Climate Change: We're Doomed

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby greentara » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:44 am

"peuraeternus, "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."
We've already got extinction of countless species. Have a look at the Clouded Leopard...a more beautiful animal you'd be hard pressed to find.
We may have left it too late, cause it doesn't matter naming all the precious, countless and varied species .... when the swarms have outgrown the hive!
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:24 am

Hi, folks,
This seems relevant to most of your recent posts:
From a blog post (about geo-engineering and why it's not a good idea) by Gavin Schmidt at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/why-levitt-and-dubner-like-geo-engineering-and-why-they-are-wrong/

Does reducing global warming imply changing human behaviour and is that possible?
This is a more subtle question [than one answered earlier in the article] and it is sensible to break it down into questions of human nature and human actions. Human nature – the desire to strive for a better life, our inability to think rationally when trying to impress the objects of our desire, our natural selfishness and occasionally altruism, etc – is very unlikely to change anytime soon. But none of those attributes require the emission of fossil fuel-derived CO2 into the atmosphere, just as they don’t require us to pollute waterways, have lead in gasoline, use ozone-depleting chemicals in spray cans and fridges or let dogs foul the sidewalk. Nonetheless, societies in the developed world (with the possible exception of Paris) have succeeded in greatly reducing those unfortunate actions and it’s instructive to see how that happened.
The first thing to note is that these issues have not been dealt with by forcing people to think about the consequences every time they make a decision. Lead in fuel was reduced because of taxation measures that aligned peoples preferences for cheaper fuel with the societal interest in reducing lead pollution. While some early adopters of unleaded-fuel cars might have done it for environmental reasons, the vast majority of people did it first because it was cheaper, and second, because after a while there was no longer an option. The human action of releasing lead into the atmosphere while driving was very clearly changed.
In the 1980s, there were campaigns to raise awareness of the ozone-depletion problem that encouraged people to switch from CFC-propelled spray cans to cans with other propellants or roll-ons etc. While this may have made some difference to CFC levels, production levels were cut to zero by government mandates embedded in the Montreal Protocols and subsequent amendments. No-one needs to think about their spray can destroying the ozone layer any more.
I could go on, but the fundamental issue is that people’s actions can and do change all the time as a function of multiple pressures. Some of these are economic, some are ethical, some are societal (think about our changing attitudes towards smoking, domestic violence and drunk driving). Blanket declarations that human behaviour can’t possibly change to fix a problem are therefore just nonsense.
...
Around 1900, horse-drawn transport was the dominant mode of public and private, personal and commercial traffic in most cities. As economic activity was growing, the side-effects of horses’ dominance became ever more pressing. People often mention the issue of horse manure – picking it up and disposing of it, it’s role in spreading disease, the “intolerable stench” – but as McShane and Tarr explain that the noise and the impact of dead horses in the street were just as troublesome. Add to that the need for so many stables downtown taking up valuable city space, the provisioning of hay etc. it was clear that the benefits of the horse’s strength for moving things around came at a great cost.
But in the space of about 20 years all this vanished, to be replaced with electrified trolleys and subways, and internal combustion engine-driven buses and trucks, and cars such as the Model-T Ford. Almost overnight (in societal terms), something that had been at the heart of economic activity had been been relegated to a minority leisure pursuit.
This demonstrates very clearly that assumptions that society must always function the same economic way are false, and that in fact we can change the way we do business and live pretty quickly. This is good news.

Just to reiterate a couple of his key points:
• The fundamental issue is that people’s actions can and do change all the time as a function of multiple pressures. Some of these are economic, some are ethical, some are societal (think about our changing attitudes towards smoking, domestic violence and drunk driving). Blanket declarations that human behaviour can’t possibly change to fix a problem are therefore just nonsense.
• Assumptions that society must always function the same economic way are false, and that in fact we can change the way we do business and live pretty quickly. This is good news.

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

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:17 am

greentara wrote:We've already got extinction of countless species. Have a look at the Clouded Leopard...a more beautiful animal you'd be hard pressed to find.


Yes, it has already begun, and will soon tip over the edge. Among many many other things, the overfishing of our oceans will lead to all sorts of fun ways for the global food chain to collapse.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:25 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:• The fundamental issue is that people’s actions can and do change all the time as a function of multiple pressures. Some of these are economic, some are ethical, some are societal (think about our changing attitudes towards smoking, domestic violence and drunk driving). Blanket declarations that human behaviour can’t possibly change to fix a problem are therefore just nonsense.


For me, it is not that human behavior can't be changed (I don't think anyone here is suggesting that at all), but rather, at the way we are conditioned and used to our comforts, and how the others in the 3rd world wants the same comforts, it will take a big jolt to change the trajectory - and this big jolt may have to come in the fashion of an apocalyptic disaster. Perhaps there is still time, but we need more radical thinking, rather than incremental changes using the same framework that brought us this mess.

Kim O'Hara wrote:• Assumptions that society must always function the same economic way are false, and that in fact we can change the way we do business and live pretty quickly. This is good news.


Of course society always changes, and it can be pretty quickly too! That's why we have collapse of empires, destruction of entire civilizations, dark ages, etc. Wonderful news actually :D
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:56 am

pueraeternus wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:• Assumptions that society must always function the same economic way are false, and that in fact we can change the way we do business and live pretty quickly. This is good news.

