Fire Fighting Plane–_but_media_obscure_the_relationship

130604-fire-ASC_3361SsComing home to the airport at the end of a long day fighting the fires. Surrounded by clouds and smoke from the burning, drought-stricken hills around Santa Fe.

Bare Bones Biology 134 – Community and Ego

I had a dream last night about human ego, whatever that is, I will not try to define. In the dream, some guy was driving the bus and I was picking up the pieces. Literally, I mean, I was picking the pieces of newspaper and trash, old egg shells, gum and plastic wrappings — out from under the gas pedal — as they kept rolling back in there — while two other people sat behind, telling me what I was doing wrong, and the trash kept piling higher and deeper.

You will never guess what this dream was trying to tell me, because I didn’t until I started to write it down, and immediately came to mind my persistent question: “Why did The Creator give us our ego in the first place?” The thing causes so much pain and suffering to us and our communities, convincing us that our own belief system, our own need to be more right, is more real than reality. It isn’t, you know. Nobody is “right,” because nobody understands everything. And if we believe that our mind, emotions, intellect (reference), or our world view (reference), are more powerful than the biological reality. Well, that’s a pretty good definition of pain and suffering, now or later.

Pain is life enhancing. It guides our choice of behaviors so that we avoid drowning in the river when its currents are swirling in flood, or burning our little hands on the stove. Because we were formed within the biological community – our response to pain is biologically life enhancing.

To understand why we were given an ego is more difficult. What good is the blasted thing, if the use of it causes us emotional pain and suffering, but it doesn’t tell us what the danger is? Well, of course, that’s one function of community – to help us avoid emotional suffering by passing down the wisdom teachings of the ages. The harm caused by our ego-trips is well and often explained in all the wisdom teachings, and better behaviors described.

Maybe that’s what the ego is meant to do. Maybe our ego suffering is meant to enhance the welfare of the community by passing on some wisdom from now to benefit the future. I hope so, because our age is growing new problems faster than any before, and with these new problems, we must learn new lessons (or apply the old ones) about what not to do if we don’t want to suffer.

Our origins designed us genetically and behaviorally to live in a biosystem that functions to support life, but our human culture now has grown an artificial corposystem that functions to make money. And the power of this corposystem seems to lie mostly in our human ego needs.

So many people so filled with the fear of not being better than other people. Is that our ego? Why do we feel that we must be better than someone else? We can’t discuss the important issues, because someone might go into a one-up or one-down tizzy, or just turn their backs and walk away for fear that we might know something they don’t know. But isn’t that the point of discussion, that everyone knows more than only one? Don’t we WANT to deal with the problems? We keep saying that we do, and then the next thing you know we are debating irrelevant questions for no better reason than to satisfy our never-ending need to win. Even though the floods of climate change (climate change series Bare Bones Biology 092 through 100) are already tickling our toes – even though everyone really does know the end result of these ego trips, in our modern times, will be disaster.

So now my question is: how can we be aware of our ego, and all the negative, painful behaviors that it generates — how can we use that knowledge to grow a more positive, life-supporting human community?

Lynn Lamoreux
Photos by Lynn

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that will play next week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. Bare Bones Biology is a completely nonprofit project. The podcast can be downloaded at

Recommended Action/Question for Discussion: I’m tempted to suggest that you start an argument and consider what methods you use to win. And what are the results. But in fact I doubt that you need to know more about how to argue. So instead I suggest you find a person with whom to discuss an issue and see how long you can keep it going without either of you having an obvious emotional reaction (because this will be a serious subject.) Maybe you could try this one –
“In the United States, especially this year, any occasion when contraceptives and public policy overlap seems to be an excuse to fight about other issues.”

Climate Change – What can we Do with No Money?

This question keeps coming up. What can we do with no money? The very most important things we can do, especially if we can afford a computer and internet access and transportation and a phone, are otherwise pretty much free, at least at the community level.

