SuttaCentral

Democracy dies in darkness


#23

I’m not an atmospheric scientist, but sustainability is part of my work and my academic field. NOAA is not my go to organization for climate science, and it’s bad if someone there “fiddled” with data under the Obama administration.

It’s good and normal that people disagree with scientific consensus. People who understand how science works do not become disillusioned by anecdotes like the case of Dr. Fleming. But you might confuse people who don’t understand science, and cause them to lose trust in their institutions and experts.

I respect your intention, but I don’t think you are accomplishing what you setting out to do.

The science of climate change is also scientific evidence for impermanence; that the basic systems that supports our lives are liable to change and disappear. The Buddha made similar points about the impermanence of the environment in an7.66.

Your approach may actually stop people from reflecting on impermanence, and instead create distrust towards scientists and science in general.


#25

I recently had an interesting discussion with a close relative. She said, “Scientists say it’s getting cooler.” This confused me, so we looked at charts together. One helpful chart was the Japanese cherry blossoming chart over the past 1000 years. There are several sources for this data. Here is one.

After much discussion, we agreed that Japan is getting warmer. And we kept looking all over the world for similar data. It’s all there.

Neither of us are climate scientists. We just looked at the data and talked about it. We talked about temperatures so hot that sweat would not cool the body and we would die. That is the wet bulb death temperature. We shrugged and decided to trust the wet bulb scientists. That temperature is about 35C wet bulb. She asked what that meant and I pointed to the air conditioner which cooled the house by warming the outside. So I said to her, “it will get so hot air conditioners won’t work”.

Then she got it and started to look worried. “What can we do?” she asked.

So I pointed at her neighbors house and said, “Your neighbors are Indian. They don’t use air conditioning. They just open the windows. They are not heating the planet with air conditioners.” She got really quiet then and we shared that silence.

Democracy dies when we stop talking to each other and listening.


#27

I accept that the Earth will cool off after enough humans die from heat stroke. :rofl:

Non-return therefore seems to be the logical practice to aim for in order to minimize suffering.


#29

6There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.


#30

In fact, it’s how science works! But unfortunately “science” seems to often be mistaken for “facts”, rather than “process”.

Perhaps this video will bring some levity…


#32

Yes sure, there is debate. That’s what science does…

In the end, it’s a technical issue. Much like safety requirements for cars, airplanes, or nuclear power plants, but on a much larger scale. And it inevitably involves probabilities, not certainties. And where in the cost/risk spectrum we decide to be.

What is worrying to me is that some politicians, such as the Australian Senator clashing with Brian Cox, are completely clueless about how to even read a graph, and don’t even know that they are clueless. Luckily, others are willing to go with an expert consensus which is, by definition, only probabilities not certainties.


closed #34

opened #35

#36

A number of posts have been removed from this thread because they go against Forum rules as stated in Extremist views are banned on this forum by Bhante @sujato.


#37

I have no idea what your relative was thinking, however, what the above quote suggests is the willingness to discuss the problem and see the solution, but at the same time, the unwillingness to do what is necessary, even though uncomfortable, for the benefit of the future. Making the effort to bring about the solution through action. Because that would entail the cultivation of different behaviors, and being creatures of habit, it feels unsettling. We have the financial resources, the technological know-how, even the man power, to reverse this situation, and yet, due to the defilements, we won’t.


#38

I think we need to restructure cities in a dramatic way.

The current city structures looks a bit like this - finance; surrounded by trade; surrounded by a legal system; surrounded by commodity markets; surrounded by residential areas; surrounded by industrial complexes; surrounded by farms.

We have the technology to build large scale in door green houses. The infrastructure of a city should, if you ask me, look like this: Agriculture in the very heart of the city; surrounded by the legal system (laws, courts, police, lawyers); surrounded by industry and manufacture; surrounded by commodity markets; surrounded by trade markets; surrounded by residential areas; surrounded by financial markets.

They’re both concentric circle models. The first is one I’ve noticed just observing cities. The second is one which allows for the same kind of society we have now - but with a much better outcome.

