Meditation Discussion Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Artisticwatching on September 03, 2020, 12:07:42 PM

Title: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Artisticwatching on September 03, 2020, 12:07:42 PM
I’ve been pondering a change in my work lately as I think being a coal miner is not in line with the Buddha’s teachings. The only benefit I can think of is I’m helping to supply electricity to developing countries, but at the same time I’m adding to the decline of the planet as a whole.

Not to mention the unwholesome mind states that arise from working night shift.

Can you all illuminate some other reasons for me to act on leaving the occupation.

Thank you



Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Matthew on September 03, 2020, 01:13:52 PM
I think you know the decision you will make, and I don't think you need help making it. Hopefully there is an occupational switch you can easily transition to that will allow you to provide for yourself and anyone who depends upon you and that will not leave you feeling conflicted morally.
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Artisticwatching on September 03, 2020, 01:56:27 PM
Thank you Matthew.

I’ve become debt free recently so it’s a perfect time to move on, in not skilled in much else but I’m sure I’ll find something.
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Matthew on September 03, 2020, 04:07:57 PM
Artisticwatching,

It does sound like an opportune time to make a change to something which works for you - both to sustain yourself, and that fits with your moral/ethical sense.

The economy is going through (and will go through) big changes at the moment, due to structural and technological factors, as well as the challenges raised by the pandemic. This means there may be openings for you in something that also interests you and contributes towards positive change in the world - especially if you are willing to forgo short term earnings to learn new skills or a new trade.

My general advice to people about work is to try and follow what you love, what gives a sense of meaning to your life, what feels wholesome to you. Work this way is something that is not a chore but actually nourishes your growth in life instead.

I wish you success - if you mindfully contemplate your way forward I am sure you will find it. You make your own luck in this life.

Kindly,

Matthew
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Dhamma on September 03, 2020, 05:35:53 PM
I’ve been pondering a change in my work lately as I think being a coal miner is not in line with the Buddha’s teachings. The only benefit I can think of is I’m helping to supply electricity to developing countries, but at the same time I’m adding to the decline of the planet as a whole.

Not to mention the unwholesome mind states that arise from working night shift.

Can you all illuminate some other reasons for me to act on leaving the occupation.

Thank you


You've touched me profoundly, and I'm not sure why. I think it's because you sincerely wish for greater enlightenment, and I really sense it. That is just beautiful.

You seem to understand the Buddha's teachings well on this matter.

We must seek activities that cause least harm to ourselves and others.

May you fulfill your deepest wish for happiness.

Much love in the Dhamma to you. :)
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Artisticwatching on September 09, 2020, 07:36:18 AM
I’ve been pondering a change in my work lately as I think being a coal miner is not in line with the Buddha’s teachings. The only benefit I can think of is I’m helping to supply electricity to developing countries, but at the same time I’m adding to the decline of the planet as a whole.

Not to mention the unwholesome mind states that arise from working night shift.

Can you all illuminate some other reasons for me to act on leaving the occupation.

Thank you


You've touched me profoundly, and I'm not sure why. I think it's because you sincerely wish for greater enlightenment, and I really sense it. That is just beautiful.

You seem to understand the Buddha's teachings well on this matter.

We must seek activities that cause least harm to ourselves and others.

May you fulfill your deepest wish for happiness.

Much love in the Dhamma to you. :)


May you be happy 😊
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: running on October 13, 2020, 11:25:04 PM
I’ve been pondering a change in my work lately as I think being a coal miner is not in line with the Buddha’s teachings. The only benefit I can think of is I’m helping to supply electricity to developing countries, but at the same time I’m adding to the decline of the planet as a whole.

Not to mention the unwholesome mind states that arise from working night shift.

Can you all illuminate some other reasons for me to act on leaving the occupation.

Thank you

I spend a great deal of my time researching the energy markets including green energy. I am not opposed to green energy and in the process of putting a substantial amount into copper mines. But until we come up with an economic and recyclable battery that has a long life it can't replace baseload power. Therefore i also invest in coal miners, natural gas, and oil. Due to cheap reliable energy the world has gone from millions to billions on the planet living much better than before.



Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: running on October 14, 2020, 12:43:30 AM
continued

Also. Most importantly. I appreciate your hard work as a coal miner!
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Siddharth on October 17, 2020, 08:40:36 PM
I’ve been pondering a change in my work lately as I think being a coal miner is not in line with the Buddha’s teachings. The only benefit I can think of is I’m helping to supply electricity to developing countries, but at the same time I’m adding to the decline of the planet as a whole.

Not to mention the unwholesome mind states that arise from working night shift.

Can you all illuminate some other reasons for me to act on leaving the occupation.

Thank you

I spend a great deal of my time researching the energy markets including green energy. I am not opposed to green energy and in the process of putting a substantial amount into copper mines. But until we come up with an economic and recyclable battery that has a long life it can't replace baseload power. Therefore i also invest in coal miners, natural gas, and oil. Due to cheap reliable energy the world has gone from millions to billions on the planet living much better than before.

There is a really deep sense of morality and empathy in this post by artisticwatching. To care for the planet, and to be willing to make the necessary effort even when it might not be trivial on a personal level speaks to me as an aspiring public administrator. At the same time, energy produced from burning coal is ensuring basic minimum quality of life for millions in countries like India where I come from.

While we are searching for reliable alternative (we need more funds and political will there, no question about it), it is also important to make sure people around the globe are not starving, freezing, have living wage and a shot at reducing some of the misery that being at the rock bottom economically brings. Coal based electricity has enabled a lot of it in country like india, where still 10s of millions do not have reliable source of energy. apart from using nuclear energy, which has it's own set of problems attached with it, currently, hardly any country is in a state to completely shut down on coal.

Thus I would say that despite your decision on a personal level to continue or transition into a better source of livelihood, I would say that overall outlook on being a coal miner is not necessarily one that is detrimental to society at large (unless we find reliable cleaner alternatives)

while we are talking about the degradation of the environment on this thread, I would also like to mention the harm that meat industry causes. methane released from cattle reared to be butchered is equivalently harmful vis-a-vis global warming to all the vehicles in the world. the amount of water resources it takes to produce an ounce of meat is in thousands of litres of water, considering the whole supply chain. not to mention the steroids and anti-bodies injected into the cattle to increase milk yield in dairy industries. this increases chance of anti-body resistance resistant bacteria or superbugs which can be even more devastating than the current pandemic.
Anyways I think reduction in meat consumption is something which is easier to do by individual lifestyle change compared to finding reliable clean source of energy for the world in the short term. and If one is so inclined to save the earth, this too might be a good way to contribute.
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Matthew on October 24, 2020, 01:11:15 AM
Solar and wind are cheaper than fossil fuels. All fossil fuels have huge subsidy. New energy storage methods combined with these, and distributed rather than centralised, grids, will provide an inherently resilient non polluting power supply. If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change the world needs to make these changes in short order. Nuclear may provide some base load, but distributed networks of green power are essential.
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Nicky on November 13, 2020, 09:40:09 AM
at the same time I’m adding to the decline of the planet as a whole.

Its is not you adding to the decline. It is the users of electricity, including the virtue signalling greenies, adding to the decline.

Solar and wind are cheaper .... New energy storage methods... catastrophic climate change

Sounds like propaganda. If solar & wind are so cheap, why do my greenie friends spend thousands of dollars on narcissistic house renovations rather than make their homes "off-the-grid"?   
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: dharma bum on November 13, 2020, 06:24:12 PM
Quote
Sounds like propaganda. If solar & wind are so cheap, why do my greenie friends spend thousands of dollars on narcissistic house renovations rather than make their homes "off-the-grid"?   

