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Sorry I haven’t put up a transcript for this week’s Bare Bones Biology, because — my computer is in the hospital. Oh no, you say, you should have backed it up!! Oh yes, I say, I thought I did, but that automatic backup software didn’t back it up. I will get a copy of the disk from Stevo and put it up before next week (I hope) and meantime, I’ve been watching my little pond ecosystem slowly die in the drought.

You know, about 50 years ago when I was taking ecology and studying a beautiful little ecosystem along a river at UC Davis, I thought in my dissociated moments that it might be interesting to watch and record the result of human overpopulation. But – no, I thought. It won’t happen in my lifetime.

HA! Check out Crash Course on Youtube if you want to understand exponential growth.

And then I thought — after I wrote my report — who would there be to read it? A vision of Professor Salt pops into my mind. He was a nice man and a good professor, but – – –

The answer is that human societies have crashed under population pressures quite a number of times in the past and it has already been recorded. For example, read COLLAPSE by Jarrod Diamond. It’s not a slow thing in my pond; these fish were all alive the day before I took this picture, and the water is not that much different today from yesterday, and it seems not to have been a slow thing in past human events. That’s what is meant by a “tipping point,” when all the factors TOGETHER, climate, temperature, food energy, water, all that and more, in their interacting effects, are outside the limits of tolerance of (whatever species) — And yet people keep telling me “it’s always been the way it is and it always will be.” The fact is the whole earth ecosystem is a living entitity that is always changing in response to the environment. The internal environment in this case.

But wait — that’s what I’m trying to tell you. The law of gravity, the second law of thermodynamics, the law of cause and effect. They are not changing. They are what make life possible on this earth. If they change, life is not possible. If they don’t change, then our life is not possible unless we abide by the natural laws, and the best way to do that is to understand the natural laws — not pretend they don’t exist or are under our control..


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