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TOPIC: The Dharma of Climate Change

The Dharma of Climate Change 13 Apr 2019 14:20 #111123

This is Jem Bendell's response to the critique Chris referenced above
jembendell.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/resp...-of-deep-adaptation/
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The Dharma of Climate Change 14 Apr 2019 11:36 #111124

I'm half way through the podcast and the related article you-all have posted, I really appreciate the conversation and resources here.

One frame that I've heard a lot is that having friends and community is important, so while I have not finished my reading I did declare to my list for tonight: "Sunday Supper Lite: I supply the vegan red chili, and mac n cheese n corn n peas and water, easy come easy go, 6-8pm, random invitation list, RSVP nice but not binding or required, pot luck or poach it's all good."
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The Dharma of Climate Change 14 Apr 2019 16:38 #111126

I'd argue that reading up on the science of climate change is also a good idea. I'll find some good links over the weekend.

Okay, so here are some relevant links. I've purposefully linked to a pretty wide variety of sources:

http://www.realclimate.org

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/science-behind-climate-change/

https://www.science.org.au/files/userfiles/learning/documents/climate-change-r.pdf

https://www.climatecentral.org/go/warming-world-science-of-climate-change-outreach/

https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/climate/intro_background.jsp

One thing I found depressing while assembling these links is the amount of material available that simply denies the existence of climate change, calls it a hoax and treats the problem as a purely political issue.
Last Edit: 16 Apr 2019 06:22 by Chris Marti.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 15 Apr 2019 07:24 #111129

Thanks for the links, Chris.

The New York Times Magazine also put out a climate change issue last week. You have to sign up for a free account that gives you 10 articles per month without a paid subscription. Here's a link to one of the articles on the politics involved, The Problem with Putting a Price on the End of the World.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 15 Apr 2019 11:02 #111130

Andromeda wrote:
Also... I'm gonna just throw this out there...

Some of my happiest, most cherished memories are from times of serious disaster that resulted in a complete breakdown of society. Seriously! And not just because it was the right time and place for my morbid sense of humor to shine. So even when the worst happens, there's usually a lot to be grateful for if you're paying attention.

I relate with this in a different way sort of. It's like this: there is something great about travel, survival is at hand, you need to find food and/or shelter every 6 hours and you do find it and that's rewarding, and you're getting a reprieve from the zillion little paper cuts of normal life.

For people who are just bored or worn out on normal life, apocalypse frame is Just More Interesting in general. I basically put myself in that category in some ways, so I recognize I might not be seeing things clearly. But the general points, that there is nonlinear stuff that has not been accounted for in the consensus predictions, humans tend to deny, recent evidence all points towards being past the bend in the exponential hockey stick, that's all stuff I've been thinking about for a year or two and it's refreshing to hear others talking that way also.
Last Edit: 15 Apr 2019 11:09 by matthew sexton.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 15 Apr 2019 17:46 #111134

I was so amazed several months ago to find some climate scientists talking about where to move so they could at least buy some time for their families, that I went on a frenzy of trying to find how many scientists and other experts were talking about near-term catastrophes compared to saying we've still got time and it will take some decades to hit the fan.

I got a lot of impressions from that exercise but one that was not surprising based on my work experience. Climate and ecosystem expertise tends to be concentrated in silos that make it difficult for experts to have a lot of exposure to more than a few other silos. It seems like their analysis and predictions often don't take account of the work of a lot of other scientists and the systemic and cascading impacts outside their purview.

A noteworthy example, field researchers who do remarkable hands-on work in the Arctic and Greenland etc often express frustration with the academic modelers who can't include observational findings of rapid and often alarming changes in the models. And yet stick by their models as if all the non-modeled activity isn't happening. This was one of the several complaints about the IPCC report.

It would take some work to find links again but there are some researchers who work with systems theory who also include food supply, population dynamics, economics etc. I didn't get the impression that many of them were optimistic.

I got the impression that one topic of most acute concern was near-term impact on food supply in the 5 major grain producing nations. I think that was Canada, US, Russia, Australia and can't remember the 5th.

I heard more than once that Australia is doomed and that US Midwest is on the short list of regions that will be and are being messed up by multiple rapidly ramping-up changes.

March's historic Bomb Cyclone in the midwest followed by another this month for example. Is this the exponential hockey stick happening now? And Spring is still young. Much more flooding is already in the pipeline. Grain reserves, livestock and infrastructure massively impacted. Possibly most worrying is the impact on topsoil. I think I can find a link on that. Toxic flooding, cascading erosion, and following on the impact of decades of exploitive soil mismanagement that had already caused half of US top soil to be lost.

I definitely don't have the cognitive capabilities to remember and analyze all the info I've exposed myself to this year. [Not false modesty, I do have some cognitive challenges.] So I greatly appreciate the contributions of more capable, experienced and insightful who contribute to this topic!

