SOS #19    J. Morris Hicks    (8-21-19)  
The Crisis. The Rebellion. The Solution?
Although I've been writing about the sustainability  crisis  for years, I didn't mention the  rebellion  until last week.

As for an envisioned  solution  to the crisis, I have focused on the AGRA/ GRATOLA model for almost a year, but today I will touch on a new version of that idea provided recently by Dr. James Lovelock, a "big picture" scientist who celebrated his 100th birthday last month. He is the originator of the GAIA Theory that views the Earth as a self-regulating system, of which we are a part.

To begin, let's take a recent look at some of the details of the existential crisis we have created for ourselves.

The Crisis

Last week, on August 12, 2019, a straight-talking climate scientist at Australian National University, Dr. Andrew Glikson, posted the following on Arctic News.

Early on, he explains that in many private conversations, climate scientists express far greater concern at the progression of global warming and its consequences than they do in public. He gets right to the point:

The inhabitants of planet Earth are in the process of 
destroying the habitability of their world through the perpetration of the largest mass extinction of species since  66 million years  ago, when a large asteroid impacted Earth, 
and 55 million years since the Paleocene-Eocene  Thermal Maximum (PETM) reaching 5 to 8 degrees Celsius.

The late Holocene-Anthropocene climate change represents an unprecedented event, triggering a fast shift in climate zones and a series of extreme weather events, with consequences for much of nature and civilization. The changes are manifest where green forests are blackened by fire, droughts are turning grassy planes to brown semi-deserts, brilliant white snow and ice caps are melting into pale blue water and clear blue skies turn grey due to aerosols and jet contrails, most particularly in the northern hemisphere. 

Unless effective efforts are undertaken at CO2 drawdown, the consequence would include demise of much of nature and a collapse of human civilization.

This 35-minute video features a candid conversation between Dr. Glikson and Dr. McPherson. It was posted on YouTube on August 9, 2109.

Dr. Andrew Glikson & Guy McPherson - Aug NBL Interview
Dr. Andrew Glikson & Guy McPherson - Aug NBL Interview

We've known a great deal about climate change for over thirty years, but there has been no serious effort on the part of global leaders to take the steps needed to stop it.

Meanwhile, our population keeps growing, the polar ice keeps melting, we keep buying more stuff, driving more cars, taking more flights and burning more fossil fuels. In short, our sustainability crisis continues to get worse every year.

Since our governments have taken no action to curb our grossly unsustainable situation, it has left the door open for a new group in town...

The Rebellion

Last week, I mentioned the Extinction Rebellion (XR) for the first time and provided a link to a 90-minute video of the inspirational founder of the organization, Roger Hallam. 

I heard of the organization last year and I knew about their massive disruption event in London this past April that led to some 1200 arrests. But until last week, I really didn't know much about their organization or their mission.

According to Wikipedia, they trace their origins to May of 2018:

Extinction Rebellion was established in the United Kingdom in May 2018 with about one hundred academics signing a call to action in support in October 2018

Why are they rebelling now? According to the World Bank , CO2 emissions throughout the world rose 60% from 1990 to 2013 and have continued to set new records every year. By every measure, the "big picture" keeps looking bleaker each year and has now inspired a great deal of emotionally-focused attention from a very motivated group of activists in the UK. 

The social science academics at XR explain that they are now leveraging the same tools used by Gandhi, MLK and other non-violent activists - to begin forcing the world to pay attention to climate change. And they're doing it by making it difficult for the governments of the world to ignore them.

As co-founder Roger Hallam explains in numerous videos, their playbook is all about causing disruption through the never-ending use of non-violent civil disobedience. 
Hallam and the other co-founders have concluded that the above method is the only way to get rapid attention from the authorities. And they are candid about the fact that their fellow activists can expect to be arrested and go to prison for their actions.

Their website at clearly outlines how they work together to literally force governments of the world to start getting real serious about climate change. It reads:

We are facing an unprecedented global emergency. Life on Earth is in crisis: scientists agree we have entered a period of abrupt climate breakdown, and we are in the midst of a mass extinction of our own making.
If you want to get a better feel for what they're doing, you should watch this 26-minute Chris Hedges interview with Roger Hallam on the Real Truth network.

On Contact: Climate Emergency with Roger Hallam, Extinction Rebellion

Roger and his colleagues know from years of study in social science that their approach will yield results. But will it yield enough results soon enough to save our civilization and our species?

I fear that it won't - despite their best intentions. Let me explain. While I applaud their efforts, I simply don't believe that any amount of tweaking of our current living arrangement will render it acceptable to Mother Nature.

As I have written since 9-21-18, I am convinced that our best chance of longterm survival is to reinvent a totally new, sustainable, hi-tech way of life instead of trying to convert what we have into something that is sustainable. Remember my donkey and spaceship analogy?  

The Solution? 