“We have to work at every level and we have to work both at mitigation (prevention) and at adaptation. We’ve got to work at the local level to make our communities more resilient for the changes that are coming no matter what we do.” William deBuys

“When you put it in the political arena, I don’t understand why it polarizes people. It’s the one thing that could unite our country to focus on the planet and the health of the earth. There’s no down side to that, and it’s not political. Why are we fighting about this?” (Mrs. Green statement when interviewing William DeBuys – podcast 05-12-12_DuBuysMiraval.mp3 on MrsGreensWorld contains both these quotes).

Now I am back here, and I will tell you why I THINK we are fighting about this. I think it is very clear the corposystem is in direct competition with the ecosystem, and in this effort the corposystem sucks up our power; the more we fight over any issue, the more it grows. The corposystem knows this. The corposystem grows its power by initiating these fights. It also teaches us,using its media and its school system, that competition will get us what we want and need. This is not true. If you study how life functions — it is not by competition, it is by BALANCE of the myriad of factors that keep life alive. Nevertheless, we, living in these false beliefs, we are feeding the power of the corposystem by our fighting, from the local level to the community level to health of the whole earth.

There is no reason to fight about any of these biological questions because whoever wins cannot change the biology. Except of course in the normal sense of rule of law. We do need to control how we behave. We do need to prevent what one attorney is characterizing as ecocide. As is always the case, it is the responsibility of the community to control the crooks, but biology is what it is, and our only hope is in conforming to our ecological biology.

To do that, we MUST understand that the ecosystem is not human; that it needs what IT NEEDS TO BE HEALTHY, and then we must conform to its needs.

Bare Bones Biology 071 – God, Energy, Me

OK, Let’s say there is a God and the Kingdom of God is THIS BIG! As big as this whole piece of paper. Or the room, or whatever. You can make it smaller if you want, but my God is a very big God who generated the whole universe that we know about – and much more that we don’t know about. He’s a busy God, so he set up rules for the universe, so it can run more or less by itself. I mean he does not sit there waiting for a stone to loosen from the wall of the mountain so he can push it on down to the valley. He’s probably busy over on the other side of the universe. So he invented gravity for that sort of thing. And the same with energy. All kinds of energy, the kinds we do understand and those we don’t.

So everything that God understands is this whole piece of paper. Everything that science (I mean real inquiry, not technology) everything that science understands is inside the green line I’ve drawn here. These spaces of course are not proportional, or it would be enormously smaller. Everything that science understands would include some things about some of the kinds of energy. So let’s make a pink line to represent all the kinds of energy that there are, and it overlaps science a little, where science does understand some things about energy. Now let’s add up every person on earth and everything that everyone together understands about everything, and make an orange line. The orange line will overlap all of science and a little bit of the energy space.

And then there is me. I would be a black dot too small to see, but I’ll have to make myself a black line to represent that I know something about all of those things. How wonderful it is that humans have been given the ability to share information. We can know more than any other species on earth. So I overlap the human knowledge space, I know many things about science, I have experiences with energy and with the unknown, so my line overlaps all the other spaces, just a tiny bit.

If I would put a line for my horse, you would see that I know much more than she does. She understands things inside her fence, where to find food and water and what to look out for. And she understands her responsibilities. I once saw her teaching her new foal to stay away from the fence. Things like that. I know more than she does. I know where my food energy actually comes from through photosynthesis, and I know some things about formalized human cultures, and so on.

Now we are halfway through this spot and I haven’t told you anything you didn’t already know. But the reason for all of this is to compare myself, in a way, with the horse. I’m wondering, what is my personal responsibility within the giant system that covers this whole page? The system runs by itself; obviously it’s not my job to run it. There is not much I could do to make it function properly; no more than the horses do. What other responsibility could I have? It must be that my personal responsibility is to not mess it up. I should not interfere with its ability to do what God made it to do.

Is that possible you say? From my little smaller-than-dot in the middle of the page? Could I actually mess up the system? With this enormously powerful God out there, and all those spiritual powers that can come and put it back to rights any time they want to?

