Bare Bones Biology 125 – Adaptation

We all know that we cannot reduce pollution of our biosphere without reducing human growth on earth. Any more than a bathtub could contain an infinite number of marbles. The more we grow – the more we unbalance the healthy relationships between ourselves and the rest of the biosphere. The earth biosphere cannot change how it balances its parts (see Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook – ) in order to stay alive. It’s parts are energy and matter – just like our parts and all of life. Earth, air, energy and water. The big LIFE balances its parts very much like our parts balance, and all of life balances its parts. (See the Bare Bones Biology series on climate change that begins with Bare Bones Biology 092, on the website http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com).
We are not God. We cannot adapt the facts of life to suit ourselves. What we can change is our behaviors, and that would be enough if we would adapt our behaviors to suit ourselves to the facts of life. Instead of trying so hard to adapt the facts of life to suit ourselves.

The corposystem propaganda is once again trying to confuse us about how life works. This time they are claiming that we can adapt to the changes in the biosystem. Or – and I just found a real book authored by a famous reporter that has the title “earth” and is not at all about the earth. (If you want to hear about a book that DOES address reality, check out Eaarth by Bill McKibben.

This new “earth” book is not about the earth – not at all. It’s about people. This is really odd, given that people can’t make earth alive – it is the earth that keeps us alive. People wouldn’t be here at all if it were not for the whole earth ecosystem. And the way the Biosphere stays living is to keep all its parts balanced, and the way it does that is by the functions of all the millions of species that live on the earth.

The living earth must, like all living things, keep its parts balanced in order to stay alive. Just like ourselves, the earth can change how it does some things, but it cannot change what it must do. What it must do to stay alive is balance the earth and air and water – all the elements that recycle, for example oxygen and carbon – and the energy that it gets from food.

We cannot adapt our biology, because it is genetically programmed, and so is the biology of the entire earth ecosystem. Genetically programmed. Well-adapted species, such as the grasses in the photograph (right here in the back yard in New Mexico), fit every part of their life cycle to the conditions around them. This grass grows in a circle, in the dry, easily eroded environment. The grass roots and the little dam of its growth style help to nurture the soil by preventing erosion and also by capturing water when it does rain, and by retaining the little rabbit turds that will nourish the plant, as the plant nourishes the rabbits that eat the grasses. This is very much how our relationship with the biosphere MUST be if we want to be a well-adapted species. Living sustainably healthy lives. All these behaviors are genetically programmed. Any other kind of grass could not adapt to the same functions as this species of grass, and if the climate changes too much where it lives, the grass will die. Nor can humans adapt to changes in our environment outside of our physiological limits.

If you want to hear of another situation, check out the story of some of the “keystone species” such as the sea otters, or mountain lions, how they fit into the biosphere (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061024214739.htm,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_species). This describes real biological adaptation. It requires that all the species in the area nurture each other. That is the whole point of an ecosystem. And it takes hundreds or thousands of years for all the genomes of all the species to gradually evolve into a connected whole ecosystem.

With the exception of organic farmers, humans are making almost no effort to fit into the ecosphere, and I wonder if the organic farmers realize they are destroying the smaller local ecosystems that had evolved in place, in their desire to make a “better” ecosystem that serves primarily humans and not the whole of life itself. Without asking why better and for whom. (I once asked an economist turned organic farmer; he got very angry with me.) The idea seems to be that we should change the ecosphere — not fit into it so that we can be sustainably healthy. I think organic farming is probably a good thing, but I also believe we are not doing it for the welfare of the whole, but only for ourselves, and – again – we are not God who created the whole, and we may not know what is better – especially if we don’t even bother to ask the question.

Bottom line is that we cannot change the basic laws of nature. What we could do is the real meaning of adaptation; that is, change our behaviors so that we can fit helpfully inside the biosphere.

We live on earth only so long as we obey the laws of nature; we can change our behaviors, but we cannot change our physiology – we can’t change how our heart beats and what things poison our cells, or how our bodies use the breath of life to stay alive. Neither can we change how the biosphere stays alive by balancing the air, water, fire and earth within its living self. Most people know this.

