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Dalai Lama: Caring for Our Global Environment

seeker242seeker242 ZenFlorida, USA Veteran

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking on taking daily responsibility to change our environment in response to global warming in this short clip from an interview given to Sofia Stril-Rever in Oxford, UK on September 15, 2015.

How does one take daily responsibility to protect the environment?

Comments

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    Wishful Thinking only. Negligible difference.

    Just take plastic consumption, as an example of our wastefulness: I'm old enough to remember TV ads going on and on about their merchandise coming in plastic bottles —what an improvement over the then conventional breakable glass containers! Fast food joints don't even use paper cups for cold liquids anymore. They sell them to the public in thick plastic cups which get heaped into trash cans and end up in the ocean and break down only to be eaten by fish. And on and on and on.

    IMO, nothing short of a new sort of Marxism, wherein all value is created simply by cooperation and harmony, will work to save us from ourselves. I mean, money is no longer based on gold bullion, but simply on information. It's gone digital. I cannot much agree with HHDL on this one. I do not think individual efforts can do enough; I believe we are at a watershed moment.

    INSTEAD of rewarding the Tycoons who know how to manipulate anything to amass riches, why cannot the monetary systems be tweaked to reward enterprises and people that make more positive impacts on the environment and on other communities? And to punish the systems that endanger our environment by heavily fining or imprisoning their Tycoons?

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Nirvana said:
    Wishful Thinking only. Negligible difference.
    I do not think individual efforts can do enough

    What other kind of effort is there? Isn't the "collective" just a bunch of individuals?

    merx
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    It needs to be on a large scale, a collective body influencing the big hitters. When so much money is made, it's unlikely to change. We can each vote with our dollar and stop buying that crap, but 10 of us doing it doesn't make much difference. It takes many more, and not enough care. Heck, not enough believe it's even a problem.

    We live in a town of 3,000 people. We deliver our own trash to the landfill. It is shocking how much trash we produce. Considering that on larger levels and it becomes incomprehensible. But most people don't see it, because it's picked up by the nifty trash truck. Seeing that, we decided to reduce our impact, but it's really hard to do. Food garbage a lone is a ton of plastic and styrofoam. And what we can recycle is very limited, of the 5 or so types of plastic, we can only recycle 2 types here.

    Anyhow, I tend to agree. I don't think it's hopeless, and I do think as individuals we should do what we can because simply throwing up our hands and saying "no one else is doing it, why should I?" is most certainly not going to help. Plus, being aware of what our lives put out into the world is a good thing. Doing these individual, small things helps that awareness and from there, conversation with others can take place.

    merx
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @karasti said:
    It needs to be on a large scale, a collective body influencing the big hitters. When so much money is made, it's unlikely to change.

    I think the Dalai Lama spoke about that at the end. He said 1 person -> 10 people -> 100 people -> 100,000 people. Then some effect.

    But if you look the cause of hundreds of thousands of people amassing for a common cause, it all starts with each individual person deciding to take personal responsibility because if no one did that, there would be no "collective body" to begin with!

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Yes, I agree. But it is hard to get through with up and coming countries that want progress above all else. Case in point, China's on a red flag pollution warning for 3 days this week, schools closed, car use cuts forced by 30%. Their pollution level is 10 times what is considered safe right now. So it makes it hard to understand how my taking a shorter shower or getting solar power (which are probably made in China, causing them to make even more pollution) will help that kind of situation, which is having much more effect than my fairly small imprint.

    However, we can look at our desire for stuff, as that is what pushes companies to use China and similar countries to continue mass producing crap that we all buy and covet. And wait in line for hours for. And trample each other for.

    I think what a lot of us mean is that what we are willing to do (shorter showers, recycle as long as it's easy to do so, etc) isn't going to make much difference. But the things we know might, especially on large scales, we aren't ready to give up, even to save the planet. I don't buy a lot of plastic bottles, for example, we recycle everything we can. We try to limit our garbage production. But we have several tv, computers, phones, tables, game systems and other such things, all produced overseas, all contributing too the problems on many levels. But I have yet to give any of them up, either. Most people are the same, I suspect.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited December 2015

    How does one take daily responsibility to protect the environment?