The answer is, yes it is possible, at least for us all together, to damage the ecosystem so badly that we can no longer find a home here.

And so now the question is – why would any other entity – any God or entity — want to save us when we won’t even use what we already know to save ourselves? And why would we want to wait and see if they do save us, when it would be so much more pleasant to get together with other people and figure out how we can save ourselves.

Bare Bones Biology 071 – God, Energy, Me
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at
Audio later this week at

This is Here and Now

Keep a lookout for the reality while you are on your way to Lake Bryan for your recreation.

It’s actually NOT all in God’s hands. It is our behavior that is causing the great strain on the ecosystem’s ability to provide us with food. So the only way we can stop it is to change our behavior.

Power Politics

I am in favor of Obama as our leader, but I am sure that he does not understand the problem we are facing. I have known this for 50 years — this problem — and my knowledge is based on the most basic processes that permit our life to be alive. In proof of my statement that I knew, I offer the fact that I pulled my retirement money out before the market went absolutely crazy — but that is also not relevant.

The point is that the earth productivity can not grow anymore, and the market is based on growth. That’s all I can say about it. That’s why I wrote my book for people who don’t see how the biology of the ecosystem directly impacts the market. If it can’t grow it — can’t grow. Human technology or politics can not change how the ecosystem functions.

But I never delved into all the reductionist details of explaining this in terms of the economy or the social implications or the political — every problem in our lives right now, every problem of significance, is tied in with this fact, and it is a fact, that the economy has begun to shrink because the earth can no longer expand its productivity.

So I just found an article that explains in beautiful detail exactly why. I think you might just slip this into the covers of my energy handbook and consider seriously how this relates to Obama and all the other candidates. I would send this to Chet also, but I see I don’t have an email and he probably wouldn’t get it anyway. Maybe I’ll slip it into another book and carry it over to his office.

I believe it is the duty of every politician to understand the problem. The information is available and the Post Carbon Institute is by far our best source of real information for actually responding to the facts on the ground..

This insane fighting over something we can not change is the biggest waste of time I have ever seen anyone do. The only result of all this bickering will be to make the big crash bigger because we didn’t do anything to deal with the actual problem. The problem of our survival with any kind of comfort and human rights on this earth is not political; it is biological.

Move the Moon, it Bugs me

“Make President Obama Stop Global warming.”

You must be kidding.

That organization (and I have to say a lot of other organizations) get no money from me. And the hungrier they are for the green the more ignorant the claims they come up with, some of them.

But that makes Global warming an even worse problem doesn’t it:

1. Obama can’t fix it without our help;

2. All these people who could be helping are wasting their energy thinking of stupid things to say to raise money.

To spend your time thinking or talking about what you can not do to help mankind Is a waste of your brain and the time you could be spending doing something worthwhile..
There is more that you CAN do than you can ever do.
Just make sure that whatever you do now does not make life worse for someone else later on.

Who Knew?

The news today is wonderful:

If you eat real food you have 80% greater chance of being healthy!

If you breast feed your baby you have a 60% better chance of avoiding breast cancer!

Nobody seems to wonder what about the baby, but I guess that was the first advertising fiasco 50 odd years ago when the baby food makers convinced a huge percentage of mothers to NOT breast feed their babies because their baby food is better for them than mother’s milk?? We believed that? Yes we did. Until a lot of the babies got sick.

That’s not even to mention the recent scientific discovery that smog is bad for you!

Anyone whose life is not tied up with the television already knew all those things.

God made people; advertisers did not make people, nor did scientists.

Do you believe all the stuff you hear on TV? Let’s take two examples. Global warming. Health care reform. Do you believe whatever feels good — or whatever the advertisers tell you — or would you rather pass on a better world to you children.

That would require that you think seriously about what you believe.

Scientific Breakthrough!

For at least the last 20 years, medical technology has been wringing its hands and moaning about the “asthma epidemic.”

For at least the last 20 years it has been completely obvious that smog causes asthma. At least it was completely obvious to this scientist. So someone has finally studied the connection between smog and the childhood asthma epidemic.

