Bare Bones Biology 223 – Why?

Sorry to be so late this week.  As you know, I got involved with quite a lot of photography related to the climate change march.  And today’s blog will talk (again) about the root cause of climate change.  If we ignore the root cause (of anything) it will just circle around and come back to bite us in a different form, so all you climate change marchers, you need to ALSO deal with the root cause or you cannot succeed in your projects unto the seventh generation (or even the third, that would be your grandchildren) and beyond.  Here is this week podcast transcription140920-ClimateMarc-ASC_1731RLRLSs

God did not design a world in which we can have everything we want. And what a good thing that is! We would have messed it up in short order. We are not God and we do not have the wisdom or the capacity, even with computers, to understand and keep track of and balance all the millions of interacting parts of a sustainable life form such as our Earth. And of course all of our food, water and air, that is our survival, comes from our living earth.

Instead, the miracle of this living earth is precisely that it is designed to sustain itself. If we don’t completely mess it up, we can be quite certain that there will be a future for us to live and strive for because the Life of Earth is sustainable. However, it does not operate solely to serve human desires, and as Chief Oren Lyons said to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now (DN130809). “The Laws of Nature are such that we will suffer in direct ratio to our transgressions. It’s as simple as that. People should understand this, there is no mercy in nature. None whatsoever. Only the Law. Only the rules. If you follow those laws and rules, you’ll have regeneration, again and again, and if you want to challenge those laws, then you suffer the consequence, and that’s where we are right now.”

That is a reason to be alive. For the future. That we should not create more suffering, now or in the future, because of us being a part of all Life.

I guarantee the reason for human existence is not profit — or fame. Probably, the purpose for our lives is that very sustainability — that very intricately balanced sustainability. Or maybe it is the search for deeper meaning, in fact to reach out for God, within the task of sustaining and growing His creation.

In any case, we all do have an obligation to the future, and one of the best expressions of this fact that I’ve heard are again in the words of native American Chief Oren Lyons, this time speaking to Bill Moyers   “We are now. Now is us. We’re the seventh generation. I’m sitting here as the seventh generation because seven generations ago there were people looking out for me. Seven generations from now someone will be there, I know. And so each generation makes sure that seven generations is coming, all the time. . . And that’s accountability. We’re accountable. We and you and I, we’re accountable, yes we are, and they are going to call us. They’re the ones who are going to say Why did you do this, or Why did you not do this?”

Indeed we could grow a sustainable future, with much resources for everyone, so long as we limit our numbers to what the earth has available to give, both to ourselves and to the other Earth species that are responsible for maintaining the viable conditions of air water and food energy, and at the same time every child could have at least the chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in other words, a rewarding life.

But not, as we are doing today, not if we continue to produce more children than we have resources to support. Sooner or later, regardless of our technological genius, a population that grows greater than the available resources, like any Ponzi scheme, falls down into a terrible morass of suffering.   And we will have nobody to blame but ourselves. Not the Bible, not God, not nature – because we know what we are doing to cause the suffering and we refuse to stop doing it.

Of course we do understand that overpopulation will end in disaster. Our problem is that, at the same time, we must all honor our humanity, and part of that human imperative is our built-in sense of compassion.

As an American Buddhist friend has said:

“About babies – totally agree there are too many. Governments need to stop subsidizing them. No tax deductions after the first birth. No fertility clinics – adopt, borrow, or put up with it. But I’m less hard-hearted about letting people die, though the logic hasn’t changed. Only because I was on a scary small plane ride with a young woman with a tiny baby, coming back from hospital birth. It would have been her second, but the first time the weather had stopped planes from flying so she couldn’t get to the hospital. Before that I would have said, this is normal and how it should be. Just like if it were my children and grandchildren getting ebola, I wouldn’t be able to say it’s normal, it cuts the population problem.“So if we’re going to protect individual lives, we really, really have to change our norms about having babies. Every child deserves full attention of at least five adults, that’s what I say.  I’d like to see a movement.”

