Bare Bones Biology 241 – Fracking II

The movie “Gasland“ by, Josh Fox (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1558250/), was aired in College Station in 2011, followed by discussion. Now I would recommend Gasland 2, http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/. One of the questions asked at the College Station airing (and recorded if you want a copy) was:

“. . . every industry is having problems, and that goes into agriculture, that goes into everything. This is not just a problem for this industry, this is every single industry. How are people in my generation who are completely apathetic and feel there is nothing we do that matters . . ?”

141227-snow-ASC_3667RLSsYes indeed, every industry is having problems. Of course they’re having problems, because industries are not more powerful than God, and they’re not more powerful than nature. And for at least the past 200 years, they’ve been behaving as though they think they are. The answer is up to you, of course — what do you propose to do about it?

If you want what you want, regardless of what the living earth needs, then you will make your town and your world worse than it is now. Of course you will, because worldwide we have reached the point where human activity is depriving the Living Earth of the things it needs to keep itself alive. Regardless of whatever you believe or I believe — our reasons, emotions, opinions, intentions, desires, wars, tantrums, Presidents, cannot change what the earth needs to stay alive. The living earth does not operate according to whatever people want.

If you mean to force the world to operate the way you think it should, then the answer still is that you cannot. If you mean how can you have yours, regardless of who must pay the price, that behavior will end soon, because the corposystem has already destroyed a large portion of what the earth needs to provide for our needs, and your generation is about to pay the price.

If you mean you are very angry because the corposystem — your culture, in which you deeply believed – probably still believe – has been lying to you, then I don’t blame you. So am I. But being angry will not change what we have done. Neither will blaming someone nor griping nor apathy nor doing nothing. No living thing on this earth has ever had the power to get whatever it wants, over the long term, without doing what is required to get it.

And that means you must study and discuss WHAT THE EARTH NEEDS TO BE HEALTHY, because we are a part of life on Earth, and when the Earth is unhealthy, then we and our industries will also be unhealthy. First we all need to study and discuss (not debate, discuss) what are we doing that makes the Earth unhealthy. Then we need to study what is possible and what is not possible for humans to do on the small surface of this tiny living planet, and then we must stop doing behaviors that make the Earth unhealthy. Those are not choices. The only choice that we have remaining now is whether or not we want to survive on this Living Earth.

If we ignore the requirements of Life because we think physics and human engineering are more powerful or less complicated — then the laws of physics will survive because they are truly laws of nature. But Life as we know it will not survive, because Life is more complicated than the laws of Physics.

Physics functions just fine on the sun and the moon and the Earth, but Life on Earth is more than the laws of physics, and it will not survive if we take away what it needs to survive, which is mostly a viable balance among all its parts. The Earth will simply ease back to the simpler state and stop supporting Life. We don’t even know what all it’s parts are, and with fracking we are killing a huge subterranean ecosystem without even trying to find out what that ecosystem does to help sustain all of the Life of Earth, including us. It’s all connected – all of Life is an interconnected system.

In fact, Life on Earth is not surviving in good health, as you clearly describe when you say all the industries are failing. But I think your focus on industry is failing. Water is not an industry; air is not an industry; soil is not an industry, energy is not an industry. These things are the commons by international law because they are made available to us only by a healthy living earth. Yes, they are failing, because the living earth is not healthy, because we have unbalanced it.

If you want all that living ecosystem to stop being sick and suddenly start to do what you want it to do? Ahhhhh, should we try force? A revolution? A war against the ecosystem? We’ve been doing that for the past 200 years. It makes the problem worse because it DOES NOT GIVE THE EARTH WHAT IT NEEDS TO BE HEALTHY.

For 100 years at least we humans have very clearly understood the problem. The problem is too much growth – too many people to feed, in addition to the other living things the earth must feed if it is to continue providing us with air, water, soil and energy. We have known what we must do to fix it. We must reduce the growth – and the human population. We don’t want to do it. So we just throw another technological tantrum and complain when it only makes the Earth that much sicker.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS radio, 89.1 in Bryan, Texas. A podcast of this program can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_241-_Fracking_II.mp3

Key Words – War against the ecosystem, blaming, griping, apathy, doing nothing, living earth, corposystem, technological tantrum

Links, References and Trackbacks

http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1558250/

https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/
bare-bones-bio…–-fracking-iii/ ‎

https://factfictionfancy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

Bare Bones Biology 097 – Climate Change-So the Earth is Alive, So What?