Surprise! Smog causes asthma. Of course it was NOT someone in the USA who studied it, which makes me wonder who has been holding the hands of the American medical technologists for all these 20 years, but why do we need scientific studies to see things that are completely obvious?

It won’t go away because we don’t want to see it. Or is it our system of education (by television) that wants us to not know so those people who run all the asthma ads can sell more and more of their asthma treatments. Wouldn’t it be better to cure the CAUSE of the asthma?

Now – when do you suppose someone will investigate the link between smog and obesity? I know what it does to me; surely I am not the only person who gets butterflies in her stomach, in smoggy conditions, that are alleviated by eating.

The Good Life or That’s Not How it Works

I once wrote a little story about population growth. It’s not a story about anti-anything; it IS a story about facing factual reality as it exists and together finding better ways to deal with it. Well, it’s really a story about not facing factual reality.

On an island in the Pacific Ocean there were 100 people and food enough for 110 to live a good life, nurture their children, and grow the culture into something warm and kind.

Modern medicine came along, but did not bring with it provision for a better life for those it saved. And the population grew to 120, many of whom were living below poverty level.

The aid agencies then came along with extra food, but without making provision for a better life for those they saved and the population grew to 150 and people began starving.

And so I told my story and then I said:

“This is not curing any problem, it is only making bigger problems. We should instead treat the CAUSE of the problem, which is not a shortage of food but an excess of people, at the same time we help the suffering people.” And everyone around me said:

“What do you want — to do like China?” And I said:

“China has probably saved the world a horrible war with its efforts to feed its own people. But why are you changing the subject? This is not about China; it is about the beam in your own eye. Your food aid charity is probably causing more suffering and devastation than anything China has done, not that there is any point measuring relative devastations. Now there are 40 starving people on that island that had none before you intervened; the technology is now available to REALLY help them; and I keep wondering why you aren’t. If you didn’t intend to create suffering, then why don’t you STOP causing more suffering and begin to make it better? What is the exact purpose of your food aid charity? Is it to make you feel superior and useful? Is it to grow your economy and fatten your wallet. Hmmmm. If we resolved the problem would that perhaps put you out of a job?”

They didn’t like that, so they said:

“What can we do? There is nothing that we can do.” And so I pointed out several things that we could do and they gave twice as many reasons why all of the things were impossible. And then they went away.

Not long after, I had a really long layover for changing planes and met an aid worker who had just fled from East Timor or Africa or the Sudan or someplace like that, who put my story into its real context. Her story is real — about real people in real families who are so desperate for food that they make one extra baby — to starve that baby so they can qualify for food aid and try to save the rest of the children. This is not a fairy tale; it’s a first-hand true account from an expert in the field. And so I said:

“Why are we doing this to people?” And she said:

“The folks who make the decisions sitting in New York City won’t listen to the reality. They only listen to the money.” And I said:

“Which is worse, China or us?”

Maybe it’s time to stop pot-calling and DO SOMETHING because our ecosystem is a biological island in a sea of physical phenomena that can not sustain life. In spite of the 50-year-old mantra “There is enough to feed blah,blah.” that was probably promulgated by some corporation to sell stuff to someone. It doesn’t matter who there was enough to feed when that was true. There is NOT enough to feed everyone forever, and the shit is hitting the fan NOW. If we had abundant biological resources on earth the ecosystem would be in balance and we would not have climate change. We do have climate change as the ecosystem tries to adjust her balance to the reality of life on earth today. We should be helping her to do that, rather than spinning our wheels making it worse.

I can certainly understand why you might not want to get into an airplane and go to your island and distribute condoms. What I do not understand is why you are unwilling (or is it fear? Is it we aren’t afraid to kill each other but we are afraid to talk with each other?) to talk about the problem in a rational way with friends, neighbors and your local politicians. Instead of hiding behind an army of volunteer soldiers and aid workers. Because in the long run we can’t hide from need. No way; no how.