Bare Bones Biology 242 – Fracking III repost

So here’s my answer to the question asked by the young man at the airing of the documentary Gasland in College Station in 2011 ( Yes indeed, young man, every industry is having problems. That’s because the question is not fundamentally about industries. It’s about the universal law of cause and effect. About the common root cause of the effects that you don’t like, and the bigger question is whether you will decide to take actions that will make things better — or carry on doing the same behaviors that caused the problem in the first place.

No living thing on this earth has ever had the power, in the long term, to get whatever it wants without doing the behaviors (that is the causes) that will bring the effects that we want. I150118-Sette-ASC_3695RLSsf we sincerely want to solve the problems of industry and their root cause, then problem solving requires, first, knowing what we want; second, knowing what stands between us and getting what we want; and third, understanding that many actions are possible and useful for now, but most of them will cause more harm than good for future generations if we don’t know how the system functions.

So it’s your choice:
You can do nothing, or you can do something.
If you decide to do something, you can decide to:
Do something that will make you feel better;
or you can
Do something that will probably be a little more frustrating but will actually help improve the conditions.

The living earth ecosystem, not industry but the living Earth ecosystem – that’s what produces our air, water, earth and energy.


The living Earth ecosystem does not function by human values or aspirations. The living earth ecosystem functions very elegantly, incredibly, but definitely on the basis of cause and effect and according to the natural laws of physics and biology. So if we want to influence the living earth ecosystem we must do the actions, the causes, that will cause the effect we want. And not do the actions that cause adverse effects.


That’s all there is to it; and we know enough to do it; and there is no other way to get what we say we want.

For the past 100 years at least we have clearly understood our problem. We are unbalancing our ecosystem by taking away too much of the resources it needs to maintain its own balance of life, and using those resources for activities that poison the cycles required for its health and ours.


We know how to fix that. We fix it by reducing our growth of all kinds, because it is our growth that consumes the resources that the ecosystem needs to maintain its own healthy balance. There is no other way to get what we say we want, but we refuse to do it.

That’s why the oorporations don’t want us to understand our human problem. They would be required to help grow healthy communities rather than simply use the productivity of the existing communities to feather their own pocketbooks.

So your choice, young man, now, is to decide whether you want to make the earth more healthy, or if you would prefer to spend your time:


Doing nothing;
Trying to believe the corposystem fairy tales;
Resorting to powers like prayer or spirituality, that we cannot control, while ignoring or mis-using our own personal and social power;
Having fun;
Being miserable;
Blaming someone else;
Fighting over issues that will not change the outcomes;
Debating issues that will not change the outcomes;
Pretending the glass is half full;
Pretending the glass is half empty;
Trying to win something;
Or trying yet harder to believe in the human value system that caused the problem in the first place.

Well, here’s my helpful hint. Your first next step should be to learn the difference between measurable facts, propaganda and opinions, including your own opinions.


At the same time you should:


(1) begin studying the laws of biology. The most basic laws, not all the details people try to befuddle you with. You will not learn about ecosystem health by studying physics or even physiology. It’s the ecosystem that’s sick, not a human or a proton.  A completely free download of the Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook is available on my website; I don’t even keep track of who downloads these.


(2) Stop arguing or fighting over anything, and begin problem solving discussions. Preferably with someone who read the same handbook.

(3) Stop doing or supporting those actions that cause harm to the life of the ecosystem.

You’re right. Fracking is a symptom and not the cause of our problems. Stopping or limiting or confining fracking will not solve all the problems. Neither would anything else solve all the problems, instantly. Doing nothing will definitely not solve all the problems, and stopping or limiting or confining  fracking could prevent terminal destruction of the earth’s remaining fresh water, though it won’t improve the dirty air that now pollutes our beautiful Brazos Valley.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM in Bryan Texas. A download of this radiocast available at:

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Key Words: fresh water, fracking, propaganda, difference between measurable facts and opinions, industry, root cause, living earth ecosystem, human values, law of cause and effect, resources, poison, balance of life, growth, healthy balance, corporation, biology, physics, physiology.

Bare Bones Biology 188 – What Should We Do?