Probably I’ve convinced you, or you already knew, that the climate of the whole living earth can change, and that the life forms of earth make your food, air and water, and the whole earth ecosystem functions as a living thing, a giant super-body that has characteristics similar to those of all other living things. First among these, it can adapt to changing conditions by changing itself. That is one of the standard definitions of life.

So how can there be a debate over climate change? At least I thought that was what the debate was about because that’s what they kept saying, so I thought – Duuuh, how could it not change, it’s a living thing? But maybe this is another case of people not saying what they mean. Maybe the real question is – why should we care?

Mostly we should care because we are part of that living super body known as the earth ecosystem. What happens to it happens to us. Think of yourself as a flea on the backside of the ecosystem. What happens to the flea when the dog dies? No, we can not jump off on the moon. We tried that.


The life of the earth consists of millions of different species of organisms. We are one. The life cycles of all these organisms interact in ways that maintain the life cycles of each other. I have described the cycle of carbon and oxygen and water as it relates to people. That cycle also relates to all the other species of organisms that use oxygen to burn carbohydrates, so we are all interconnected in that way.

Some bored mathematician once figured the odds that we are breathing in the same oxygen atom that Cleopatra breathed out, that has cycled around through the biological system all these years. The probability was surprisingly high. If he had been a biologist he probably would have figured the odds that we are breathing in the oxygen atom those fleas breathed out. We are all connected to life by the necessities of life, and most organisms have very strict requirements for staying alive. Organisms, individual organisms, cannot “evolve.” They can change, for example their temperature, but evolution requires a change in the genetics, and it takes multiple generations. Therefore, only species can evolve. And only sometimes, if the changes are slow enough.

So these millions of species of organisms, plants, animals, fungi, microorganisms, that create the circulatory/respiratory system of the living earth, the species that clean up after us, worms, buzzards etc, the species that make good rich soil. Every one of those species requires a particular climate to stay alive. For example, good rich soil, in just one spadeful are millions of different kinds of organisms and micro-organisms. These organisms interact with each other and they interact with plants that are growing there.

The different plants also have special requirements for staying alive. Soil and plant relationships are delicately balanced to local conditions of climate. All the parts of the climate, the temperature, amount of sunlight, airflow, amount of water, everything interacts with the organisms and the organisms interact with each other. Every kind of organism has very specific requirements to stay alive, and it has taken millions of years for all these relationships to evolve to the point where we can see that the earth has come to function almost like an organism, with all of its internal parts helping to keep it alive, in a parallel way to how our internal parts keep us alive.

Some people believe that organisms, including, people, can adapt, and that adaptation is the same as evolution, so we could adapt to a higher temperature by evolving, but that’s not how evolution works. What will happen is happening, the species will die because they cannot live in the rapidly changing conditions. They will die and new species will evolve over the future millennia. In God’s time = ecosystem time. Not human time. Way too late to help us maintain the climate we need to stay alive.

Huge numbers of species have already died. This is not a computer-game fantasy, and there is nothing to debate. We do know how we are causing these problems and how to stop causing them. But we don’t want to stop causing them — we like things the way they are. Or I should say the way they were.

Bare Bones Biology 097 – Climate Change-So the Earth is Alive, So What?
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download available later this week
here and at http://BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References: BBB093 – Climate Change II https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/bare-bones-biology-2/ Bare Bones Ecology Evolution Handbook is available for download near the lower right corner of my blog

Bare Bones Biology 093 – Climate Change II

Relax. Sit down or lie down. Don’t go to sleep. Don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. Think about your breath. Breathe in. Air comes in through your nose to all the little channels of your breathing system. That is your respiratory system. The air ends up in your lungs.

Breathe out.
Breathe in.

Air contains oxygen and carbon dioxide and some other things. The delicate tissues that line the inside of your lungs. The tissues are so thin the oxygen can go across to where there are blood vessels and red blood cells waiting to carry the oxygen to every cell in your body. Without the oxygen, you die.

Breathe out.
Breathe in.

