Climate Change: We're Doomed

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:23 pm

quite a horrible article.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby padma norbu » Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:18 pm

"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:48 pm

padma norbu wrote:http://enenews.com/top-scientist-fukushima-is-the-most-terrifying-situation-i-can-imagine-ive-seen-a-paper-which-says-its-bye-bye-japan-and-to-evacuate-n-americas-west-coast-if-unit-4-goes-after-q

Yes, Fukushima is scary.
I've got to say, though, that your source isn't a great one. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-31/fukushima-nuclear-meltdown-tepco-tokyo/5059514 gives more of the immediate story, and Climate Progress (aka Think Progress) is an authoritative blog which has been keeping a close watch on Fukushima ever since the tsunami. Here, for instance, is the result of a site search:
http://thinkprogress.org/search/?query=Fukushima&x=0&y=0

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby padma norbu » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:39 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
padma norbu wrote:http://enenews.com/top-scientist-fukushima-is-the-most-terrifying-situation-i-can-imagine-ive-seen-a-paper-which-says-its-bye-bye-japan-and-to-evacuate-n-americas-west-coast-if-unit-4-goes-after-q

Yes, Fukushima is scary.
I've got to say, though, that your source isn't a great one. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-31/fukushima-nuclear-meltdown-tepco-tokyo/5059514 gives more of the immediate story, and Climate Progress (aka Think Progress) is an authoritative blog which has been keeping a close watch on Fukushima ever since the tsunami. Here, for instance, is the result of a site search:
http://thinkprogress.org/search/?query=Fukushima&x=0&y=0

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Did the source twist the words of Dr. Suzuki to make him saying something he didn't say? It doesn't appear so. I generally trust the guy because... http://www.rightlivelihood.org/suzuki.html ...he's pretty trustworthy.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:36 am

padma norbu wrote:Did the source [ENENews] twist the words of Dr. Suzuki to make him saying something he didn't say? It doesn't appear so. I generally trust the guy because... http://www.rightlivelihood.org/suzuki.html ...he's pretty trustworthy.

It's not so much false reporting as lack of verifiability and transparency.
Who writes ENENewsS? Who owns the site? They don't say - even on the "About" page, when/if you find it.
Who wrote (assembled) that post? Ditto.
What did they leave out with all their "..." cuts? Why?
There's a lot of cut-and-paste content. Is there any original content at all? If so, how is it marked? And how reliable is it? If there is no original content, why not go straight to the source and get the news without the filtering?
Most of the content seems to have been edited for maximum scariness, which does sort of twist it. If Suzuki said, "This is horrific but it may not happen," and it's reported as, "This is horrific," (I made up that example!) then he is being misrepresented.

I'm not saying ENENews is all bad, by any means - just that there are better sources.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby padma norbu » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:10 am

I don't really care about enews, it's just one of dozens of sites that picked up the same story... and it has a link direcly to the video cued up to where Suzuki is saying what they are quoting. I don't see the problem of why the source needs to be criticized. :shrug:

Maybe you didn't notice the cued up video link? Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... MLEg#t=171

But, yeah, enews is just a crappy little bite-size news aggregator blog making money from ads. Lots of those out there.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:31 am

padma norbu wrote:I don't really care about enews, it's just one of dozens of sites that picked up the same story... and it has a link direcly to the video cued up to where Suzuki is saying what they are quoting. I don't see the problem of why the source needs to be criticized. :shrug:

Maybe you didn't notice the cued up video link? Here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... MLEg#t=171

But, yeah, enews is just a crappy little bite-size news aggregator blog making money from ads. Lots of those out there.

That's fair enough, and it's no big thing, but why not use - and recommend - the best sources?

I did notice the video link, btw, but I didn't notice it was cued up and in fact when I just checked, I found it started at 0'00" :shrug:

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby padma norbu » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:58 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:That's fair enough, and it's no big thing, but why not use - and recommend - the best sources?

I did notice the video link, btw, but I didn't notice it was cued up and in fact when I just checked, I found it started at 0'00" :shrug:

:coffee:
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:focus:

It appears to start at 0:00 and then quickly skips ahead to 2:51 once it starts actually playing.

The end of the link has the Youtube code t=171 which means 171 seconds into the video, which is 2:51. So, if there's nothing wrong with your computer and you let it play it will immediately jump from 0:00 to 2:51.

If you know a better source that has that video proof of the quote, then I'd be happy to see it. The reason this video is kind of a big deal is because there is so much secrecy about Japan and this guy is a credible person. You might want to ask why other "better" sources haven't been talking about the clip.

btw, I don't think we ever got off topic. If what Suzuki is saying is true, we're doomed.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:35 am

padma norbu wrote:It appears to start at 0:00 and then quickly skips ahead to 2:51 once it starts actually playing.

The end of the link has the Youtube code t=171 which means 171 seconds into the video, which is 2:51. So, if there's nothing wrong with your computer and you let it play it will immediately jump from 0:00 to 2:51.

