Dr. James Lovelock, the creator of the
-- that Earth is one giant, self-regulating system -- was born on July 26, 1919, in Letchworth Garden City in the UK.
As a vehicle for wishing this great scientist a very happy 101st birthday, I have dedicated this entire SOS Memo to his legacy -- hoping that one of his colleagues in the scientific community will be kind enough to pass this post along to him and his wife Sandy.
The image below appears in Chapter Four of our book, Outcry -- beginning with the deceased scientists on the top row. The remaining six are listed in order of their current age, beginning with Dr. Lovelock whose 101st birthday is today.
Meet Dr. Lovelock: Actual text from Chapter 4 of Outcry
Of all the scientists appearing on this list, this living legend grasps the relevant, global
more completely than perhaps any other scientist in history. Educated originally as a physician, he went on to study science, became an avid inventor and always insisted on maintaining his independence. As such, throughout his lengthy career, he has been completely free to publish any or all of his own findings and conclusions.
In his later years, he began referring to himself more as an engineer than as a scientist -- a professional title that better suited his efforts to draw upon his varied background and experience to come up with solutions to some of world's most crucial problems. We are striving to follow his lead by envisioning and describing possible solutions to those same problems in this book.
Dr. Lovelock earned his PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. A true independent scientist who has occasionally worked as a contractor for NASA, he is best known for his Gaia Theory, a belief that planet Earth is a self-regulating system. This quotation from a three-minute portion of
a 2010 BBC documentary
(when he was 91) summarizes his sincere feelings about our future as a species.
"When you see the whole picture, it is really fearsomely bad...I fear that not many of us will survive, at best about a billion-possibly a lot less than that.
If the Earth improves as a result of our presence, then we will flourish. If it doesn't, then we will die off."
Dr. Lovelock published
his latest book, Novacene
in 2019 -- a book in which he explains how humanity might best leverage the rapidly developing AI (artificial intelligence) tools and robots that could be so crucial to our survival as a species. He also counsels us to not be afraid when the robotic cyborgs take over, stating the following:
"We need not be afraid because, initially at least, these inorganic beings will need us and the whole organic world to continue to regulate the climate, keeping Earth cool to fend off the heat of the Sun and safeguard us from the worst effects of future catastrophes.
We shall not descend into the kind of war between humans and machines that is so often described in science fiction because we need each other. Gaia [Earth's self-regulating system] will keep the peace."
I cannot imagine a bigger picture view of our home planet than the Gaia Theory that Dr. Lovelock has postulated and shared with the world. Part of his big picture thinking is no doubt a result of his choice to remain a true "independent" scientist for most of his career; therefore, not beholden to the commercial or political whims of most employers.
Finally, I also recommend his 2014 book entitled, A Rough Ride to the Future. In its final chapter, he sums up his conclusions about our long-term prospects:
I suspect that we have little time left to deal with climate change, overpopulation, food and water shortage, and the other adverse consequences of our accelerated way of living.
But how do we choose between the remedies on offer? Do we try sustainable development and renewable energy? Or do we bite the atom and rely on nuclear energy? Some offer to geoengineer the Earth to an ideal composition and climate.
I think we might do worse than have trust in Gaia to regulate the Earth as she has done since life began, and retreat to the best cities that we can design and build with the objective of saving as many of us as we can; and entirely abandon the absurdly hubristic idea of saving the planet."
As he talks about retreating to the best cities that we can design and build with the objective of saving as many of us as we can -- to me, that sounds a lot like the successor civilization that we might be able to create for ourselves -- one that is described in Part Two of this book.
The Bottom Line.
If you watched Dr. Lovelock's 3-minute video referenced above, you have a pretty good idea of what kind of dilemma we may all be facing -- and what kind of future your grandchildren can expect if we don't address this
elephant in the room
now. What can you do?
Get to know what the other eight "big picture" scientists in Outcry have to say about our dilemma in Part One. Then, in Part Two of the book, check out a few ideas for possible solutions to the unprecedented challenges we face as a species. Finally, please do all that you can to help jumpstart the global "conversation" on this most important topic in the history of humanity.
Sadly, very few people are talking about it now.
One way that you can help launch that much-needed conversation is to recommend Outcry to your friends, family and colleagues. What will they learn from reading it?
I will let a
professor emeritus of history
The Ohio State University tell you what he learned. I received this unsolicited endorsement from him earlier this week:
July 22, 2020
I read Outcry and am amazed at the book. The progression of your argument from the overwhelming evidence of the problem, through the conclusions of the nine scientists, to your vision of a sustainable future is most impressive. I've never encountered a book in which the data was even nearly as up to date, and I loved the links to the wealth of online information. And no trees were killed!
Congratulations on your wonderful book. I admire your ability to become such an influential voice on this crucial matter.
Finally, while it may sound self-serving, we sincerely believe that the more people who read
-- the more people will be talking about our sustainability dilemma that we all face together. And as soon as that
becomes widespread enough and loud enough -- we will be well on our way to learning how to live in harmony with nature indefinitely.
PS: To help jumpstart the essential global conversation that I keep mentioning, I am now offering to conduct
conferences free of charge to groups of almost any size.
with you and your group in the near future. Shoot me an email and let's get started.
In preparation for those sessions, I have developed a one-hour format consisting of an opening statement followed by a slide show, discussion and Q&A with the attendees. The sessions that you organize will be far more interesting and productive if attendees have read
Our book, for a host of environmental reasons, is
only available as an e-book on Amazon
. As such, it contains hyperlinks to hundreds of references and videos, is less expensive, does not kill any trees and does not have to be manufactured and delivered.
You can join my mailing list and/or find all of my previous postings by visiting the SOS Memos page on my website.
Here are a few of them where you can see how my vision has evolved since that first "creative idea" on 9-21-18:
As always, I am just trying to spark a global conversation about what is needed. By sharing a vision of what I believe is possible, I hope to influence others to think bigger, better and bolder.
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.
In the months ahead, I will continue to focus on the urgent need for a totally reinvented greening of our civilization - beginning with a model in the USA that could be applied globally over the next fifty years.
: There are lots of open dates on my calendar as my next scheduled public talk is
in Black Mountain, NC, on August 15, a "live" week-end affair that has been converted into an online, virtual event instead.
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:
churches, think-tanks, legislative bodies, environmental
organizations, alumni associations, leadership clubs, PTA's, family, neighbors
and/or civic groups who may appreciate a message of reality and hope for our future.
What else can you do to help?
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.
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.
This SOS Memo series was created by:
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC
In the past two years, I have spoken at a
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
, at Dr.
Golden Gate Health Getaway
and at the
Healthy World Sedona
Health and Sustainability Conference in AZ.
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