FactFictionFancy-170130

I see some fairly dramatic changes in the discussions on line. When the internet first emerged, a lot of the flow of information was purely trivial and focused on level one (the “me” level): “Join me at the corner of Main and Pine streets,” or wherever “me” was at the time. And of course other-bashing or bullying behaviors and vomits of gossip and inconsequential trivia.

Next, emerged the realization that the internet is the perfect place to “get mine” without dealing with the social conventions or even the facts of life, and the belief that “everyone has a right to his/her own world view.” A belief that could not exist in the real world where people like Hitler and Trump play out their anti-social agendas.

But now, as we begin to see that internet opinions have real life consequences, I see another shift. I hope it’s not too late.   I would really like to see us grow up, get it together and use the internet and all our other technologies to the benefit of ourselves and our future and all the Life of Earth, instead of using them to exert our power and gain our personal perks.

However, right now, I see primarily two attitudes and a lot of confusion. First attitude: The “me” curls up inside its own world view, so as not to deal with whatever else is out there that it doesn’t like. Or lashes out or complains because “there is nothing I can do,” The fact is there is always something one can do, we really are responsible for doing it if we really do want to make a better world, and we don’t find out what it is by curling up inside ourselves.

The second attitude is choosing to believe that the earth resources are infinite. That belief is not discussable, because it simply isn’t true.   There truly are true things, and one of our excuses is to infinitely discuss the undiscussible, rather than dealing with it.   Again, usually lash out or complain because we can’t make it different, rather than doing something different, ourselves, that might get us to a better place. This issue is fact-based, not discussable, so I will return to the first attitude.

The human world has developed at least two levels of organization more complex than it was when the Buddha (and Jesus, and Mohamed) walked the earth during the Axial age – not all at the same time, of course, but all during that vast time of changing human consciousness of ourselves. Now we are having another time of vast change, and if our genuine goal is to make the world better rather than worse for our presence, or even if we only want humankind to survive, then it is our obligation to use our wonderfully evolved mind, in addition to our innate instincts and our learned beliefs, to inform our behaviors.

If our genuine goal is to make the world better rather than worse, we cannot live and behave according to our basic human instincts and values without STUDYING the technologies that we have built and their relationship to the factual truth of the earth and of human biology, so that we can learn how the good these technologies do for us may actually cause great harm to OTHER PEOPLE and to Life itself, and so to us. We need to remember that our technologies, informed by our communal world view, is what CAUSED these problems in the first place, and more powerful technologies attached to the same world view will not make things better, but rather worse.

For example, a common misunderstanding of basic science is the belief that technology can create more resources. (For example that farming, can make more food available). It cannot. Farming is a technology, and technology does not create anything; technology USES the resources, in fact redirects resources to human use away from their natural use. The earth does not have infinite resources, whether it be photosynthesis or chemicals of various kinds or anything else. Technology can change things around, but it cannot make more than there is. When we try to change our reality, rather than trying to live within it, the result is vast suffering to other sentient beings and, as a result, to humans and to ourselves individually.

For example, we are causing mass extinctions of other species by effectively using their food to feed ourselves. Because the earth has reached its limits and we are technologically more powerful than these other species, we can tear up the places where they live and use the land to grow food for ourselves. So they die.

Who cares? This all sounds like a great idea to some people. Kill off the other, and we have it all to ourselves. These people are ignorant of the facts of Life. The fact is that it is the other species — the other organisms that we are killing off – they function together to create the resources in the first place by cycling and recycling the things we need to stay alive (including food). That is the cause of climate change, and that is why our human overgrowth is the basic problem we must deal with if we want to survive, and that is also why me-ism is not how we can help to make things better rather than worse for the whole world and especially for ourselves. However, because we are all enjoying this (unethical) system of killing off the other, we therefore pretend the resources are infinite and we blame other people for problems that actually are caused by the way we use our technolgies. Or don’t use them, in the case of birth control.