    It depends.
    It can be a luxury, some people trying to survive can not afford.

    For me it involves voting green, consuming less, supporting local environmental issues, lobbying my local government officialdom, having two composting bins, using electric bike, public transport etc.

    Make a difference. Create a ripple.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20070929155500/http://www.starthrower.com/star_thrower_story_script.htm

    Just get on with it if you can. Loads of advice on the web ...
    http://www.nature.org/greenliving/gogreen/everydayenvironmentalist/

    VastmindWalkersovaShoshin
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    If you look the cause of hundreds of thousands of people amassing for a common cause, it all starts with each individual person deciding to take personal responsibility because if no one did that, there would be no "collective body" to begin with!

    I don't think these Pie-in-the-Sky dreams of some magical Kingdom coming about by people catching some kind of self-government-germ-for-the-good-of-a-livable-planet are realistic. We need real government with real teeth that bite. It's all about ECONOMY, which in the end all boils down to MONEY. We need a revaluation in that department, as we live in watershed times.

    People are greedy for travel, for possessions, for everything. All these activities pollute and destroy. Sure two or three airline flights for 50% of the population a year does pollute, but what about 52 flights a year for 15% of the population? And what about the way we are constructing our sprawling cities, without providing for minimally polluting transportation? And what about the [some unutterable word here] byways we rush through to get to the various pieces of our fragmented worlds? Lucky the people who can find the sort of city life our grandparents were so fortunate to have. (Maybe government can be charged with funding for exploration of this sort of future environment for the sake of a sustainable future?) We human beings are not fully awake; we may band together awhile for that cause or another, but once the drama or original impetus fades we regress.

    GOVERNMENT by dedicated leaders with Teeth is what's needed. Sure, for the sake of fairness to poorer people, initial airline fares in a given year should be kept low, but at some point a fifth or sixth ticket in a year might need to be heavily taxed. "Economy," (Gk; Oikos, Nomos) "the rule of the household," has a right to assert itself to make the household viable.

    Unfortunately, in some places countries, such as my own, "Government" is a dirty word. Things have to change, but the focus has got to be on the political spectrum.

    Unbelievable things are going on. Talk about collective efforts, how 'bout a lot of people getting together to raise a lot of funds and consciousness to get some Congressmen from Texas thrown out of the House and onto their arses? I mean, they won't even allow scientific study!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/08/opinion/the-assault-on-climate-science.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-0&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&region=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @Nirvana said:

    If you look the cause of hundreds of thousands of people amassing for a common cause, it all starts with each individual person deciding to take personal responsibility because if no one did that, there would be no "collective body" to begin with!

    I don't think these Pie-in-the-Sky dreams of some magical Kingdom coming about by people catching some kind of self-government-germ-for-the-good-of-a-livable-planet are realistic. We need real government with real teeth that bite. It's all about ECONOMY, which in the end all boils down to MONEY. We need a revaluation in that department, as we live in watershed times.

    My point was that the way you get a revolution is only by individual people acting. Individuals make up the economy, individuals make up the political arena, individuals make up the government, individuals make up the society. There is no other actor besides individuals.

    GOVERNMENT by dedicated leaders with Teeth is what's needed.

    And who elects dedicated leaders? Individuals! There isn't anything other than individuals. Individual action is the only kind of action there is because that alone is what shapes the government, the politics, the society, etc. You can't get dedicated leaders elected if individuals don't stand up and vote them into office. Every institution, every organization, every government is simply a combination of individuals. There is nothing else. The only way you get a good government is by masses of individuals making personal efforts.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster said:

    How does one take daily responsibility to protect the environment?

    It depends.
    It can be a luxury, some people trying to survive can not afford.