Most people do want to move toward a more compassionate and sustainable relationship within the biosystem. Even so, I have been to meetings of many groups, from organic farmers to community organizers to politicians to religious or spiritual groups, all of whom know these things are true, and they care very much about the biosphere and our humanity within the biosphere, and they are trying to organize a new set of relationships that will bring a better balance between the biosphere and human needs.

What I have not recently heard talked about in this sort of meeting, whether it be organic farmers or community organizers or religious/spiritual organizations (and I have been looking hard among groups who claim to be concerned about the health of the biosphere) – what I have not heard is any effort to understand and honor what makes the biosphere sustainable. Nothing about the welfare of the biosphere itself. For its own good health. All we talk about lately is how can we force our will upon the earth ecosystem with our human technologies.

The answer to these ideas is that we are wasting a lot of time trying to do impossible things. We cannot force our will upon the ecosphere. We are not God, who created the heavens and the earth and breathed life into them.

What we can do is learn to understand what the earth ecosystem needs to be healthy, and change our behaviors to give the earth ecosystem what it needs. What does the ecosystem need to stay healthy? Minimally it needs us to re-balance our populations so that we are not consuming more of earth air fire and water than the ecosystem can provide — nor producing more toxic effluents than the ecosystem can tolerate — so that we are not unbalancing the cycles of air, water, healthy earth and food energy that make up the healthy earth ecosystem.

Frankly, I am not interested in any opinions about technologies as a cure, because that route is so chancey and the real solution is so simple. (Simple to understand, not easy to do, but we DO understand it, and it is not impossible; changing what the biosphere requires to be healthy IS impossible. Difficult is easier than impossible, so why are we holding back the solution to the problem?) Simple to understand. Our technologies have unbalanced our nest until we have more people than the earth can feed sustainably. The cure (also simple to understand) is to reduce the overpopulation as quickly and as compassionately as we possibly can to a level that the earth ecosystem can support without changing its climate to the point where humans can no longer live here.

So long as we refuse to use the technologies we already have, in combination with education about how the biosphere functions to stay healthy, we will continue to decline in all parts of our societies. So long as we continue to try to change the world to suit ourselves, and we refuse to change our behaviors to suit the world — we can not take the big step to evolve (adapt) our behaviors into more compassionate, sustainable and rewarding societies. Because starving people cannot learn to be compassionate or peaceful.

LynnLamoreux@Yahoo.com

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that is playing this week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. The podcast can be downloaded at

    Recommended References


Bare Bones Biology Energy Handbook
– freely downloadable, no strings
https://factfictionfancy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

(First blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/01
(Second blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/
(Third blog in this series) https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/
Bare Bones Biology Climate Change Series is BBB-092 through BBB-100.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/dialogs/print/?id=175549, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061024214739.htm, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_species

Bare Bones Biology 123 – Heroism

Once upon a time I was a real hero. I forced my employer to hire women scientists on a more or less equal basis with men. As a result, the employer hired a gaggle of very competent women, and several of these women let me know that I: “wouldn’t have had all those problems if I had been competent.” Apparently the newbys want to believe they alone are the heroes; that the past is not relevant.

My parents belonged to the generation of the great depression. My early years were informed by WWII and some magnificent expressions of American democratic responsibility, as we tried to imagine a better culture after the war.

In the next generation after mine a great many American and European women and men modified their own pleasures in order to benefit future generations. And yet, more often than not, I hear the Newbys of today say the Green Revolution was a failure, as though everything would be fine today if we had properly solved the problem yesterday. The Green generation understood that good times always have a dark underside. They recognized the new threat — the first ever worldwide, overpopulation-induced shortage of food. And they (we) dealt with it.

WE gave YOU your cushy livestyle. We worked together to achieve one of the most important human accomplishments in all of history. The birth rate dropped in all the educated countries. This was not a biological change. It is not possible –, well I will get into biology some other time, but the biosystem laws of life will not change just to relieve humans of their responsibility to balance human populations with biosystem requirements. Only the human brain can accomplish that task. Only education combined with technology and responsibility.

