Keystone XL will “hardwire” increased use of carbon fuels

Why are we letting our corposystem invest money into the destruction of our climate and our civilization when we could be putting the money into positive leadership (educating people about the factual reality of our ecosystem) and dealing positively with the problem by taking actions to prevent destruction of our commons — air, soil and water — by reducing the burning of carbon-based fuels and foods of all kinds.

Compassionate Earth Walk

Walk route as of April

Check it out! A smallish group of Americans and I think Canadians and Native North Americans is walking this summer, in protest and with an educational goal, along the northern part of the route of the Tar Sands Pipeline. I’m posting the route here, but be sure to go to the web site of the Compassionate Earth Walk at:

Bitsy can’t wait!

130408-Bitsy_Niko-ASC_3011LSLFs copy

Bare Bones Biology 151 – May You be Happy

130408-Niko-ASC_3004LSs“May you be free from danger
May you have mental happiness
May you have physical happiness
May you have ease of well-being”

If that’s what you really want more than anything else.

That is a mantra that has been translated from Buddhist texts into our American culture, which must have been quite a shock to the Buddhist texts. At least it sounds to me like a very inadequate translation from wisdom toward trivia. But it is useful.

Driving long distances, surrounded by giant boxes moving at 75 miles per hour can be stressful, and so, on my way from northern New Mexico to southern Texas, I fell back on that mantra about one o’clock in the afternoon. By two o’clock it was getting wearisome. Because if happiness is really what you want it should be pretty easy to come by in this rich country, but it’s not really what I want, in fact I suspect it’s an Americanized sales pitch, and so I should not be repeating that mantra, hour after hour.

Happiness is a word without meaning;
In a world that has grown much more complicated.

Then I remembered Tony Hillerman’s novels that are based in the Navaho area of modern Arizona. He tells us about Navajo ideas of community – a community in which you want to be connected together, rather than everyone competing to see who can be “best.” Tony Hillerman’s character, Joe Leaphorn, says/thinks “’We have a curing ceremony to heal us when we start getting vengeful or greedy or, what to you call it, getting ahead of the Joneses.’ . . (He was) remembering how Navaho kids are conditioned to be part of the community . . . in harmony.“


On the contrary, I think many other of our American cultures are based in the belief that I can be “happy” if ever I can prove that I’m better than you are — or at least not worse. I think Leaphorn is more realistic. If we truly want community, it doesn’t make sense that we should try to prove we are better than the people around us. Why would I like you better because you can prove that you are better than I am? I think that is NOT a way to build a positive communal experience for anyone. In fact I’m sure it’s not, because I have seen how people react when they think they aren’t as good. If it continues, it’s the beginning of violence.

In harmony. I really like that concept. Harmony sounds like balance, not better or worse or winners and losers. Balanced acceptance of, and participation in, the reality of how Life functions.

Harmony, I said. Harmony is what I want. Happiness is just another homo-centric, us over them, ego-trip. But HARMONY, what I really need, what everyone needs to survive in peace, is a balance among all the parts in this physiological teeter-totter of mind and body, that I know couldn’t happen without the vibrant realities of the human and biological communities (, all of which operate by balancing the factual laws of nature.

So I decided to substitute the word Harmony in my mantra

Within less than a mile – I swear this is true, on April 6, 2013 – I saw a big green sign by the side of the highway pointing to “Harmony Road.”

Should I have followed the road? Or –

Maybe I am.

May I live in harmony in my mind.
In a viable, vibrant balance: love balancing anger; fear balancing hubris, wisdom and factual knowledge balancing foolish ignorance;

May I live in harmony with my body.
Tending tenderly to its needs;

May I live in harmony with my neighbors.
In kindness, based upon truth and honor, with everyone I meet.

May I live in harmony with the reality of my community.
No matter how badly it sometimes behaves.

May I live in harmony with the factual laws of the creation and the creator;
Sharing in the commons without greed or grasping.
Recognizing that the processes of Life are not anthropocentric,
But must be shared universally.
Or not at all.

Happiness is a word with no meaning; harmony, something I can try to achieve. Even though it’s not easy to live in harmony with toxicity, at least I have a place to go to.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a weekly production of, and KEOS radio, in Bryan, Texas. The podcast can be downloaded at:

Recommended References

Tony Hillerman, The Shape Shifter – good read; easy to find on line or in the library.

Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness, the revolutionary art of kindness. Shambala Classics
(Not so revolutionary after all, is it? Originated 2500 years ago or maybe a long, long time before that, judging by similarity with the Navajo concept for only one. And is pretty much just good common sense community behavior, but – the first time I’ve seen it outlined so clearly.)

Pema Chodron, The Four Limitless Quantities. Audiobook. Omega Mediaworks.

