SuttaCentral

Democracy dies in darkness


#1

The slogan of the Washington Post seems very apt today.

In one day, the equivalent of 5 million olympic swimming pools has melted in Greenland. What we see happening today is the worst-case scenario that was predicted to happen around 2070! The sea-level is expected to rise 1.5-2mm as a result of this.

Antonio Guterres - VN-secretary-general:

This year alone, we have seen temperature records shatter from Delhi to Anchorage, from Paris to Santiago, from Adelaide into the Arctic Circle. If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg. And the iceberg is also rapidly melting.

It has been extremely warm in the last month, with as a consequence enormous forest fires in Greenland, Alaska and Siberia.

Clare Nullis - World Meteorological Organisation:

In June alone these fires emitted 50 megatons of carbonmonoxide into the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of Sweden’s annual total CO2-emissions. In Alaska there have been 400 wildfires this year with new ones igniting every day. Why? One of the reasons is temperatures. The average June temperature in parts of Siberia where the worst of the wildfires are raging, was almost 10C higher in June than the 1981-2000 longterm average.

The heatwave we saw last week in Europe, with the Belgian record shattering at 41.6C, has now arrived in Greenland, where the icesheet has transformed in massive rivers of meltwater.

Antonio Guterres - VN-secretary-general:

The heatwave, which affected Europe in the last month, has now raised temperatures in the Arctic and Greenland by 10-15 C. And this is a time when Arctic sea-ice is already near record low levels. Preventing irreversable climate disruption is the race of our lives and for our lives. It is a race we can and must win.

We cannot afford to remain in darkness …


#2

If death isn’t cause enough to arouse the energy to practice. The end of the world as we know it and the conditions to practice comfortably should be.


#4

So what can we do personally to help? Reduce our own carbon footprint? Plant some trees? I’ve done both, but it doesn’t feel like enough.


#5

What Venerable Vimala is referring to is not a matter of scientific calculations and prognoses, but of things happening right now before our very eyes.

With the drought in Europe last year I heard for the first time in my 60 year’s life that the cereals harvest in Germany was not enough to cover our needs, and it is only because the stores are still full that we still have bread. This year so far doesn’t seem to bring us more rain than the last, so how long will there still be enough in the stores?

The other day I read an article saying that we are so fed up with stories on apocalypse scenarios that when it is actually happening we are not able to believe it any more.

Some thoughts to the topic.


#6

We are definitely getting more extreme climate events in Europe, which is what global warming predicts.


#7

An unwise position, Thito. Your own ability to practice, and eat, will be affected - not to mention the avoidable loss of billions of sentient beings’ lives, which ought to give rise to at least a passing blip of compassion. Your contribution belies your own final paragraph: it shows that you yourself have spent rather a long time pondering the topic, but sadly on the discredited side of the debate - which means you wasted your time twice over.


#8

It’s not for me to decide what is truth regarding the climate, there are people who have already dedicated their entire life to the cause who are debating each other. People who teach at MIT and work for the highest organizations.

Just like the devas are busy with their own issues and rarely concern themselves with us lower beings, so do these professionals and people of high positions.

Ask yourself this, you know of the Queen of England, but does the Queen of England know of you? You do not enter the domain of the Queen’s awareness, and the same for higher beings, no different than individual bacteria or insects entering your domain of awareness unless they are significant enough.

There is an infinite amount of beings for an infinite amount of time to worry about, if one wishes to make that their life purpose.

Everyone has to focus on what is permissible for them in their short life span, thankfully the dhamma is accessible to all who wish to put in the effort and proper attention.


#9

Human kind has a history of upsetting the balance of nature, from introducing foreign species into delicate ecosystems to throwing tons of plastic into the oceans. These are simple observable facts.

The icesheet that has melted over the last week took thousands of years to build up. It will not grow back quickly, not even under the most ideal circumstances. But it upsets the balance of nature even further. CO2 is released from the melting permafrost and forest fires emit tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Moreover, the fallout black ash covers the ice, which then melts even faster. A system has been set in motion that cannot be stopped.
You can argue about what the underlying causes are but you cannot deny that this is happening.

What can we do about it? Personally I think we passed the point of no return ages ago and today that has only become more apparent. There is no policial will to do anything about it and if it is there, it is too little too late. Governments are usually only elected for 4 years so there is no insentive to look beyond that period because any measures they can take will not doubt impact the wealth of the people.

So where do we stand as Buddhists? I think we need to stand still and listen. Listen to our own hearts and to those of others. We can look into our own hearts and develop our own minds and help others to do the same. We can teach others to live a more simple life, to consume less, be content and to practice meditiation. Our world is going to change. It’s impermanent. That arouses fear; we can help people to see that and deal with that in a constructive way.


