Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Take aways from interview listed below.

1. Practice meditation by holding in your mind the opposite concepts:

a. Things are constantly changing and we engage as if they were permanent.

b. Things are interdependent and we engage as if they were independent.
c. Things are without intrinsic identity and we engage as if they were objects with        intrinsic identities.  (intrinsic identity example: my brother moved, lost weight and got sick, but he is still the same person to me.)

2.  Religious doctrine, Christian or any other, is a useful metaphor to create a set of principles and guidelines to live by.


Jay L. Garfield, who has taught philosophy at several universities and is currently the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professor of Humanities, Yale-NUS College in Singapore.

"Buddhist doctrine regarding the nature of reality generally focuses on three principal characteristics of things. The first idea is that all phenomena are impermanent and constantly changing, despite the fact that we engage with them as though they are permanent; the second is that they are interdependent, although we engage with them as though they are independent; the third is that they are without any intrinsic identity, although we treat ourselves and other objects as though they have intrinsic identities."

" way for a Buddhist not taken with the idea of personal rebirth across biological lives to take that doctrine as a useful metaphor: Treat the past reflectively and with gratitude and responsibility, and with an awareness that much of our present life is conditioned by our collective past; take the future seriously as something we have the responsibility to construct, just as much as if we would be there personally. This makes sense of the ideas, for instance, of intergenerational justice, or of collective contemporary responsibility for harms inflicted in the past, as well as our current personal responsibility to future generations."


Monday, April 7, 2014

What Elizabeth Kolbert wrote about Climate Change

Elizabeth Kolbert wrote
about the politics of climate change.

Comparing the current situation with the past experience of dealing with CFCs and Ozone in the Stratosphere. Having read Merchants of Doubt by Oreskes and Conway, I remembered that individuals and businesses acted a long time before the government did to stop using aerosols.  Page 117, by the time the FDA announced regulations in 1977, CFC propellants were 1/4 of what they were at the peak.  Why?  Because the American public took action on their own, without any new laws or regulations.  It was very easy, they just stopped buying CFC propellants as much as possible.

How are individual Americans taking action to deal with Climate Change?
Americans are speaking with their pocket books again. Just like they did with CFCs. Americans are shifting the market place to non-fossil fuel energy sources by purchasing renewable energy from their local utilities, their choice of vehicles, their energy savings in the home and by recycling.  They are installing solar energy on schools, businesses and homes at rate that doubles in a very short time frame.  Everyone believes coal plants are going to be shut down over the next 10 to 20 years.  The key measurement is to look at what Americans are spending their money on in terms of non-fossil fuel energy sources and uses.