Thirty years ago today
(on 5-31-90) I met the great quality guru,
W. Edwards Deming, PhD
, following a lecture he had delivered at George Washington University in DC - having ridden Amtrak down there with a member of my staff at The Ralph Lauren Corporation in New York.
What made that day so memorable was that Deming scolded me, directly - in public, after discovering that I was not that familiar with the primary focus of his lecture: "Optimization of a System."
The details of that scolding
can be found at this link
. It was somewhat embarrassing at the time, but over the years, it has become one of my most cherished memories.
After his flare-up that day, he collected himself and carefully wrote the following advice on the document that I had asked him to sign:
"Keep on learning, study optimization of a system.
--W. Edwards Deming."
That document (related to my work at Polo) was later framed and has been a priceless fixture in my office for many years.
Dr. Deming was 89 when I met him and this may have been his last public lecture. He passed away in December of 1993.
The Lovelock connection. When Dr. Deming and I met in May of 1990, Dr. James Lovelock was 70 years old. He was living in England and had put forth his
Hypothesis a decade earlier. Named after the Greek Goddess of the Earth,
is based on viewing the entire Earth as one, synergistic, self regulating, complex system of life. Since then, his theory has become widely accepted and embraced throughout the world's scientific community. Sadly, he and Dr. Deming never had the chance to collaborate on the most important topic in the history of humanity - what we must do to survive and thrive well beyond the end of this century.
Since he formulated his
Gaia theory over forty years ago, he has often spoken about how we Homo sapiens fail to fit into that complex, self-regulating system. In short, we in the developed world have stepped completely outside that
system - as our collective actions are now working at odds with the crucial system of survival known as
And that is a huge problem. Dr. Lovelock, still alive and well at 100, explains in this 3-minute video clip (from a 2010 BBC documentary) what happens to organisms that work at odds with the natural biosphere that gives us life. He explains:
If he Earth improves because of our presence, then we will flourish. If it does not, then we will die off.
|James Lovelock on the end of Civilization
Does anyone really believe that Earth's biosphere is actually improving because of our presence? Dr. Lovelock certainly does not. In this 3-minute video, he essentially describes the end of civilization and perhaps the end of humanity. Other highly-regarded scientists, like Jacques Cousteau and E.O. Willson have predicted a similar fate for our favorite species.
A total of eleven "big picture" scientists are featured in Chapter Four of our book. Their consensus view is that we are in big trouble.
Dr. Deming is featured in Chapter Nine, which is entitled: Crucial Importance of Systemic Change.
Why should you
read our book, OUTCRY
? Because the world needs to hear this story - a powerful tale that can be understood by the average 11th grader. Here are three reasons why you should read this book and encourage others to do the same.
To our knowledge, this is the only book in the world that builds on the wisdom of Deming and Lovelock to outline the general steps that we must take, to maximize our chances of surviving and thriving indefinitely on this planet.
Reason #2. The more people who hear this story, the greater will be our chances for surviving as a species. How so? Because, if enough people are enlightened about what is happening to our planet, it could well spark a global conversation about the most important topic in the history of humanity - the prevention of our demise as a species. Extremely important topic, right? Do you know anyone, anywhere who is actively
talking about it?
Learn why the majority of the other ten "big picture" scientists (In Chapter 4) agree that we're not likely to survive as a species much beyond 2100. But, more importantly, read Outcry to understand how we can work together to better leverage four phenomena that could help to promote our longterm survival:
artificial intelligence, sweeping systemic change in the way we live, the singular importance of our global feeding model and the biggest
game changer of all
- the desperately needed emergence of competent leadership.
The Bottom Line.
We cover all of the above in our book and, if it is read by enough people, we feel, perhaps naively so, that
could be one of many
that will trigger a global
that results in a movement. And, just maybe, such a
could ultimately save our civilization.
We fear that getting quickly back to "business as usual" after Covid-19 will not serve humanity well in the long term. We know that huge changes in the way we interact with
Gaia are necessary for our survival. Hopefully, we won't blow this rare opportunity that the Coronavirus has handed us - the opportunity to examine and urgently replace the grossly unsustainable manner in which we are living.
Although the consensus conclusions of those scientists about our demise may prove to be correct, we simply must do all that we can to prove them wrong - for the billions of innocent children in the world.
What can you do?
Buy the book
for seven bucks, read the book, encourage others to read it. Host book parties to discuss with people you respect. Ask me to join your discussions via Zoom. 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.
Our book, for a host of environmental reasons, is only available as an e-book on Amazon. As such, it also contains hyperlinks to hundreds of references and videos, including that 3-minute Lovelock video mentioned earlier.
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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