I'm especially interested in what anyone is finding about food supply.
Last Edit: 15 Apr 2019 17:53 by Kacchapa.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 16 Apr 2019 10:06 #111136

Thanks for pitching in Mark (? Kacchapa).

My wife has a business trip to Italy next month, she wants me to go and take our son so he can see a bit of the world. But I know that every ounce of weight added to the plane requires extra fuel/carbon... y'all gets the idea. I don't feel it's the same calculus for trains so my compromise was to fly with her to NYC for a little family vacation and then train back home to New Mexico. But this recent climate anxiety for me causes me to doubt even that much of a trip.

Theres more, how to use vipassana for reduction of suffering....no time now.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 17 Apr 2019 05:23 #111141

When did we reach a climate tipping point? When does the Anthropocene Era begin? Some say it was the Big Zoom:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/04/great-debate-over-when-anthropocene-started/587194/
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The Dharma of Climate Change 17 Apr 2019 05:48 #111142

@Matthew: "a reprieve from the zillion paper cuts of life." I love this and it explains a lot. For me, while of course things go up and down and regular course adjustments are required, my "normal" life is pretty awesome with a great mix of excitement and comforting routine that keep me engaged for the most part. But fitting into society has never been my strong suit (autism) because most of the rules seem pretty arbitrary or downright silly, so it's a big relief when they get suspended and I can stop pretending I care. Whee! Like a kid on a snow day.

@Kachappa: I like what you said about silos.

I went for a walk the other morning, took a different route, and spent quite awhile chatting with some neighbors that I hadn't met before who were out sitting on their porch. The husband was an older Army veteran who told me about how he survived combat as an infantryman unscathed but got shot twice when he went home. "I get PTSD just walking around this place." And how he has to chase people off his porch with a machete at night because they wander over from the bar next door to buy/sell drugs. "The police look at me and think I'm the ringleader!" (He's a tech guy, but he's black with dreadlocks.) We talked about climate change and how the world is burning. He said he was glad he'll be dead by the time the sh*t really hits the fan. "But what can you do? Just what we're doing here," he said. Sit on the porch and talk with our neighbors.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 17 Apr 2019 17:03 #111150

From Yuval Noan Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century:
...We are still in the nihilist moment of disillusionment and anger, after people have lost faith in the old stories but before they have embraced a new one. So what next? The first step is to tone down the prophecies of doom and switch from panic mode to bewilderment. Panic is a form of hubris. It comes from the smug feeling that one knows exactly where the world is heading: down. Bewilderment is more humble and therefore more clearsighted. Do you feel like running down the street crying "The apocalypse is upon us?" Try telling yourself, "No, it's not that. Truth is, I just don't understand what's going on in the world."

I haven't gotten there yet, but apparently he goes on to make some good comments about religion.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 17 Apr 2019 22:14 #111152

Chris Marti wrote:
When did we reach a climate tipping point? When does the Anthropocene Era begin? Some say it was the Big Zoom:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/04/great-debate-over-when-anthropocene-started/587194/

When talking about a geologic time scale, does it really matter *exactly* when it began? Isn't "20th century" sufficient? The more worrisome question is, when will it end?
Last Edit: 17 Apr 2019 22:15 by Tom Otvos.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 18 Apr 2019 08:05 #111153

Tom, I get your reaction to this stuff but I'm trying to adopt a longer view. It's interesting, at least to me, that at the height of the recovery from WWII and the economic ascendance of the U.S. we also at that same time unknowingly stepped in some serious shit with massive long term effects. It's a lesson for we humans, I think, and it may also apply to things like the adoption and deployment of artificial intelligence or human genetic engineering. Tipping points are typically reached before anyone sees them coming.

I get involved in a lot of leadership and strategic planning in my job, and I hear this all the time: "We must grow or die!" Wall Street demands growth. Companies and the people who lead them assume that they MUST grow or they're failures. What if that's not the right way? What if sustainability matters more, and is ultimately more successful for more people? What if sustainability is healthier? What if our economic and political system and the resulting drive to grow just to grow and make money for a very few is the root cause of the climate crisis?

These are the things I think about these days.
Last Edit: 18 Apr 2019 08:26 by Chris Marti.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 18 Apr 2019 08:34 #111154

The more worrisome question is, when will it end?

I think this is a non-issue. It's here, upon us, and we can't really "fix" it anymore. We can only hope to lessen some of the more disastrous effects and learn how to cope. Better yet, maybe we can learn how to cooperate on a global scale because of climate change.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 21 Apr 2019 11:54 #111161

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The Dharma of Climate Change 22 Apr 2019 09:03 #111164

I love that vision of the future! Great little film.