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

A copy of the podcast is available at:

 

http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_195_-_What_do_we_Want_asnd.mp3

https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/

Democracy Now DN130809

Bill Moyers,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Faher John Dear

This is a short clip.
Download the entire interview with Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow.org, April 20, 2009
Demnow-DemocracyNowMondayApril202009682
http://barebonesbiology.com/introducing-father-john-dear

Bare Bones Biology 098-Climate Change-What Can We Do?

The ecosystem is not a democracy. Neither is it a matter of opinion, nor can we match its power. Not in our wildest dreams. The ecosystem – whatever it is – it is a factual reality. Just look at the veins in your hand. Then look out the window. Then remember where your food, water and air are created – no, not in the supermarket – the ecosystem. It’s a fact that the ecosystem is constantly changing in response to its interactions among all the factors that make up its existence. My critics and their grandchildren will not be at all happy about our choice to continue destroying the climate that the ecosystem created, that has been our cornucopia of life.

So to round out this series on climate change, I want to play some quotes. Here is a short one from an activist at the climate talks that recently took place in Durban, South Africa. Amy Goodman is interviewing Kumi Naidoo on Democracy Now (the only good coverage of the talks that I know about, see dates 12/05/2011 and 12/06/2011 as part of the series).

“the problem is that the level of ambition and the level of urgency in these talks do not match what the science is telling us to do.” He means the science tells us the problem is urgent.

Climate change is just as real as overpopulation, and if you know a few facts (facts are realities that aren’t about people and people can’t change them, like gravity for example) if you know a few facts, then climate change will be as common-sense as my story about overpopulation. The one about putting a cow and a bull in a pasture with plenty of water, and never feeding them any hay and see if they eventually have a population problem. Or a resource problem, which is nearly the same thing. Common sense.

“The greatest challenge for Burma and the countries of the Arab Spring, as well as all peoples who hope to enjoy the flowers and fruits of their endeavors in 2012, will be to bring wisdom to bear on passion and power, and to create a blend of the two that is both effective and wholesome.” Aung San Suu Kyi

This is Harvard Professor E. O. Wilson on Earth/Sky

“Biology is going to be crucial also in feeding the world. We’re about to run out of water, and we’re running low on arable land. And we’re just now reaching 7 billion people on earth, and we’re not going to slow down or peak until somewhere in the vicinity of 10 billion, the most recent projections indicate. We don’t have enough water in enough countries to feed all those people and to restore soil to arable condition. And then there comes the matter of saving the rest of life, which is a major concern of mine. We’ll have to do a better job of exploring the natural world and figuring out how to carry it through what I like to call the bottleneck of the 21st century, when we go through the population crunch and use every bit of information – science based — that we can get, to make that journey through with the least amount of damage to the world.”

So what can we do to help? Number one, find a way to provide birth control for every person who wants it on earth. Number two, work to provide a reasonable standard of living for those who are living. This will require dethroning the corposystem and the growth ethic in favor of a sustainable economic system. Number three, join together with other countries of the world and let them help us do these things. How do we do those things? In any way we can, so long as what we do does not cause more long-term harm than help. That’s practical, self-serving compassion.

Bare Bones Biology 098 – Climate Change-What Can We Do?
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download available later this week
here and at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Trackbacks and Recommended References:
Bare Bones Biology Ecology Handbook downloadable on lower right of this blog.
http://www.DemocracyNow.org
http://www.earthsky.org

Peach Clubhouse Newsletter – December

Activities of Interest

Peach Clubhouse Movie Night – Second Tuesday of December. After that — next year — movies only by request. These movies are free at the Peach Clubhouse, 1110 Justine, just northeast of downtown Bryan.

December 13, Tuesday, will be the beautiful BBC “Jungles.”

The next requested presentation will be Bill Moyers’ interview of Oren Lyons, Chief of the Onandaga, a member of the Iroquois Alliance. We will discuss this and the story of the Great Law of the Peacemaker, as told by John Mohawk. The time for this is to be arranged. Let me know if you want to participate.

No other programs are yet scheduled for December. Enjoy your holidays.

Radio Spots – Bare Bones Biology Radio spots may be heard on KEOS FM, 89.1, three times a week. Sunday morning at 6:55 AM, Sunday afternoon at 3 PM, Tuesday evening at 8:55 PM. These may be downloaded at http://WWW.BareBonesBiology.com or at http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com. The new series, beginning this month, examines the Peach Clubhouse Imagining cited in the masthead.

Other Activities around the Brazos Valley

The Insight Meditation Group holds a half-hour sit, followed by a short reading and discussion of a general nature, every Wednesday at noontime at the Unitarian Church in College Station, Friday at 3 pm at the Peach Clubhouse.

Dec. 8, Friends of Peace
– Thursday, Poppa Rollo’s Pizza, 703 N.Valley Mills Drive, Waco
6 p.m.- business and pizza buffet.
6:30 p.m.-film and discussion.
Admission: one non-perishable food item for a local food bank.
Selection: OCCUPY EVERYWHERE: ON THE NEW POLITICS AND POSSIBILITIES OF THE
MOVEMENT AGAINST CORPORATE POWER (2011).
Or if you can’t make that, you can view or download a one-hour excerpt of a panel discussion, different program, at the website of Democracy Now. The program aired November 4. For more about creative political solutions, go to political section of this newsletter and some other interesting activities of Friends of Peace in Waco.

Remapping our Rule of Law

Occupy College Station
has held at least two public actions. I have a nice video with chanting but haven‘t figured out how to put that in a newsletter.

A quote from Arundhati Roy:
“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling — their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.” Our stories, according to Jack Kornfield, are who we are. I think it’s best to not let some corporation tell us who we are.

That’s basically it, and so well put, but of course to do that — to refuse to believe the brainwashing — we need to have something better in our brains. Something true and based in factual reality that we can live now and grow for our future, and that of course we are doing.

And speaking of the future, I’m attaching a short clip from Democracy Now that reports a neat and effective political response to the effort of our drug companies to overcharge the world for essential medicines on the basis of American patents. The speaker is Harriet Washington, author of the book, Deadly Monopolies. (www.democracynow.org)

Another commentary on Occupy is of special interest because it is a discussion among three American Buddhist thinkers, Michael Stone, David Loy and Ethan Nichtern. “When you go deeper” you get beyond superficial nitpicking and find there,what truth? (ttp://TheIDProject.org)

That comment reminds me of the new approaches of Democracy School (http://www.celdf.org/) and others who are preventing the corposystem from co-opting control over land, water, food, air and other resources that belong to the commons (i.e., everyone) by changing our own assumptions about the law itself. “Does our activism mean so little that we want no more than a few beeps from cars that are passing by?”

Compassion Corner

“It seems to me that no matter which spiritual path one is on, and no matter what the calling or vocation, this question of purpose must arise, if there is to be any real meaning in “commitment” and “practice.” To what are we committed, we must ask, again and again. Each day presents the challenge to contemplate the question and find a way of acting differently that becomes a transformative “way” that honors Life and Nature’s limits and wonders. What are we doing to stop “the machine?” Shouldn’t all practices now be anchored in the awareness of the peril we face?” Or do we just sit there and enjoy it?” Question raised by one of our tentacles.

Bottom Line Biology

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/30/end-of-growth (Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Inst.)
Also check out the website of TheWildlifeCenter.org. I have been to this facility in New Mexico, and it is outstanding. Not your ordinary dot org.