The root cause of our problem is overgrowth, and as long as Americans are more willing to enjoy the temporary fruits of our overgrowth, rather than take responsibility for: 1) studying the facts of life as they are on earth today; and 2) reducing technological and population growth — then my opinion is that we (humans, worldwide) won’t make it to 2050. The reason will be not that the environment crashes, the environment will simply change to a form that can support itself without us. What is most likely to happen if we do not take responsibility for our behaviors is what happens to all overpopulated species. They run out of food and start killing each other. Haven’t you noticed? We have already started, but that will not save us from our overgrowth. In fact – look more closely and we realize that it is a part of our overgrowth. It means we can make more babies and profit from that, and then kill off more of whom we don’t want and profit from that. At it’s core, this is no different from farming. Farming people is more profitable than farming vegetables.

So, that is something we don’t want to talk about.

 

What I find highly irresponsible is that we would rather look for our own personal sense of peace by pretending all this is not so — and who cares about the future when it will happen to someone else — rather than taking to ourselves the lesser pain of the recognition that our dream castles are not real (and yes, I do know that tearing down dream castles is very painful) so that we can give everything we can/have to the future of the Life of Earth by taking responsibility for the pain we have caused by our overgrowth.

We humans did it, mostly with good intentions, and it is irresponsible to say that we as individuals “can’t do anything.” Especially considering the current election. What we can do, every one of us, is to study and discuss with each other the reality, what really is, not what the number-crunchers tell us, because they are human too, and their biases are impressive and un-recognized, and if they crunch the wrong numbers, based on flawed assumptions, it is all of life that suffers – not just our dream castles, as beautiful as they may be – and are – I do not exclude myself.

We are not required to do impossible things, but anyone can work to understand BOTH the down side and the up side of whatever we are promoting – and there is always a down side.

As a traditional elder has said (Oren Lyons): “It is our responsibility to plan for the seventh generation yet to come.” The Dalai Lama says something similar, but with a longer timeline. They are right, and that is something that ANYONE CAN DO, together with others in his or her community, or just the family, or even all alone. But we must remember that flawed planning, based on trusting someone else’s world view or value system or bad numbers, will not get us where we want to go.

Why are we afraid of hurting other peoples’ feelings when at the same time we are taking the food out of their mouths without a qualm, by growing the economy and the population beyond the level that the earth resources can support?

 

Buddhism does not say, nor does any other religion, that everyone should be happy all the time, regardless of the pain and suffering that our “happiness” causes to other sentient beings.

What does everyone really want? I think, when we get to the end of that Bodhisatva path that we claim to be walking, the only thing that can make us genuinely satisfied is the knowledge that we lived out our responsibilities to friends, family, community, and to ourselves — not by our opinions — whatever they may be — but by our responsible actions/behaviors, whether or not some of those behaviors made other people “uncomfortable.” That is wise compassion, and that is our responsibility to ourselves, that is, our species.

I would bet the Buddha never said that everyone wants “happiness.” Who said that? The corposystem says that, so that it can claim to give it to us with its technologies.

First, the Buddha did not speak or understand English as interpreted by the corposystem. And second, at least with regard to Tibet, there were two language translations between the original and the English.  The English translation, so far as I know was first made by Christian missionaries working from the Tibetan language that they understood only superficially. I would bet that what the Buddha really said was something like The Dalai Lama’s vision of “wise compassion.”

What we all want is achievable only through our own wise compassion, and wise compassion can be defined as doing what is best for the other; really best, not just convenient for right now but best unto the seventh generation, first by open minded deep study of the issues outside of one’s own belief system, combined with the understanding that there are NEVER fewer than three possible choices, and that we must study all the choices before we act upon them — and second by behaving in accord with the informed choices that we make.

 

 

 

Bare Bones Biology 184-repost – Power to Ponzi? Or to Us?

Rudy Sovinee   “Can you think of
any problem in any area of
human endeavor on any scale,
from microscopic to global,

whose long-term solution
is in any demonstrable way
aided, assisted, or advanced by
further increases in population,
locally, nationally, or globally?”

