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 (https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/). 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;
Complaining;
Crying;
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. https://factfictionfancy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

(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 http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM in Bryan Texas. A download of this radiocast available at:


traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_242_-_Fracking_iii_repost.mp3
 

Links, References and Trackbacks:
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1558250/
https://factfictionfancy.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pages_std-portrait-barebonesecology100627-finalfinalprinter.pdf

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.

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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 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 http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

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

The HPJC Presentation Outline – Final

The completed HPJC outline will be filed under pdfs to the right of the blog — I have improved it a little with your feedback, and will post the newer one later today, so wait a bit before downloading.

Slide Number Twelve-Here is a thought for consideration from a DVD set that I recommend called “Crash Course.” Chris Martenson.com

At approximately 33.12 (playing time) of disc three, Martenson overlays the three graphs that show a) peak oil, exponential growth now leveling off; b) economic growth, exponential growth now leveling off; c) population growth, exponential growth, now leveling off. He suggests the possibility that our current lifestyle has very little to do with our fine economic model, but is almost entirely the result of the availability of organic energy that was laid down in the prehistoric past by the fossilization of organisms. He points out that the oil boom is now on the downside, and no more gas and oil are being created. Then he goes through a list of other resources that we have similarly begun to use up. A recent book by Richard Heinberg (Peak Everything) makes a similar point, and their opinions are backed by good, valid statistics (see also Earth Policy Institute).

I think we need to believe the statistics if we want to behave in a positive fashion. There is no point nit-picking the details when we could be doing something about the overall reality. So the remaining question is what to do about it, that we can do. Petitioning the President will not resolve this kind of problem, because we can not change the power base of Mother Nature nor the way she flows energy through the ecosystem (to understand this, you should download the pdf at the right side of this page, Bare Bones Ecology. The bottom line is the energy that we can use (including gas and oil) is organic energy and it comes from organisms. We can’t make energy.

Therefore, if we choose to respond to our challenge, we will have to respond using the only power that we do have — the power to change our own behaviors. That would be a very good thing to talk about.

Slide Number Thirteen-Sustainable growth is an oxymoron. That means it is impossible.
Until we can achieve balance between ourselves and the ecosystem there is no chance of curing disease or war or human depravity or starvation. Because growth requires more growth. For only one example, population growth requires more jobs – that requires economic growth – that require more resources – and to grow the economy, the corporations believe they must have more population growth. (Don’t take my word, ask an economist who can see the forest for the trees.)

The result is that people are starving because the earth ecosystem gets all of its energy from plants. And once we hit the maximum that the plants can give — that’s the maximum they can give. I will not reference an extremely disturbing recent PBS discussion of the population problem that suggests we can resolve this dilemma by more growth. NOVA should stick with physics if they don’t understand biology, or even common sense.

It is not possible to solve a problem by doing more of what caused the problem in the first place.

Slide Number Fourteen– Photograph by Zoriah.

This picture was taken in Haiti, before the earthquake.

The woman is making cakes of sand and clay and salt. To Eat.

And my question is: Why do we care about the woman now, and we didn’t care before the earthquake? Is it because now is easier — we can feel like heroes — and before was only a downer to think about people in these conditions. Well — people are living in these conditions, whether we think about them or not, and it will continue to get worse and worse so long as we continue to do the behaviors that caused the problem in the first place.

I say it is not heroic for us to create conditions that cause other people to face starvation — and then rush in to save a few of them from starvation, but certainly not from a life of suffering (earthquake or no earthquake).

I say it is not heroic to bring babies into the world — only to kill them off when they come of age. And worse, to live in a culture that rejoices fervently and openly and incessantly in the killing.

I say we should do something that is heroic. Nothing stops us from thinking about what we do and learning how it really affects the whole earth ecosystem — before we do it.

I say we should do something that is REALLY heroic and discuss these issues with all our friends and all our enemies. Try it some time. You will be amazed at the array of hostile and evasive responses — is this heroism? I say yes. Doing what is easy and people love you for it is not heroism. We need a lot of real heroes. And I said discuss, not debate.

I’m talking about actually trying to find a solution. Winning arguments does not solve problems, it just makes new ones. And the solution will have to be a change in our own behavior, because we can not change Mother Nature, and technologies are not resources. This is a problem of human behavior in response to an absolute limit of energy-related resources. Technologies can not change the fact that resources are limited.

And then call the President.