Education combined with technology. So yes there were bad guys, there are always a few who want to take control over their family, or a community, or their country, or the world. How do they do it? Obvious – they take away the solution to the problem. In this case, take away the education and the technology. Make more people, so the food will run out faster (it has) and there will be more poor people who have no time to worry about anything beyond their next meal (there are). Now the corposystem falsely claims that populations will automatically adjust themselves if only we make them grow. In other words, the corposystem propaganda is that we must grow the population so that the population can reduce itself.

Folks, that’s not how the biosystem works to stay alive and well, and because that claim is so intensely un-biological, therefore the corposystem has had to make sure that we do not understand the biology. I’m not talking about human biology, but the whole of the biosystem – the biosystem biology. The biosystem that gives us all of our food is threatened by overpopulation. And now we have some of the most biologically uneducated adult generations in this country in recent history, and what’s worse, they don’t even know they are uneducated. They believe they alone are the heroes. And the corposystem is still working hard to withhold access both to education and to the most useful and harmless technologies.

The quiet heroism of the green revolution gave us 50 extra years of the good life in which to generate the technologies that are needed to regulate populations, and it gave us time, 50 years in which to reach a sustainable level of reproduction so the good life could be carried into the future.

But the subsequent generations have abandoned responsibility for the whole of the prosperity that we generated in the Green Revolution — turned it over to the corposystem. That is not a failure of the green revolution 50 years ago. It is a failure of responsibility now.

Which, in a way, is good news. If the problem is happening now, then it can be fixed now.

How? We know the corposystem spreads lies; therefore, our job must be to ferret out the truth. And then we must focus on solving the problem, not fighting over it — or we will end up with a war rather than a solution.

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that is playing this week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. A podcast can be downloaded at

Bare Bones Biology 112 – Thinking

Today I am reposting my own thoughts about thinking – that I thought after viewing Mathiew Ricards UTube

I have developed my mind quite a lot, and I think it’s a good idea. My belief for a long time has been that the so-called “right brain” part of the mind contains the more basic inherited human characteristics. That means we can’t change them or lose them — so it’s better to use them well.

From what we know up to now, these basic qualities seem to be the emotional realities that have been so elegantly studied by Buddhism over the centuries, plus I think the stages of mourning and of meditation are inherent human qualities, and of course many things we do not know.

I learned long ago that any major culture shock requires at least (and about) a year to work through to the point of acceptance of the new reality, and I do believe that the stages of this accomplishment are those same stages that have been described for overcoming grief. The stages of grief (or other big change): Denial, bargaining (this is efforts at control), sorrow and grief, and finally acceptance.

The development of the “right brain,” that is discussed by Mathieu Ricard in the video above, trains us to use these emotions so they benefit us, both at the individual level and at the population level of human reality.

Development of the “left-brain” traits complements the “right” by making day-to-day sense of our experiences until we grow the whole into our world view. Again, the survival value is that we are able to use our experiences and learning to guide our emotions, and direct our behaviors toward greater good, both for the individual and for the community.

Remember, the ”left-brain” skills are largely learned. If you are delving deep into the “right brain” inherited skills to solve your problems, you are only using half your potential for good in the world of today. We need to understand our emotions and use our love and compassion for the greater good. We also need to understand how our love interacts with human need, for good or for ill. Or there can be no compassion, because compassion IS the intersection of loving others and acting for their long[-term best interests.

Love is not enough. In fact, it’s the easy way out. We need to LEARN what the other requires, especially if the other does not have the same kind of right brain that we have, we must learn how it what it does need to function well and be healthy. Otherwise, considering the level of human power on this earth today — our behaviors are likely to cause more harm than good.

It’s not normal for humans to stay stuck forever in denial of the reality of who we are and what we can’t have, combined with bargaining for the power to have it. That’s where we are today, stuck in denial and bargaining, and our power is enough to crash our culture and our ecosystem if we can’t learn to see what the culture and the ecosystem need in order to be sustainable.

