Bare Bones Biology 287 – Almost 100 Weeks

Some people say that God is a vision of the human mind; others say that humans are a vision of the mind of God. Either way, we can read in “A History of God” by Karen Armstrong (another leader in the compassion movement that is now growing strongly) a history of human efforts to understand God and we can use this understanding to help reduce suffering in our living world.

 

CycleHuman social evolution over the past 4000 years is inspiring; but also discouraging. When you read Ms. Armstrong’s well researched history of God(s) and humans during the past 4000 years or so, you can recognize an upward spiral of increased human understanding of compassion, as we reach toward the truths of Life that are represented by God. Unfortunately, you can also recognize an increasing tendency of humans toward organized war during the same time period.

 

One of our human truths is the cycle of war and peace that is an integral part of our history. I wonder, can we have compassion without war? Or does compassion lead to war? Or are they only connected somehow in our minds? When I wrote Bare Bones Biology 194, almost 100 weeks ago, I closed with the comment: “all that remains is to do it right this time.” By right, I mean to disconnect this ongoing cycle that leads from war to peace and then from peace to war again.

 

Clearly we did not “do it right” as we ended World War II. Though there were some beautiful and successful examples of compassion at high political levels, the result was, once again, a semblence of a compassionate society that gave rise now to World War III. I could not be more horrified that my country initiated WWIII. I do not want to see or imagine one more turn of that wheel.

 

So my year-end question is: Why is this new compassion movement ignoring the facts that are available to help us avoid spinning the war wheel one more time? We have the facts; the historic facts and examplars, and the scientific facts: and we have the technologies that were not previously available, and we have more power than we know how to use well.   It could be done, if peace and compassion are what we really want, if we are willing to take the next big step toward compassion for all and do what will work within the reality of Life on earth.

 

151127-Brazos Cliffs-asc_0077RLSsWhat do we really want? Personal satisfaction within the corposystem war system (or the antiwar movement, which is a co-dependant part of the war system). Or do we genuinely want to grow a sustainably compassionate future for human kind on this living earth. If we really want to change the war cycle of misery, we will take the de-growth actions that are necessary to sustain both life and compassion. If we are not willing to do that, then we will just spin the wheel another time, pretending we are succeeding, toward WWIV.

 

I feel sure that our leaders will follow the corposystem ethic: growth for fame, fun and profit. They were raised in this corposystem competition ethic and they can’t see anything else. Therefore it is (as usual) up to the people to take charge, and do it in a way that will grow a sustainable, compassionate, new and different social system with a future.

 

In Bare Bones Biology 194 (link below) I talked about the four blessings received at the Upaya workshop. Now let me tell you a fifth. The realization that we cannot change our history (what really did happen) and we cannot change the laws of nature (such as gravity and fire, and there are more), but we can use both – we could be using ALL the facts – to nourish the compassion movement in a way that at least conceivably COULD work to cut the war/compassion connection and grow a sustainable, compassionate home on this living earth for human kind.

If that’s what we really do want. If it’s not all word-candy.

 

 

Bare Bones Biology 194 – Active Non-Violence  https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/6548/

 

 

A copy of this audio-cast and of the one below can be downloaded, respectively, at:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_287_-_Almost_200_Weeks.mp3

http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_193_-_Positive_Non-Violence.mp3

Flute excerpt from Nawang Khechog with R Carlos Nakai, Music as Medicine, piece entitled: A Call of Compassion to Humanity. “This composition is a calling out to all of humanity to stop destroying our planet and to stop using each other out of blind greed.” Sounds True.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bare Bones Biology 284 – No More War

It may have been best expressed by someone who years ago told me that humans are trapped in a cycle that he claimed cannot be broken. I believe the cycle could be broken, but not so long as we won’t talk about it. So long as we ignore the basic cause of this cycle, we will simply rotate that wheel one more time.

From horror to recoil to compassion to (what, maybe ego or pride or ignorance or all three) that leads us back to horror again.

 

My fathers’ generation, in their deep commitment to “no more war,” made some mistakes. As a result, I have watched the full cycle in my life, from WWII to WWIII. The greatest horror for me is that we are responsible for WWIII.

I want to talk about those mistakes because we are still making them, and because they are the focus of my activism.