“We don’t know what to do.” I have claimed that this, along with a goodly number of other complaints, is an excuse. We do know what to do. We must change our culture so that it can provide a sustainable, reasonably comfortable life, for humans unto the seventh generation, or whatever generation suits your imagery. And this goal is impossible unless we recognize and defer to the survival needs of the Biosystem, even when they conflict with our human values. That’s what we must do if we really, honestly want to do something to resolve our problems.

My belief is that most of us really, deep down, do NOT want to do something to resolve our problems, because we like things the way they are. We like our own value systems that have been imprinted on our brains from birth; the corposystem tells us we “have a right” to our opinions and behaviors. We like that we can believe and do whatever we think is right, without questions. We like to believe we are more important than any other power on earth. We are not willing to challenge the corposystem programming, so we have grown up a passel of excuses to get off the hook. We don’t really want to do anything to change all that.

So my question is – which do you want. The pleasures of the corposystem life or the welfare of humans unto the seventh generation? We can not have both. If we truly care about that future generation, then in this age, our responsibility is to change our culture in such a way that humans can survive. In this age, the great obstacle to that goal is the direct conflict between the corposystem value system and Biosystem survival needs.

131121-Redwoods-ASC_7274RLThe corposystem does not want to change; it throws up obstacle after obstacle to change. And the corposystem gives us excuse after excuse, but no excuse can wipe away our obligation to the future of all sentient beings. Our human obligation remains to change our culture into one that can provide a sustainable, reasonably comfortable life, for humans on this earth unto the seventh generation.

To do that, we must defy the corposystem, and to defy the corposystem we must 1) question the human values and world views it has taught us to revere; and 2) educate ourselves through sources other than corposystem propaganda, regarding the problem(s) we face, which at root are biological; and 3) discuss these issues with other citizens of the world.

That’s mentally and emotionally very difficult; it is not what we want to do; we would much rather do something truly heroic. For some people, it’s as simple as that. We don’t want to, so we don’t. If we have a conscious, then we have an excuse.

Certainly it’s difficult. It’s probably the most difficult problem human kind has ever faced; it is a direct confrontation between human values and the survival needs of the Biosystem, and the only way we can possibly survive the conflict of interests is to examine and, if necessary, modify the way we express our human values. However, that difficulty does not change our obligation to the human future. Nothing changes our obligation to the human future. To study and learn the real facts of Life, and to discuss these facts, in view of our human values, with the other members of our human society.

131130-Bitsy-ASC_7397RLSI’m somewhat encouraged that this discussion may be under way. On my blog, below the transcript of this podcast, I will post an example — a slightly modified discussion that appeared in a Facebook group. Here we have four different opinions about the same issue, largely without the gossip, hostility or disinformation that we so often encounter. This is not a solution, but it is a real discussion. None of the comments is incorrect, and I think that is the most important point. When everyone is focused on the same goal, and each brings a different good accurate information to the mix, that’s when solutions become possible.

Lynn said – This (the BBC program that is linked above) is very good and it is true. HOWEVER, it completely ignores the requirements of the planet to stay alive so we can actually DO IT. Congratulations for presenting true facts. But we still can’t survive if we so dramatically reduce the diversity of other species on earth that the Biosystem can no longer function in the way that we need it to do — so that we can have viable soil, air and water. But in fact these data are true, and I think it’s time for ignorance to stop arguing with reality and put some effort into future viability rather than futile efforts at self-aggrandizement.

Chris said – I agree Lynn, one has to wonder what Africa will look like, ecologically speaking, with 4 billion humans living there.

I think this presentation ignores massive problems already in play, for instance the oceans are already on the verge of collapse from over fishing and its acidification will severely reduce the food we can take for human consumption. I see escalating problems with soil degradation and loss of productivity of the land from the unsustainable practice of chemiculture farming, urban sprawl and spreading dead zones in coastal waters from pollution. We can expect more desertification from climate change as growing populations burn more hydrocarbons and chop the last forests down. I predict catastrophic fresh water issues all coming to a head years before we level off the population at the predicted 11 billion that this scientist predicts.

Franco said – I humbly, but vociferously disagree with the spirit, the one sided manipulation of true facts, and the suave conclusions of the presentation or lecture !!!

