SOS #85    J. Morris Hicks    (12-22-20)  
Donkeys, Spaceships & Christmas


Yes, I believe that there was a donkey in that stable on the night when Jesus Christ was born, but that is not the donkey I am talking about today. 

A little background. Dr. John McDougall read one of my recent SOS Memos and then reached out -- inviting me to speak at the McDougall Environment Conference in January. I will let you know the exact date/time -- or you may be able to find it sooner at drmcdougall.com

John McDougall, who I have known for over fifteen years, asked me to prepare a highly-focused, 20-minute talk that was helpful, passionate and entertaining. Inspired by that last word, here is a pictorial introduction of my planned talk that is currently a work-in-progress: 


My first exposure to "systems" was at Auburn University, where I earned a BS in Industrial Engineering. I went on to earn an MBA at the University of Hawaii, while serving as a junior officer at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Honolulu.


Coincidently, in those beautiful islands, John McDougall and I were like two ships passing in the night. In September of 1971, I left the island of Oahu to start my business career with Alcoa in Pittsburgh -- just a few months before John and Mary McDougall arrived in Honolulu, making Hawaii their new home. 

Notice the UH image below, the school where I earned my MBA, courtesy of the Coast Guard -- a nice way for a man to serve his country overseas during the Vietnam War.

This slide introduces my first two simple, yet crucial, rules of "systems" engineering. 


Now, many years later, I draw upon my lengthy business career in systems consulting, process improvement and senior executive management as I strive to envision how we humans can figure out a way to survive and thrive indefinitely on this marvelous planet we call Earth.

Again, my own definition of the second rule of "systems" engineering. 

Sometimes you must start from scratch and replace the entire system.


With that conclusion in mind, in the slide below, we take a look at a few of our "systems" of living on this planet -- representing some of our bad habits that Mother Nature will simply not tolerate for much longer. 


The first "system" in the above slide is the one for feeding ourselves. That is the system where my journey toward the overall study of sustainable living began -- in 2002.

For me, the big revelation was what I call The Protein Myth, a term that I coined just before publishing my first book, Healthy Eating, Healthy World in 2011. 

It was that blinding flash of the obvious conclusion about the crucial importance of our food choices that paved the way for my professional focus since then. Not only is it crucial for our health -- more importantly, it is crucial for our longterm survival as a species. 

While I discuss many of our unsustainable systems of living
in Outcry, and in my upcoming McDougall presentation, -- it is our food choices that are integral to the ONLY major system that we as individuals can, independently, change quickly.

The Protein Myth, below, describes exactly why our food choices are so crucially important. 


The Bottom Line. There are many elements of our highly civilized way of living that will never be compatible with the biosphere that gives us life. The slide below defines the monumental scope of the task before us. 


Can we get it done? Yes, I believe that we have the intelligence, knowledge, skills, and tools to accomplish almost anything. But do we have the leadership with enough courage to tackle this most important task in the history of humanity?

My prayer this Christmas is that 2021 will be the year when exceptional leaders present themselves to the world stage as they set this all-important movement in motion. 


Last minute gift idea. For a "super green" holiday gift, I recommend that you give your loved ones the gift of health by referring them to the Free McDougall Program. 

Once there, they will find a plethora of options that will help them take charge of their health -- while simultaneously doing some wonderful things for the environment.

As for the online McDougall Health & Sustainability Seminar coming up in January, other speakers include Brenda Davis, Sailesh Rao, William Ripple, and John McDougall. I will keep you posted on this event.

Another gift idea. Why not send an e-copy of Outcry to a few special friends who you think might have the courage to spread the word? Click here for the Outcry preview that includes the complete foreword by Mother Nature.

One more holiday gift to you -- two environmentally-focused chapters from the 4Leaf Guide that I wrote with Dr. Kerry Graff in 2015. Feel free to re-gift these short (3-minutes each) chapters to friends & family.



Finally, in case you're interested, here is a link to that SOS Memo mentioned earlier that was posted in July of 2019. It was one of my most popular memos ever: Donkeys, Spaceships and Survival.

Season's Greetings from 
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks

PS: You can join my mailing list and/or find all of my previous postings by visiting the SOS Memos page on my website.

My first blog on the crucial topic of totally reinventing our civilization was posted 9-21-18 and heads the list below. It was all about GRATOLA, an acronym that refers to a "green region" corridor running from Atlanta to Los Angeles. 

Since then, I have posted almost 100 additional pieces on that topic, including this one on 9-4-19 in which I introduced the GBN (Great Big Northern) -- one 25-mile wide corridor along the USA's northernmost border that would theoretically be capable of sustainably housing ALL 300+ million Americans in an area the size of Oregon.

You can find all of my SOS Memos 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. 

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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