SOS #61    J. Morris Hicks    (7-7-20)  
Joyful, Sustainable Living...Or an Epitaph?
Last week's SOS Memo focused on six of our "cultural norms" that could lead to our ultimate demise as a species. In case you missed it, here is a link .

This week, I want to focus on the positive: the cultural norms of the future that could enable us to survive and thrive indefinitely on this planet. It is my firm belief that those future  cultural norms that could save our species will require a vast amount of thinking differently about every single aspect of the way we live.

As we carefully examine all aspects of how we live on this planet, aiming to maximize our chances for longterm survival of our species, we should keep one rule of thumb in mind: Err on the side of living even greener than nature demands. That means when in doubt, take it out.  That's what thinking differently is all about.
The final chapter of Outcry is entitled, "Jolted Into Thinking Differently" and Covid-19 has triggered much of that jolting. Hopefully, we have been jolted enough to start thinking about what our lives might look like in a fully-sustainable society where we can joyfully co-exist with nature.

It may take a century or more to reach the ultimate of living in complete harmony with nature as described below -- but we will never get there if we don't start talking about the overarching parameters soon. How about now? 

Here is how I see it: my own top-ten list for how we might be living in complete harmony with nature by 2100.

Envisioned Sustainable Living by 2100 and Beyond

1. Food, Shelter, Clothing and Healthcare for All. Every human on the planet will have a clean and comfortable place to live, will enjoy a delicious and healthy way of eating, will enjoy the same high level of healthcare and will have access to suitable clothing and home furnishings. 

2. Almost all humans will live in beautiful and enjoyable cities that feature lots of entertainment and career choices for everyone. As such, most people will never wish that they could return to the highly stressful conditions that were endured by their ancestors in the last two centuries.

3. The cities of the future will be designed and built over the next fifty years, a period during which we will figure out just how many humans can live on this planet in a manner that does not interfere with the natural world.

4. Once we figure out how many humans can live comfortably and sustainably on this planet, there will be a fair and just "system" in place for ensuring that the optimal level of human population is maintained indefinitely. As for how many humans this planet can support -- with a dramatically greener way of living -- I suspect that number will turn out being less than half of what we have now.

5. There is another ultra-delicate subject today that will hardly be remembered 100 years from now. That subject is related to how have we have interfered with the natural world for the past 10,000 years as we have "created" hundreds of other species of animals for our food, companionship and entertainment. Those billions of animals that were bred for the sole purpose of serving humanity will be allowed to naturally pass away with dignity.

6.   That will leave Homo sapiens as the ONLY species of animal in the world that is not living in the wild. That said, we must all ensure that the way of life we choose to live in our ultra-green mega cities -- will enable us to inflict a net positive impact on that natural world that sustains us. We must learn to give more than we take. 

7. As for joy in our lives, we will figure out totally new and exciting ways to have fun, interact with each other, and pursue joyful and satisfying careers. With the aid of AI and virtual reality, the possibilities are endless. There will be a transition period during which we will gradually walk away from our previous forms of entertainment -- activities that became popular long before we realized that we had a sustainability crisis and that there would someday be up to ten billion humans living on this planet.

8. On the topic of the future pecking order among humans. If we are to achieve longterm sustainability with the natural world, there will need to be incentives to reward those people and those nations who contribute the most to the health of the biosphere -- and punishments for those who continue to negatively impact the natural world.

9. Obviously, the never-ending-growth economy that we have today will no longer exist. It will be replaced by a way of "keeping score" that will be based on how each individual and each country contributes to the health of our biosphere. It's like the aircraft carrier analogy in Outcry,  with everyone on board sharing the #1 priority of keeping their vessel afloat and out of harm's way. Planet Earth is our vessel and we have seriously compromised her ability to sustain us indefinitely -- yet I choose to believe that we still have time to make things right.

10. World peace and joy, along with meaningful and stress-free lives for all humans, is a theoretically reachable goal and artificial intelligence can help us get there. But there is one segment of today's population that will not be happy with that new set of living arrangements -- and that is the one percent that controls the majority of wealth and power in today's world. It is almost certain that they will not embrace the changes that we are suggesting -- hence, significant systemic change will not begin to happen until the global conversation on this topic is deafening.

The Bottom Line. Collectively, we have the wherewithal to create a virtual paradise on Earth for all humans -- but we are running out of time. 

In our book, Outcry, we described a vision of how we might begin to move from today's highly inefficient way of living to a sustainable nirvana for all humans. That vision was intended to help spark a global conversation regarding the need for sweeping systemic change as we totally re-think our unsustainable cultural norms of the past one hundred years.

Hopefully that essential conversation will begin in earnest soon. Otherwise, what shall we be leaving for our children? Sadly, we might be leaving them an epitaph for the modern human civilization that only lasted four hundred years. 

An Epitaph for a Short-Lived Species*

*In contrast, evidence exists that some indigenous cultures survived 65,000 years or more.

As we explain in our book, we believe that it is possible, using today's technology, to design and build an entirely new human habitat that could totally replace the grossly unsustainable manner in which we are living today. 

Toward that end, our goal is to help spark an urgent global "conversation  on the topic of replacing our civilization -- a process that we believe is essential to our survival. We believe that the more people there are who are "talking about" the situation we are in -- the more likely we are to figure out a way to survive and thrive longterm in harmony with nature.

Consider giving this book to people you care about -- and let's get that conversation started in earnest.

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks

PS: Last week, my friend Tom, who is the father of two young adults, told me that he was reading our book but was reluctant to suggest it to his kids because he wanted them to retain the bright outlook on what lies ahead in their young lives. 

Since then, I have given our conversation some thought and may mention the following to my friend the next time I see him. Or maybe he will see it here in this SOS Memo. 

Tom, fast-forward twenty  years to 2040 when your son, who will be in his mid-forties, comes across the book, Outcry, and notices that it was written by one of his father's friends. 

After reading it, he sits down  with you and says: "Hey Dad, this book was written twenty years ago by a friend of yours and it outlines a theoretically sustainable pathway forward for humanity. I have a question. Why didn't you tell us about this book then, while there still may have been time to do something about preventing the terrible mess that we  are in now?"  


To help jumpstart the essential global conversation that I keep mentioning, I am now offering to conduct  Zoom conferences free of charge to any group of six or more people.  I look  forward  to Zooming 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 Outcry in advance.

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 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. 

Upcoming talks : There are lots of open dates on my calendar as my next scheduled public talk is  at Camp Plant-Stock 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: 

Universities,  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. 

Please let me hear from you directly regarding any ideas or questions you may have.

What else can you do to help? Three things:

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.

Click here for links  to all blogs and SOS Memos since 2016

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

I welcome your feedback and/or questions at:

In the past two years, I have spoken at a  VegFest in
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.  Fuhrman's  Golden Gate Health Getaway  in California and at the Healthy World Sedona Health and Sustainability Conference in AZ.

To schedule a presentation at a venue near you, please contact me at

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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