The old silence about overpopulation seems to have been replaced by a crusade of latent disinformation, funded by the only people who can afford it !!! i.e. big business:— the people who need a perpetually growing population, who in turn will need all the necessities of life which they happen to be selling.

Unlike the clear message in the lecture, the world needs to:———– P A N I C !!! IT IS THE ONLY HOPE WE HAVE OF REVERSING THE CURRENT UNSTOPPABLE GROWTH OF POPULATION THAT WILL KILL US ALL !!! Things will not change if we continue to relax and do what we have been doing up to now !!!

Lynn said – Franco – I think you should realize you are talking about a presentation made by a person who very likely knows nothing at all about biology as it really does function (in common with almost everyone) and who is trying to walk the line of some psychologists’ opinions that we must maintain “hope” or we will not be able to deal with the problems. I disagree with the idea that uneducated hope will get us through this bottleneck. But my point is that the presenter is doing his best to provide real facts (as opposed to so many who are simply flailing out at fate and at each other). I try to support people who manifest the better human values even if they don’t see the big picture, because I don’t see anyone looking at the big picture. It’s always one side or another, all of them looking at the world through the miasma of human needs and wants, and ignoring the reality that it is the ecosystem that fulfills human needs and wants, and will not continue to do so if we ignore HER needs for survival. So what is the solution? There might not be a solution for individuals, but every individual dies anyhow, so for me the solution is not to panic, even though panic is called for, but to educate as best we can without causing harm to others.

When this blog was posted on Facebook, the following further response and discussion was energized:

  • Dot Bennett Good piece, but it seems as if you are saying that the key thing everyone should do is learn ecology “the needs of the Biosystem”.
    Do you think that all the other things we need to do (have less children, phase out fossil fuels, save the forests and seas etc etc), that all of those would follow from that?

Lynn Lamoreux What I actually think is that most of the people who WANT very much to help resolve the problem can’t tell what to do because they don’t know what to believe. They are already doing all those things you list above, and they still keep saying “We don’t know what to do.” I believe the reason they don’t know what to do is that they don’t understand the problem well enough. Of course these people cannot phase out fossil fuels or save the forests and seas etc. They are at home, making a living for their families and listening to the lies on TV and on the web, and so they don’t know what to do. Or in many cases they are out working as hard as they can doing something that will in fact make matters worse, but they can’t see that their own work is making the issue worse. The solution to both these problems is to a) discuss the issues with knowledgeable people and b) learn enough about biology to be able to envision the downside to everything they may be trying to do. All activities have a down side. And then decide what they can do that is better than any of the other things they can do. Political activity is essential of course, but the USA has been taken over by a toxic belief system and there is nothing short of revolution that can bring about positive change in that quarter — except of course locally, and in many parts of the country there is no way to do anything constructive, even locally, unless one has a lot of money. Too bad I didn’t know that during my working career, I could have been making money instead of trying to grow wisdom.  But wisdom is what must be added to the mix if we are to succeed, and no person, without discussion, has enough wisdom to evaluate the challenge of the current disinformation campaign.

Lynn Lamoreux PS. I would no longer equate learning the “needs of the ecosystem” with ecology, but that is another discussion. Ecology is a science, and at its best it is a source of information about how the ecosystem functions. It’s up to the people how that knowledge is applied — either to save ourselves or to (as we have been doing) destroy the balance of the Biosystem that we need for our survival. This is true of all applied knowledge, and therefore it is not a question of ecology. It is a question of what our culture chooses to do with knowledge.

Bare Bones Biology 119 – Rabi Malka Drucker I

Right now I’m skimming through a book written by Rabi <a href="“>Malka Drucker, and I can see I will have to settle down in my lawn chair under the little apple tree and read the book. The title is White Fire:A portrait of Women Spiritual Leaders in America, and sadly it is out of print, but I think you can get it at the library, or maybe even Amazon. I suggest you go to Rabi Drucker’s web site and also the White Fire web site to learn more about this book (including videos) and the other books that Rabi Drucker has written. Right now, she is working on a new book about wisdom, and I can’t wait for that, so I asked her to favor us with an advance conversation on the subject. There are also two podcasts of Rabi Drucker speaking at Upaya that you might want to download.

