A green ribbon for the planet

Green_ribbon

As you might be aware the next few days might be of particular importance for the future of human societies on this planet. In the next two weeks a UN Climate Summit will be held in Paris. In this occasion governments from around the world will meet up to decide a global action against climate change.

There is overwhelming evidence that climate change is already a reality.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated different possible scenarios for climate change. All of them involve a temperature rise (from 0.6 to 4 more grades Celsius on average according to the scenario) [see table below].

The different scenarios will depend on whether the nations will adopt more global than a regional approach, and whether the nations will provide an higher focus to environmental rather than economic priorities. Global approaches will do better than regional approaches in terms of average temperature rise, so will environmental approaches compared to economic approaches.

Many different schools of thoughts, both religious and secular, came-up with the conclusion that we live in an inter-connected reality where the well-being of the whole system depends on the actions of the individuals. In other words we inter-are, as zen master Tich Nhat Hanh would put it. I could not agree more.

I believe there is an interesting parallelism between the scenarios developed by the IPCC and the vision of inter-dependence of philosophical and religious traditions.

This period of in history is a big chance for all of us to realise more deeply this fundamental truth. What we do affects others, both across the world and across generations. What we have is a big chance to recognise this inter-dependence and to change our behaviour on this planet to ensure we enter a more sustainable path. It is a duty we have for the whole of life really.

I hope this chance will be taken by both the world’s population and by the world’s politicians. I would love to see the walls that divide us to fall when we recognise that change is needed for everybody’s future survival and well-being.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh [him again, I know!] asked all mindfulness to practitioners to make personal commitments for environmental change. These might include joining a march, fasting from meat or diary products, wear a green ribbon, raise awareness as so on. Similar needs to raise awareness and take concrete actions were raised by Pope Francis. Anyway, independently of your political or religious views I would encourage to take action as well to raise awareness on this important issue.

We live in a beautiful planet. If you think about it, the changes of having a planet as beautiful as the one we have we pretty damn low. Furthermore this planet is our home, it is the source of our life and especially it is the only one we have. It is key that we treat it with respect and wisdom.

If you still are not convinced about why we need to love our planet, here are some nice pictures of it which will help you remembering..

 

Nick

And this is me being totally awesome during my first bike ride when I was 14!!!

Have fun!

Table 1: IPCC estimates of future temperature rise

Temperature Change Sea Level Rise)
(°C at 2090-2099 relative to 1980-1999)a (m at 2090-2099 relative to 1980-1999)
Case Best estimate Likely range Model-based range excluding future
rapid dynamical changes in ice flow
Constant Year 2000 concentrationsb 0.6 0.3 – 0.9 NA
B1 scenario 1.8 1.1 – 2.9 0.18 – 0.38
A1T scenario 2.4 1.4 – 3.8 0.20 – 0.45
B2 scenario 2.4 1.4 – 3.8 0.20 – 0.43
A1B scenario 2.8 1.7 – 4.4 0.21 – 0.48
A2 scenario 3.4 2.0 – 5.4 0.23 – 0.51
A1FI scenario 4.0 2.4 – 6.4 0.26 – 0.59

Table notes:

a These estimates are assessed from a hierarchy of models that encompass a simple climate model, several Earth System Models of Intermediate Complexity and a large number of Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs).

b Year 2000 constant composition is derived from AOGCMs only.

Source: http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/ddc/sres/

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3 comments

  1. Jade

    Beautiful words and images, thank you for sharing this. I totally agree regarding the need to educate and raise awareness, and I also think it’s so important that we take individual responsibility and actions. I’d be really interested to know your thoughts on veganism and the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industries in particular?

    • pensierifuoriforma

      Hi Jade, thanks for your message. I am not an expert in the field, hence I don’t know if I am the best person to answer your question. Anyway, I’ll give you my two cents. I am not a vegan, I am a vegetarian. My choice is due to ethical reasons, but I also think that this choice might have positive impact on the environment (I do not know the stats, but it takes much more energy and water to produce meat than to produce veggie food). What concerns me the most, though, is the cruelty of the mass meat production chain. In my opinion one day humanity will look back at this type of food production and will probably see it as barbarian. One conversation I often have with my girlfriend (who is not a veggie) is what would happen if everybody would turn veggie. Would human genes change over time? Would this lead to under development of the human body if one is veggie/vegan all of his/her life? These are all open questions of course. One of the challenges vegans have, in my view, concern the attitudes towards meat eaters. I found that often vegans have a militant attitude about veganism. Either you’re a vegan, or are a cruel being. I believe this attitude does not help the vegan/vegetarian cause. A meat eater which consciously decides to reduce his/her meat consumption is already doing the planet a favour and this behaviour should be incentivized. What do you think?

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