Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Dalai Lama Calls for Climate Change Action by All World Leaders, Even Ours

Maybe Steve Harper should stop taking orders from his Beijing mandarins long enough to listen to the Dalai Lama.

Speaking at MIT, the Dalai Lama warned that every nation will suffer if leaders don't recognize common interests and responsibilities in responding to climate change.

Whether we can really solve these problems or not, we have to make an attempt, that’s how I feel,” the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader said at a forum hosted by the The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values, a nonprofit think tank at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

...Rebecca Henderson, an economics professor at Harvard Business School, says we need to transform the world economy from one where resources are cheap and waste is free, to one where resources are properly priced. That, she says, will change polluting behaviors. Henderson says the challenge is convincing businesses to manage morally and ethically.

“I think there’s increasing consensus that business as usual may have unacceptable social and environmental costs,” Henderson said.

Penny Chisholm, a professor in the environmental studies department at MIT, looked at the latest efforts in geoengineering — tinkering with nature to try and reverse the effects of climate change. Scientists are looking at technical solutions such as collecting carbon in the atmosphere and storing it deep in the earth, controlling the temperature of the earth or adding nutrients to the ocean. But, she told the Dalai Lama, these solutions could be dangerous.

“We aren’t going to know what will happen,” Chisholm said. “So to take that risk with our planet is too great when we know there’s a solution at the root cause.”

Now that the public consensus, even in the United States, is coming into line with the scientific consensus on global warming, badly needed and long overdue resources are flowing to the scientific community.  NCAR, the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research has announced it is now using a 1.5 petaflop supercomputer, said to be one of the 20-most powerful on Earth, for geoscience research.   It's 30-times more powerful than NCAR's former main computer.

Along with climate change, this supercomputer will be used on a number of geoscience research issues, including the study of severe weather, oceanography, air quality, geomagnetic storms, earthquakes and tsunamis, wildfires, subsurface water and energy resources.

It's hoped the extra computing power will allow NCAR to do climate change modeling on a scale as small as 10 kms.

2 comments:

Beijing York said...

I don't agree with everything the Dalai Lama has to say but I do agree with this call. Bravo!

And whether you support the PQ or not, I have to say that what the bold steps taken by the Marois government on the environmental front are also applause worthy. Of course business interests have a bee in their bonnet but NO to fracking and asbestos mining are pretty damn good policy decisions.

Sixth Estate said...

With respect to NCAR, unfortunately, I don't think more comprehensive knowledge of climate change is going to sway any of the people who need to be swayed.

The people who are eagerly clearing new prospecting in the high Arctic already know the climate is warming uncontrollably. They simply do not care.