How green is green enough? It's got to be at least a million times greener than what I witnessed last week.
Last week. That's when I flew from NYC to Phoenix to speak at a health & sustainability conference in Sedona. And since I don't fly very often these days, it was as if the grossly unsustainable reality of our highly wasteful systems of transportation in this country
were shouting at me
about the desperate need for a far better and greener way of living and traveling in this country.
This is one of my presentation slides from last week; it makes the case for how a "big picture" plan like the
Great Big Northern (GBN)
could transform our entire lives.
The problem is that there appears to be no "conversation" anywhere in the world about designing a far more efficient system. Quite the contrary.
Here's a recent quote
from the Director General of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA):
"People want to fly. Demand for air travel over the next two decades is set to double. Enabling people and nations to trade, explore, and share the benefits of innovation and economic prosperity makes our world a better place."
I am sorry, but all that flying
does NOT make our world a better place. When people fly, here's their stressful drill that I observed last week:
- They drive their own vehicle to the airport, where they pay $15 to $20/day to park. (Parking lot photo above)
- They then ride in a gasoline-powered shuttle to the terminal building, arriving two hours before their flight.
- 45-minutes before departure, they're herded like cattle through TSA screening and finally to their gate where they sit and wait for their zone to be called.
- They are then packed into a tightly-cramped jet aircraft where most remain glued to their screens or devices, watching movies, for the next two to six hours. No one even looks out the windows anymore.
- When they finally arrive at their destination, they are packed into a large gasoline-powered bus where they ride for 15 or 20 minutes to the rental car facility, a remote location with a capacity for 5600 parked cars.
- They then wait patiently in line at the rental car center for a half hour (or more) until the sales folks try to talk them up to a larger, more-expensive, less-efficient, vehicle.
- In my case, last week, I finally started to make my way through the horrendous traffic on I-17 north, where I witnessed four traffic accidents before getting safely away from the Friday holiday traffic north of Phoenix.
- After two to three days driving, touring and eating, those thousands of people will drive back to PHX on Monday and go through the whole drill again in reverse.
This entire mess is grossly unsustainable, yet our
grow-at-all-cost global economy is describing this process as "making the world a better place" - while it makes plans to double the size of this nightmare in just 20 years.
Not So Fast
! Let's step back and envision (imagine) how my trip could have been if it were 2050 and the GBN was the new home for half of all Americans.
Let's imagine how that trip will be if you were living near the eastern end of the GBN corridor and the conference was taking place closer to Seattle. It is now 2050 and...
- My middle-aged grandson is living on the fifth floor of a mid-rise multi-use building that houses residences, places to eat, exercise and entertainment facilities.
- He awakes at his normal time of 0600 and goes through his daily routine of exercise, shower and breakfast.
- At 0730, he takes the electric shuttle five miles to the center of the GBN corridor where he enters the fabulous HyperLoop transportation complex.
- Having registered his trip on his electronic device 24-hours in advance, he knows that he will have a seat on the train. And no need for TSA screening, since there are no weapons of any kind allowed in the entire GBN (25 miles wide and 3,000 miles long).
- So, he relaxes with a cup of coffee and then boards the next express train heading west - at speeds up to 760 mph - just above ground level. Imagine the vistas! And guess what, no one is glued to their screens anymore.
- He gets off the train in Chicago and has lunch before boarding the westbound train to his destination near Seattle.
- He arrives in time to take a swim at the facility where he's staying and still has plenty of time to walk to the conference center for the welcome reception at 6 pm.
- He spends one night in the state of Washington and travels back to Chicago the next afternoon, spending one night there before traveling back to his home near Boston the next morning.
Okay, I know what you're thinking. What happens to the beautiful places like Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad and Crater Lake where we used to visit? They're still there, but there are no huge airports and hundreds of acres of rental cars.
This is how it looked like when I drove to PHX on Monday
Now (in 2050), thanks to a revolutionary new age of totally sustainable living on a grand scale, we can still go to those wonderful places. It's kind of like a case of "having our cake and eating it too." Check out how we will travel there in the future.
Obviously, there are futurists out there who are already thinking about these green solutions. How else would I be able to find all these images in less than two minutes?
A totally sustainable way to "vacation"
Now, what about that "Conversation?"
SOS Memo #6
in May of 2019 and
again a few weeks ago
, I talked about what would happen if a dream team of well-known American billionaires got together to brainstorm the possibility of reinventing the way we all live in the USA.
To be clear, I have no idea if any of those ten billionaires have any interest in promoting a totally green civilization like the one I have described above. But what if they did?
What if they got together and just talked about it? And what if a one-hour video of that conversation was featured on all the major networks around the world?
Almost everyone on the planet would be talking about it in just a matter of days. And these ten people wouldn't even have to spend any of their money to get that
urgently needed conversation started.
All they need to do is tell the world that the way we are living now, coupled with
what we're doing with
infrastructure renewal around the world
will NOT have a whisper of a prayer of saving our civilization.
We've got to start over from scratch!
The Bottom Line. After thinking about all of the above, you have to admit that actually living in such a place might turn out to be pretty good. Sure, there will be a transitional period when many people will resist giving up their favorite foods, exotic vacations, multiple homes and other non-sustainable indulgences.
But when you look at the big picture regarding our future on this planet, most of us will agree with the
absolute necessity of planning and building the greenest possible way to live.
As we urgently go about doing just that, keep these words in mind from the slide at the beginning of this post:
We're only going to get one chance to get this right - so we had best err on the side of learning to live even "greener" than Mother Nature demands.
All the children of the world deserve nothing less!
PS: You may be wondering how you can help promote the never-ending search for a way to save our species. You can get me in front of some audiences who you think might be ready to hear about the long-overdue, global "conversation" about our survival.
As always, I am simply trying to spark the 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.
To see the latest on our 2020 book, OUTCRY, now being written, scroll to the bottom of my home page at:
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 will create a custom presentation for each audience and I only ask for travel expense reimbursement and a modest honorarium.
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.
: I've got lots of open dates on my calendar as my next scheduled talk is
at Camp Plant-Stock in Black Mountain, NC, in August.
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
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.
Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth
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