                  – Prof. Al Bartlet

Those are the words of Prof. Al Bartlett. Today I want to share with you some information Rudy sent. I’ll use Rudy’s words and my words and Dr. Bartlett’s words and our combined reference links. If you work through these references, you will have the fact-based information to understand why we worry about population now – TODAY– not for some future time when it will be too late. Additional, and much shorter descriptions of why the exponential function is so important to our welfare have been posted on YouTube by Chris Martensen and by Professor Suzuki and are linked on the blog (http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com) and the web page (http://www.BareBonesBiology.com)

Crash Course, regarding Exponential Growth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXd66gP53fk
Power of Compounding (this is the good one)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIwyMif5EOg Growth versus Prosperity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1KsFDLZ3B4.
Prof. Suzuki’s description of exponential growth (another good one) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsd1IT7ySfE.

The accompanying picture illustrates Dr. Bartlett’s description of our dilemma:

“There’s a very profound lesson in that cartoon. The lesson is that zero population growth is going to happen. Now, we can debate whether we like zero population growth or don’t like it, it’s going to happen. Whether we debate it or not, whether we like it or not, it’s absolutely certain. People could never live at that density on the dry land surface of the earth. Therefore, today’s high birth rates will drop; today’s low death rates will rise till they have exactly the same numerical value. That will certainly be in a time short compared to 780 years. So maybe you’re wondering then, what options are available if we wanted to address the problem.

“In the left hand column (of the accompanying picture), I’ve listed some of those things that we should encourage if we want to raise the rate of growth of population and in so doing, make the problem worse. Just look at the list. “Everything in the list is as sacred as motherhood. There’s immigration, medicine, public health, sanitation. These are all devoted to the humane goals of lowering the death rate and that’s very important to me, if it’s my death they’re lowering. But then I’ve got to realize that anything that just lowers the death rate makes the population problem worse.

“There’s peace, law and order; scientific agriculture has lowered the death rate due to famine—that just makes the population problem worse. It’s widely reported that the 55 mph speed limit saved thousands of lives—that just makes the population problem worse. Clean air makes it worse.

“Now, in this column are some of the things we should encourage if we want to lower the rate of growth of population and in so doing, help solve the population problem. Well, there’s abstention, contraception, abortion, small families, stop immigration, disease, war, murder, famine, accidents. Now, smoking clearly raises the death rate; well, that helps solve the problem.

“Remember our conclusion from the cartoon of one person per square meter; we concluded that zero population growth is going to happen. Let’s state that conclusion in other terms and say it’s obvious nature is going to choose from the right hand list and we don’t have to do anything—except be prepared to live with whatever nature chooses from that right hand list. Or we can exercise the one option that’s open to us, and that option is to choose first from the right hand list. We gotta find something here we can go out and campaign for. Anyone here for promoting disease? (audience laughter)

“We now have the capability of incredible war; would you like more murder, more famine, more accidents? Well, here we can see the human dilemma—everything we regard as good makes the population problem worse, everything we regard as bad helps solve the problem. There is a dilemma if ever there was one.

“The one remaining question is education: does it go in the left hand column or the right hand column? I’d have to say thus far in this country it’s been in the left hand column—it’s done very little to reduce ignorance of the problem.”

These are the choices we do have as a human community in response to overpopulation. The odd thing, if you look on the web, is that these are not the choices we humans have chosen to discuss. We are, instead, leaning toward magic. We aren’t even talking very much about available technologies that could limit births, but much more about technologies that increase the certainty of death and suffering of humans after they are born. These discussions are framed as being about human rights, but in fact, it is very clear that overpopulation DECREASES human rights in many ways that are very profitable for the short-term interests of the corposystem.

(http://www.populationmedia.org/2013/12/23/cable-and-broadcast-news-hide-the-economic-benefits-of-reproductive-health/ , http://www.npr.org/2013/12/17/248757580/even-an-85-mph-highway-cant-fix-austins-traffic-tangle , http://www.thenation.com/article/177614/coming-instant-planetary-emergency#).

Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

So what do we-the-people do when our leaders withhold information that is critically important to human values and to the welfare of our children? We investigate it for ourselves – and educate ourselves, and our neighbors — for survival with a reasonably comfortable, sustainable way of living.

 

The podcast of this blog can be accessed at:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_184B_-_Power_to_Ponzi.mp3

Bare Bones Biology 312 – Hard Freeze in the Canyon

Hard freeze in the canyon, of course not unexpected because we spent the last two days fairly warm and that seems to be the cycle up here. Warm and overcast for a few days that the weatherman chooses to call sunny, then the sky actually does open to the sun (if available) and loses all the heat that we built up, along with the pollutants, if any, and then the next day, if you have plenty of warm clothing, is glorious.

The big cottonwood fell over the creek while I was gone, cracked into about three pieces, and now I am imagining a dam to go with the little meadow, but of course a dam without water can be a pitiful thing, and a woman without a horse is unlikely to be able to pull that tree around into position. But you never know, there is always Old Silver. It has four-wheel drive, but I would not want to get stuck down here (again) with no phone.

160508-Bloodroot_Pasque-asc_4129RLSVs copyI woke up in the middle of my sleep time surrounded by an odor that I first thought Bitsy had rolled in something, but I think it might have actually been our elk bedded down in our little meadow. I smelled an elk once before – or was it a bear? So dark nights with strange smells are scary and I jumped up with flashlight and bear spray and scrambled to the cabin where I wiped out my supply of electricity to make a cup of coffee (with snack, we do NOT do food in the travel trailer.) I do understand fear; and common sense. But I dashed out into the night anyhow, and we have bears in the night.

Next time I’ll try to wake up before I decide what to do about the situation. I think that is the key to success in any endeavor. Even non-situations such as smells.

And then I stumbled back down to the trailer and slept until the sunshine hit the roof and Bitsy got restless, as she does when she can crawl out from under the covers and find a warm spot against the stucco of the cabin. I angled the depleted solar panels to the rising sun, set up the solar oven that only made it to luke-warm yesterday, and began the process of unfreezing our water supply and setting up for work.

160511-LittleBlueFlower-asc_4143RFs copyMy work, as I said last week, is actually my charitable duty, to stir up the conversation about the ROOT CAUSE of climate change. I believe humans can solve any problem, even global ones, if they will do three things. 1: Decide they want to save the place for their grandchildren; 2: Figure out the cause of the problem – the genuine factual biological cause and not just some bandwagon to jump on. We have already known the cause for a couple of centuries, it is human overpopulation; and 3: Discuss and devise an ethical cure to match the cause.

I do understand fear. I have been afraid of giving seminars all my life but I did it, and it seems to me we are destroying ourselves because we are afraid of honest discussion of reality with our fellow human beings, and this strikes me as unhumanly cowardly from a bunch of people who prefer to think of themselves as heroes riding to the rescue of everyone else. It seems to me, in the event, if a situation exists, the quickest way to get over the fear is to FIX THE SITUATION. Or at least try.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_312_-_Hard_Freeze.mp3

 

Bare Bones Biology 307 – Evolution

I treasure my culture-shock experiences, my efforts to understand “foreign” cultures, I cherish the wonderful people I met and the many new things they taught me that nourished and expanded my world view. I think of them every day.

 

It has been much more difficult to understand my own country, where the most important words and morés have changed their meanings – evolved of course along with the evolution of the corposystem, our new corporate political social system – so that they no longer make sense in context. “Science,” “energy,” most importantly “evolution” “honor,” “freedom,” “The American Way.”

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When I became a (reluctant) activist I discovered that the word “biologist” also has lost its former meaning. It seems that half of everyone is a biologist now. Many biologists are not scientists, specializing perhaps in what we used to call natural history or nature study, survivalists included, studying nature in situ without the scientific method. This is good, useful, it honors a Higher Power. Some are working beyond the limits of fact-based reality. Most are doing technology (making or using tools) rather than science. This can be useful if guided by a viable world view that uses good science to align our behaviors with requirements for our survival.

