource extraction robots. One would almost hope for social collapse before this could happen. After such a convergence of technology there is no revolution and return to nonindustrial society. Of course the remaining geopolitical powers who don't have that technology will still have nuclear weapons to defend themselves. 60 or 70 years from now at the height of the resource wars things get messy as hell. I can imagine climate change being one of the minor issues of the day for the majority of humans.

I give us a very slight chance to avoid this outcome now. 30 years ago I would have said we would most likely avoid it. Globalization,the take over of America by the corporations and the new neocolonialism sweeping the entire planet makes changing course almost impossible. We are all colonies of the corporations now.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:13 pm

Sheesh! You guys need http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn_UACDTyv0 more than you need any more words from me. I will drop by again when you have had a chance to take it in.

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

Postby Myoho-Nameless » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:57 pm

in the long run, revolutions are good things, the political problems are petty compared to climate change or supervolcanoes. thats like comparing the "next big quake" thats gonna hit the cascadia area to teh little earthfart that hit the east coast a while back. Every generation thinks their's it the last. Rome fell, the west did not. and its our bias to suggest in fact that a "fall" is actually a bad thing.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby pueraeternus » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:40 pm

Myoho-Nameless wrote:in the long run, revolutions are good things, the political problems are petty compared to climate change or supervolcanoes. thats like comparing the "next big quake" thats gonna hit the cascadia area to teh little earthfart that hit the east coast a while back. Every generation thinks their's it the last. Rome fell, the west did not. and its our bias to suggest in fact that a "fall" is actually a bad thing.


Yes, true that most revolutions occur for good reasons, but it is often after the fact, when the dust settled, that people can look back and say it was good - not so much for the people suffering through it though.

In this case, this revolution will be quite different from the rest, since the whole world will be engulfed in the conflagration, and it comes with the price tag of upheaval of the global ecological balance and extinction of countless species. And it will not be an overnight revolution - it will probably take generations to play out, first with increasing wars, power/resource grab, growing antagonism among cultures/nations, within societies (stratification of class, race, etc). Then mass starvation, anarchy , warlordism, all the fun stuff on a global scale.

But who knows, maybe a chain of events will trigger a global nuclear war and after half or more of the human population is wiped out, and the remaining half suffer from the effects of radiation sickness or hardship caused by radioactive destruction of the ecosystem, then it will dawn on mankind to put differences aside and start a new world. :)
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