FactFictionFancy – 130820

I am developing an interest in the ways in which the rather few reliable, well-thought-out “reporters” on my in-mail tend to overlap each other in different (reductionist) versions of our global crisis that somehow obscures the overall causal reality and suggests we do not have the kind of problem that we do have.

For example: Population Media Center (Joe Bish) http://www.populationmedia.org has announced that today is resource overshoot DAY for this year. Pulling from my memory, I seem to recall that resource overshoot YEAR was 1997 or thereabouts. I think I got that from World Wildlife Fund Annual Report (http://www.worldwildlife.org) or from Lester Brown (http://www.earth-policy.org/) – two other good sources of relatively reliable information.

And on the same today TomDispatch published an article by Barbara Garson that suggests or seems to assume that we are in a normal economic mess (http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175738/tomgram%3A_barbara_garson%2C_how_to_become_a_part-time_worker_without_really_trying/). Even though she refers to this as a “weird economic downturn,” she speculates about recovery.

130808-ChildrenParade-ASC_5318RLSsWhat recovery? I will be very surprised if we recover at all. What ever happened to supply and demand – cause and effect? Is WalMart responsible for the fact that there are now twice as many mouths to feed (more or less) than there were when we overshot the carrying capacity of the whole earth? Or perhaps the beneficence of WalMart prices has saved some of those mouths and made the population problem worse for themselves (and everyone else) in that way. There are two sides to every action we take, and it’s time we stopped the old fable that the glass is half full. In fact, it is nearly empty, and if we don’t think about the negative sides of our behaviors, how can we recover?

Why don’t we try to publish all sides of the story in one long simplistic article so the people can understand there is one root cause to ALL our major current problems, and stop being “confused” by the apparently (but not really) “conflicting data,” and we can get together and start to build some solutions to that very simple, fatal fact of life.

If there are too many people for the amount of food – you die, and the economy along with you.


Bare Bones Biology 164 – What Can We Do?

Today I am looking at a list of excuses that people often give for not fulfilling our/their obligation to the welfare of the Biosystem. And then I noticed that the Compassionate Earth Walk (http://www.compassionateearthwalk.org/
is hearing some very similar responses in their discussions with local residents as they walk the pipeline route. And what could be a more glaring example than the Tar Sands Pipeline of what TomDispatch has termed Terracide (http://www.tomdispatch.com/dialogs/print/?id=175703).

How very odd, this, in a country/continent that is powerful and well educated enough to commit “Terracide.” and the most common excuse for not fulfilling our responsibility to the welfare of our living earth is that we “Can’t do anything” or that someone else should first tell us what to do.

The fact is that we do have a problem and we can do something about it https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/ and https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/ and
http://FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com/2011/12/11. The solution is simplicity itself. Simple I said — whether or not it’s easy requires a different excuse. Our problem is simply foundational to both the well-studied economic base of the corposystem (supply and demand) and the well studied biology base of the Biosystem (producer/consumer). The problem is: “If you don’t have it you can’t eat it.” The problem is that we humans are eating up more than our share of the Life resources of this living planet. We are draining away the blood of Life itself (http://youtu.be/LSfBWMSl1rw) and burning it up faster than the ecosystem can make it.

130812-sunrise-ASC_5542RLSs copyThe consequences are as obvious. If the earth Biosystem runs out of what we need to stay alive, then we will not stay alive – individually or as a species. Your choice is as simple as the sunrise and sunset, and the choice is not to “win” anything, nor to find some way to be a hero. The choice is whether or not to fulfill your responsibility to Life. Either you fulfill your responsibility or you don’t. Whatever you want or whatever you say or whatever you believe will not change that producer/consumer supply/demand relationship. You can’t have whatever you want, but if you work it right, you might be able to help save Life as we know it.

Yes it is too bad we have let it get this far, but that is not a reason to let it get farther. Fifteen years ago I was writing about the choices we had then. Now we have only one. Do what is required to permit Life to rebalance itself. Or, not. There is no technology other than human birth control that can rebalance the Life of earth, because humans don’t understand enough about the “physiology” of the ecosystem to know how to “fix” the physiology of how life functions https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/. We do know how to fix our human problem, but rather than DO what is necessary to solve the problem, we are making excuses. Here’s an example.

Water and food:

Problem: There is not enough water on the whole earth for all the people on earth. There is not enough food for all the people. (You may say you don’t believe this; I say that what you believe does not change how the earth functions to stay healthy.)

Solution: Make more food and water — or make fewer people.

Difficulty: We can’t make food or water. THAT is why we need the resources of the earth.

The fact is that the food and water systems were working fine before we tried to feed too many people. Now some folks are rejoicing that they are “fixing” the food or the water system. That is not a triumph – it is another excuse for not fixing the problem, which is us. Too many people for the available amount of food and water. Trying to “fix” the ecosystem does not address the problem or its cure. The way to fix the problem is to stop causing it and until we do that, the problem will continue to get worse.

Either we use our intellect and/or our emotions, as communities, to STOP CAUSING THE PROBLEM. Or we don’t. If you have another goal in life; if your goal does not address the cause of our problem (no matter how glorious your goal), then that’s your choice, you don’t need an excuse to make a choice, but the resulting terracide is your legacy – not mine.

I choose Life.

Here are a few more examples:


Problem: The climate is changing in such a way that the species of organisms which evolved in our human-friendly climate, most of them are dead or dying — no longer able to survive in the new climate. This is because there are too many toxic compounds in the system. Just for one example, carbon dioxide. There is too much carbon dioxide in the air.

Solution: We need to either make less carbon dioxide (and other toxins) in the air, that is, stop burning so much carbohydrates in our bodies and our machines) – or make fewer people.

Difficulty: The fact is that the climate was working fine before we messed up the carbon cycle, and “fixing” the carbon cycle without reducing the numbers of people is not a success. It’s an excuse to not deal with the problem.

Medicine and Health:

Problem: We generate pesticides and herbicides and antibiotics and hormones, perfumes, cleaning compounds and radioactive chemicals that cure some diseases and cause more other diseases (when they begin to cycle in the ecosystem and affect plants and animals that aren’t sick to begin with) than the ones they cure.

Solution: Face facts and stop trying to make every individual fertilized human egg live forever; stop running all those toxic compounds down the drain, releasing them into the air, and dropping them into the ocean or out of airplanes. Or reduce the number of people who are using these products.

Problem: We want what we want when we want it. We don’t care about any of those other fertilized eggs as long as we can pretend that we all can live infinitely just the way we are today.

Human Rights, War, Hatred and Compassion

Problem: The situation keeps getting worse with every generation because it is not possible to have human rights for everyone when there are not enough resources for everyone to even stay alive. Thus we cannot have human rights now because now we have more humans than there is food. Our people would rather pretend to be compassionate than to actually BE compassionate and do what is necessary to maintain the balance of welfare for all sentient beings – for the welfare of all of Life. So our government (which knows all the above) has to go offshore whenever it chooses to kill off some excess humans (yes they have their excuses to not face the problem at hone), while at the same time preparing to conquer and control us citizens whenever we finally figure out that we CAN’T HAVE whatever we want when we want it because there aren’t enough resources available on earth because there are TOO MANY PEOPLE.

Solution: The fact is that we are biological organisms, and our brain evolved – both the thinking part and the emotional part – as all things evolve, to aid in our survival as a part of the whole earth organism. So the solution is to stop using our intellect and emotions for playing games and start using them to solve the problem we already know how to solve.

130810-ChamaParade-ASC_5383RLSs copyLife is what it is; it won’t change for us. We have had the information we need to survive as a part of life for over 3000 years – increasingly more specifically described in all the human wisdom traditions from the aboriginal https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/
to the scientific https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/.

If we say we want the good life, then it’s clear we don’t think that we have it, and it should be the prime directive of the social and hard sciences at this point, rather than grubbing around trying to make the Ecosystem jump to the tune of the Corposystem (that’s us) to spend as much time and energy as we can learning how to humanly BEHAVE in such a way that we can give the ecosystem what it needs to be healthy. So we THEN can have a chance to grow a sustainable, healthy human culture.

“To destroy our planet with malice aforethought, with only the most immediate profits on the brain, with only your own comfort and wellbeing (and those of your shareholders) in mind: Isn’t that the ultimate crime? Isn’t that terracide?” (http://www.tomdispatch.com/dialogs/print/?id=175703)

I am feeling very sad today because I don’t really believe that anyone else cares enough to try, or only a few, and probably it doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things if we spend our lives and all our human dreams on something that doesn’t really matter because we don’t care enough to find out how to make the dream come true.

The podcast of this episode may be downloaded here:

Bare Bones Biology 162 – Aboriginal Wisdom

Last week I commented on the commentary of Kooper (www.Soundcloud.com/indigenize) a modern Navaho rap artist. Today, I quote from Henry Crow Dog (Crow Dog, by Leonard Crow Dog and Richard Erdoes. Harper, 1995), who was a third-generation Sioux medicine man. After that, I will repeat my favorite quote fromOren Lyons, former Chief of the Onandoga. Here are some words of Henry Crow Dog:

130801-cliff-ASC_4981RLSs copy“Why did the white man come here? Why did Custer steal the sacred Black Hills from us? White men are crazy about gold. They have gold rimmed glasses, gold watches, gold teeth. They were always rooting around, tearing everything apart, digging, digging, digging. They tore up the whole Black Hills to find gold, silver and precious stones. They still work the huge gold mine, the Homestake Mine, up there. Now they’re after gas, coal, oil and uranium. You can see the big trucks with the nuclear stuff coming through here from the Black Hills.”

“The white man has eyes but he does not see. He has ears but he does not hear. The clock of the universe, the spirit clock, has already struck twelve. It’s time to set this clock right, time to stop and think.”

“We’ve got to civilize the white man because he has gone astray.”

You already know that I agree with the wisdom of these words – except of course it isn’t our whiteness that makes us crazy. It is the structure of our corposystem culture that makes us believe we can build the good life out of things, rather than with wisdom.

This, I believe, is also the basic reason for the Compassionate Earth Walk that I have talked about before, led by a white American Buddhist monk with international and intergenerational followers. They are now walking from the Tar Sands in Canada toward the home of Henry Crow Dog in South Dakota, along the route of the latest “white man’s folly” the Tar Sands Pipeline. Unfortunately they will probably have to stop somewhere

130802-Pup-ASC_5037RLSsPeople have been walking along the wisdom trail since long before Martin Luther King, and including both Leonard Crow Dog and Chief Oren Lyons, whose words I have quoted before and can be found in conversation with Bill Moyers obtainable from PBS. He said:

“We are now. Now is us. We’re the seventh generation. I’m sitting here as the seventh generation because seven generations ago there were people looking out for me. Seven generations from now, someone will be here, I know. And so each generation makes sure that seven generations is coming all the time. That’s accountability. We’re accountable. We, you and I, we’re accountable. Yes we are, and they are going to call us. They’re the ones that are going to say, why did you do this, or why did you not do this?”

Indeed, Chief Lyons was also a walker along the wisdom trail. I wonder if that is anything like the original wisdom of the Bhodisatva path? Anything like the life of Jesus? Ask Joseph Campbell (also available on PBS), and he would (did) say yes, the aboriginal wisdom of human kind is the story of how to survive as a part of the Creation. It is the story of human wisdom, the same wisdom, spoken in many voices – many stories.

And so this is a biology program. What has that to do with Biology?

Not very much, because Henry Crow Dog is right. If we continue to pursue science without wisdom “. . a time will come when the bullets won’t work, the bombs won’t work, the spaceships will fall into the ocean. The generals, the senators, the president himself, won’t know what to do.” Because global science without human wisdom cannot save us from ourselves.

But it’s also true that human wisdom that denies reality will come to the same end. Because wisdom that does not include an understanding of factual reality isn’t wise enough to deal with today. And we are today.

So I can’t understand why we have divided ourselves into those two groups, those who believe that human wisdom can conquer global science, and those who believe that global science should conquer human wisdom. Both groups have the same basic goal of the good life, but neither can achieve that goal in today’s world without the knowledge that is available from the other. And so long as we won’t listen, each to the other, we will have neither wisdom nor the good life.

What is the solution to this problem? If you are technical minded, discuss with your neighbor whatever wisdom system she or he best understands; if you are completely devoted to learning about compassion, or Christianity, or Buddhism, or even if you are already a Medicine Man or a Bhodisatva – part of your obligation to the future is to take the time to discuss (or read about) some fact-based science – not human technology (prowess) or the fanciful tales of the corposystem propaganda, but the unchangeable processes that physically function to keep our Biosystem alive and well. What most of you were not taught in school.

Bare Bones Biology is a production of http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS FM radio, 89.1, Bryan, Texas. The podcast of this episode can be downloaded here or at: