Bare Bones Biology 075 – Your Local Independent Radio Station

Your local independent all-volunteer radio station is KEOS, 89.1FM. But you already know that, since you are listening to one of the volunteers. And I bet you think I’m going to ask for money, but no, that was your idea. I only have four and a half minutes to say something useful for our future on this earth. But it’s a good idea, giving money, because the local stations are more important than most people know, and this is tough times.

Most people believe that your local independent radio station is mostly for fun, or for practice or listening to a great variety of music, but not so much as a source of reliable factual information. But you know, just for living every day and especially for building a better future, we need an enormous amount of reliable, fact-based information, and a lot of that information is being washed out of the corposystem media and replaced by their self-serving propaganda. Your local independent radio station has a number of programs that can give you different points of view and reliable facts about some the most important decisions you will be making in the coming years.

Of these programs, my favorites are “Sprouts” that airs at 6:30 on Sunday morning, and Alternative Radio on Monday at 7 pm. Bioneers radio airs practical biology on Saturday at 3 pm, and today I’ll give you an excerpt from Sierra Club Radio that you can listen to on Sunday mornings right before Sprouts. In addition to current news, Sierra Club Radio often airs helpful hints for green living. Each of these programs offers downloads at their web sites.

In this short excerpt, Bruce Niles is interviewed by Orley Cotell on the subject of Sierra Club’s campaign to clean up smog caused by coal burning power plants. The full podcast is linked in my blog transcript.

This little clip is part of an explanation of what the Sierra club plans to do with a pretty huge grant they recently received to clean up smog caused by coal fired power plants all across the United States. It begins with Orley Cotell asking the questions.

OC-“I’m curious if you can tell us what part coal-fired power plants play in creating smog, and how bad of a problem is it?”

BN-“Smog is a very serious problem in most every part of this country. There is an estimated 100 million Americans who live in cities and towns across this country where on many days of the year it is unsafe to breath, and so for example here in Washington in the month of July every single day was either a code yellow, orange or red. In the middle of summer it was unsafe to be outside in Washington DC. Coal plants are the largest contributor to that problem of ozone or smog pollution. So as we push to clean up power plants in the remaining fleet we should take a huge bite out of smog pollution and help to eliminate this huge smog problem that is literally afflicting 100 million Americans.”

OC- “I know that asthma in many cases can be exacerbated by smog or by coal pollution. How bad of a problem is that and what role can EPA play in cleaning it up?”

BN- “An asthma doctor described the impact of smog pollution this way. If you can imagine sunburn on your lungs, which is what happens when ozone or smog, which is very acid gets deep down in your lungs and literally sears your lungs. So when someone who already has lung problems, such as someone with asthma, smog can actually send them into asthma attacks and they can end up with pretty serious medical problems. Smog is the number one trigger for asthma attacks.”

Bare Bones Biology 075 – Sierra Club
KEOS Radio, 29.1 FM
Audio available at

Bare Bones Biology 074 – More Information

Many people die of smog in the USA. The media try not to tell us this, of course. And it’s getting worse, but nevermind the whole USA, I looked out the window this morning to a toxic mist made up of air and pesticides that I could smell and something that makes my nose bleed and something else that turns my stomach. Maybe you can’t see this miasma, but when I came to this valley the sky was crackling blue all the time unless it was cloudy. Now our sky is like sour milk — and the incidence of asthma in little kids has soared.

And not only asthma, smog causes many deaths every year. It’s easy to deny this, because all deaths are caused by multiple different things that happen inside the same body. Something stops working, something else stops working, something else is inflamed, we are under stress. If they all happen at once, we can die.

My mother died once; but that was after she had been “saved” about six times. And I always wonder, saved for what? Good health, happiness, joie de’vivre? No way. All that in-between time was something I would not want, but for the nurses and doctors it was a success story. They thought they had saved six lives. But anyone can do the math, and we only die once. For the corposystem, the multiple life saving was even better than for the medical community, bringing years and years of bundles of money into their coffers. So I don’t believe the corposystem ever cared about my mother’s health, because in all that time the corposystem never stopped spewing its waste products into the air we breathe and running its poisons into our water. For me, this scenario is a major betrayal of trust.

And think of all the people in this country who have asthma or emphysema. I never even heard of these things in my youth, and if the proximal cause of asthma or emphysema is smog, then they primarily died from the smog, and in-between the corposystem made a lot of money treating them.

Then listen to the radio tell you it is a “lovely day” when the globe is warming, the sky looks like rancid skim milk, and my stomach is roiling from the smog. And now there are some people don’t even know what a lovely day feels like, because they have never experienced one. For me, this is a betrayal of trust.

Nature does not have “trust” as an ethical obligation. Nature has functions, like gravity, energy flow, and cause and effect relationships, rather than trusting or ethical relationships. Nature’s laws are at the very root of physical reality, because they are how reality is, or it wouldn’t work. For example, starvation is what will happen if we don’t get enough food energy. That’s a natural function, and it’s not something for which we are responsible, so natural starvation is not cruel. Dying is not cruel – it’s natural. It’s what we all get – naturally – and if we didn’t the whole ecosystem would come to a halt very quickly, because without death there can be no life on earth.

People forget to tell us those important things. But the laws of nature are functional relationships, not emotional relationships, so they are neither tragic nor cruel. We are grateful to the laws of nature for giving us this amazing experience of life.

We humans can not change the laws of nature that cause suffering. But we do have responsibility for those relationships that we can control and for which we are responsible. Like nurturing our children and studying the laws of nature so we can plan sensibly for a sustainable future. Like refusing to countenance smog in the Brazos Valley that could be prevented or cured and causes suffering for other people’s children.

Like any betrayal of trust.

Bare Bones Biology 074 – More Information
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at
Audio later this week at

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.