So much wonderful art was created by the New Deal in the 1930s. It would be wonderful to see something like that happen again with infrastructure/etc.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 22 Apr 2019 09:20 #111165

Yeah, the high school I went to and the art deco mural in its foyer were both a result of the folks employed b the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/surviving-the-dust-bowl-works-progress-administration-wpa/

chhpac.com/landmarks/bloom_township_high_school
Last Edit: 22 Apr 2019 09:22 by Chris Marti.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 22 Apr 2019 09:35 #111166

Fancy high school!
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The Dharma of Climate Change 22 Apr 2019 10:03 #111167

It was - until they let me in :P
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The Dharma of Climate Change 23 Apr 2019 08:03 #111168

My high school was in a swamp, so every year we measured how much the building had sunk. We had cubicle dividers instead of walls separating the classrooms. :)
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The Dharma of Climate Change 23 Apr 2019 22:45 #111169

As I continue to research around this, I watched the following interview with David Suzuki, a Canadian scientist and environmentalist whom I (and a lot of people) respect:



On the plus side, he didn't seem to think that we were going extinct soon, but that we were in deep shit nonetheless.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 24 Apr 2019 07:27 #111170

That was great. His intro made me reflect on how grateful I am for having grown up in a wild place, spending most of my childhood out in nature without other humans. The plants and animals and insects and fungi and rocks and mountains and rivers and streams and winds kept me company. I love my urban life now and the city seems to me teeming with life if in a different way, but there is just no replacing those wilderness experiences.

For those who don't want to watch the video, Suzuki's recommendations for what people can do were:

1. vote--of note, China's lack of democracy gives it an advantage in embracing green technology
2. consumption--carefully consider what you spend money on
3. community--build communities that take care of each other

That last one made me grateful for my city. 10 good friends live within just a few blocks of my apartment and we regularly get together for holidays, potlucks, house painting, etc. (I was even invited to be a founding member of a handbell choir). And then there are countless more friendly neighbors that I see all the time just walking around, and the people I take care of via my career. It is good to be deeply rooted in such a vibrant community. I'm still semi-feral, but most people don't seem to mind.
Last Edit: 24 Apr 2019 07:58 by Andromeda.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 25 Apr 2019 12:44 #111174

More food for thought from an articulate young person from Sweden:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/23/greta-thunberg-full-speech-to-mps-you-did-not-act-in-time?fbclid=IwAR3Pc7DJSrjxJzqmsBixDz0yDVe1gbv2_7AT27Mcs81ZfbkiQ9oXxWZc-do

In the year 2030 I will be 26 years old. My little sister Beata will be 23. Just like many of your own children or grandchildren. That is a great age, we have been told. When you have all of your life ahead of you. But I am not so sure it will be that great for us.

I was fortunate to be born in a time and place where everyone told us to dream big; I could become whatever I wanted to. I could live wherever I wanted to. People like me had everything we needed and more. Things our grandparents could not even dream of. We had everything we could ever wish for and yet now we may have nothing.

Now we probably don’t even have a future any more.

Because that future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money. It was stolen from us every time you said that the sky was the limit, and that you only live once.

You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to. And the saddest thing is that most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us. We will not understand it until it’s too late. And yet we are the lucky ones. Those who will be affected the hardest are already suffering the consequences. But their voices are not heard.

Is my microphone on? Can you hear me?

Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilisation as we know it. That is unless in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%.

And please note that these calculations are depending on inventions that have not yet been invented at scale, inventions that are supposed to clear the atmosphere of astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 26 Apr 2019 07:19 #111177

I was just reading about Greta Thunberg--she was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize and has been quite open about being on the autism spectrum. I find it fascinating to read about people's reactions to her. No surprise to me that she's making enemies by speaking her mind so plainly. I wish her well.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 26 Apr 2019 09:24 #111178

Yeah Greta Thunberg's a legend, I find her level of wisdom and keeping it real staggering sometimes. And she's only 16. And she articulates it in perfect English.
I found this video

from this article
www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr...e-change-environment
very interesting.
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The Dharma of Climate Change 26 Apr 2019 09:26 #111179

Part of my job involves reading tea leaves (keeping up on the research) on the consumption and production of various things. I just ran across some research that presents a more positive picture of global energy production and consumption. This was a McKinsey study. They say there are four major factors that are causing the energy intensity of the planet to plateau (this means that human beings will use less, not more, energy per unit of output) by 2030:

1. GDP and energy intensity are decoupling (economies can grow using the same or less energy)
2. Energy efficiency is up and will get better faster
3. Electrification will increase
4. Renewable energy sources will increase dramatically

They say that renewable energy sources, mainly solar and wind, will be cheaper than coal or natural gas by next year, and that renewable energy sources will account for more than half of global energy use by 2035. I find that interesting because it is at about that same time that we're projected to enter the "place of no return" on climate change. It's like we're just not quite getting there. Close, but no cigar?
Last Edit: 26 Apr 2019 09:27 by Chris Marti.
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