    For me it involves voting green, consuming less, supporting local environmental issues, lobbying my local government officialdom, having two composting bins, using electric bike, public transport etc.

    I like it

    lobster
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    My point was that the way you get a revolution is only by individual people acting. Individuals make up the economy, individuals make up the political arena, individuals make up the government, individuals make up the society. There is no other actor besides individuals.

    Not all individuals are equal, though. Powerful individuals are rare and Earth-shaking individuals only come about one or two per century at most.

    In these watershed times when profound climate change is being wrought upon this "fragile island home" which is our planet, only POWERFUL individuals in positions of leadership can effectually save our lot from our selves. Our greed for more and more and more is throwing the biosphere off balance. Sure, we may deceive ourselves into thinking our little self-sacrifices will do the trick; but they most certainly will not. We have passed that stage. If it's a cancer, we're at stage three. And our little tokens won't do anything real.

    What we need is brave new leadership that has the wherewithal to look old moneyed Establishment in the face and proclaim a new Copernican revolution: That money doth not make the world go round, but that only the promise of a healthy tomorrow does. Monetary systems can and must be overhauled to reflect values whose integrity cannot be corrupted by private interests. Instead, values of harmony, cooperation, and sustainability must be made to be in some way the basis of all future monetary worth. There has to be some tinge of totalitarianism here, and monetary totalitarianism is the only kind of totalitarianism we moderns of the 21st century could tolerate.

  • @Nirvana said:
    Monetary systems can and must be overhauled to reflect values whose integrity cannot be corrupted by private interests.

    Eat the rich? What about the vegetarians and armchair world changers? ... mmm suppose we omnivore Buddhists could eat them too ... o:)

    So who is helping the development of bitchcoin or bitcoin? Lets? Freecycle?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_exchange_trading_system

    I have just started exploring bitcoin. Used Lets and Freecycle in the past.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Sorry, @Nirvana, but your attitude smacks of "We are poor weak and incapable of doing anything, we can't do anything to affect what's happening, leave it to the big boys, because they're so much better equipped but it's not going to happen any time soon" which is about as defeatist as anything could be.

    Change begins at grass-roots level, with the little man, uniting his voice with those of plenty of other little men, to stir those in charge into doing something.

    God, while people throw their hands up in despair saying "Oh, there's nothing we can do!" then sure as eggs is eggs, nothing will get done.
    I posted a link to what Mark Ruffalo is doing, what he's involved in and how strongly he feels about our global environment in general.

    He recently confronted the CEO of Monsanto and gave him a direct and accusatory piece of his mind.
    The Hulk really is Green.
    He's prominent, famous and has clout.

    But the people he's standing shoulder to shoulder with, are the little men who want to make a difference.
    Sure, the Ant can move the Rubber-tree plant.

    Have you ever seen how efficiently organised an ant colony actually is?
    I'd rather be an ant, than a defeatist.

    lobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited December 2015

    @Nirvana said:
    Monetary systems can and must be overhauled to reflect values whose integrity cannot be corrupted by private interests.

    Of course that would be ideal. However, my point is that isn't going to just magically happen all by itself. You could say you have just described "the solution". Well, that's nice. But if it does not become an actual reality, it's irrelevant.

    My question is, how is that solution going to become actual reality instead of just an idea? You really can't just sit there and hope that someone else does it and expect it to happen. People expecting someone else to do it is the very reason why it's not a reality to begin with. If individual people do not make personal efforts to facilitate the implementing of that solution, it will forever continue to remain just an idea. The idea that it's "someone else's responsibility" is the very thing that prevents the solution from becoming a reality to begin with.

    Proposing a solution, without any realistic means or method of actually achieving that solution, is really kinda pointless.

    federicalobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Most of the major change that has come has come from relatively small groups of people gathering and bringing other along.

