Understanding and Acting Upon what We Know
At any given time, the world's media is almost totally focused on just a handful of stories. Right now, the biggies are racial injustice and the coronavirus - and they probably account for over 75% of all of our news these days.
Important stories to be sure, but they pale in comparison to the biggest story in the history of humanity. That story is all about our almost certain trajectory of unsustainable living that is likely to end with the extinction of our species - possibly before 2100.
But I believe that we have a chance to prevent our own extinction - if we start taking urgent, bold, unprecedented action now.
That is THE
of all our lives. We just don't hear that much about it from the world's media - and we know the reason why.
And hardly anyone in the world is even talking about it. How many people do you know who are?
In 2011, about the time we published our first book, I began referring to myself as a "big picture guy" on my new website at
. The first two letters, hp, are for "healthy planet" and the last three are my initials, jmh. The blue apple at the top of the home page provides a subtle clue as to how our food choices can affect the health of Earth's biosphere.
This morning, I updated the landing page on that website. It is now focused entirely on the most challenging issues we face when it comes to the longterm survival of our species. The remainder of this SOS Memo is essentially the homepage content on my website:
This Site is ALL About Promoting Health
For Ourselves. For Our Planet. For Our Future.
The following topics are featured at
(Saving Our Species). Leveraging the most famous distress signal in the world, I publish these highly-focused memos about once a week. They are aimed at promoting the need to totally reinvent the way we live on this planet. You can access all previous memos and join our mailing list at
The "Protein Myth"
as defined here by yours truly, a myth that is an enormous, yet easily-removable, barrier to sustainable living:
Because of the mistaken, yet ubiquitous, belief that humans actually
need to eat animal protein to be healthy - a host of incredibly powerful, plant-based solutions to the world's most serious health, hunger and sustainability crises never even make it to the table for consideration.
For this reason, I consider the "protein myth" to be the single most serious obstacle to our longterm survival as a species. For if we cannot take the "animal out of the equation" when it comes to feeding ourselves, we will never learn to live in harmony with nature - thereby placing the future of our civilization (and even our species) in serious jeopardy.
World Bank researchers, Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, make that fact abundantly clear in their
2009 paper, Livestock and Climate Change
, in which they conclude that our consumption of animal-based foods is responsible for "at least 51%" of all human induced greenhouse gases. That's more than the total of ALL OTHER sources of those gases - combined.
continues to be one of our most challenging issues. Want to see a dramatic illustration of our population growth for the past two thousand years? This short video is one of the best I have ever seen.
Watch this dynamic 5-minute video
as it traces our population on the world map from a few million to the 9 billion projected by 2050. Each bright yellow dot represents one million humans, and by the year 2000, it looks like the entire world is "on fire" as we add almost 3 billion people during the last five seconds of the video (from 2000 to 2050).
Global Population Update.
Having tripled during my lifetime (75 years), it now stands at 7.79 billion, as of today, 6-9-20, and we're adding a net 220,000 new mouths to feed every single day. Check out the latest
The U.N. projects that we will reach ten billion by 2056.
2020 Situation Assessment.
In addition to our grossly unsustainable food choices and exploding population, we're also adding extremely excessive amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. We passed the maximum "safe" level of 350 ppm of CO2 about forty years ago on our way to the all-time record of 418 parts per million that we reached in
May of 2020.
A key point regarding energy and consumption. As Micheal Moore pointed out in his recent movie, Planet of the Humans, just eliminating fossil fuels will not get the job done. We must also drastically reduce consumption of natural resources. According to my own research, we likely need to reduce all human consumption by over 80% in order to truly live sustainably. For that, we must design a completely new "system" of living for everyone in the developed world.
I believe that it is technically possible to get that done, while still provide an exceptionally satisfying way of life for all of humanity. And that is exactly the process that we describe in our new book, Outcry - a book that will hopefully be read and acted upon by enough people to make a difference.
Because of all of the above, it is no longer a matter of just eating more sustainable foods, installing solar panels, recycling, taking shorter showers, managing thermostats and driving electric cars - we now must totally re-invent the way we live on this planet. In order to give ourselves the best chance of surviving longterm as a species, we must quickly answer the question below and then ungently get on with re-inventing our entire way of life.
The Bottom Line.
We must have systemic changes in the way we live throughout the developed world. Our current "system" of living must be replaced and we, as individuals, are unable to replace the overall
For that, we will need collaborative governments around the world. How can we help jumpstart that collaboration? By doing all we can to spark the much-needed global conversation regarding
the "title" question in the above slide. We all need to urgently start talking about it.
What can you do?
for seven bucks and encourage others to do the same. Host book parties to discuss with people you respect. Ask me to join your discussions via Zoom. Send everyone you know to hpjmh.com. This is not a drill. We are in trouble and we're all in this together. Let's exhaust all possibilities for finding a solution to the dilemma in which we all find ourselves.
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. During the pandemic, let me know if you'd like to set up a Zoom virtual talk with your group.
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 talk is
in Black Mountain, NC, in August, a "live" week-end affair that is now being converted into an online, virtual event.
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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