The cells use the oxygen to burn carbohydrates. The carbohydrates come from your food, but that’s a story for another time. The oxygen burns the carbohydrates and that releases energy. Just like in your fireplace burning carbohydrates (wood or coal or gas or oil) releases energy. But the wonder of cells is they can capture this energy and use it to do the work of staying alive.

Breathe in.
Because you won’t be alive if your cells are not alive.

When carbohydrates burn, there are waste products. All this happens inside your cells. The waste products are water and carbon dioxide. The water cycle is a story for another time. The cells then release the carbon dioxide into the blood that is on its way back to the lungs. In the lungs, the carbon dioxide crosses the other way, from the inside of your body to the inside of your lungs, across the very delicate moist tissues that line the inside of your lungs. The carbon dioxide then is a part of the air that is the climate inside your lungs.

Breathe out.

The air that is inside your lungs goes out into the space around you, which is the air of the whole living earth. Seven billion people on earth are all doing this at the same time. It makes a difference in the amount of carbon dioxide in the air of the earth. Also all the cars are burning carbohydrates and blowing carbon dioxide (and other things) out into the air. And also all the factories and everything that releases energy from carbohydrates by burning the carbohydrates.

Breathe in. Listen to your breath. You are breathing in the air of the earth.
Breathe out. Listen to your breath. You are changing the air of the earth.

Meantime, the plants are breathing in carbon dioxide from the air of the earth. The plant cells unhook the oxygen from the carbon. And the plants use the carbon, and the energy from sunlight – to make carbohydrates. And then the plants use the carbohydrates to make food for the entire living ecosystem, including you, sitting there on your cushion. And then tell me that you are not connected to the living earth. Tell me you don’t need pure air. Tell me you don’t care if the air has too much carbon dioxide or too much carbon monoxide or too much of something that will damage a cell in your lungs and make a cancer grow in there.

You breathe in.
You breathe out.

The air cycling within your body depends entirely upon the air cycling outside your body. The air that is cycling outside your body is the breathing system of the whole living earth. You are alive because your respiratory system is able to maintain a healthy balance between your body’s internal climate, and the climate of the whole living earth. In fact, the inside of your body is part of the climate of the earth. No mystery. No debate.

Breath in.
Breath out.

The whole living earth — stays in balance by constantly changing.
If the climate of the earth could not change – the earth could not stay alive.
There is nothing to debate. The only question is how it will change and what will happen after that.

Bare Bones Biology 093 – Climate Change
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download available later this week
here and at http://BareBonesBiology.com

Suggested Reading: Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook at https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com, Post Carbon Reader at http://www.PCI.org

Bare Bones Biology 066 – Corposystem Power

The corposystem can not destroy our heritage, the rule of law, the soil, water, air, the climate and our freedom. That is, they can’t do it unless we let them, and because we all know that this is true, the corposystem gives us games to play to prevent us from thinking about the reality of our power.

One game is to change the subject away from real facts by claiming there is a debate. Rather than consult experts and discuss opinions, they display their own ignorance by debating fake or peripheral issues. We saw this clearly in the so-called debate over climate change. Also “Darwinism” and others you can name.

Another game they give us to play is to use really important issues, like fracking to make us forget the root cause of the multiplicity of our lesser problems. Fracking is as important as global warming, but the root cause of both is growth, because economic and population growth require resources that come from the living earth ecosystem – resources like food, minerals, water, soil – and the economy and every living thing requires these resources in order to grow. We can not grow forever because we will run out of food, clean water and good soil. And we run out of them because they are being destroyed by fracking and chemicals that are used in an effort to support more growth. And the game is, while we are fighting over fracking, or “Darwinism,” or poisoned soil, the corposystem is trying to grow some other part of itself, so that whatever we gain by reducing fracking is more than lost by the overgrowth of something else.

Or some important problem bubbles up in the news, and immediately the corposystem might start a fight over whose fault it is. Fight! Fight! We all gather around to watch and have a good old time blaming each other. Blame-placing, of course, takes away all our personal and social power, because we can’t change anything that has already happened. We can only do one thing at a time, and fussing over things we can’t change doesn’t change anything. That’s why political blaming and fighting is one of the corposystem’s favorite games, because it distracts us so effectively from the bigger problem. The bigger problem is — us — sitting on our TV watching the fight when we could be using our brains and our hands to make positive change.

