BSB 195     J. Morris Hicks     (4-4-19)  
Learning from Biosphere 2 
Remember Biosphere 2, circa 1993, in the Arizona desert?

Back then, the idea was that we could replicate nature in a man-made bubble and thereby insulate us from environmental problems like climate change that plague us today. 

Biosphere 2 -- Oracle, Arizona. Completed in 1991

Scientists learned a great deal from Biosphere 2, but they didn't learn how to replicate nature.  

From an article last week in the New York Times, this is what scientists Jeff Cohen and David Tilman wrote about the project in 1996:

No one yet knows how to engineer systems that provide humans with the life-supporting services that natural ecosystems produce for free.

Rather than try to replicate nature, with GRATOLA, we're talking about a completely different kind of solution - one wherein we promote and nourish Nature's ability to continue providing those life-supporting services for free in perpetuity.

To do that, we're talking about leveraging all the best ideas from the scientists, engineers, architects and futurists - along with the help of artificial intelligence to design the greenest possible human habitat of the future. As I often quote the wisdom of E.O. Wilson...

We have enough intelligence, goodwill, generosity and enterprise to turn Earth into a paradise both for ourselves and for the biosphere that gave us birth.

He then added that the problem is that we are an "innately dysfunctional" species. And that's exactly why it's probably going to take one or more HUGE disasters and/or emergencies to jolt us into action.  

The Bottom Line. As we attempt to address our innate dysfunction, perhaps we can learn from the Biosphere 2 project as we design a creative GRATOLA-like GREEN Solution for the future.

The Biosphere 2 scientists were trying to take over the role of nature. With GRATOLA, we're just  trying to get the hell out of nature's way and let her continue to give us life. After all, she's been in the life-giving business for billions of years.

Maybe soon there will be a blockbuster movie about how a "GRATOLA-Themed" planet could bring us back to living in harmony with nature. If so, history may someday record that a single movie was the catalyst for bold action that prevented the extinction of humanity in the 21st century.

This just in from the Arctic. In the past seven days since my last blog, the Arctic Ocean has lost 369,000 square kilometers of ice.  

Today, on my daily check of NSIDC data, I found that yesterday's Arctic Sea ice extent is now roughly 1.1million square kilometers lower than on the same date in 2012 (green dotted line below) - the year in which the record lowest sea ice extent EVER was recorded in mid September.

Take a look for yourself in this screenshot from the NSIDC website that I captured this morning. This interactive chart can be viewed at , where they update it every day. 2019 is the yellow line that has broken away from the pack of previous years.

It's also lower than the same date in 2016, the year that ended up with the second lowest sea ice extent in the satellite record which began in 1978. Since then, there has never been less ice on April 3 than we had yesterday.

It's also much warmer. During the month of March, the average daily high, according to AccuWeather, in North Pole, AK, was 41 F degrees. This compares to a historical average high for that month of 25.2 F. 

As you can see in the data upon a closer look, the 2019 high was higher than the historical high every single day of March. And on seven days, the actual low was higher than the historical high.

This chart is for the month of March, 2019, at North Pole.
Daily high and low temps compared to historical averages

All of the above leads me to conclude that it won't be surprising to see that 2012 record broken this September. 

Whether it happens this year, or within two or three years, we are racing toward an ice-free Arctic. According to Dr. Peter Wadhams, it will likely begin with a few weeks in September, followed in future years by a 60 to 90-day period during the months of August, September and October. 

After that, the self-reinforcing feedback loops will kick in and the melting will accelerate and we will someday have a year-round ice-free Arctic. Sadly, most of our world leaders think that that would be just dandy for the global economy. 

Just last week, Wadhams responded to my request for input with this statement:

Jim, This early turnover of ice extent needs careful watching. I agree that this may be the next big jump downwards in summer area - which could reach zero. Best wishes, Peter

A rapidly melting Arctic Ocean should be the emergency we need to get us on the fast track of urgently designing and building an incredibly green habitat for humans that will drastically lower our destructive impact on nature.

But as I said earlier, until those HUGE disasters start waking up our leaders, most will continue to think that an ice-free Arctic is a good thing. God help us.

Want to help? Here are a few more GRATOLA related blogs that you can share with your most powerful friends, leaders, journalists and movie producers.  

What else can you do? Three things:

1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are ultimately necessary to save our civilization.

2. Share this BSB and my  "Mama Ain't Happy" BSB with prominent journalists, thought leaders and/or elected officials whom you respect. They need to learn a lot more about the many reasons why  Mama ain't happy.

3. Help me find thoughtful audiences where I can speak freely about the most important topic in the history of humanity.

Until next time, just remember...

Humanity is on a collision course with Nature.
A damaged Nature will survive. We may not.
We must change course to avert an ecological disaster.

Be well,

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks 
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC

I welcome your feedback and/or questions at:

Need  a speaker for your group?  My updated topic for 2019:  Saving our Civilization -- Earth as a "System"

 (now contains 5-minute video of me speaking in Tucson) 

In the past 12 months, I have spoken at a  VegFest in
Fort Myers, at  in Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, the   College of the Holy Cross  in Worcester, MA, a  Plant Powered Manhattan  event in New York, and at a lakeside health conference in  South Haven, Michigan and just this week in Buffalo, NY, and at the University of Scranton.

Link to a 56-minute video of my April 2018 talk in Honolulu:  Food. Health. Planet. Our Future as a Species.

To schedule a presentation at a venue near you, please contact me at

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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