 

My premise is: if God created the world (and the universe, but my interest is the living world) then the ways in which it functions – that is the Laws of Nature that geCyclenerate and sustain Life – are what they are because God meant them to function that way, or because that is the only way they could function to give rise to what we think of as Life. And finally, my premise is that we are collectively ignoring some of these laws of nature that we DO understand but that we don’t like. What I call the down side. In other words, that we are accepting the part of God’s works that we like and shunning/denying the part we don’t like. The relevance here — we humans do know that Life (including us) operates in the present time as nested and interacting systems governed by natural laws, and not like an either-or pendulum as some earlier humans believed; but we ignore the implications of that fact. If you don’t like God, it changes nothing I have said.

Our western culture teaches us to think in a dualistic, linear manner, like a pendulum or a balance scale, with either-or choices. That world view is useful for making simple machines, but it represents only a small subset of real-world functions of a Life system.

 

In a dualistic pendulum, the way to prevent wrong is to push back with right and whoever pushes the hardest (or most effectively) wins. This is not how the universe really functions. Our universe consists of nested, interacting systems and their emergent properties. In a system, and we have done a great deal of this in medicine, this is not an abstraction, the way to prevent the illness is NOT to push back at its manifestations, but to cut the cause of the cycle at its roots. The Dalai Lama has said this also.

 

More realistically, to save ourselves, we must do both. We must push back at the hatred and violence, but that is not enough. If we really want to fix the problem we must also cut the problem at its root cause (rather like cutting the life cycle of a parasite to break the long chain of causes, effects, feedback loops and emergent properties) while at the same time we treat the right/wrong, good/bad symptoms. In our present biological environment, either approach without the other will fail.

 

If we only cut the root cause without helping the victims who exist today, then millions of people now afflicted will suffer. On the other hand, if we only deal with those currently afflicted, and do not at the same time cut the root cause, then we will have more and more suffering over time. Forever.

What do I propose that we do? How to do it? The first step is simply to stop denying factual realities that t120806-Nukes-ASC_9760hreaten our welfare. Simply discuss the reality, and so replace the denial from which so many people today are profiting on both sides of the love-hate pendulum. Replace it with knowledge about how the system of Life really does function – knowledge and discussion that would of itself expose the profiteers and lead toward solutions.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS FM 89.1 in Bryan, Texas.

 

A copy of this podcast can be downloaded at:http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_284_-_No_More_War.mp3

 

Bare Bones Biology 122 – Human Hands

This blog is an expanded version of Bare Bones Biology radio program that is playing this week on KEOS Radio, 98.1 FM, Bryan, Texas. A podcast can be downloaded later this week at:http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/BBB122-Human_HandsFinal4.mp3

Hold up your hand flat open with your palm facing me. As though you were a policeman trying to stop an onrushing disaster.

Your four fingers and your thumb are all pointing in different directions.

Now let’s think of your four fingers and your thumb as problems or “actions” that you and other socially conscious people are promoting — spending your time, energy and money, using your life to benefit your family, the community and humankind in general. Every person using his/her best skills to address one or other of the major actions, trying to relieve the problems faced by humankind today.

Let’s say your first finger represents hunger, and all the people trying to reduce world hunger. The second finger can represent global warming. The third finger can represent conflict, for example war, politics, genocide, modern economics. And the fourth finger represents religion and spirituality. Your thumb represents overpopulation.

What I notice about this hand is that all five of the digits are pointing off toward different and separate goals. If you added together the five different problems, and the people who are working to address these problems. Well, they are not working together for a common goal – they are going off in five different directions. Often they fight or argue with each other or they simply ignore each other, rather than discussing common goals. For this reason the work of one group often cancels out the gains of one or more of the other groups.

For example, one group is working for compassion in the belief that a compassionate community will not fight. Another group tries to win because they believe that will solve all our problems. The climate change group, after a few hundred years of evidence, is finally beginning to recognize its problem is real and is trying to decide whether to adapt or deal with the root cause of climate change. The hunger group can’t possibly accomplish its goal in the face of climate change and excessive population growth. And the overpopulation group believes that no positive goals can be achieved by continuing the destructive path that caused these problems in the first place.

We imagine if all the groups accomplished their goals they would all add up to a successful community. The reality, however, looks more like a mish-mash of confusing goals and conflicting interests.

Efficient and effective problem solving does not jump out into the world in five different directions at once, with the different parts of itself fighting among themselves. Modern business practice has made many serious mistakes, but at least one good concept has come out of it, and that is goal setting. Good business defines its goals, sets its guidelines, and informs all parties involved.

