Climate Crisis

ocean with skyClimate Science

There is overwhelming evidence that the planet is warming from the greenhouse gases we’re emitting. For over 30 years, climate science has been amassing date from around the world that demonstrates conclusively that all parts of the planet have been affected by the way we are living.

The basic science of climate change dates back much further, to the end of the 19th century, when a lone chemist began to study and calculate the correlation between gases in the atmosphere and the affect on climate. Even with several decades of super-computer modeling, this original work is still a relevant prediction of how greenhouse gases affect climate.

The current research shows us that the loss of forests, acidification of oceans, and the melting of permafrost, ice sheets and glaciers have compromised the ability of the planet to absorb the gases we’re emitting. Coupled with the already dramatic and rapidly increasing rates of greenhouse gas emissions, the climate may soon reach a tipping point.

But there is more than just the possible catastrophe of climate change—there is the opportunity as well.


Looking at climate research through the lens of Chinese medicine, a clear pattern emerges. Together, the effect from forests, oceans, and melting tells a story of decreasing coolant and increasing heat. They depict a clear picture of a planet that is warming as its cooling capacities are decreasing. From the view of Chinese medicine, the cumulative effect tells us the planet has a clear diagnosis: Yin deficient heat. This increasing warmth with decreasing coolant is the cycle where heat increases, cooking off the coolant. This decrease of Yin/coolant creates an additional increase in heat, which then cooks off more Yin,

To arrive at a clear diagnosis of what is happening to the climate is crucial. As in the treatment room, for Chinese medicine there is no one-size-fits-all approach where the same herbs and the same acupuncture points are used. Similarly, it’s much more likely that we will be able to effectively address climate change if we understand the underlying issues.

In addition to providing a clear diagnosis, Chinese medicine can also help us see the relationship between what occurs in the global climate and what occurs within us as individuals. The long established connection in Chinese medicine between the big picture and the little allows us to understand the clear connection between the microcosm and macrocosm. This inductive understanding can help us discern the appropriate set of remedies to treat the sickness of climate change. Chinese medicine can help us see how basic assumptions about our lives contribute to our individual and collective imbalances that are being mirrored in the condition of the climate. Understanding Yin and Yang provides us the opportunity to self-administer the medicine needed to treat the causes of increasing heat and decreasing coolant, which is creating a rapidly destabilizing planet.

For additional, in-depth discussion of the western science of climate change, see chapter 2 of The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis. For more information about its deeper meaning and possibilities, see chapter 3 and the remainder of the book.


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