Of course society always changes, and it can be pretty quickly too! That's why we have collapse of empires, destruction of entire civilizations, dark ages, etc. Wonderful news actually :D

:jawdrop:
WOW!!!!
:woohoo: :twothumbsup: :cheers:
SPECTACULARLY brilliant way of turning good news into doom-and-gloom!!!!!!!!
:applause: :applause: :applause:

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:03 am

Even in low-complexity ecosystems you can still grow food. It might be a rather barren looking landscape, but provided you have topsoil and sufficient water it is possible.

That being said, we also are suffering topsoil depletion and issues with soil fertility. In the absence of petro-chemicals and other synthetic ways of growing food, we don't have the means to feed seven billion people. We have to think what pre-industrial levels of agriculture were like, but then we have the downside of having destroyed a lot of fertile land.

As fossil fuel production decreases the cost of food will inevitably rise. Wars will be fought over fertile land. Right now a number of countries like China and Saudi Arabia are buying up valuable land in Africa to grow food for their own populations. That says something.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby greentara » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:09 am

Some bright spark said 'When the swarm outgrows the hive, it splits and keeps on swarming elsewhere.' The swarm being humanity...will we relocate to the Moon, Mars perhaps?
The mind boggles!












when the swarm outgrows the hive, it splits and keeps on swarming elsewhere.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:55 am

Huseng wrote:Even in low-complexity ecosystems you can still grow food. It might be a rather barren looking landscape, but provided you have topsoil and sufficient water it is possible.


Indeed. And of course, fresh water is another increasingly precious commodity. The exponential increase of human population, coupled with widespread pollution, destruction of eco-systems via construction of massive hydroelectric dams, etc, results in water scarcity.
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:10 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:SPECTACULARLY brilliant way of turning good news into doom-and-gloom!!!!!!!!
:applause: :applause: :applause:


Thank you, thank you!! My master always tell me to try my best in everything I do, so :smile:
If you believe certain words, you believe their hidden arguments. When you believe something is right or wrong, true of false, you believe the assumptions in the words which express the arguments. Such assumptions are often full of holes, but remain most precious to the convinced.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:29 am

greentara wrote:Some bright spark said 'When the swarm outgrows the hive, it splits and keeps on swarming elsewhere.' The swarm being humanity...will we relocate to the Moon, Mars perhaps?
The mind boggles!

That's an easy one to answer, Green Tara: No, we won't, unless there is a huge technological breakthrough along the science-fictional lines of anti-gravity or wormholes.
Why not? Because getting people out of Earth's gravity well is so enormously costly in energy and raw materials. Look at this http://xkcd.com/1133/ (and http://what-if.xkcd.com/21/, which makes the same point with more numbers).
The idea of even a tenth of us (roughly 750 000 000 people) moving off-planet is truly mind-boggling when moving three or four of us takes a Saturn V.

This is our spaceship ...
earth_from_space.jpg
earth_from_space.jpg (21.97 KiB) Viewed 638 times


... ... better look after it well!

:namaste:
Kim

[Edit - fixed really basic error in mathematics :emb: ]
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Simon E. » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:40 pm

So in terms of Engaged Buddhism...what can be done ?
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:53 pm

Simon E. wrote:So in terms of Engaged Buddhism...what can be done ?


Life a simple lifestyle. Don't consume much. Eat vegetarian. Don't have any children.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Fruitzilla » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:58 pm

Huseng wrote:
Simon E. wrote:So in terms of Engaged Buddhism...what can be done ?


Life a simple lifestyle. Don't consume much. Eat vegetarian. Don't have any children.


Learn a craft, learn to grow your own food. Who knows, maybe you can pass it on later....
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:00 pm

Fruitzilla wrote:Learn a craft, learn to grow your own food. Who knows, maybe you can pass it on later....


In a time of expensive energy growing part of one's own food will be a priceless skill.

That's how Cuba survived after the collapse of the USSR and the oil it got from there.

North Korea however went hungry.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Simon E. » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:04 pm

Huseng wrote:
Simon E. wrote:So in terms of Engaged Buddhism...what can be done ?


Life a simple lifestyle. Don't consume much. Eat vegetarian. Don't have any children.



Simple lifestyle ?.. tick...vegetarian apart from Tsogs ?..tick...children ?.. too late I am afraid. :smile:
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:09 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Simple lifestyle ?.. tick...vegetarian apart from Tsogs ?..tick...children ?.. too late I am afraid. :smile:



Well, at least as a vegetarian you won't eat your children to conserve the environment.


Image
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Simon E. » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:23 pm

Particularly as they are now bigger and stronger than me Huseng... ;)
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:25 pm

Simon E. wrote:Particularly as they are now bigger and stronger than me Huseng... ;)



Youth and strength are no match for old age and treachery.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Simon E. » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:11 pm

Well fortunately our mutual relationship is such that hopefully this will never need to be put to the test. :smile:
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby pueraeternus » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:14 pm

Huseng wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Particularly as they are now bigger and stronger than me Huseng... ;)


Youth and strength are no match for old age and treachery.


Better still when they are bigger - more meat to go around! :woohoo:
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