The transcript of this week’s Bare Bones Biology is below. It’s the first of three parts to our discussion. Perhaps you will read or listen to the others during the last two weeks of August. The next one is on the subject of compassion and the last will be about wisdom. If you add the three together, what you get is responsibility plus compassion = wisdom. At least that is how it seems to me. Here is today’s transcript.

“This week we have the first installment of a discussion with Rabi Malka Drucker.

LL-“There is a conflict between human welfare and the welfare of the whole earth ecosystem.
MD-“No there’s not. We are of it, so there can’t be conflict. Either we are part of the system or we’re not. So the only way to survive is to be part of the system. So there is nothing that can promote human welfare that can hurt the environment.
LL-“Well, there’s – I would say it the other way, though, that anything that promotes the welfare of the whole earth ecosystem also promotes the welfare of humans within that ecosystem. That’s my perspective but it’s not the same.
MD- “How is it not the same?
LL- “It’s not the same because the ecosystem operates on balance, and so if we promote only human welfare and not the welfare of all the rest of the organisms –
MD- “What do you think I said?
LL- “I think you said anything that promotes human welfare would benefit the ecosystem.
MD- “No I said the opposite of that. I said anything that hurts the ecosystem is not beneficial to human beings.
LL- “Well, we don’t disagree. We were just having a little semantic problem.
MD-“I was saying that you can’t say something is good for human beings that is bad for the environment. There is no separation. If it’s bad for the world, it’s bad for human beings.
LL- “I love it. The problem arises out of trying to maintain the balance.
MD-“Again I’ll say, in the highest sphere, let’s take an example. Air conditioning. People like air conditioning. Especially in hot humid places. It’s become part of their lives. Now we find out that air conditioning is bad, and we’ve got a greenhouse effect that harms the earth climate. So here’s a case where the answer has to be that you do what you need to do to survive. Not comfort. There’s living and then there’s comfort, so comfort must be sacrificed. It’s a no-brainer. If you gave the dilemma to a fourth grade class, they’d come up with a solution. The conflict is because of ego – our egos. We don’t want to compromise. It’s simple.
LL- “I think it’s even a deeper compromise. I think it comes right down to our instinctual compassionate response when we see anything suffering. And at that point, if we’re going to consider the welfare of the ecosystem, we’ll have even more difficult —
MD- “Ah, I hear you. So here again, it’s amazing how my tradition sings to my —
So here’s how the Jewish tradition deals with this. The world rests – they have about 12 different things the world rests on, but this particular example the world rests upon justice and mercy. I see this as a vessel must contain the light. So the vessel is justice, and always mercy must supercede it. Ultimately, that’s the answer.
LL- “A Buddhist said that two wings, the wing of love and the wing of justice is what permits us to fly.
MD- “Lovely image, same notion exactly.
LL- How does overpopulation fit into that?
MD- “I’m going to give you the same answer. I keep checking the same box. It’s about ego. Human beings are not facing what needs to be faced, and taking responsibility for it.
LL- “OK, you’re checking the same box I check.
MD-“You’ll find it hard to disagree with me.
LL- “I don’t want to disagree with you.”

No indeed I would be so happy (people keep asking me what would make me happy) I would be so happy if we would all sit down together and discuss our responsibilities to ourselves within the ecosystem. Even if we were not checking the same box. Especially if we were not checking the same box. There is no good survival reason for all this conflict. We all need the same basic things to survive, and these are provided to us by the ecosystem. The way to get these things is to modify our behaviors to stop causing harm to the ecosystem, and the way to do that is first to start talking about our needs and behaviors in our communities and beyond.

Just one more point please, because of my very long history of emphasizing biological levels of organization of the earth ecosystem. When we talk about levels of organization, we use the most simple image – three levels: individual humans and their needs; populations of humans and their needs; and the whole earth ecosystem and its needs.

There was not time in the five minutes to talk about levels, but different levels do have some differences of their needs. In fact, that’s how the biosphere maintains its balance, but that is another story. The point here is that the differences in the needs of the different levels can be a source of our most difficult dilemmas.

