A brief summary of the Paper1. Carbon emissions and climate – does society really face a climate emergency?
The level of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere and global mean surface temperatures are both rising rapidly. While the atmosphere had undergone great fluctuations in the past, humans were not around to experience them. In this first part of our carbon and climate backgrounder, we take a quick look at why these changes, arising from humans’ burning fossil fuel, are an emergency.2. How can society control carbon emissions?
With the risks that climate change poses to society, the natural question is ‘what can we do about it?’ In the second part of our climate backgrounder, we briefly highlight some of the technological, ecological, government, and social responses that could potentially help address the climate emergency.3. Can society curtail emissions enough to handle the climate emergency?
In the third part of our carbon and climate backgrounder, we see that even with full implementation of all feasible measures society can take now, there is still going to be too much carbon emitted to stop global warming. Something more will be needed to address this ‘emissions gap.’4. Everyone from individuals to governments will need to take responsibility for helping to control global warming.
Local action will be needed to solve a global challenge. The scientific and technical overviews in the first three parts of our background have set the scene for the specific efforts that Gomde UK has taken, and will take in the future, to reduce its carbon footprint.5 Personal values – the extra step needed to help address the climate emergency.
To reduce carbon emissions and warming risks to acceptable levels, all tools that can be implemented will need to be implemented. Because those are not sufficient, however, there also needs to be an evolution in worldviews, and changes in behaviour that help bridge the emissions gap. Buddhism has much to say about attachment, happiness, and suffering, so naturally, this implies that there may be uniquely Buddhist responses to the climate emergency.