We Are Home

130408-clubhouse-ASC_2999LSs copy130408-Bitsy_Niko-ASC_3011LSLFs copy

Paying Bills

Crawford Family Farm

Now we are talking about doing something that will benefit everyone — if we can succeed in saving our ecosystem, our country and our community. The bottom line is: there will be no room for our individual desires for peace, freedom and human rights if the whole system falls apart, and as far as I can see, for the most part, we are not individually contributing to activities that will realistically save the whole system. We are trying to save the world we grew up in — not the world that can sustainably be passed to the future.

The Crawford Family Farm in Sumner Texas is threatened by the Trans Canada

It is one thing for us to recognize our obligation to contribute to the welfare of the commons (the common need of all people for the bounty of the earth, including soil, air, water and a viable climate). It is a whole different story when the profit motive of the corporate interests are using and damaging the commons for their own welfare. We not only should not contribute, we should not condone such behaviors. If we want to actually CONTRIBUTE to the commons we would be working for solar energy – not pipelines. The problem is that most people do not individually have the ability to challenge the profit motives of the corposystem.Crawford Family Farm But we can help those who do challenge these illegal and unethical behaviors, and I think anyone who claims to care about the ecosystem, the welfare of the poor, human
rights should pitch in as and when they can to help those people who are willing to take the issues to court. You do not need an event to this, but you might want to go and meet the people you are helping.
Or save the gas and the money and send it to them.

Red Arc Farm 690 CR 37500 Sumner, TX
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Gates open from 5 pm-Midnight Friday, April 19 for campers
Gates reopen Saturday at 9 am and day show starts around 11am.
Go to website for full details:

Lynn Lamoreux

Or put your attorneys in contact with him at the
Democracy School

Look Out – Bitsy’s Back in Texas


Bare Bones Biology 002 – God as an Artist

God is an artist. At least that’s the opinion of Louise Erdrich, and that’s easy to believe in Texas in April. But I always thought of God as a great scientist. Bill Moyers says God is life. Maybe all our vision is a bit limited. Art, science, life. And who are we to judge God?

One of the comforts of science is that we need not to judge anything. Only to describe the measurable facts that are all around us. We can not change the way life interacts with the universe, using the basic laws of gravity, time and cause-and-effect. Probably God can’t even change the way the universe functions, now that it is set up to run that way. So why do we keep pretending that we are bigger than — God? Bigger than the universe. More important than the earth itself. We are not. We are not bigger than the universe. We are not bigger than the ecosystem. We can not change the law of gravity, and we can’t change the flow of time or of energy, and we can not change the law of cause-and-effect.

130401=Chama-ASC_2937LSsThe law of cause-and-effect is one of the most powerful forms of communication in nature. Once you decide to do something, and you do it, you will live forever with the results of your behavior, like it or not. You can not stop the dropped pot from hitting the floor. You can’t unburn that tank of gasoline. You can’t take back the missed appointment or the unkind word or the evil deed. You can’t change how you feel today over the awful thing you did yesterday. Better to not do it in the first place.

So why do we, and I’m including the biologists, why do we carry on dropping that pot, even though we know better? I have no idea the answer to that question, but maybe we need to explain the cause and effect laws of nature to more people. Maybe instead of fighting with each other over who broke the pot, we might want to stop dropping them. Instead of blame-placing and trying to grow our economy inside an ecology that cannot grow, and war, and genocide and confrontational politics, why don’t we start some useful behaviors. Blame-placing, for example, will not reverse time. It will not undrop the pot, and it will not take away the results of how we choose to behave. It’s an excuse to avoid doing something we know we should be doing. Or maybe it’s a displacement activity because we don’t know what we can do that is better.

I say what we should do is try to stop dropping so many pots in the first place. Especially the delicate, irreplaceable antiques. The biologists do not know everything, but they do know enough about how the ecosystem functions that we could live in it without trashing it. So why don’t we do that? Live in it without trashing it? Is it because we don’t believe in the law of cause-and-effect? A great lot of people do. A great lot of people do want us to change our behaviors and do want to help the ecosystem.

The problem, then, it seems to me, is that most of us don’t really know how. But a lot of us think we do. So we all want the same thing, and we each think we know how to get it, but we all know to do something different. If I were to make an evolution parallel, I would say may the better man win, but I’m pretty sure the better man also doesn’t know how, and I truly believe that we could reach a higher level of understanding if we would simply talk together about the bare bones facts of what it is that we are trying to fix. There is only one way to hold a successful fact-based discussion of any situation, and that is to honor the facts over our own personal opinions and beliefs. If we continue to fight against the facts, then the facts will win, because facts do not change. That’s a good thing. It leaves us with only our own behaviors to worry about.

So maybe it’s time to discuss those facts, and the laws of nature, and the basic realities of the ecosystem that we are trashing, and the difference between a fact and an opinion. Maybe that simple thing, learning the facts and discussing them, is the most positive behavior we can all do in this time and place.

Maybe we can get some people involved who have a broader view than just the biologists. Maybe some artists, TV personalities, maybe even a politician or two.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a weekly production of, and KEOS radio, in Bryan, Texas. The podcast can be downloaded at: