SOS #36    J. Morris Hicks    (12-16-19)  
Monkey See. Monkey Do. And Us.

Rarely do I post an SOS Memo focused on a single video. But I am doing so today because if there ever was a video worthy of such focus, it is this  3-minute one by Dr. Peter Carter from COP25. It was posted by Extinction Rebellion (XR) on Saturday, 12-14-19.

I will get to those monkeys later, but first... 

Who is Dr. Carter? He is a climate scientist, founder of the Climate Emergency Institute, has served as an expert reviewer for the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is the  author of the 2017 book pictured below this short video.

As you can see from the image behind him, his remarks were made at the end of the COP25 last week in Madrid.

Watch it. Share it. Raise Hell About it!

Dr Peter Carter, Climate Speaks from COP25 on 12-14-19
Dr Peter Carter, Climate Scientist, from COP25 on 12-14-19

Confession.  While idling away my time on trivial pursuits like watching The Presidents Cup  golf championship over the weekend, I thought about the powerful warning from Dr. Carter in the above video as well as the ongoing inspirational words from Greta Thunberg, who keeps scolding us adults for caring more about silly ball games than the future of our civilization. 

Sad Data re Viewership. As the importance of a topic goes up, the viewership goes down. As such,  Dr. Carter's compelling 3-minute video has been viewed less than 3,000 times since Saturday. 

Meanwhile, the Presidents Cup has drawn an estimated ten million views. And that's nothing compared to World Cup soccer championships which typically draw over three billion viewers.

As one of those ten million watching golf last weekend, I could not get Greta's words out of my mind. And kudos to her as she continues to inspire billions of people, including me, to think more urgently about addressing the most important topic in the history of humanity: our survival as a species. 

And that is exactly why she was named TIME Magazine's Person of the Year last week - her second time to appear on TIME's cover in the last twelve months. Bravo for Greta who will turn 17 during the first week of January.

Now what about those monkeys? So what will it take for humans everywhere to start seriously focusing more on things like climate change, world hunger and human survival instead of watching sports, playing games and gossiping with our friends? 

According to Dr. E.O. Wilson, that won't be easy for us because of the way our species is wired, which goes back millions of years. While writing this piece, I remembered him mentioning the similarity between monkeys and humans in his book, The Meaning of Human Existence so I searched for "monkeys" on the e-copy; instantly finding this quote about the similarities between us and our monkey-cousins :

We are an insatiably curious species; provided the subjects are our personal selves and people we know or would like to know. The behavior goes far back beyond our species in the evolution of the primate family tree. 

It has been observed, for example, that when caged monkeys are allowed to look outside at a variety of other objects, their first choice for attention is other monkeys.

That's it. We can't help ourselves. We're just doing what we were wired to do millions of years ago. There is one big difference between us and the monkeys, however; we do have the ability to  choose  to learn about what is truly most important in this world and we can choose to pursue those things if we genuinely care about the future of our children.

We can also do that while occasionally taking time away from Greta's ultra-serious topics to see what our fellow monkeys in our tribe are doing. I will probably do that a few times during the holidays - especially when my Auburn Tigers are playing football in sunny Florida on New Year's Day. War Eagle! 

I will end this piece with another quote from Dr. Wilson about our own dysfunctionality. From the aforementioned book:

Human beings are not wicked by nature. We have enough intelligence, goodwill, generosity, and enterprise to turn Earth into a paradise both for ourselves and for the biosphere that gave us birth. We can plausibly accomplish that goal, at least be well on the way, by the end of the present century. The problem holding everything up thus far is that Homo sapiens is an innately dysfunctional species...

Our species' dysfunction has produced the hereditary myopia of which we are all uncomfortably familiar. People find it hard to care about other people beyond their own tribe or country, and even then past one or two generations. It is harder still to be concerned about animal species; except for dogs, horses, and others of the very few we have domesticated to be our servile companions.

The Bottom Line. Our civilization is in big trouble, yet we hear next to nothing on the mainstream news about what we must do to prevent the global holocaust that all of the world's children are facing if we don't get deadly serious about reinventing practically every element of the extremely wasteful and harmful manner in which we are now living. 

Although I keep writing about a grand envisioned solution that just might be green enough to save us, I keep saying that I am not so  na├»ve as to think that it will ever come to pass as I have envisioned. And I know full well that I could write about such a vision for ten thousand years and not much would come of it. 

BUT, if the ten most of the most recognizable billionaires in the USA started talking about something equally futuristic, the entire world would be talking about it within ten days.

"2020" would be a real good year for those high rollers to get "focused" and weigh in early and often on the most important topic in the history of humanity. I am going to revisit those ten billionaires  later this week.

Two posts in one week? That's right. Based on the steadily escalating bad news about climate change and a bit of inspiration from Greta, I've decided to discontinue my once-a-week schedule for the SOS Memos and to start posting them as often as I have something to say.

You will see the next one on Thursday.

Season's Greetings 
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks

PS: there's still time to buy ultra-green e-book gifts for the holidays. And you won't need wrapping paper or postage to send a $10 book that just might help to motivate more people to work on helping to save humanity. Just click the title link to buy these books for people on your list. In so doing, you will be playing a big role in getting that long overdue conversation about reinventing our civilization started. For more info on each book, just visit last week's SOS Memo.
  • James Lovelock, Rough Ride to the Future, What are our chances to survive? 2015 e-book for $9.99
  • James Lovelock, Novacene, A way forward with the help of artificial intelligence. 2019 e-book for $12.99
  • E.O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence, A "big picture" understanding of humanity. 2014, for $8.74
  • E.O. Wilson, Half-Earth, Our Planet's Fight for Life, He does his best to save humanity. 2016 e-book, $9.40
  • T. Colin Campbell, The China Study, Powerful 2005 book on the incredible power of food. E-book, $9.99
  • T. Colin Campbell, WHOLE, Powerful 2013 book that challenges all of health care. E-book for $10.99
  • Peter Wadhams, Farewell to Ice, The bottom line on the rapidly melting Arctic. 2017 E-book for $9.99
  • Guy McPherson, conservation biologist, Only Love Remains, dire predictions, e-book for $8.99 
  • Stephen Emmott, His 2013 book, TEN BILLION, A one-hour read you'll never forget, E-book for $11.99
  • David Wallace-Wells, rare mainstream sustainability author of The Uninhabitable Earth, E-book for $13.99

A final comment about books. To see the latest on the 2020 book, OUTCRY, that I am now writing, click here.

As always, here are a few links to earlier SOS Memos that I have written on the all-important topic of totally reinventing the way we live.  You can find all of my SOS Memos at this link Here are a few of them:

FYI, I need more speaking engagements in 2020. 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 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. 
My first blog on the crucial topic of totally reinventing our civilization was  posted 9-21-18 and  heads the list above. It was all about GRATOLA, an acronym that refers to the "green region" corridor running from Atlanta to Los Angeles.

Since then, I have posted more than forty additional pieces on that topic, including  this one on 9-4-19  in which I introduced the GBN (Great Big Northern) - one 25-mile wide corridor along the USA's northernmost border that would theoretically be capable of sustainably housing ALL 300+ million Americans in an area the size of Oregon.

As always, I will continue to focus on this crucial topic - in my research, my writing and my speaking.   

Recently scheduled talks: A  VegFest in Sedona, Arizona in January and at Camp Plant-Stock in Black Mountain, NC, in August of 2020.

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  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 and at the Dr.  Joel Fuhrman  Golden Gate Health Getaway  in California near the Silicon Valley. 

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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