Filmed during Mind & Life Institute’s “Mind & Life XXIII: Ecology, Ethics and Interdependence ” on October 17-21, 2011.
Topic One – The Science
Human Impact on Global Systems for Sustaining Life
SPEAKER: Diana Liverman
Session 1 of “Ecology, Ethics and Interdependence”, the Mind and Life XXIII conference with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in dialogue with contemplative scholars, activists and ecological scientists who discuss the interconnection between individual choices and environmental consequences. The conference was held at His Holiness’s office in Dharamsala, India, from October 17-21, 2011.
Geologists use the term Anthropocene Age for the era that began with the Industrial Revolution, in which human activity steadily degrades the global systems that sustain life on our planet. Those systems include, for example, the carbon cycle and global warming and the nitrogen system, where runoff from chemical fertilizers creates dead zones in lakes and oceans. The victims include species gone or going extinct, vanishing ecosystems, and human suffering. A complex interdependence underlies the planet’s life-sustaining systems: they act in tandem with each other and in complex ways, creating safe zones for life – but have tipping points for destruction from human activity. What is the nature of a system, and what basic principles operate to sustain or degrade a system? How might interdependence be articulated as a principle across all the systems?
MODERATOR: Daniel Goleman
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Joan Halifax Roshi