For me - the bottom line is to bring agriculture back to the centre of our societies.

Dividing the work force into three seasons would an interesting idea as well. Two seasons of work (with one more physical than the other). And four months of the year vacation.

And annihilate education. Get those kids with their limber backs on the farms right away! (Kidding with that last one).

Cities and societies need to be self sustainable. We need to start using the technology we have to improve our carbon foot print. And we HAVE all of these amazing free energy sources. We also have people making a lot of money off the gas and oil industry.


#39

The best company I ever worked for had a remarkable executive who always asked one very simple question of everybody.

“What problem are we solving?”

And in asking that one simple question repeatedly, she brought us all together in agreement and allowed diverse solutions to grow and fluorish.

For a long time, I thought the problem was jobs. Insufficient jobs, bad jobs, cruel jobs. And I couldn’t see a way for us all to have enough money.

It was only much later that I realized that we don’t eat money.

All sentient beings are sustained by food. --DN33

I totally agree with local agriculture. I’ve been trying to feed ourselves with gardening year round, in earth as well as hydroponically. What I have found is that food brings us together. By sharing food, I have found a neighborhood of good will this past year where before I only saw harried, sullen commuters.


#40

Local gardens are great for communities. So, good on you for that.

I’d like to see a pilot project. We actually have solar panels that are transparent! This is existing technology. And Denmark has already developed multilevel indoor green houses.

So, the technology is there. We simply need to utilize it and try to cut through the obstacles - ie. the powers that be.

I’d like it if a wealthy philanthropist would dedicate some funds for a city of 80,000 people with a centralized, multilevel farming system, in house textiles, sophisticated irrigation systems, free housing, better work regiments, and green, sophisticated transport options.

We could go vegan and that would circumvent a lot of needless killing. We could go “off the grid”. Cut down our emissions; pollution; etc. Be completely self sustaining.

If it sounds like communism - well, I’ve thought about this too. I personally think there are four modes of social conduct. They are; the communist endeavour; the capitalist endeavour; the nationalist endeavour; and a socialist endeavour.

We need a city which allows for all four. The current infrastructure of our finance based cities appeals to capitalism the most. But a centralized farming system would immediately weaken the influence of monetary systems.

Anyway. I could write a book on it. In fact, I think I will. :slight_smile:


#41

Singapore is a great example of socialism in action. Gardens grown on sky scrapers. Affordable housing for all!


#42

Singapore is a great example of this idea in effect.


#43

Just came across this—so sad to see! :cry:


#44

Where unbiased expert opinions are required we can’t use mass lay opinion. If there was a medical emergency I want a specialist using their expert knowledge. I expect the politicians to list to experts, not have arguments with them. Businesses should be greed regulated.

With metta,


#45

I once tore the meniscus in both knees. My wife told be to see a doctor, an expert in knees. The doctor took an x-ray and recommended an operation. I thought about his recommendation and chose to do nothing as an experiment.

My knees got better. Now, many years later, I read an article that says that many such knee surgeries are unnecessary.

I trust expertise. But not blindly. I verify. And the experts I trust the most are the ones who show me how to verify their claims. That is why I trust the Buddha’s teachings. They work.


#46

I really like the idea of planting lots of trees, combined with a cessation of clearing forest to grow animal feed.
I still hug trees when nobody is looking, they’re amazing life forms. I planted Mountain Ash trees in my garden, there are lots of berries for the starlings in the autumn (all at once a large flock of birds will descend, leading to a chaos of feathers and berries).


#47

This is a great simile. Thanks!

I recently listened to a podcast in which the host explained that he simply doesn’t have the time to answer all the emails and comments he gets. Even if he did nothing else but that, he wouldn’t be able to answer even a fraction of the messages. And would have no time for anything else.

I could write an email to him right now, but nonetheless he will probably never even know that I exist.

Your comment is a valuable reminder that we cannot expect anybody else but ourselves to do the necessary work of liberation.