“Left-brain” skills are required. “Right brain” skills are also required. We will need our whole brain to grow out of the mess that we are in. Too often we confine our development to one skill-set or the other. Even if we then work very hard, or very lovingly, bringing half our brain to the problems of our culture, this behavior does not create the combination of love and compassion with logic and knowledge, that we need to address those problems. We believe we are creating love and compassion. Quite the opposite, the harder we work on our half of the solution, the more we are likely to generate envy, competition and deep, deep grief when we discover that our dreams have been built on the sands of denial of our other, equally valid half.

Bare Bones Biology 112 – Thinking
KEOS-FM, Bryan, Texas
A podcast of this program can be downloaded here
Or at http://www.FactFictionFancy.com

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.

Why People Don’t Understand (whatever it is that they don’t understand) – Part Three


7. We often assume there are only two answers to any situation. There are always more than two answers to anything. If we don’t question everything and base our questions on real facts that have been developed by people who have expertise in the field, we will never get what we say we want. If we can only see two alternatives in any situation, we are trapped in our own minds.

8. “Everyone has a right to his own opinion.” Or, “We must keep an open mind.” Nonsense. We have an obligation to evaluate opinions that are important to the community. If the outcome of a particular opinion would be harmful to the community, we have an obligation to speak up and explain why we think it would be harmful. Based in common humanity, everyone does NOT have a right to his own opinion, because there are a great many opinions out there that cause real harm — most importantly and subtly by leading us away from understanding the biological and social boundaries of our human rights. But more obviously, if you want an example, I think some of Hitler’s opinions should have been challenged a bit sooner than they were. If we can’t talk about our opinions, stories and metaphors in a discussion format, but only by two-sided debate, then it is almost certain that our opinions are causing a great deal of suffering in ways that we don’t even imagine.

9. We are afraid to ask questions. Where did THAT come from; it is intensely un-American. I was taught that it’s OK to discuss anything, but it is not OK to do cause harm or suffering to others. Now it seems like it’s OK for anyone to say or even do whatever indecency or atrocity, but nobody should question or discuss the harm caused.

Bare Bones Biology 086 – What can we Do?

But then you keep asking, “What can we do?” And I keep telling you what not to do. That must be very frustrating, but how else can you be on your guard? You don’t want to waste your time, any more than I do. All humans want to contribute.

So, don’t let yourself get hooked into fake debates or any of the other corposystem games that I referred to in previous Fact Fiction Fancy podcasts. There isn’t any right answer to the games the corposystem puts up for us, whether it’s fake debates or aintitawful hand-wringing, or blame-placing something that has already happened and can’t be changed.

If I had my choice between blaming someone and fixing whatever the problem is, usually I’d rather fix, but that’s not the choice the corposystem models on their television. It’s always heads you lose or tails I win. Or some displacement activity. A displacement activity is something we do because we can’t imagine what we truly need to do. Like a tiger pacing in his cage because he can’t imagine how to get out of it. Like activists who get themselves involved with projects that are an expression of their beautiful human compassion, but their actions really make the problem worse, because they don’t understand what the ecosystem needs to be healthy.

So what can we do?

“What can we do to change how our life is now?”

That’s the real problem, isn’t it? We can not change how our life is now, because what it is now was caused by our actions in the past, and our ancestors’ actions too, and we cannot change the history. We can lie about it, but words aren’t real things, and we cannot change what real things were done. It’s the basic problem of the immutable law of cause and effect. We cannot change how our life is now because we can not go back in time.