If we would stop debating and blame-placing, and hand-sitting, and think factually about reality, we KNOW that growth beyond resources is NOT A GOOD THING. The solution to our problems is NOT growth, after we have already reached the capacity of the earth’s ability to feed us. From that point, which is approximately now, the solution to all these problems is to stop using more food energy and other kinds of energy than the earth can grow. But that’s not what the corposystem is doing. Instead of looking for real solutions, the corposystem just gives us another game. This time it’s a cliff-edge panic decision that is meant to grow the corposystem. Bush chose war — Obama chose debt. Neither war not debt nor any other kind of growth addresses the real problem.

So there is no point poisoning the future water and soil and air, just to squeeze out another dollar or two for a dying corposystem that will crash anyhow. Or maye it will change. It can’t continue as it is, because, there aren’t enough resources. Our better option would be to build a more compassionate and sustainable social order for our future. We can begin this by refusing to play the corposystem’s power games. Blame-placing, political board games, aintitawful games, cliff-edge panics. And use our own personal power to do something positive.

Anyone can do that.

Bare Bones Biology 066 – Corposystem Power
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com
Audio later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Bare Bones Biology 061 – Fracking II

“A lot of the issues that affect this industry, every industry is having problems, and that goes into agriculture, that goes into everything. This is not just a problem for this industry, this is every single industry. How are people in my generation who are completely apathetic and feel there is nothing we do that matters . . ?”

Yes indeed, every industry is having problems. Of course they’re having problems, because industries are not more powerful than God, and they’re not more powerful than nature. And for at least the past 200 years, they’ve been behaving as though they think they are. The question is, what do you propose to do about it?

If you want what you want, regardless of what the living earth needs, then you will make it worse. Whatever your reasons, emotions, opinions, intentions, desires, wars, tantrums, Presidents, cannot change what the earth needs to stay alive. The living earth does not operate according to whatever people want.

If you mean to force the world to operate the way you think it should, then the answer still is that you cannot. If you mean how can you have yours, regardless of who must pay the price, that behavior will end soon, because the corposystem has already destroyed a large portion of what the earth needs to provide for your needs, and your generation is about to pay the price.

If you mean you are very angry because the corposystem — your culture, in which you deeply believed – probably still believe – has been lying to you, then I don’t blame you. So am I. But being angry will not change what we have done. Neither will blaming someone nor griping nor apathy nor doing nothing. No living thing on this earth has ever had the power to get whatever it wants, over the long term, without doing what is required to get it. And that requires first knowing what you want, and second knowing what is the problem, and third knowing what is possible and what is not possible on the small surface of this tiny living planet.

I’ll take up those issues next time. This time, I’m blowing off steam.

We can not improve life on earth using the laws of physics or engineering or mechanics or technology to suck the life out of this living planet. The living planet is many levels of organization more complicated than physics or engineering or mechanics or even the new biological technologies. If we ignore the requirements of life because we think physics is more powerful or less complicated — then physics will survive because physics represents a real law of nature. But life will not survive.

Physics functions just fine on the sun and the moon and earth, but life on earth is more than the laws of physics, and it will not survive if we take away what it needs to survive, which is mostly a balance among all its parts.

In fact, life on earth is not surviving in good health, as you clearly describe when you say all the industries are failing. But I think your focus is failing. Water is not an industry; air is not an industry; soil is not an industry. These things are the products of a healthy living earth. Yes, they are failing, because the living earth is not healthy.

If you want all that living ecosystem to stop being sick and suddenly start to do what you want it to do? Ahhhhh, should we try force? A revolution? A war against the ecosystem? We’ve been doing that for the past 200 years. For 100 years at least we have very clearly understood the problem. We have known what we have to do to fix it. We don’t want to do it. So we just throw another technological tantrum and complain because it only makes the earth sicker.

I don’t blame you for being angry; I am angry too, knowing all my life how we could help this earth back toward health and watching our children throwing technological tantrums because – they want what they want – but they won’t do what it takes to get it.

Bare Bones Biology 061 – Fracking II
KEOS radio, 89.1 FM, Bryan, TX
Download at http://www.factfictionfancy.com
Later this week.