It didn't do it for me :shrug: but I did watch it anyway.

padma norbu wrote:If you know a better source that has that video proof of the quote, then I'd be happy to see it. The reason this video is kind of a big deal is because there is so much secrecy about Japan and this guy is a credible person. You might want to ask why other "better" sources haven't been talking about the clip.

The clip is fine, but the story is "Fukushima" rather than "Suzuki talks about Fukushima", which is why other sources might not care so much about Suzuki's opinion. After all, he's an environmentalist with qualifications in genetics rather than a nuclear power expert, and his comments came up as part of a broader discussion.
There are plenty of sources for the Fukushima story - e.g. (from a very quick search):
http://rt.com/news/fukushima-tepco-us-aid-139/
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/fukushima
http://abcnews.go.com/topics/news/fukus ... -plant.htm

It would be interesting to know more about the scientific paper that Suzuki said he has seen. I don't doubt his honesty at all but I do like to track back to original evidence as far as possible.
padma norbu wrote:btw, I don't think we ever got off topic. If what Suzuki is saying is true, we're doomed.

Technically we were indulging a bit of :spy: meta-discussion :spy: which is sorta off-topic. It doesn't seem to have bothered anyone else, though, so we will probably get away with it. :tongue:

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby padma norbu » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:54 pm

Yeah, what he said about it and what we already know about it seems kind of a big deal to me. Being that one of the things we know is that the powers that be are trying to keep it quiet (it would destroy the economy if everyone stopped buying tunafish) and one of the things that Suzuki said being that Japan has too much pride to admit they can't take care of it themselves (more secrecy), just those two points alone makes it worthwhile to me. The rest makes it very doomy news indeed.

The comments on the video are full of short little scary facts, too. Combined with Malcom's "the ocean is broken" link and the recent news that every fish tested off the west coast was radioactive, I think it dovetails in nicely with the "we've destroyed the environment and we're doomed" theme.

Also, I didn't really look at the website much at all before, but it's not a news aggregator blog for ad revenue. They don't have ads. I do like the bite-size format, though. Lots of Japan-related stuff on the front page.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:43 pm

Just thinking generally on this topic:

Any population of animal that grows to sufficient numbers will eventually trash its environment, humans are no exception. It is a direct consequence of our success as a species.

Although I believe that we each have a responsibility to make it a priority to minimise the damage we are causing, we also need to acknowledge that the human consumption of the planet is ultimately an unstoppable force, taking some comfort from the realisation that the vast majority of earth's species will continue to thrive even after we have made conditions unlivable for ourselves.

And our junk will continue to make great homes for all those little critters.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Malcolm » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:23 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
And our junk will continue to make great homes for all those little critters.


Seriously?

"Besides the particles' danger to wildlife, on the microscopic level the floating debris can absorb organic pollutants from seawater, including PCBs, DDT, and PAHs.[32] Aside from toxic effects,[33] when ingested, some of these are mistaken by the endocrine system as estradiol, causing hormone disruption in the affected animal.[30] These toxin-containing plastic pieces are also eaten by jellyfish, which are then eaten by larger fish."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Paci ... n_wildlife
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:47 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:And our junk will continue to make great homes for all those little critters.

Seriously?

On reflection, no. Not the plastic junk.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Malcolm » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:41 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:And our junk will continue to make great homes for all those little critters.

Seriously?

On reflection, no. Not the plastic junk.


Phew...
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:33 pm

dharmagoat wrote:Just thinking generally on this topic:

Any population of animal that grows to sufficient numbers will eventually trash its environment, humans are no exception. It is a direct consequence of our success as a species.

Although I believe that we each have a responsibility to make it a priority to minimise the damage we are causing, we also need to acknowledge that the human consumption of the planet is ultimately an unstoppable force, taking some comfort from the realisation that the vast majority of earth's species will continue to thrive even after we have made conditions unlivable for ourselves.

And our junk will continue to make great homes for all those little critters.

Hi, Dharmagoat,
You say "humans are no exception" but we can be the exception if we want because we are not only smart enough to have dominated the world but smart enough to see the consequences coming our way and (with any reasonable luck) smart enough to mitigate or avoid those consequences.
In real terms that means population control and shrinking the environmental footprint that westerners have taken as "normal" in the last fifty years.

That means "the human consumption of the planet is ultimately an unstoppable force" is unnecessarily doomy.
And, as I've said before, believing in it is precisely what will guarantee that it is true. Let's choose to act as though we're as smart as we would like to think we are.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:54 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Hi, Dharmagoat,
You say "humans are no exception" but we can be the exception if we want because we are not only smart enough to have dominated the world but smart enough to see the consequences coming our way and (with any reasonable luck) smart enough to mitigate or avoid those consequences.
In real terms that means population control and shrinking the environmental footprint that westerners have taken as "normal" in the last fifty years.

The problem lies not in our lack of intelligence, but in our apparent inability to coordinate our efforts, especially on a global scale. Even in the west governments are slow to take action, prompted only if an imminent economic threat is recognised.