So our real choices now are: to do something that will make the future better – or do something that will make the future worse – or not do anything. It’s easier to not do anything – nothing different from what we already are doing – but that’s how we got into this mess in the first place, isn’t it? I remember the time of the Green Revolution, what we did – what the Green Revolution did — instead of doing something that would make things better, we simply did the same thing we did before, we found just one more little technological scheme that would take us just a few more years before the shit hit the fan. Again. So, that’s what we humans have been doing, over and over again, throughout our past history. We have been challenging and overcoming “limiting factors” (that I discussed in BBB 035)

That’s why so many people believe that technologies can conquer the laws of nature. I’m sorry folks, but there are only so many limiting factors, and biologically and technologically we have hit the wall. We have hit the final limit to how many people this earth can feed without destroying itself or its ability to feed us. So doing nothing different is easy – but it’s not really that much fun, is it, or we wouldn’t have so many things to complain about. Doing something that will make the world worse in the future than it is now?

I don’t believe any of my listeners want to do that. Many people are doing it, but I don’t think it’s really what they want to do.

THE GREATEST GIFT that that we could give — we of this generation – would be to make the changes in our behaviors and our politics that will give the earth what it needs to stay healthy, so that our future generations can also stay healthy.

Bare Bones Biology 086 – What can we Do?
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download available later this week
here and at http://BareBonesBiology.com

Bare Bones Biology 072 – More Corposystem Games – FactFictionFancy

It’s a lot of fun to fight over television controversies, because it seems like nobody gets hurt and nobody loses. So we sometimes forget that most television controversy is just make-believe arguing that is meant to keep us solidly in front of the TV, and not learning about the real facts of life. On modern television, even the news is manipulated — a corposystem game – not real life at all. The facts of life? We breathe air, we drink water and we eat food, and without that all the games in the world won’t keep us alive. Not the TV, not the corposystem, not money.

Money isn’t even a real thing – it’s only a commitment to trade for goods and it’s only useful when people are willing to honor it. We can’t eat, breathe or drink money. So maybe we should spend a little more time understanding how we get what we do need to stay alive, and a little less time trusting the corposystem to get it for us.

The corposystem does not and cannot make food energy, air or water in useful quantities. Those things come from the ecosystem. Yes of course, the corposystem can move things around, and mess them up — but it cannot make enough food, air or water to keep us alive. It is the nature of the ecosystem to produce these things, just as it is our nature to need them, and there is a very important reason for this. We and the earth ecosystem are one living, interacting system. Just in the way that you and your kidney, and your lungs and your heart – all are one living system.

The corposystem is a parasite. It’s not alive, so it does not care if we destroy the air, water and food. It only cares about one thing, and that is money. So the corposystem is using and destroying our air, water and food energy to make things, to sell to us, to get money. And it invents TV propaganda games for us, so we won’t notice that it is taking away our air, water and food. Games like this one, that I call FactFictionFancy. It begins with a news announcer. Here’s the example, a TV announcer says:

“Nearly all living things on this earth, including us, require food to get the energy we need to stay alive, and when we break down the food and use the energy — that process releases carbon dioxide.” That’s a true fact. “NONONO” screams another announcer on a different show that is owned by the same corposystem. “When animals break down food during their metabolism – and use the energy – that process releases water, not carbon dioxide!”

Aha, a fight, what fun, let’s join in, and so a third reporter, owned by the same corposystem claims to have checked with some “expert” who says it’s carbon dioxide. And so it goes. We all sit glued to our TV sets, wondering who will win. Before long a couple of politicians enter the argument, one on each side, Republicans versus Democrats. Water or carbon dioxide. Because they hope to get votes if they say what we want to hear.

But the thing is, of all those fighting people, nobody’s opinion makes any difference at all, because – the reality facts can be measured and have been measured and THEY ARE WHAT THEY ARE. Nobody’s opinion can change them. So, while it’s a fun game arguing, it does not put food in our mouths or prevent the asthma deaths that are caused by air pollution, or save the crops that are lost to drought or the water that was polluted by fracking and runoffs from contaminated croplands. While we behave like fans at a dog fight – as though we had no responsibilities – as though nobody is getting hurt because it’s only a game on TV.

And our politicians are arguing about nonsense instead of discussing solutions to real, difficult problems in a real, life-or-death world.

Bare Bnes Biology 072 – More Corposystem Games – FactFictionFancy
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com
Audio later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com