#10

Yes, communicating the value of simplicity and contentment is certainly worthwhile. Quite a challenge in our modern societies, where most people seem pre-occupied with accumulation and consumption. We can all have a small positive effect though, leading by example, showing that it can be done.


#11

Cutting out animal products from your diet is probably the most effective ‘consumer choice’ you can make (source), though of course we need more than just individual choices to stave off catastrophic climate change in the long run.

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use.

“It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he explained, which would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy,” he added.

If you are focused on attaining nibbana, what you say here is inconsistent with your earlier post where you engaged in this trendy topic. That is, if you are focused on attaining nibbana, by your own logic, it is not proper for you to engage in this thread.

Furthermore, unless you yourself have a decade of information and a lifetime of experience to properly discern counterfeit information from authentic information, by your own logic, you should not have posted the two sources you posted earlier, since you are unable to properly discern whether they are counterfeit or not.


#12

Venerable :anjal:
All species have a history of upsetting the balance of nature. That’s what species do. Humans are not even the best at it (so far). I think that goes to the cyanobacteria:


#13

Thank you :pray::heart:


#14

The difference here is that the human species has the ability to make choices.
We can either look after our planet, or ruin it. Have you seen that film, “The day the earth stood still”?


#15

On the contrary, discussing the dhamma is one of the factors of proper attention that is benefit in two ways.

  1. It can lead to fruition in the speaker as there are suttas of people attaining fruition while speaking about the dhamma

  2. The Buddha regards sharing the dhamma as one of the highest acts of compassion, so by discussing the dhamma with you on this Buddhist forum I am performing a higher act of compassion than someone listening to a lecture on climate change.

So discussing the dhamma to beings who are close to the dhamma (such as members of this forum) I provide myself and others with a win win situation, where both parties derive benefit, even if it is only to bring one’s attention temporarily to the dhamma, it is a success. Which brings me to my next point.

If I should only regret one thing, it is allowing my attention to get distracted by impermanent things.

I know enough to know that that further knowledge in this area is not beneficial to me or to others, and so one can see that the climate, like all other things, is just another topic that one should be disillusioned about. (Which the two sources can serve to provide evidence for)

Seeing as Buddhists we’re instructed to let go of all things which are impermenent (like the climate which is very impermanent) and bring our attention back to the four foundations of mindfulness (body, feelings, mind, 4 noble truths) thus delighting in the climate is not proper for a follower of the Dhamma Vinaya.

Thus my contribution in the form of bringing awareness back to the dhamma, and not impermanent things, like the climate, which is just another thing to let go of.

.


#16

Yes. the ability exists, sure. And I think that as individuals we are pretty good at making choices that benefit us. Collectively, I think that we are (currently) pretty rubbish at that.

What a blast from the past :slight_smile:


#17

We’re not even that good at making personal/individual choices either, otherwise we wouldn’t suffer at all and we would be blameless (arahants).


#18

Where is this quoted from please?


#19

In you first post you made in this thread (link), you did not discuss the Dhamma. You started by saying something factually untrue (that ‘more and more scientists come out against climate change rhetoric’), you posted a news story from a conservative media outlet and a paper (behind a paywall) on CO2 by Rex J. Fleming (the man featured in the news story).

You then referenced Bill Nye and Leonardo Dicaprio, and linked to an editorial by Rex Murphy, a man who is known to have received money from the oil industry, about how it’s hypocritical of people who speak publicly about climate change to fly in private jets.

After making these statements which have nothing to do with Dhamma, you then say it’s not proper to engage in topcis outside of Dhamma. This is how you are being inconsistent.

Then you should live by your own words by not engaging in climate denialism in this thread, stick to the threads where the topic is square on the Dhamma.

You cannot possibly know whether further knowledge in this area is not beneficial to yourself or others, because by your own words, you would need a decade of information and a lifetime of experience to know if the knowledge you already have is false or not.

Man made climate change is a very real example of impermanence. Contemplating it should lead to a strong sense of samvega and letting go.

Climate denialism is on the side of permanence, and that our actions don’t have consequences. Climate denialism is to purposefully deny facts and ignore the truth.

In fact, in the seven suns sutta, the Buddha uses the idea of climate becoming unlivable and the earth burning up to illustrate impermanence.

It’s from this news article; the news article is quoting the author of the study the news article is featuring.

I put it in a link in the post you are quoting called ‘source’, but I should have been clearer that the quote was from the same link.


#20

Good thing Tilorien is inland and above sea level! :sweat:


#22

I’ve heard they are thinking about establishing a refugee camp for people fleeing from Holland. :wink: