“Musical Scapel” — Messages in Music for Our Earth

by Duane Nichols on February 14, 2019

The Musical Scapel — Prescription for the Environment

The Musical Scapel is on message

Information on the Songs and Messages of Doug Hendren, Harrisonburg, VA

Doug Hendren is an orthopedic surgeon turned climate troubadour. Doug grew up and was educated in the Boston area, working as an inventor’s assistant before medical school (Case Western Reserve, MD 1982), and orthopedic residency in 1988. He replaced hips and knees in Eureka, California and Harrisonburg, Virginia until hanging up his scalpel in 2010.

In retirement, Doug earned an MBA in sustainable business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Seattle. Instead of broken bones, he now focuses on our broken political and economic systems that are driving us to liquidate our natural world to pay our “bills”. Our dear Earth, generous life-giving climate, and our foreseeable future are like a patient in the emergency room, badly injured and bleeding. But you’d never know it from watching the news. Most people are too busy to notice. What’s going on? How did we get here? How can we recover a world worth passing on to our children?

Doug has concluded that art is more likely than science to save us from the humans, and is looking for ways to wake up sleepwalkers. In this website, he is shamelessly exploiting Garage Band (and occasionally friends) to help expose important issues – “stealth education”, if you will. He hopes these messages will stick in your unconscious like a bad beer commercial. The life you save may be your own!

These songs are fairly quick “sketches”, attempts to distill important issues into a few short verses. They are intended to bring some “dry” subjects to life, where we can see and share them more simply and clearly. And to inspire other artists and musicians to do the same. You, the listener, are smart enough to understand these issues. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Food, Water, Energy and Climate Change are subjects too important to be left to politicians and economists! Look where that has gotten us so far!

When not playing his Moonstone guitars, Doug is involved in some start-up companies in renewable energy and biotechnology, messes around in his workshop and yard, and gets along (most of the time) entirely too well with resident wife and collaborator, Nancy Beall, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and their much-too-far- away children, Saragrace and Jeremiah, and shows up when he can for 350.org, Citizens Climate Lobby, DivestHarvard, Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, Renew Rocktown, Harrisonburg Indivisible, and our newest local group, RAPTORS.

P.S. Their musical hobby is completely non-commercial in spirit. The material is all “Creative Commons”, and can be used and shared freely. Attribution appreciated. All revenues from CD sales go to support climate education and activism. SING LOUD!


Environmentalists have been good with bar graphs and pie charts, but not so much with art and music – so it’s very good to see people reaching out to the other half of the human brain.” —- Bill McKibben, www.350.org


Fracking & Pipelines are Major Themes

Fracking is a method for obtaining natural gas and oil by drilling through our water table into shale layers far below the surface. It involves numerous toxic chemicals pumped down under pressure, as well as heavy metals and radioactive materials that are brought back up from below. Studies show around 6% of the drill casings leak from the start, and up to 50% of them leak by 15 years. Contamination has been demonstrated repeatedly.

There is a large and growing medical literature on the dangers of fracking. Most fracked material is transported by pipeline. There have been thousands of pipeline leaks in the US in the past several years. People working to stop pipelines deserve our support. Physicians reject natural gas, considering it “too dirty and too dangerous”. As NASA has confirmed, the natural gas industry releases so much methane into the atmosphere that it is just as bad for global warming as coal, and possibly worse!

Here is a list of some of the songs on topic:

>> Fracking is Everywhere | Something is going on, Pennsylvania, down on the farm.
>> Black Serpent | Brave Lakota face the Dakota Pipeline juggernaut.
>> All I Want is H2O “Live” | Video by Mike Wicklein. On stage with Josh Fox.
>> All I Want is H2O | How fracking endangers your drinking water.
>> Elephant Loose on Wall Street | Investors: There is a carbon bubble coming.
>> Fracking’s Just a Bad Dream | Don’t poison your water. Energy ain’t cheap if it ain’t clean.
>> Song for West Virginia | Hostage to the coal industry for over a hundred years.
>> Better Keep It Clean | If you want to keep your water, better keep it clean.
>> The Heart of Nebraska | Ground zero for stopping the Keystone XL pipeline.
>> The Devil Himself | Trading your health and water for money is a devil’s bargain.
>> For Bidder 70 | A song for Tim DeChristopher, a true American patriot.

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