Solar and wind connected to the grid has gotten cheaper on account of scale and improved technologies so many newer plants tend to be wind/solar purely on economic grounds. This is likely to be an accelerating trend.
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Matthew on November 14, 2020, 11:33:36 PM
Solar and wind are cheaper .... New energy storage methods... catastrophic climate change

Sounds like propaganda. If solar & wind are so cheap, why do my greenie friends spend thousands of dollars on narcissistic house renovations rather than make their homes "off-the-grid"?   

I think you have answered your own question: because they put their narcissistic/ego satisfaction above rational decision making.
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Nicky on November 15, 2020, 04:08:54 AM
I think you have answered your own question: because they put their narcissistic/ego satisfaction above rational decision making.

The matter was whether non-coal energy was "cheap". Quick search finds $20,000 cost to install off-the-grid solar, batteries and emergency generator. I personally use $360 in electricity per year and i am charged an additional $400 per year for connection. If I install off-the-grid, the pay-back period is 26 years or, for my friends, say 16 years. Its not cheap. Also, our electricity provider supplies 2.3 million customers and makes $500M in profit per year or $100 per person for the state government treasury.

Quick search found 40% coal power, 22% gas and 30% solar & wind, with proposals for 100% solar & wind. Won't that look beautiful and where & how to dispose of those solar panels. Sounds like superstition to me.
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: dharma bum on November 15, 2020, 05:20:54 AM
You're comparing an off-the-grid renewable with on the grid power of uncertain source (could be hydroelectric, solar, wind, or coal). That doesn't make any sense. You should compare an off-the-grid solar generator with an off-the-grid coal-fired generator and do the math.

If you want to build a power-plant in a place with reliable solar or wind, then for a certain scale, renewables start to get cheaper. This has been true for a couple of years at least, likely more.
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: Nicky on November 15, 2020, 07:21:01 AM
do the math.

You should prove the math since you claim you know the math.

Quote
Wind 'on its knees' as profits vanish, says industry pioneer

Mainstream founder O'Connor says rock-bottom prices and market skewed to fossils threatens climate change fight

O’Connor – who built Ireland-based MRP into a global force in renewables development – claimed the sector would struggle to achieve its potential for as long as its core profitability was below the oil and gas sector, which continues to look like a profitable bet to investors.

https://www.rechargenews.com/wind/wind-on-its-knees-as-profits-vanish-says-industry-pioneer/2-1-704554
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: milco on November 15, 2020, 11:26:07 AM
I think you have answered your own question: because they put their narcissistic/ego satisfaction above rational decision making.

The matter was whether non-coal energy was "cheap". Quick search finds $20,000 cost to install off-the-grid solar, batteries and emergency generator. 


That is like saying that you should build a nuclear power station in you back garden! You are confusing macro and micro-generation and your analogy just does't make any sense.
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: stillpointdancer on November 15, 2020, 11:49:29 AM
This Guardian article make for interesting reading on the subject: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/12/reaching-uk-net-zero-target-cheaper-than-we-thought-says-climate-adviser (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/12/reaching-uk-net-zero-target-cheaper-than-we-thought-says-climate-adviser)
Title: Re: Right livelihood as a coal miner
Post by: dharma bum on November 15, 2020, 03:16:38 PM
Quote
Wind 'on its knees' as profits vanish, says industry pioneer

Mainstream founder O'Connor says rock-bottom prices and market skewed to fossils threatens climate change fight

O%u2019Connor %u2013 who built Ireland-based MRP into a global force in renewables development %u2013 claimed the sector would struggle to achieve its potential for as long as its core profitability was below the oil and gas sector, which continues to look like a profitable bet to investors.

https://www.rechargenews.com/wind/wind-on-its-knees-as-profits-vanish-says-industry-pioneer/2-1-704554

I think you're drawing the wrong conclusion. He says the prices have fallen a lot (which is what everyone is saying about renewables) but that they are making the industry unprofitable. So he suggests taxing the fossil fuel industry by including the cost of pollution into the pricing for fossil fuels as a remedy. None of this contradicts conventional wisdom that technology and scale are making renewables more and more economically attractive.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/solar-power-is-beginning-to-eclipse-fossil-fuels-11581964338