Kim O'Hara wrote:That means "the human consumption of the planet is ultimately an unstoppable force" is unnecessarily doomy.
And, as I've said before, believing in it is precisely what will guarantee that it is true. Let's choose to act as though we're as smart as we would like to think we are.

I agree that my conclusion above is inappropriately doomy (and probably irresponsible). Publicly I agree that it is imperative that we maintain a collective optimism and that we each take responsibility for our own actions while solutions are sought. Privately I grieve as the damage accumulates, finding peace of mind in acceptance of the situation and in living as harmlessly as I can.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:28 am

Years ago it was already recognized that religious and political worldviews were deeply tied to our environmental problems.

I highly recommend reading this short essay:

"The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis"
Lynn White, Jr.

http://www.uvm.edu/~gflomenh/ENV-NGO-PA ... -White.pdf

    Especially in its Western form, Christianity is the most anthropocentric religion the world has seen. As early as the 2nd century both Tertullian and Saint Irenaeus of Lyons were insisting that when God shaped Adam he was foreshadowing the image of the incarnate Christ, the Second Adam. Man shares, in great measure, God's transcendence of nature. Christianity, in absolute contrast to ancient paganism and Asia's religions (except, perhaps, Zorastrianism), not only established a dualism of man and nature but also insisted that it is God's will that man exploit nature for his proper ends.

    At the level of the common people this worked out in an interesting way. In Antiquity every tree, every spring, every stream, every hill had its own genius loci, its guardian spirit. These spirits were accessible to men, but were very unlike men; centaurs, fauns, and mermaids show their ambivalence. Before one cut a tree, mined a mountain, or dammed a brook, it was important to placate the spirit in charge of that particular situation, and to keep it placated. By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects.


This brings to mind how in premodern Chinese political thought, the basic idea was that the natural world could survive without humanity, but humanity could not survive without the natural world, hence the lesser position of the emperor to "heaven". The emperor was responsible for rites venerating both heaven and earth, and keeping in line with the natural forces at work above and below. It was nature, not man, that decided the rise and downfall of his dynasty. In the end he was subordinate to nature, and this was constantly demonstrated through natural disasters and so on beyond his control.

Nowadays, though, in China with its "modern" and "scientific" thinking they see the natural world as ripe for exploitation and subjugation, just as in the west. Industry and science are employed to violently tame nature. The massive dams, coal mining operations, unyielding urban expansion, pollution and so on demonstrate this. These sorts of developments would have been inconceivable to premodern Chinese thinkers who based themselves on classical literature, all of which demanded utter respect for the natural world. Even artwork constantly reflected the appreciation for natural beauty.

We might think that maybe people will start seeing nature as more important than economic and industrial expansion, though the problem with that is that, as Cicero suggested, war is more about money than weapons, so any voluntary reduction in economic output would reduce military power. That is politically infeasible in most countries.

As with all past civilizations, we'll reach our limits and thereafter face collapse as resource and ecological limits initiate 'de-growth'. Unless we voluntarily reduce complexity and return to earlier less energy-intensive models (which seldom ever happens in history), there's no avoiding this.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby dharmagoat » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:53 am

An interesting post, Indrajala.
Indrajala wrote:As with all past civilizations, we'll reach our limits and thereafter face collapse as resource and ecological limits initiate 'de-growth'. Unless we voluntarily reduce complexity and return to earlier less energy-intensive models (which seldom ever happens in history), there's no avoiding this.

Has this ever happened in history?
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Nemo » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:27 am

Most of what I read about Fukushima is nonsense. Pulled in one piece from the left's equivalent of a Tea Partier's ass.

http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/series/fukushima is probably the best resource and for some variety http://www.geomar.de/en/

Today I saw some stromatolites. Remnants of a species that absolutely dominated the earth for 2.5 billion years. Then a billion years ago a vicious predator evolved many times their size and ruthlessly hunted them almost to extinction. Today we call these predators snails.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Indrajala » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:46 am

dharmagoat wrote:An interesting post, Indrajala.
Indrajala wrote:As with all past civilizations, we'll reach our limits and thereafter face collapse as resource and ecological limits initiate 'de-growth'. Unless we voluntarily reduce complexity and return to earlier less energy-intensive models (which seldom ever happens in history), there's no avoiding this.

Has this ever happened in history?


Joseph Tainter's opinion is that the only known civilization to do this was the Byzantines who during the wars with the Arabs dropped their professional military, leaving defense to locally organized arrangements. Such decentralization actually saved them because the alternative presumably was economic collapse which would have been followed by quick invasion and assimilation. Similar arrangements for local defense developed elsewhere in Europe, though that sort of feudal model emerged involuntarily following the collapse of the Roman empire.

I'm not optimistic about industrial civilization reducing its complexity. The widespread belief is that fusion energy or some other miracle technology will absolve us of our sins and let us continue onward to a bright and accommodating future. The strong belief in progress means alternative approaches, such as 'de-growth' and reversion to earlier lifestyles are untenable on any significant scale, but then the real problem in my mind is that economic contraction means a reduction in military power which is seldom feasible unless you're a client state to some other power.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Such is the drama of civilization.
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