Our basic human goal is to live in a community that is sustainable into the future. Surely it must be, and if it’s not we should ask each other why not, because we aren’t acting as though it were. We have all these five problems, and more, dashing off in all directions at the same time. Don’t you agree that we could organize ourselves in some way that would at least have a chance of growing a positive future? I think such a future is possible.

If our primary goal really is the common welfare, then we can align our four fingers to represent of our commitment to the common goal of human sustainability on this earth, in good health, at least through the lifetimes of our grandchildren. If my genuine stated goal is the same as the stated goals of people working in different disciplines – then we will cease to be all working for different outcomes.

Next, we can recognize the physical facts: (1) that nobody can accomplish anything if there is not enough food for them to eat, (2) that all our food comes from the earth, and (3) the earth now has more people than it can feed. If you don’t believe these are real facts, then you have an obligation to the hungry humans in the world to fact-check your belief system.

So we then fold our thumb under at the roots of the four fingers, to represent represent the facts: (1) that overpopulation is at the root of all of the other problems. Yes we have had these problems in the past and we did not solve them before. Blame your heritage. Now is now and now we cannot solve them if a large part of the earth’s population is desperately struggling to make a living, and ; (2) therefore, that no other compassionate goal can be accomplished when there are more people than the earth can feed; and (3) therefore, the four other goals cannot be solved in the presence of overpopulation.

Therefore, if we genuinely want to accomplish our goals. If we want our behavior to reflect our commitment to the real goal, and regardless of our personal expertise or our primary interest — hunger, global warming, conflict resolution (community) or spirituality – then it is our obligation to spend a portion of our effort, every day, to help compassionately reverse human overpopulation, first informing ourselves about why it is a problem, and then addressing that problem as it relates to our own special skills and projects. I tend to judge people’s compassion by their behavior. When I see anyone brush off this obligation with a platitude or a blank look — we all do really know how important it is. Then I wonder why they don’t really want to know. Can it be they don’t want to help carry the burden of responsibility that goes with knowledge?

And then – we all work together to accomplish both the root goal and the individual goals by enclosing all of life on earth within the fully informed, goal-oriented, responsible, compassionate hand of human kind.

And then, you ask. (Everyone does.): “But it is such a big problem, what can I do?” The answer is – in this sequence:

1-You can recognize that this is not about “me.” It’s not about who does what at the level of individual decision making. Do not promote the fake debate (https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/another-fake-debate-pro-life/) over family planning, which is corposystem propaganda meant prevent us from growing our personal and community power (http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com/About)within the ecosystem. Instead study the real overpopulation threat, which is about human suffering at the level of the population, and at the level of survival of the whole living earth.

2-Do not waste time blaming anyone; it will not accomplish our common goal. Instead educate yourself and others about the suffering of populations of humans who do not have access to family planning because our corposystem is withholding that resource from them.

3-Education yourself about how the ecosystem functions to maintain its balance and therefore it’s welfare and its life (you could start with the Bare Bones Ecology Energy Handbook downloadable from the right side of this blog site).

4-Discuss all three “sides” of the issue with family and friends. The “sides” minimally can be described as the conflicting needs of individual persons, families, communities, and the whole earth ecosystem.

5-What we need most right now is the political will to make family planning available compassionately to everyone on earth who wants it and needs it for their health and well being. Work as a citizen to bring this to the people who need and want it.

Bare Bones Biology 122 – Human Hands

Bare Bones Biology 120-Father John

Below is the transcript of the podcast available here
or at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

“LL-In Bare Bones Biology 117 a couple of weeks ago, I introduced the Vision without Fission conference.

This panel discussion and several others are posted on Youtube by CoreLight Films. Father John Dear is on this panel, and today he reports to Bare Bones Biology from the final day of the conference.

Father John has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. His struggle for peace is described in his book “A Persistent Peace.” I will post more references, my opinions, and a transcript at my blog.”

I’m so sorry about the quality, but I thought they were through with those loudspeakers, and they weren’t, so I had to do some noise reduction digital modifications.

“So we’re here at Los Alamos, outside the nuclear weapons laboratory commemorating Hiroshima anniversary 67 years ago when the atomic bomb built here at Los Alamos, New Mexico, was dropped on the people of Hiroshima, Japan, and vaporized 120,000 in a flash. We’ve been coming here for years to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and war.

“Today at the rally I gave this quote from Mahatma Ghandi, which he said a couple of days after Hiroshima. Ghandi said: ‘I hold that those who invented the atomic bomb have committed the gravest sin. The atomic bomb brought an empty victory to the allied arms, but it resulted for the time being in destroying Japan. What has happened to the soul of the destroying nation is yet too early to see. Unless the world adopts nonviolence, this will spell certain suicide.’

“The police tell me there are 300 people here. We’ve been saying that nuclear weapons are bad for the economy. And Occupy is saying that our economy is collapsing and it’s no good, etc., but here we’re making the connection between Occupy and Los Alamos, that nuclear weapons are bad for the children, the earth, for animals, the economy, everything, but I was also saying it’s bad for our souls, and that’s what Ghandi said, so we’re here to talk about this, to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons, the closure of Los Alamos, the reclaiming of our soul as a people. Ghandi said the only way to do that is to become people of non-violence, to get rid of these nukes and turn that money, trillions of dollars for war, to feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, getting jobs, teaching everybody about non-violent conflict resolution.

Father John-“So what we did here is we broadcast live here at Ashley park, where the bomb was actually built, the ceremony – live from Hiroshima on August 5, we heard by phone from the memorial ceremony in Hiroshima, right at the time of day when the bomb was dropped – here in Los Alamos we heard the ringing of the peace bell. It was very moving for everyone. And then hundreds of us processed along the main street through Los Alamos, and then all of us sat down in sack cloth and ashes for 30 minutes of silence, which is from the Bible, in the book of Jonah, when the people of Ninevah repented in sack cloth and ashes for their sins of injustice and violence, and they never were violent again. We’re reclaiming that ancient Biblical symbol in resistance and protest. And the ashes especially remind us of Hiroshima. It was a time of prayer, reflection, and trying model for ourselves the nonviolence we want for Los Alamos and Texas and the United States.

“So my hope and prayer is that we can all become people of non-violence. Non-violent to ourselves, non-violent to one another, and that we can all work or a new world of non-violence. Abolish war, nuclear weapons, execution, corporate greed, sexism, racism, and environmental destruction. Really work creatively –

LL interrupts – “Find our souls.”

Father John – “Yeah, and if we do that, we will reclaim our souls. That’s the way to spiritual healing, and everybody has to be part of that because we must change this culture of violence that is not working.”

LL – “It’s very clear that it’s not working.”

End of transcript here, beginning of my commentary:

That’s the bare bones version of the annual Hiroshima day action at Los Alamos. If you want to read more about Father John’s view of the day, go to his blog. And then browse around on that site. For example, under Press you can find an Amy Goodman interview. I couldn’t figure out how to post it on this blog, but I did download a copy if you want one.

Personally, I knew very little about the peace movement. There is a reason for that. I believe the Peace movement is incredibly important in our effort to save what we have built – but it will be irrelevant of we kill off the earth itself. A lot of good, heroic people are working for Peace. If we humans make it through this disaster we have created, then we will be able to grow the peace based on the heroic work of the peacebuilders who exemplify it in the face of all odds.

However, very few people are working to explain what the ecosystem REQUIRES to stay balanced and healthy so we can avoid killing it. It is possible to kill the ecosystem. It’s happened before, and climate change is suggests it is happening now.

It is the earth ecosystem that gives us enough food so that we can imagine a peaceful lifestyle and work to make a peaceful earth ecosystem. Furthermore there are so many people working for peace, and most of them do not realize the relationship between peace and a healthy earth. Therefore some of their efforts do accidental harm to the ecosystem that we require if we are to grow the peace. And very few people are working to explain that relationship. So that’s what I am trying to do. Make available this information that the corposystem is trying to hide under piles of money and suffering. (For example, download the Chapter of Bare Bones Ecology that is available on this web site.)

Meantime Father John has lived an incredible life, working for Peace, and of course we do need the vision of peace, as we strive to accomplish the goal of survival. I read his autobiography “A Persistent Peace” all the way through, and I couldn’t help thinking that among us we are ALMOST “getting it.”

A Persistent Peace, is the a necessary vision (I have been saying “compassion” rather than “peace,” but really what’s the dif? You could read the Dalai Lama’s book “Beyond Religion, Ethics for a Whole World,” and get essentially the same message.) Then I would suggest reading “A Great Aridness,” by William deBuys, to provide a historic and sociological context of how we created this mess by mis-using the Creation we were given. Then, if we are to make any changes, we need to understand what exactly we are doing that causes failure of peace, and for that I would suggest Michael Klare.

I have been trying to explain this emergency in “soft” language so as not to create either panic or denial, but I feel like the response is an indulgent smile. (Although it’s hard for me to see, war, genocide, starvation, annihilation caused by overpopulation as soft. But that is our reality.) This is not a matter for indulgence. Michael Klare is a professional prognosticator. To deny his evaluation of reality out of hand — because it is uncomfortable — would be scandalous. And to engage in displacement activities that do not also impact the causative problem – overpopulation — is akin to evil. Maybe we have lost our soul.

Honorable people of this age have one choice left. We do not sit around bemoaning whatever. We spend each day living this day – including our obligation to the future which must include some little action every day that is addressed to making family planning available to everyone on earth who wants it. Whether we make these technologies directly available or work through the political system or simply take the time to study the issue and discuss it. That is our obligation to our mother earth, and after that our obligation to our own mental health and/or our efforts to help treat any one of the symptoms of this emergency – all the various kinds of individual suffering of all sentient beings — needs to come second. If we do not every one of us focus on our common survival goal of bringing the population to the level the earth can feed — but only work on “fixing” the symptoms (war, genocide, starvation, etc) then we will not survive, and neither will we achieve any of our long-term goals.

If God created the earth, then God created that biological entity, the whole earth ecosystem, and He meant it to function exactly the way it does function. I mean in terms of the earth, air, water and fire (energy) and how it stays BALANCED, so that the whole thing can survive. The same laws of nature that permit our own bodies to survive within the body of the ecosystem. That is: “Life.”

As Father John says, or rather one of his students said: “The Kingdom of God is Life.” I couldn’t agree more. But right now we are at war with life – and we are choosing our own desires over the biological needs of Life – and we can’t win that battle.

As Rabi Malka Drucker explained last week. What is good for the ecosystem is good for humans. But it doesn’t necessarily work the other way around.

The bottom line is that the Kingdom of God is not only about what humans want or think they should have. Human cultures have understood this fact in the past. This fact seems to me the very core of all our wisdom traditions (including those that were presented aat the Vision Without Fission Conference) that honor all parts of life in their balance.

If there is time, we can learn to understand it again.

The new book looks interesting. Lazarus Come Forth, by Father John Dear.

Bare Bones Biology 120 – Brother John
KEOS Radio 89.1, Bryan, Texas

Recommended References:
The Conference.
Father John speaks at http://youtu.be/yArg0UHRxjk. Then watch the series of other YouTube videos reporting on nearly the entire conference.
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/ – Biology 117 – Los Alamos

Bare Bones Biology References:
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/- Bare Bones Biology 119 – Rabi Malka Drucker.

Father John
http://www.johndear.org/
http://www.johndear.org/articles/bells-of-hiroshima.html
“A Persistent Peace”
“Lazarus Come Forth”

William deBuys – A Great Aridness
Michael Klare –
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wwiii-great-commodities-war-to-end-all-wars-2012-08-07
“The Race for What’s Left”
http://us.macmillan.com/browsebyauthor.aspx

Bare Bones Biology 113 – Thinking Compassion

A few days ago I heard Ray, at a Dharma talk at Upaya Zen Center, read this poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, entitled “Kindness.” If you are reading this on the blog, I suggest you might want to go to the bottom of this page to download the original Bare Bones Biology podcast and listen to Ray’s beautiful rendering:

Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

Naomi Shihab Nye
from The Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

Well, I’m ashamed to say, as an American, that I never understood kindness until I had spent six months in Japan – I mean kindness as a way of life for its own sake. No strings attached. And that experience is one reason you have the opportunity to hear my thoughts about how we might be able to deal with this crisis that we are in.

I think it’s primarily a crisis of biology; I know it’s primarily a crisis of biology, because I’m a biologist, and that’s why I keep telling you various aspects of how humans interact with the ecosystem. Because the basic problem is not complicated; you can understand it as well as I can. But the solutions are not simple. Unless we want to ride this merry-go-round another time – well I don’t think we have another time for this merry-go-round because, all the other times around – war/peace/war/peace/war/peace/war/peace – all the other times around, the earth was able to provide us with what we needed to try to stay alive and try to solve our problems.

