Buddhism & the Climate-Energy Emergency









What is at stake? Warming so far, about two degrees Fahrenheit over land areas, seems almost innocuous, being less than day-to-day weather fluctuations. But more warming is already 'in the pipeline', delayed only by the great inertia of the world ocean. 
And climate is nearing dangerous tipping points.
Elements of a 'perfect
storm', a global cataclysm, are assembled.



Debate among scientists is
only about how much sea level would rise by a given date.
If emissions follow a business-as-usual scenario, sea level rise of at least two meters is likely within a century. Hundreds of millions of people would become refugees. 
No stable shoreline would be reestablished in any time frame that humanity can conceive.


The shocking conclusion, documented in a paper I have written with several of the world's leading climate experts, is that the safe level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is no more than 350 ppm (parts per million), and it may be less. Carbon dioxide amount is already 385 ppm and rising about 2 ppm per year.

Shocking corollary: the oft-stated goal to keep global warming less than two degrees Celsius is a recipe for global disaster, not salvation.


We must draw down atmospheric CO2 to preserve the planet we know. A level of no more than 350 ppm is still feasible, with the help of reforestation and improved agricultural practices, but just barely - time is running out. 


Dr. James Hansen

Extracts from the Statements of NASA's Most Senior Climatologist

A wide gap has developed between what is understood about global warming by the relevant scientific community and what is known by policymakers and the public. Frank assessment of scientific data yields conclusions that are shocking to the body politic. Yet these conclusions have a certainty exceeding 99%... we have used up all slack in the schedule for actions needed to defuse the global warming time bomb.

The next president and Congress must define a course next year in which the
United States exerts leadership commensurate with our responsibility for the present dangerous situation.
Otherwise it will become impractical to constrain atmospheric carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas produced in burning fossil fuels, to a level that prevents the climate system from passing tipping points that lead to disastrous climate changes that spiral dynamically out of humanity's control.

As climate zones move farther and faster, climate change will become the primary cause of species extinction. The tipping point for life on the planet will occur when so many interdependent species are lost that ecosystems collapse.