    Our politics, at least in the US, needs so much fixing that right now it's not even possible to fix. The way the system is set up, we can only vote for who we are offered. Even if we vote for someone not in one of the main parties, our vote basically doesn't count thanks to the electoral college. Our politicians are owned by the rich, and if anyone thinks they are going to give up the power of running our country for their financial benefit, well, it's not going to happen.

    Perhaps Sanders and his refusal to take big money is a start. But there are still hundreds of others to contend with who aren't going to give up that power. Our politics was never meant to be a career, and IMO, needs to go back to an average person who steps up to represent his neighbors and then someone else takes a turn. We have no citizen governing anymore. Just career politicians who have their entire lives riding on votes.

    Not only will they not allow study of climate, but congress re-passed a law to disallow the CDC to study gun deaths. 30,000+ Americans die by guns every year, and our politicians won't allow our government to study why. Why? Because the NRA buys them off.

    It's really just a mess. Where to start? Sometimes, despite our insistence of "you have to vote, it is your duty!" sometimes I wonder if many people took on a concentrated refusal to vote because of how messed up that system is, if that would matter.

    The changes that need to come cannot come on an individual level, they need to come from higher up in the people that make those decisions on our behalf. That doesn't mean we are helpless and have no influence, and that we can't gather. But what is a large group of (for example) Americans going to do to force China to adopt better practices? At what point do we have to give up rights in order to save the planet?

    silver
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    Our global economy is built on and needs continual GROWTH, and that growth is built on use of cheap and non-renewable fossil fuels. Our very cities and lifestyles consist in a lot of INDIVIDUALS commuting and burning more and more fossil fuels. Only government by people with VISION can turn this insanity around. And that will take quite some time in itself.

    One important tool that governments have is their monetary systems which, though joined at the hip with the worldwide economy, can be tweaked and eventually overhauled over time to recompense those who work smarter (or whatever) for the sake of a more sustainable planetary environment. There is no other way that the majority of a people will ever stop voting against the better interests of their wallets. No, it will mean gradual introductions of new, alternative types of "green" currency, with the risks involved in using it —or something like that.

    I think it's time for people just to try to see things more clearly —to see things as they are. We are sinking into a terrible climatic sinkhole, and have already run out of time if we think we can continue in any way like we have —and not expect the rest of the world to insist on themselves living our wasteful ways of life, too.

    But all we human beings have lived along the banks of the river far too long, a rivuh thay call DeNile.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    And what, PRECISELY - are you doing, directly, yourself, to alleviate the problem?

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    Sorry, @Nirvana, but your attitude smacks of "We are poor weak and incapable of doing anything, we can't do anything to affect what's happening, leave it to the big boys, because they're so much better equipped but it's not going to happen any time soon" which is about as defeatist as anything could be...
    Have you ever seen how efficiently organised an ant colony actually is?
    I'd rather be an ant, than a defeatist.

    Well, it's not that I'm being defeatist her, dear Fede, it's just that "those ants" have long been dead.

    This human manipulation of the environmental gases just didn't begin yesteryear. It Began at the Dawn of the 20th century or earlier, and was in full swing by the year 1950. All the highways and their gas-consuming vehicles are necessary to support our modern lifestyles wherein we commute an average of about 37 miles a day per person, more often than not in vehicles occupied by only one. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency! We have to be where we either want to be or must be on time, and that is best done by individual vehicle. And even if all vehicles were converted to electric ones, it's not clear what kind of carbon footprint those all would make in their manufacture, upkeep, and battery work.

    What we need for having sustainable environments is more and more places for people to "live in the round," rather than living in the linear world of going from point A to point B, C, D, &c, traversing miles and miles every day in the course of doing ones duties and chores. (O, and the mean places in the wasteland in-between!) Government with a greener currency can help bring this reality about, so that a person doesn't have to spend 35 years of his life commuting 80 miles or more a day to and fro work. And for those who enjoy the commute, governmental planning and/or investment in efficient, safe, and friendly (GREEN) public transportation is a Must.

    Defeatism, I agree, is no virtue; but nor is realism a vice.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    So in other words "I'm not actually doing anything".

    Rather like the man who keeps moaning about his town's unkempt park, but has a hideous jungle himself, he never attends to.
    Ok, that's fine.
    I get it.

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    And what, PRECISELY - are you doing, directly, yourself, to alleviate the problem?

    Well, I lived in South Dakota without a car for all but two years when I was growing up. I lived In Cambridge, Mass., for 13 years without a car and relied on my two feet, my bicycle and public transportation, Moved to South Carolina and usually walked to work, though I had a car, had an eight-year hiatus in which I had to drive to work ten miles each direction up in North Carolina, and moved back down to South Carolina (the best part of the world), where I have a car but have walked to work (2 blocks) for over 13 years. I CHOSE this SC job and its commute and wish everyone who wished to could do so.

    I rarely fly and when I do so am about as friendly and cooperative a passenger as I can manage (though I do get a bit ornery sometimes when they ask about my final destination, as if that were any of their darned business).

    That's all I can think of right now. Sorry.

  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking on taking daily responsibility to change our environment in response to global warming in this short clip from an interview given to Sofia Stril-Rever in Oxford, UK on September 15, 2015.

    How does one take daily responsibility to protect the environment?

    They been recycling them Dalai Lamas for centuries ... ;)

    Learning to wear out clothes, rather than dispose of consumerist fashion is a useful skill to develop. Old computers can run more efficient free software. I use Puppy Linux.

    Eating the food we buy and eating nutrition rather than consuming addict foods. @how grows some food. Good plan.

    My sister can afford to support small food producers, who create alternative lifestyles and often tastier products.

    So many ways to live better, kinder, eviromentally friendlier.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    But what would be required Ie: limiting personal vehicles for those in urban areas with public transportation for example, requires people to give up something they are quite attached to. It turns into a big cycle that has to be broken somewhere, but people will want or need to know they are getting something better in exchange for giving up convenience and status. Gaining a living planet isn't enough, apparently. People refuse to see. The question is how can anyone force them to?

    We live in a rural area, so we don't have public transportation. We are 2 hours from the nearest city that has metro bus routes and 4.5 hours from the nearest with metro trains. A lot of people just to have jobs end up commuting almost 60 miles every day, one way. There aren't a lot of options as far as transportation and walking simply isn't an solution much of the time. But the rural areas have so few people that their overall impact is less. A lot it needs to come from concentrated populations, urban/metro areas. But they won't want to give up what rural people get to keep.

    It really requires a higher consciousness and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. We most certainly aren't there yet, mentally. The question is, how much time do we have to wait for people to get there? And will we eventually have leaders who will force us that way whether we want to go or not? Right now, that also seems unlikely.

    Honestly, (and I'm an eternal optimist) I kind of feel like we'll never get there, and by the time we get to the point more people take notice, it'll be too late. I'm not convinced we aren't already too late.

    silver
  • It is a question of practical balance. You need a car, use it. HHDL flies and is chaffeured to deliver his green advocacy and other idealisations. You are not going to use a horse to get about ...

    It is a movement towards, similar to the dharma, not fanatical lifestyle and thinking to frighten the neighbours.

    I find each generation has to find solutions to the previous generations excesses and work on their successes.
    http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/nov/25/aquaponics-startup-local-organic-urban-produce

  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    And what, PRECISELY - are you doing, directly, yourself, to alleviate the problem?

    I signed this petition, which I pass on to you. North Americans, seems to me, have every right to sign it. Don't know about denizens of other lands, though.

    http://act.presente.org/sign/exxon/?sp_ref+165898790.166.120057.e.0.2&referring_akid+1396.251335.JgAwHO&source+email_sp

    Read all about it and SIGN THE PETITION!

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited December 2015

    I don't think it will happen until greed is made obsolete.

    It will take a grand discovery and/or time with bit-by-bit tech breakthroughs.

    And also on the individual level which is the only way to influence the collective.

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