This is no longer true. This crisis is unique, and we cannot solve it by winning a war, or three wars or eight wars or however many wars we are doing right now. In fact I’m inclined to believe that these wars are mostly being staged by the corposystem to prevent we-the-people from understanding that we really are facing a crisis that will require us to hunker down to responsibilities that are very much more heroic than staging wars. We can’t solve it by growing another war.

Neither can we solve it by a concerted effort to teach compassion to everyone without regard to the fact that this is a biological crisis. At the root, it’s a biological crisis. We have never been here before, to the place where knowledgeable people have stated that, in 2007, we used 150% of the earth’s capacity to provide what we need to survive.

You might want to listen to the report on ecology to His Holiness The Dalai Lama, delivered by Diana Liverman from University of Arizona. Begin after the introduction, about 27 minutes into the video ). The powerpoint presentation that accompanied her report, will be linked to this blog under the heading Planetary Stewardship

In Texas or New Mexico, or in any city, you may not notice the devastating changes caused by our rape of the mother earth, because every generation believes their time of birth is normal, and because the damage is being mostly accomplished by destruction of other organisms and other peoples. But we cannot continue to survive by destroying other organisms. It is other organisms that generate air, water, earth and food energy on this planet. We might as well eat ourselves as destroy them, and that is essentially what we are doing.

So that’s why I began Bare Bones Biology. To help us find a way to combine our kindness – our compassion for the welfare of future generations – with basic fact-based knowledge about what the ecosystem requires to stay alive, and we must do this with a rule of law and an educational system that can maintain it.

Bare Bones Biology 113 – Thinking Compassion
KEOS Radio, 89.1, Bryan, TX
A podcast of this message can be obtained here
Or at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References:
http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/news/articles/111021dalailama.php
http://www.Upaya.org
http://youtu.be/OjMWC1Bz2xA (begin after the introduction, about 27 minutes in, or ask me for a copy of the podcast).
http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/2012_lpr/
http://Godlas.myweb.uga.edu/shihabnye.html

Bare Bones Biology 096 – Climate Change V

We can not help the earth maintain a habitable climate by growth, either of the corposystem or of the population because it is not possible to cure any problem by doing more of what caused the problem in the first place. You cannot cure alcoholism with more alcohol. You cannot cure the biological reaction to too much growth by growing more.

The whole of life and all its parts consists of processes that work together to form networks of cycles. The most amazing thing about life is the way all these interacting networks stay balanced. Well, most of the time they stay balanced. If they aren’t balanced the result is sickness or some sort or death. Mostly the balance is maintained quite literally by the availability of the resources. Does that sound familiar? Yes indeed, it sounds just a little bit like classical economics. Not the modern Ponzi economics, but the old fashioned kind where – if you didn’t have carrots, you didn’t sell carrots, and you didn’t eat carrots.

If you don’t have enough resources, for example, if the earth is not capable of making enough food energy to feed all the people – then the delicate balance among all the networks becomes unbalanced. If there is not enough to eat, then people die. If that unbalance leads to shortages, climate change, economic downturns, war, any kind of difficulty – then you can not cure the difficulty by doing more of what caused the unbalance. You can’t cure Ponzi economics by more Ponzi economics because sooner or later you run out of the resources that are necessary to keep the whole scheme growing

You can’t cure climate change by pouring more toxic compounds into the climate, either from people eating and breathing or from corporations and other machines eating and breathing the products of the earth until there are not enough resources left to provide the food energy to drive the interacting networks of nature that keep us alive.

We know these things are facts. And yet we have come to the point where our knowledge about genuinely omnipotent realities is no more respected than your next-door-neighbor’s uninformed opinion. This is too bad, because the technologies to prevent a dreadful end are now available while we are fiddling around with the same technologies that have been causing our problems in the first place.

And while we are talking about these things, let’s consider a couple of more false assumptions that run along the same lines.

1. That there is no climate change, but there are too many people in some other parts of the world, and so if we build a fence around the United States and keep everyone else out we will be OK. This one boggles the mind. You can’t fence out climate change. The earth’s climate goes all the way around the earth from the top to the bottom and all around the middle parts. No fences will stop air.