 

So who am I, the corposystem asked, that I claim to be a biologist? OK, the name does not change the game or my expertise. I am a geneticist who uses the scientific method to study naturally evolved biological systems.

As an amateur activist, my efforts to contribute from my expertise were most commonly thwarted by the most common question: “But what should we DO?”  So I said what we must do. Simply, we must reduce our population before (or concurrently with, our other primary goals) or we cannot accomplish our other primary goals. We have known this for centuries.

 

And I began to ask my own questions, seeking understanding, and discovered that this, our brave new world is afraid of questions, as of discussion. “What should we do?” is not a request for information. It is a kiss-off “nice” way to dominate the discussion – to win. Winning is one of the imperatives within the corposystem world view.

 

Win what?

I began to study my own culture as a failing, naturally evolved system. I learned that our corposystem ethic seems largely to be based in the mostly false meme “survival of the fittest” (which I am told Darwin never said). I studied physics, communications and information theory, and people, and concluded along the way that evolution mostly is about systems that communicate with each other using their emergent properties, and that the emergent properties of our corposystem are: growth, domination (competition), for gain (mostly money). By using the power of technology to give us anything we want.

 

So the truth, the scientific fact, the answer to the question, is so simple at the level of the science and the Biosystem that we have known it all along. We can’t have everything we want, and now we must choose and we don’t want to. And yet the answer is so complicated at the level of our corposystem, that it is only now, fifteen years later, that I even understand the question. “What should we do?” stripped of the dominance intent, translates to: “What technology or tool can we use to solve our biological problem?”

 

The answer to that question is also simple. There is only one set of technologies that can solve this problem, and those birth control technologies have been available for all of my adult lifetime. We have everything we need to solve the problem, including impressive social tools that we are instead applying to the effort of growth for profit by domination.

 

Without our exponential growth rate and the out-of-balance relationship between available food supplies and the healthy Biosystem’s ability to provide, we would not be asking what can we do. We would be doing it.

Or at least discussing the real problem.

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This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

A copy of the podcast is available at:

 

Bare Bones Biology 260 – Two Conundrums

Last week blog featured Steven’s editorial, so you already know, he is seriously concerned about food, about our growing population, and about human welfare. And he is especially concerned about the balance among those three parameters. The relationships among food, population and human welfare are puzzling, confusing and mysterious, which is exactly the definition of a conundrum. Here are two conundrums for you to find the answers.

 

Here is the Steven’s question: “Most people can see that more food equals more people, like it does with all of nature.   Most people can also see the most obvious and most undeniable fact that no food equals no people. That one is a slam dunk. Is there anyone who would argue with the statement, “No food equals no people. Period. End of story. If so, let’s hear it. No.

“Now that leaves us with a remaining statement. “Less food equals less people.” Almost everyone I know says that claim cannot be admitted BECAUSE people will begin starving. Even those who see how less food equals less people dare not acknowledge such a thing because they believe to a certainty that people will starve. The question for me and for all of us is this. IF less food equal less people, will limiting INCREASE ONLY in ( NOT stopping) total food production CAUSE people to starve? Yea or Nay? THAT IS THE QUESTION. Comments from one and all are welcome.”

 

ASC_1642sThat’s the end of Steve’s conundrum. Now here is mine:

 

Consider the cow. She is a beautiful creature: peaceful, humane, friendly and she has an admirable social system. For just one example, cows usually have one baby every year. Cows in a herd will organize themselves every morning in such a way that one female stays behind in a safe place with all the babies, each belonging to a different mother, while all the mothers and fathers go out to eat. You can see this yourself in nearly any pasture as you drive through Texas. The next morning, someone else stays with all the babies. The eating cows watch for danger and will rush back to help if necessary. (I should tell you, in Texas, the word cows may refer only to females, or to males and females). The babies nurse their own mothers in the mornings and evenings and in the meantime they sleep or practice eating grass.