Nothing That Uses Resources Can Grow Forever

Here is another little thought while you wait for Thursday morning when I will post slide number 5 of the series of slides that I used at the HPJC presentation. I will post the entire series on the blog site as a pdf for download when I can figure out how. The book was no help. If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know. In the meantime, here is a rather depressing thought for the day.

Nothing earthly can grow forever. That is obvious. All money that is worth anything is tied to resources. Most of us know that. If you pay $100 for a pet rock and pet rocks go out of fashion, what you have left is a rock that is worth about $1.00 if it is cute. The rock is not worth $100, your $100 bill was worth about $1. Looking from the other end of the dollar, the oil companies will be getting larger and larger shares of our money as we are now on the down slope of the oil/gas/coal resources available on the earth. If you want a better explanation of this, I recommend the Crash Course of Chris Martenson.

When you grow money that is not tied to the resources, the name for that is a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme grows the money basically by selling the same resources to many people.

Our growth economy is a Ponzi scheme. The earth does not have resources to support any further growth of the sort we are now experiencing.

It will crash.

Using growth to solve problems only works if the problems are political, and then only temporarily. Growing our economy to save ourselves from our growth economy is a Ponzi scheme. It will not save us from the economic consequences of trying to grow the economy after we have already taken more out of the earth resources than she has to give.

Open Letter to Rep. Chet Edwards

Rep. Chet Edwards
2369 Rayburn Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-4311

Dear Rep. Edwards,

You may remember me as a photographer, but I have spent a great deal more time in my life as a professional biologist. I realize there is no real, accurate information available to guide your understanding of the ecosystem, and that’s a major shame because the economists and the oil industry either do not know or do not care what they are doing to our future on this living earth, and I’m sure they are telling you the same lies that they post on TV. Still. It’s fairly simply and logical. — here is the essence of how the ecosystem works.

EVERYTHING must stay in a reasonable approximation of balance or the ecosystem will die. Human people don’t get to decide what the balance will be.

NOTHING can grow forever, and we have reached the limits of resources that we can take out of the ecosystem without putting back.

100 years ago we could grow because the resources of the ecosystem were not yet overtaxed. Now we can not grow as a method of “saving jobs.” Or rather — we can grow, but for every resource that we use in that growth we will pay in future crashes, because we have reached the limits of the ability of the ecosystem to grow more product than we are taking away from it.

I’m sure you believe that you are helping families in Texas.

I tell you that for every family you are helping today there will be multiple families in even greater distress tomorrow unless we choose the health of the ecosystem as our primary priority. That is the choice that remains to us, because we didn’t make the choice earlier to stop destroying the balance of our ecosystem. It is not your fault that no good choices remain, but I am really sorry you are choosing the easy road to hell instead of the difficult task of restoring balance to life, because we all live in this ecosystem and without it we do not live at all. And because I know what that hell is likely to look like, and Texas is particularly vulnerable. What is more important, oil or water? Hay or wilting cactus? The oil will run out in any case; the oil is history. A fossil. Here today and gone tomorrow. Water and food are part of the ongoing, forever cycle of life. If we break that cycle, the earth will grow a new one that does not include human values. The process is already begun.

It would be better to use what is left of the oil to develop a sustainable, balanced relationship with the ecosystem, rather than continue trying to force our will upon her. Because no technology can change natural law; the ecosystem is bigger than we are; and she doesn’t care what we want. She is concerned with her own survival.

But beyond the obvious – it’s not possible to explain the logic of the ecosystem in one page, a fact that is a great frustration to me, so I am writing the book: “Biology for Normal People.” I’ll send you a copy when it is finished.StopWars

In the meantime, I have sent a donation to Barbara Boxer in your name.

And am posting this on my blog FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com

Best regards,

Getting our Act Together

You know I’m not into jumping up and down and waving my arms, because arm-waving doesn’t change anything. Well, it does change human behaviors, but it has no other impact on the ecosystem. People who really care about other people will find out the facts.

I’m here to give some pointers toward that information. So there is another alert today from Oxfam, via the BBC. Oxfam is worried about our communal ability to deal with the challenges posed by the rapid changes in our world.

Oxfam logo states: “We are thirteen organizations working together to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.”

I do not think they will succeed unless you and I work very hard to ameliorate the foundational cause of modern poverty. The modern cause (in additional to injustice and all the other historical causes) is that we are reaching the limits of the earth resources. We all knew we couldn’t go on forever taking more.

But our project is long term. We can not cure the shortages overnight that have been building up for hundreds of years. And in the meantime Oxfam is one of the most effective and highly rated and respected organizations to fill in the gap while we are getting our act together.