Those differences might be a good starter for a follow-up discussion about our responsibilities to ourselves and to the ecosystem. What do individual humans need (we agreed on survival, and probably we would agree on the basic human values); what do populations of humans need? What does the whole earth ecosystem need for its survival that might be different from the other two?

Bare Bones Biology 119 – Rabi Malka Drucker I
KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
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Artist William Michael Schindler, Santa Fe

Bare Bones Biology 116 – Wendy Johnson Workshop

Bare Bones Biology 107 through today, 116, are about communication. Different kinds of communication. And of course we didn’t scratch the surface. Communications has become an entire discipline. I know someone with a PhD in the subject. But there’s nothing new about the simple point of this series of blogs — that all communications are real, but they are useful to us in different ways, as we grow own personal future or, more importantly in the long view as we try to resolve the biological illness that faces our ecosystem.
We know we cannot survive without the ecosystem. Therefore, picking out whatever we like to believe, or whatever communication stirs our emotions, or whatever we wish were true — and working very, very hard for it – or going with the flow because that’s normal human behavior – none of those approaches to communication will resolve our current biological dilemma. What we mostly need is good information and good discussion. Sometimes a good place to look for these is in a workshop setting.

I recently attended a workshop about the four elements with Wendy Johnson (author of “Gardening At the Dragon’s Gate,” Bantam Dell), at Upaya Zen Center (

The workshop experience merged our awareness of our human values, emotions and needs with the mother-nurture of nature as we examined each of the four elements that are organized by Buddhism as: earth, water, fire and air (and space). We all know that these are the fruits of the ecosystem, that we cannot do without them, that our behaviors influence their availability, and that I have also been talking about these issues from my perspective of our physical survival needs. It was a joy to experience Wendy’s beautiful rendition of the same issues, blending the physical survival needs with our human emotional needs and a practical approach, learning through gardening, that goes beyond either perspective.

We really could resolve our biological dilemma, if we would only reach that one step beyond the science and beyond the emotions and use our inborn compassionate nature, and our recognition that the problem at its roots is biological, as an incentive to study the fact-based needs of the ecosystem – and find a way to give the mother life what it needs that is different from what we need – for it and for ourselves and our future. We have everything to do that — except the will. The facts are available and so are the technologies. The compassionate will, however, is being drowned in a sea of fear, hostility, short-sighted self-interest and false propaganda.

Here is Wendy’s better vision.

“I love to make the connection between the outer waters of the world and the inner waters that do compose us. Three-fifths of water of our bodies is carried inside our cells, and then another two/fifths outside as blood plasma, cerebro-spinal fluid and intestinal tract fluid. So we are walking bags of water. We can feel that. Especially in a dry place. Those of us from the Bay Area, from Portland, Oregon, where water animates the air. We have to search for the resonance that is our human inheritance.

“And every day, every day, three percent of the water in our bodies is replenished with new molecules. Water from the deep abyss of the ocean, I was thinking this morning we are replenished, not only with fresh water, but from water that is in the huge hydrologic cycle, coming up fresh, and that water includes water from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, water mixed with the ancient fire of oil, water from rain on the tall grass prairie, and from the ancient forests. Actually, we measure water, in the woods, we measure water by how much stored fog and vapor. In the ancient redwoods, now whittled down to 2.5 percent of their original size. How much water they give back, so stepping into the redwood forest, I remember years ago with Thich Nhat Hanh (, he said: ‘We step into a Sangha of water and life.’ You can feel it, stepping onto that ground, water vapor breathing with the trees. So, three percent of our bodies are always refreshed by the upwelling and the sinking down, by the rhythm of water.

“And yet water shortage, water depletion, the so-called resource, I hate to even use that word in connection with water, the so-called resourcefulness of water is already one of the greatest challenges we are facing.”
For more of this and the remaining elements, check out Wendy’s podcasts part one and part two at Upaya Or for air, surely you remember Bare Bones Biology 093 was also pretty good, and the same general interdependence relationship is also true of energy (fire) and earth. I recommend you listen to Wendy’s podcasts of this workshop, parts one and two, and I also highly recommend her dharma talk of the previous week.

During this workshop, we went down to the little Santa Fe River to put our feet in the water and wonder what it would feel like without water.

Bitsy and I went back again last week and splashed about while the children swung on the tire. But two days later there was no more water in the little Santa Fe river. Only a place in the bottom of the channel where some animal had tried to dig for it.
Bare Bones Biology 116 – Wendy Johnson Workshop
KEOS-FM, 89.1, Bryan, Texas
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Recommended References and Trackbacks:
Upaya Zen Center,
Wendy Johnson, Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate
Bare Bones Biology 107-115 and 093
Thich Nhat

Bare Bones Biology 107 – Right, Left, or Wrong?

Warning – my use of the terms right-brain and left-brain in this blog is almost entirely metaphorical, and not scientifically precise. But I hope you’ll get the point.

In my career as a semi-faculty person there was a time when I needed support from the other women in my academic institution. But there weren’t any other women scientists, barring one or two who had problems of their own. So I turned to the women of the social sciences for support and the rest of that story is long and tedious, and though it was very successful, you don’t want to hear about that.

In the meantime, it seemed to me that my liberal arts supporters didn’t understand what I was talking about much of the time. It evidently seemed to them that they DID understand, and so I set out to improve myself. I began to attend seminars on the social science side of campus, in addition to the science side, and what a shock that was. It wasn’t the words – not even the specialized vocabulary, which is easy enough to learn if one makes the effort. It was how we think differently; how they don’t think like I think.

I am talking about how a scientist thought about her subject in those days. Now it has changed again, and most of what they call science is really technology, but that only deepens the divide. And I’m talking about how a social scientist thought about her subject. I found it to be – not a different way of talking, but a different way of thinking.

Think about it. The intuitive, fluid, “right-brain” sort of thinking, recognizes the importance of emotion in the whole construct, and instinct, and therefore has very few numbers to guide its logic. But that’s the way it must be, because social scientists are basically studying people. The hard sciences — there is a reason they are called the hard sciences, and it’s not because they are difficult. In many ways they are easier, if that’s how one learns to think. Linear, crisply defined, boxed-in, precise scientific thinking. Because that’s how the universe appears to us to function, scientific logic is best suited to the study of subjects that are outside the control of the human mind. The molecular structure of water, or the sequence of genes in a chromosome. These things lend themselves to “left-brain” sort of thinking. Unfortunately, we generally do not recognize these right brain/left brain differences, and when academicians say “critical thinking skills,” they are almost invariably talking about right-brain skills. I have found it easier for the students to the more direct and straightforward critical thinking skills through science, and then graduate to the more difficult, fluid, questions addressed by the liberal arts.

There was an age when we taught both skills to all the students. I was required to take two years of liberal arts before beginning my training in science. That seems like day before yesterday. And then the pendulum swung far to the left (brain) and it seems just yesterday that science overtook the liberal arts, and then technology took over science and helped to create modern left-brain economics. When this was taken to the extreme our human values were swallowed up, and so we developed a corposystem that is now trying to recreate life itself in our human image.

I suppose it is in reaction to these excesses that today the pendulum is swinging all the way back toward the right brain. It seems like we are currently engaged in a battle between those on the right (brain) and those on the left (brain). Just today I learned that the right (brain) is taking a stand (again) in Tennessee, where all the schools will now be required to use inappropriate right-brain critical thinking skills to evaluate hard core science in the classrooms. Folks, the universe does not operate on right(brain) human skills and neither does the corposystem, although it’s happy to take advantage of what it knows about these. It would be better if we understood the world we live in. Right, wrong and left.

And I have an even better idea. Why not everyone learn to use BOTH right brain logic AND left brain logic and also learn where each approach is most useful to our common welfare.

Bare Bones Biology 107 – Right, Left, or Wrong?
KEOS-FM 89.1
Audio available here
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Bare Bones Biology 064 – Corposystem Power

When I opened my mailbox to the January issue of National Geographic with the word population plastered across a picture of seething humanity, I knew this would be the year when we humans, as a society, will choose the future for our home on earth. Finally, I said, someone in authority is telling us the truth about our ecosystem.

Not surprisingly, the corposystem responded with a barrage of self-serving lies. Most of these center around the root lie that we can live in a world where infinite growth is possible.

From my point of view, the good thing about their lies is that they make no sense at all, and anyone can do the math. Anyone can understand that the corposystem power will fail unless the corposystem changes its world view. Because the world view that it has built (James Hillman calls it a religion) is not based in physical, factual reality, and as time goes by the corposystem must tweak this and lie about that to make their little world seem as though it makes sense. But, as someone has said, physics will not wait around for us to catch on to reality. The factual reality of physics is what it is, without regard for anyone’s opinion or metaphor or ideology.

The fatal flaw of the corposystem ideology is its myth of infinite growth. In fact, infinite growth is physically impossible anywhere in our solar system. Unless it changes its ideology, therefore, the corposystem will fail. It is not showing any signs of ideological change, and instead seems to be trying ever harder to grow ever faster, and in the process is destroying the ecosystem that feeds it. Growth in the absence of resources is the defining characteristic of a Ponzi scheme. The corposystem is reaching the end of its Ponzi run, because the earth no longer has the resources to support further growth of the corposystem.

People do see this, but when you mention that we are at the point where we must choose between the corposystem and a healthy ecosystem, it seems that most people don’t want to do the math and would rather believe the lies. Then they pour out a bunch of reasons why we can’t or they can’t, or they simply deny the fact and claim that “all statistics lie.” That’s a pretty feeble excuse. Statistics tell us whatever we ask. If you want to know whether or not we are at the point of making this decision, you yourself can get the data and ask the question. In the meantime, as Al Gore said in An Inconvenient Truth: “It’s just human nature to take time to connect the dots, I know that, but I also know there can come a time of reckoning when we wish we had connected the dots sooner.”

The corposystem is now on the verge of crashing permanently because its growth requires more resources than the earth has to offer. Survival of the corposystem in its present form is not one of our options, so there is no point continuing to support it with our greed, our anger or our fear.

The crash of the corposystem will be very unpleasant, because we (not you, but previous generations) let it run on to this point. It will indeed be a disaster, but we shouldn’t forget, while we are dealing with the fallout, that the event will open more opportunities than it closes. Those of us who do not enjoy living in a culture that is based in negative human values, we will have the option to pitch out greed as the defining value of our social structure, and build our communities around our positive human values – some of which are glorious.

And the greatest of these is kindness.

Nothing but the propaganda in our heads can stop us from beginning now to build our better lifestyles.

Bare Bones Biology 064 – Corposystem Power
KEOS FM, 89.1, Bryan, TX
Download audio later this week from

Hillman, James. 1995. Kinds of Power, Its Intelligent Uses. Doubleday

Politics and Human Values

Lester Brown is the person I always refer to when I want reliable statistics about the earth’s productivity. He has been collecting the data for I think about 40 years, and he does not issue biased propaganda.

Politics are very important. I have voted. But they are not important for the reasons we are debating. This is why I do not waste my puny little energies engaging in that debate. Politics is important if it is willing to deal with the ecological crisis we have entered. The politics COULD determine whether we face the reality and fix it — or whether we continue to play the game in the same way that caused the crisis in the first place, trying to control the mother nature that gives us life. We can not, and neither can our corposystem or our technologies. Politics could accomplish what needs to be accomplished, and that is to guide our behaviors so that we can give the ecosystem what it needs to survive. We can control ourselves; we can not control the basic laws of nature. The sooner both parties face up to this, the more likely it is that we might be able to save a reasonable lifestyle for our grandkids. When I see that happen I will be the first to jump back on the political bandwagon. If I only hear hate talk, or “warriors” talking, then — take my course in The Ecosystem and Human Values. I have better things to do than waste my energies on politics that are going in circles.

We have some very hard decisions to make, we know what they are (If you don’t, it’s not complicated to learn – bottom line is the whole earth productivity is now maxed out and decreasing. Like it or not, we will have to find other solutions than making more stuff,) But we are choosing to continue doing more and more of what caused our situation in the first place, which is growth. Growth was OK when there were resources to cover, but growth for its own sake is not a good problem solving technique. In fact, it’s a definition of crazy.

For the statistics to back up what I say, check out Lester Brown’s web site and his new book.