 

Now consider what will happen if we put a few cows of both sexes on one thousand acres of lush pastureland, fence them in, make sure there is plenty of water, kill off the predators, and go away for a few years. When we come back, there will be a lot more cows, right? Well, it depends how many years we are gone.

 

The normal cycle of overpopulation in all species including all mammals, which includes us – in rapid growth of population until the food is gone, then rapid die-off to below the carrying capacity of the environment. After which the population may or may not recover. (ref – overshoot)

 

First there are many babies, next there are very many cows and the fighting begins because crowding and competition upsets their social systems. When the population doubles that one last time, and all the grass is completely gone before the next following year, then most or all of the cows, bulls and calves die. Not only have they all starved this year, but also they have nearly destroyed the pastureland and the soil in their voracious need. It will be very slow coming back, if ever it can.

 

Now the question is: What is to blame for all this suffering?

This is Bare Bones Biology a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS FM, 89.1, in Bryan, Texas.

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:

 

“If you wnt to get rid of painful effects, you need to get rid of their causes.”

His Holiness The Dalai Lama

 

References:

Bare Bones Biology 259 – Food and Population Growth

Guest editorial contributed by Steven Salmoney, Chapel Hill, NC.  Sentences in green have been edited out of the audio to fit the audio time frame. Thank you, Steven.

 

Recent scientific evidence (Hopfenberg R and Pimentel D. 2001. Human Population Numbers as a Function of Food Supply. EnvironDevSustain, 3, pp. 1-15) suggests that the governing dynamics of absolute global human population numbers is a remarkably straightforward and simple natural phenomenon. Despite all the misleading, intellectually dishonest and deceptively contrived ‘scientific research’ to the contrary, Homo sapiens can be seen as a species that is a part of and definitely not separate from the natural world we inhabit.

 

Experts in politics, economics and demography have willfully fostered and continue obdurately to countenance a perilous disconnect between ecological science and political economy. Their dogmatic adherence to misconceptions are broadcast everywhere and range from politically correct, so-called experts, to unscientific theories regarding fallacious ideas such as the automatic population stabilization around the midpoint of Century XXI and a benign demographic transition to a good life for the human community at large. These false assurances can no longer be accepted by responsible professionals in science. They are  directly contradicted by the best available evidence.

 

Texas060722_DSC0797F.sPerhaps politics, economics and demography are themselves disciplines that are fundamentally disconnected from science. They appear to have more in common with ideology than with science. To suggest, as many too many politicians, economists and demographers have been doing, that understanding the dynamics of human population numbers does not matter — or that the human population problem is not about numbers — or that human population dynamics has so dizzying an array of variables as not to be suitable for scientific investigation — is wrongheaded and dangerous. The skyrocketing growth of absolute global human population is recognizable and the cause of it  is knowable.

 

According to emerging scientific research, the size of the human population on Earth is a function of food availability. More food for human consumption equals more people; less food for human existence equals less people; and no food, no people. This is to say, the population dynamics of the human species is essentially common to, not different from, the population dynamics of all living things.

 

Global population growth of the human species is a rapidly cycling positive feedback loop in which food availability drives population growth and the recent, skyrocketing growth in absolute global human numbers gives rise to the ruinous misperception or mistaken impression that food production needs to be increased even more.

 

Data indicate that the world’s human population grows by approximately 2% per year. All segments of it grow by about two percent. Every year there are more people with brown eyes and more people with blue ones; more people who are tall as well as more short people. It also means that there are more people growing up well fed and more people growing up hungry. The hungry segment of the global population goes up just like the well-fed segment of the population. We may or may not be reducing hunger by increasing food production; however, we are most certainly producing more and more hungry people.

 

Please examine the probability that humans are producing too much, not too little food; it is the super-abundance of stupendous agribusiness harvests that are driving population numbers of the human species to overshoot, or explode beyond, the natural limitations imposed by a relatively small, evidently finite, noticeably frangible planet with the size, composition and ecology of Earth.