“On the face of it, it wasn’t anything to shout about — just more stats in a world drowning in numbers. These happen to have been put out by the U.S. Department of Energy and they reflected, as an Associated Press headline put it, the “biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases.” In other words, in 2010, humanity (with a special bow to China, the United States, and onrushing India) managed to pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than at any time since the industrial revolution began — 564 million more tons than in 2009, which represents an increase of 6%. According to AP’s Seth Borenstein, that’s “higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.” He’s talking about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, which is, if anything, considered “conservative” in its projections of future catastrophe by many climate scientists. Put another way, we’re talking more greenhouse gases than have entered the Earth’s atmosphere in tens of millions of years.” From Tomgram http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175468/tomgram%3A_bill_mckibben%2C_puncturing_the_pipeline/#more

And if you really want to know why we should care about these facts (I know you already know) a new Declaration that describes very beautifully the relationship that we must have with our ecosystem if we want to survive into the future in our home on this living earth. (Blue River Declaration, Spring Creek Project springcreek@oregonstate.edu)

Fracking News, water, air, soil, damaging sound waves, earthquakes. What next?

Well, next the Government Environmental Protection Agency has definitely established contamination of an aquifer with fracking fluids (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/SIG=13er0l4se/**http%3A//beta.news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now/friday-13th-takes-twitter-beck-vs-mccain-two-160239016.html), another earthquake, this time in Georgia, and several cities have established new constitutions that prevent outside powers from dictating matters that influence the commons, that is properties that rightfully belong to all the people, such as air, water, soil and our climate that permits us to survive and grow our food.

Here are a few web sites that will be of interest to people who want to keep up with the news about Fracking, courtesy of our Austin tentacle.

Fracdallas is a Public Information site by a local Dallas interest group. Since you mentioned possibly creating a web site or blog site to raise public awareness in your area, I thought this might help you with ideas: http://fracdallas.org/docs/ambient.htmll

The Argyle-Bartonville Communities Alliance (Near Dallas in the Barnett Shale Area) is another action group focused on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing: http://abcalliance.blogspot.com/2010/05/fracking-process-and-noise.html

This is a public publication group that talks about many subjects. They had some interesting information on hydraulic fracturing: http://www.propublica.org/special/hydraulic-fracturing-national

The NOSEBLEEDS that are so common near the gas compressor plants are caused by highly volitile compounds. You may not be able to smell them, but the nose knows. My nosebleeds have stopped since I moved.

Food and Farming

Next issue I will give more attention to the agribusiness control over farmers in the United States and abroad, including the genetics part of the problem that usually is not explained, but is the biggest reason we do not want to turn our entire food-making enterprise over to Montsanto. And the other reason we don’t want to do that has to do with the same issues that are discussed above relative to fracking — our commons. We really do NOT want the things we require for our survival to be manipulated by the corposystem. The ecosystem already knows how to do a far better job. In the meantime, the world is belatedly beginning to take notice. If you want one example, check out the new trend in the Phillipines:

“This is indeed what is happening in the Philippines: The agriculture ministry, long a position for agribusiness allies, is currently headed by Proceso Alcala, a strong proponent of organic agriculture. Within a year of his appointment in mid-2010 – and just months after we had walked through Atilano’s fields – we learned that the Philippine agriculture department had stopped subsidizing chemical fertilizers and was steering public funds into community-based seed banks for traditional rice varieties. Alcala, we heard, was hiring community-based farmer-scientists and gearing up for an “eat healthy” campaign that will champion brown rice and other healthy foods.” http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/can_danilo_atilano_feed_the_world/

That’s nice and we had better go ahead in that direction if we want to survive. However, there is only one action that can truly ensure human survival on this earth, and that is control of our population pressure on the sensitive interactions that keep the earth alive and well,. Thus I get extremely crabby whenever any of our positive or negative sound bites suggests that ANY ONE THING will save us because it simply is not true and it pulls people’s energy away from what we truly MUST do if we are to survive. The answer to the misleading headline is of the above article is No. Organic farming cannot feed 7 billion people. Neither can any other kind of farming for very long. Picture the earth, population mounting, more and more mouths to feed, each doubling of numbers taking half as long as the previous doubling. Mouths crying for food, the earth increasingly paved over. The climate and destruction of soil reducing productivity in spite of the best efforts of the organic farmers. And killing more and more and more species that the earth requires for its resilience, until finally we kill ourselves.

Now someone will tell me I’m against organic farming. NO. Organic farming is A GOOD THING. HOWEVER, if there are no humans around to appreciate it, then all the effort will have been wasted. There is only one essential requirement for our survival. We have all the necessary resources and technologies to provide birth control for every person on earth who wants it. If we don’t do that, we will never be able to feed all the people.

It is rather astounding that we make up debates over which kind of agriculture can feed us all — when it is so clear that neither can — and it would be so relatively easy to solve the problem. No of course not easy — but simple. If we don’t deal with population control we will not survive on this earth no matter what kind of magic we invoke. Organic farming is better than Monsanto farming for very many reasons, but I don’t understand why we can’t get it through our heads that all of our work won’t make any difference to anyone if all the people die. Of course the earth will likely return to lovely glowing health, but what is lovely if no people remain to enjoy it?

OK, so I have scientifically literate friends who think we might get by without becoming entirely extinct, but I don’t think you will like what they envision, either. So why don’t we start to do something THAT WILL WORK FOR THE FUTURE! And then farm for our own welfare in our spare time. Not the other way around.

And as we are trying to promote gardening, folks in the Brazos Valley can participate in a student project at TAMU (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=427169369603), and open to public participation. Howdy! Farm. You will find their produce available at the Farmers’ Market in Bryan (http://www.brazosvalleyfarmersmarket.com). And of course organically grown foods at Brazos Natural Foods in College Station (BNF@txcyber.com) And a heads up from the Peach Clubhouse, we have a small open space available if the right person wants to take on the challenge of creating an organic community garden closer to downtown Bryan. See? I’m not against it. I just hope someone will be around to eat it 50 years from now.

The Peach Clubhouse Newsletter
imagines the minimum requirements for a sustainable, reasonably comfortable and rewarding human lifestyle within our earth ecosystem for our future generations. We would grow a communication and educational system that teaches everyone these minimum skills:
1. The basic physical requirements for our living earth to be healthy. Because the healthy functions of earth ecosystem provide us with everything we need to stay alive — earth, food energy, air, water.
2. Practical, applied compassion. Because humans require compassion in order to lead reasonably comfortable and rewarding lives (www://Bare BonesBiology 080-The Golden Rule).
3. A rule of law that recognizes the different and sometimes conflicting needs of different levels of life — individual, population, ecosystem — and strives for the overall most useful solutions..
Factual Biology-Education-Practical Compassion-Rule of Law -|- https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com

Right On Prof. Bacevich

Andrew BacevichI had this very nice little one-minute video to show you, from Democracy Now (Monday May 11), and this podcast server claims that it will upload videos, but my experience is that it will NOT upload videos, even if I made them all by myself and hold the copyright.

However, the words are so right and so related to what I have been saying the past three days, that I know they will jump right off the page into your brain:

“I think we Americans should be skeptical of this notion that the most powerful man in the world, so called, can solve our problems. He’s not as powerful as we imagine, as he’s celebrated in the media, and quite frankly, looking to the President to fix things is a way of letting ourselves collectively off the hook, of offloading our responsibility onto Washington DC, and again . . . I don’t think Washington DC is going to solve the problems that beset the country. The solutions, if there are any, have to come from within, and in that sense there is an urgent need for citizens to take seriously the responsibilities of citizenship.”

The responsibilities of citizenship are at least two-fold:

1. Study the issues. Don’t expect someone to do something that is impossible just because you want it. Propose solutions that will or might work. If you holler loud enough a lot of people will listen, but nothing will happen unless you know what you are talking about. The powers that be will pat you on the head, smile, and go home and tell jokes about you.

2. Consider what is best for the country — not only what you want. We can’t have everything. Make choices that represent your commitment to the community of man.