2. That overpopulation doesn’t exist, apparently it can’t exist (how do they prove that?), and we would be better off to save every human cell. Then, every person will have a better life. We have measured the facts (for example), and they tell us that the earth is losing both its resilience (because of species extinctions) and its sustainability (by what I will refer to as overgrazing). From here on out, if we continue to grow, the more people we have on earth, the more people will suffer starvation and genocide and war and similar fates as the economy crashes because we are running out of resources. Bottom line, if there is not enough to eat, then we cannot provide the good life for more people, and we need to find a solution that will work before more people are victimized by our growth ethic.

3. Then the other side of the coin is the phrase I just heard yesterday again, that there is plenty of food on earth to feed everyone, it’s a re-distribution problem. You know I have heard that old saw my whole long life, and we have more than doubled in numbers of people during that time. Furthermore, every time we destroy another species in our efforts to feed humans – every lost species is a broken link in one of those networks that function to keep the earth alive and healthy.

Bare Bones Biology 096 – Climate Change V
KEOS FM 89.1, Bryan, Texas
Audio download available later this week
here and at http://BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References: Post Carbon Reader, PCI.org; Networks, by Barabashi; Beyond Ethics by HH The Dalai Lama; Bare Bones Ecology free download on my blog.

BBB088 – Evolution and Creation https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/
BBB022 – Population https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2010/09/19
Earth Policy – http:// http://www.earth-policy.org/

Bare Bones Biology 057-Levels and Population II

Last week I told you about my little informal research project that involved talking to protestors and supporters of our local Planned Parenthood organization. What I learned from that was that the basic goals of both groups are — both right. At levels of organization one (that’s individual people), and two (our human communities), respectively. Today I’ll talk about level four (which is the ecosystem), and level three (the corposystem).

First I will remind us that the ecosystem is a living entity of which we all are a part. We cannot survive without the ecosystem. The ecosystem provides the food energy that we eat to stay alive. There is no other source for our food.

Second, I affirm that humans need compassion for their welfare but the ecosystem does not require compassion. It requires balance. When it becomes unbalanced, the ecosystem responds by trying to reset its balance points, so the carbon cycle and the water cycle and all the cycles that make food all try to stabilize in a new balance. We are adapted to the old balance. Any new balance will end up producing less food for one reason or another; when there is not enough food there is always more violence, war and genocide, and we are also growing epidemics of new diseases that cannot be controlled by the corposystem.

The question is, then, which life is more important – my life or the life of the ecosystem? It’s time for us to begin discussing that question, because the productivity of the earth is already maxed out. So – what is stopping us from getting together and resolving this problem? Primarily the corposystem is stopping us from getting together and stopping the growth, because the corposystem – to continue without changing itself – requires growth. The corposystem (in a “free” country) controls our thinking and our behaviors mostly in two ways. First is by taking control of the media and our school systems – dumbing down the people so they don’t have the knowledge to recognize the lies. Second, it spreads the lies and uses them to organize groups of us to fight with each other over relatively unimportant problems that the corposystem doesn’t care about. (That’s the old divide and conquer, we’ve all heard about that – here’s the modern version.)

This example first came to my attention when one of the protestors in my study referred me to a movie about population growth. The movie was pretty disgusting, with lies and false hate talk and fake statistics. It was made for conservatives and tried to convince us that dreadful things will happen if we don’t grow more. Actually, dreadful things are already happening that are CAUSED BY growth over the past couple hundred years. The movie claims these are caused by lack of growth. Now we can not change what happened before, and the you-know-what is hitting the fan. So it is all the more critical that we have good information. So I turned to another movie which was made for PBS and presumably for political progressives, and that’s when the light dawned. The only difference between the movie made for conservatives, and the movie made for progressives, is the style of presentation. Conservatives got a movie based in hate and fear; and progressives got a movie designed to appeal to those who believe technology will save us. As an aside, technology could help to save us if we were to use it to reduce growth, but of course that was not the message, and also that’s not what we’re doing.

So if you look at both movies, one right after the other, you end up pretty discouraged. The PRIMARY goal of both these movies is to get their respective audiences to continue fighting with each other so that nobody is talking or doing anything about the overwhelming need to stop both population growth and economic growth within this living earth ecosystem.

Folks, we humans all want and need the same basic things. We need food energy to stay alive and we need the compassion of supportive communities. We won’t get these things unless we are willing to define them as our goals and work together to get them. Instead of fighting with each other over something else. And the later we get started the worse it will be for everyone.

Bare Bones Biology 057 – Levels and Population II
KEOS Radio 89.1, Bryan TX
Audio available at http://www.barebonesbiology.com