 

The spectacularly successful efforts of humankind to increase food production annually in order to feed a growing population, has resulted and continues to result in even greater human population numbers worldwide. If people are starving at a given moment of time, increasing food production and then distributing it cannot help them. Are these starving people supposed to be waiting for sowing, growing and reaping to be completed? Are they supposed to wait for surpluses to reach them? Without food they would die. In such circumstances, increasing food production for people who are starving is like tossing parachutes to people who have already fallen out of the airplane. The produced food arrives too late.

 
The idea that food production must be increased to meet the needs of growing human population is a prime example upside down thinking.

I think, this is Lynn, that it would be far more humane, and also less expensive, to make birth control available to all who want it so that we can prevent the massive starvation that we are creating and begin the process of helping the Earth to rebalance that she gave us — a system that provides our basic needs — earth, air, fire and water — to all its inhabitants.

Steve Salmony
Chapel Hill, NC

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1 in Bryan, Texas.

A copy of the podcast may be downloaded at:

 

 

physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/04/economist-meets-physicist/

Bare Bones Biology 257 – Getting From Here to There

Getting from Here to There is a new book by Robert Costanza and Ida Kubiszewski. I haven’t read it, but I like very much the first part of a review of this book by Gord Stewart in Solutions Journal, April 20, 2015.

“Business-as-usual is sure to deliver us a future that is both unsustainable and undesirable, with climate change arguably our most pressing problem. Had we begun to tackle it when first identified, incremental changes and modest actions along the way might have done it. With all the procrastinating, transformative change is now necessary.

“The same goes for other issues, from biodiversity loss and species extinction to air pollution and declining water quality. With the range and magnitude of environmental challenges we face, it’s easy to become discouraged.

“That’s why we need a focus and a plan. The focus is a clear vision of the kind of future we want. The plan is how to get there from here. This book offers both.”

150506-Witting-ASC_6705RLs copyAmen to that part.

But it’s nowhere near as complicated as he makes it sound, given that all – 100 percent all – of these problems could be solved if there were not too many people on earth to feed. And they cannot be solved so long as there are too many people for the earth to feed using the amount of food that the earth can produce.

Actually, that’s what the green revolution was about, giving us time to solve the population problem. You may have been told differently, but I was there and I remember. So long as we cannot feed the people – then – of course – hungry people want food and if they are hungry enough they are not concerning themselves about maintaining the health of our mother earth that produces all of our food.

If we could feed every mouth – then we could resolve the other problems. We can NOT feed every mouth by making more people than there is food. Food does NOT come from supermarkets. It comes from the earth. So whether or not that is our focus, we can’t do any of those other good things until we deal with the problem of overpopulation.

You must be able to see that we cannot possibly accomplish this when there are more people than there is food to feed them. And there is no place else to get food.

So what remains according to Mr. Stewart’s review? We need a plan. Yes indeed we need a plan. We need a plan that will reduce the overpopulation of humans on this earth, and because we waited way too long, we must plan at the same time to promote a healthy environment for the children; a plan to promote relevant education that will teach us how to not get into this fix again; we need a plan to end wars; we need a plan to promote compassion and to understand that unwise compassion can cause more harm than no compassion; we need a plan to revise our economics from the bottom up so that we can stop the growth for profit plan that simply makes things worse. And we need a few other things. We cannot have any of them unless we first reduce the population. That is simply a fact of life.

OK, I agree that I cannot do all those things, and neither can you, but I CAN tell you what will NOT work, and it will not work because all those problems are connected to each other at their root and stem. It will NOT work for me to try to prevent overpopulation while you work on all those other things. Because the tree of life has its roots in the soil of the earth, and overpopulation is the root and stem of the problem, and all those other aspirations are the branches. If the root dies, we will have NONE OF THEM. We ALL MUST contribute to reducing the population problem, fulfilling our obligation to the earth, BEFORE and at the same time that we work at whatever we love best. Nothing less will get us to where we must go if we are to rebuild a healthy human society.

No matter what happy fairy tales the corposystem feeds us.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM, in Bryan, Texas. A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at: