The Future World of Our Grandchildren

After listening to four of five video recordings of the Ecology, Ethics and Interdependence Conference with the Dalai Lama at the Mind and Life Institute, I decided to include it on this COP17 post due to its extreme relevance to our future on planet Earth.  These videos are each about 2hrs long.  So it requires thoughtful listening, yet I feel that the hours I have spent considering the issues and comments on each topic have informed me on a deeper level of all that is at stake and all the promise that the future could hold for our children and grandchildren to come – long after we have left our legacy behaviors and decisions (our non-action and non-decisions) behind for them to cherish and honor or despise and dishonor.  Why should we care?  What does not caring tell about us?  Who’s culpable?  The fourth video is focused on ethics which evoked some of the most interesting reflections from the Dalai Lama on how current generations create the world of future generations much like our world was handed to us by our grandparents and parents.

This podcast includes a presentation by Diana Liverman of the timescale of earth system function up to and after 1950, tracing not just temperature and population (the most common graphs) but use of water, fertilizers, paper, cars, loss of the ozone layer, deforestation of temperate and tropical forests, overfishing, biodiversity and other important indicators.  They discuss the period of the Great Acceleration (1950 being watermark for its beginning.)

The speaker explains what scientists mean when they use the term, Earth Systems.  Carbon Cycle, Water Cycle, and Air Circulation to the Dalai Lama. These is a great section of the video. ***Start at about 35 minutes for this section of the podcast.

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After my last post on the COP17 Climate Talks in Durban, South Africa I realized the links I posted take you, the reader, into a maze of reports and data sites, agendas, and very dense organizational structure.  I apologize for that having just spent time navigating (barely) through the site.  However if you go to the OneWorld blog  you can find up to date news and videos on the floor of the convention.  AFP.com International news for today describes how the whole political scene is in turmoil as delegations of developing countries (“Basic nations”) -the Group of 77 – are insisting that the Kyoto gas emission targets from the previous sessions be maintained to as late as 2020.  Among the 77 is China, now the largest emitter of CO2 on the planet.  Some delegates believe strongly that to not further curb emissions for another 8 years will bode disaster to earth’s operating systems.  In the original Kyoto agreements (1997), developed nations agreed that they have contributed the most to climate change through CO2 emissions and they assumed greater responsibility by agreeing to not only cut emissions but to provide the resources and expertise for developing countries to cope with the worst changes such as flooding, drought, and loss of food productivity due to warming of the planet.  Read the AFP article here.

For ongoing coverage of events and people this is also an excellent site:  iiSD RS @ Durban Climate Change Conference.

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