I use a question mark above, because no one knows for sure what combination of urgent initiatives it is going to take to save our civilization and our species. That's why I am reluctant to criticize any individuals or groups who are making the fight against climate change their primary focus.

It seems to me that our dilemma is exacerbated by the conundrum that is summed up in these two questions:
  • Will we ever get to the point when the world is ready to grasp, and act urgently on, the fact that our entire civilization must be reinvented?
  • Then, in a complicated world with 195 countries and thousands of religions, how can any all-encompassing, logical and sustainable way of living ever have any reasonable chance of being planned, developed and executed with the necessary level of coordination?
To be totally honest, I don't see how we can successfully answer either of the above two questions - especially the second one. If you think otherwise, just think about the complete dysfunctionality of the legislative and executive branches of government in the world's most powerful country - when it comes to addressing climate change.

What role could AI play in resolving our sustainability dilemma? Up until last week, I was thinking that we could just ask the AI community to load all the relevant data in the world into super-computers that could then, efficiently and accurately, answer the question at the bottom of this slide?

Slide from my public talks since 2018
As for AI, I first mentioned the term in two talks during the spring of 2018. But midea at the time was that we would simply leverage the power of AI to totally analyze every bit of information in the world regarding every sustainability challenge that we face.

Then the AI community could take that data and identify a series of workable actions that world leaders could take, including options that, if globally coordinated and executed, would greatly improve our chances of success. 

Then, just this week, I discovered a video featuring the "big picture" scientist, Dr. James Lovelock - a 7-minute video that was posted on YouTube  by The Economist last month. It is entitled: How to Save Humankind  (provided below the next few paragraphs).

In the video, Lovelock reveals a four-point plan, two of which sound familiar:
  • His first point was "Retreat to Mega Cities." Sounds a lot like GRATOLA, which can be described as a collection of transcontinental, high-tech, mega-city corridors with a state-of-the-art HyperLoop transit system in the middle.  
  • His final point was "Let AI take over." He believes that believes that AI will move beyond human control, generating intelligences far greater than our own. Because they can think 10,000 times faster than we can, they'll be far more capable than humans of tackling climate change.    
He goes on to talk about the future of Homo sapiens on planet Earth, saying that, "If the human race is to survive, the key is for it to surrender its position of privilege and give way to more intelligent life." The narrator closes the video with this chilling, albeit much, much  better-than-extinction   scenario for humanity:

Lovelock believes that artificial intelligence, or so called cyborgs, could take control, cool the planet and allow the human species to survive. 

Watch this 7-minute video from a 100-year old hero.
How to save humankind (according to James Lovelock) | The Economist
How to save humankind (according to James Lovelock)

The Bottom Line. All of this information leaves us with a lot to ponder about our future as a species. 

Next week I will revisit this singularly important topic and will talk more about Dr. James Lovelock. As for his credibility as a scientist, a thinker and a futurist, I want to share this lengthy 12-year old article with you now.

Its a piece about Lovelock when he was just a mere eighty-eight years old - published  in November of 2007. This amazing article by Jeff Goodell is entitled: James Lovelock, the Prophet.  It appeared in:

In closing, a bit of news from the Arctic. What we have today is a case of good news and bad news. The good news is that it looks like the Arctic Ocean will NOT go ice-free this September.

The bad news, according to Glikson, Beckwith, Wadhams and many other scientists, is that it will almost certainly go ice-free by no later than 2025 and probably sooner. And that is when the era of SHTF is likely to begin in earnest. 

Not familiar with SHTF? It's a prepper term for which a google search yields five million results.


My first blog on the GRATOLA vision for sustainability heads the list below. Since then, I have posted more than forty additional pieces on that topic since 9-21-18 and you can find all of them at this page on my website . Here are a few of them:
As always, I will continue to focus on this crucial topic - in my research, my writing and my speaking.   

As for speaking, I continue to search for mainstream audiences who may have an interest in learning more about a realistically hopeful vision for our future - and their role in making that vision come true.

As such, I will travel anywhere for an opportunity to speak to one or more groups in each city that I visit. I only ask for travel expense reimbursement and a modest honorarium.

Recently scheduled: A  VegFest in Sedona, Arizona in January.

As for the specifics of my topic, I invite you to  contact me directly  about how I might tailor my presentation to best suit an audience you may have in mind: 

Universities,  churches,  think-tanks, legislative bodies, environmental  organizations, alumni associations, leadership clubs,  and/or civic groups who may appreciate a message of reality and hope for our future. 

Please let me hear from you directly regarding any ideas or questions you may have.

What else can you do to help? Three things:

1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are crucially necessary for saving 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. Here are a few more GRATOLA-related blogs that you can share with your most powerful friends, leaders, journalists and movie producers.

Click here for links  to all blogs and SOS Memos since 2016

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:

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, at a lakeside health conference in  South Haven, Michigan, in Buffalo, NY, at the University of Scranton and at the Dr.  Joel Fuhrman  Golden Gate Health Getaway  in California near the Silicon Valley. 

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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