Thursday, December 10, 2015

Climate: the Buddha on how to avoid floods

The flood of water over the land mimics the flood (ogha) of samsara over us.
White marble Buddha, as if underwater, Wat Pa Phu Kon, Thailand (Bugphai/
There are worse floods than sea-level rise
Buddha's stop fighting mudra (Inkid/
Climate change is happening. Everyone agrees with that. The only thing we disagree on is whether or not it's manmade.

Are humans causing it? Clearly we are, even if the planet is heating in spite of us. (Some say it's getting colder with another ice age coming, and that may be, but as for now, it's heat, massive ice melting, and pollution).

It's time we stop burning fossil fuels -- gasoline, oil, tar sands, and other toxins. It's time we stop producing so much methane and other greenhouse gases, of which carbon is a minor player. Carbon is fine. It's time we stop destroying our green environment, forests, jungles, and plants of all kinds, including sea plants like algae, phytoplankton, seaweed, and chlorophyll containing organisms that are often too small for us to take notice of.
Can we live underwater when all the world floods in around us? (TGKW/
All that being said -- and all of us pressuring corporate-government bed buddies to do something read -- rather than the travesty of a money making scheme to sell "carbon credits" giving the rich the legal right to pollute with impunity. "The magic of the marketplace" in this scenario will not even be addressing the gross polluters (methane producers like ranchers and slaughterhouse operators) -- there is a worse kind of "flood" (ogha) the Buddha talked about.

Comedian George Carlin didn't think we could impact this planet. The Buddha knew there many ways in which we could. We can do it even with our thoughts and words, to say nothing of our deeds (precycling, recycling, clean up, boycotting, spreading awareness, not being duped by mainstream media lies about what the problem is and what solutions can address it). The other floods are:

Four Floods to avoid
Ven. Nyanatiloka, Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
Things get so bad in S.E. Asian countries like Thailand that one needs a boat (

Once drowning, Siddhartha found the Way.
According to the Buddha (as in D. 16, Pts.M., Vibh.) there are floods or asavas (literally "influxes") that seep into the heart/mind and emerge form it. These are taints, cankers, corruptions, intoxicating biases. There is a list of four:
  1. flood of sensual-desire (kāmāsava)
  2. flood of (desiring eternal) existence (bhavāsava)
  3. flood of (wrong) views (ditthāsava)
  4. flood of ignorance (avijjāsava)
A list of three, omitting the flood of views, is possibly older and is more frequently found in the discourses or sutras -- for example, in M.2, M.9, D.33; A.III.59, 67; A.VI.63.

In the Vibhanga (Khuddakavatthu Vibhanga) both the threefold and fourfold division are mentioned. The fourfold division also occurs under the name of "floods" (ogha) and [strangling] "yokes" (yoga).
Through the path of stream-entry (the first stage of enlightenment in Buddhism), the flood of views is abandoned.

Through the path of non-returning, the flood of sensual-desire is abandoned.

Through the path of arahatship (full enlightenment), the floods of [craving unending] existence [in an endless series of rebirths] and ignorance.

Save the world: flood Wall Street.
The second sutra in the Middle Length Discourses (M.2) shows how to overcome the floods, namely, through insight (vipassana), sense-control, avoidance, wise use of the necessities of life, and so on. For a commentarial exposition, see Atthasālini translaton I, p. 63f: II, pp. 475ff (The Expositor, trans. by Maung Tin, PTS Translation Series).
Khīnāsava, "one whose floods are abandoned [uprooted]," or "one who is canker-free," is a name for the arhat or enlightened one.

The state of arhatship is frequently called āsavakkhaya, "the destruction of the floods." Sutras concluding with the attainment of enlightenment by the listeners often end with the words: "During this utterance, the hearts of the meditators were freed from the floods through clinging no more" (anupādāya āsavehi cittāni vimuccimsū'ti).

What about faraway Afghanistan (land of Buddhas)?
Bamiyan, Afghanistan, where the U.S. and Pakistani created "Taliban" destroyed some of the largest Buddha statues in the world (

The Eiffel Tower is a "climatesign" (AP).
(AP) PARIS, France - Mostapha Zaher head of the Afghan delegation at the Paris climate talks, believes an "overwhelming majority" of the delegates will be satisfied with the final draft of a global climate accord.

Zaher says he's "almost absolutely certain" the final draft is going to be formally adopted later on Saturday. He says he has been to such conferences for many years and "I hadn't seen a buildup like today, electricity in the air."

He says Afghanistan is being "ravaged" by climate change: "Our glaciers are melting...erratic weather patterns are having a dire effect on our agriculture."

Zaher stressed the Paris agreement would allow "proper transfers of clean technology to Afghanistan." But he also says "we have to -- also as a least-developed country -- play our role to help ourselves."

Afghanistan has promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 13.6 percent below the 2030 business-as-usual scenario. More

Paris: new climate draft and climate refugees

Migration officials warn about climate refugees
LE BOURGET, France - Here is the latest news related to the U.N. climate conference outside Paris [COP 21], which runs through Dec. 11. All times local:

Dec. 10, 2015
(4:45 pm) International migration officials want a global climate accord under discussion to address the growing risk of migration because of extreme weather. The director of the International Organization for Migration, William Lacy Swing, said the planet is seeing more forced migration today than any time since World War II, and seeing what he called "unprecedented anti-immigration sentiment."

UPDATE: COP 21 Paris - Final text for climate accord expected within hours

"If we add the effect of climate really have the elements of a perfect storm," he said on the sidelines of the Paris climate talks "We are find out how to weather that storm."

Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said "every second, a person is forced to flee because of an extreme weather event." At least 19.3 million people worldwide were driven from their homes by natural disasters last year, most related to weather events, according to the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center.

France's Pres. Hollande, center, holds box containing int'l petition to support climate talks as he poses with religious figures [like Sri Lankan Theravada monk in orange] at Elysee Palace in Paris, Dec. 10, 2015 (AP).

(4:30 pm) The chief United Nations environment officer is still optimistic that a deal will be hammered out soon.

"We're now down to some of the so-called red line issues, some of the defining issues in the convention that have to do with principles," said Achim Steiner, United Nations Environment Program director. "I think the fact that we are now essentially left with maybe three or four issues that need to have a political compromise negotiated and formulated should give us courage and hope that we are actually moving to an agreement."

Steiner said he thinks the final issue will be differentiation between rich and poor nations, calling it "one of the defining principles of where the convention began its journey."

Steiner said he is still hoping to end talks Friday night as the French have promised.

(3:35 pm) Europe's top representative at U.N. climate talks has accused China of blocking proposals for countries to update their carbon pollution targets every five years, which he called critical for a deal in Paris.

EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told reporters Thursday "without the five-year cycles, the agreement is meaningless."

Canete said Chinese negotiators are opposed to making five-yearly updates a requirement in the agreement even though they agreed to such reviews before the Paris talks.

More than 180 countries have presented emissions targets for after 2020, when the envisioned deal is supposed to take effect. Scientific analyses show those targets won't be enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial times, the overarching goal of the climate talks. More



 Headlines: Dec. 10, 2015 
Headlines: Dec. 9, 2015

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