BSB #80 Revisiting "TEN BILLION"

My Speech on Sustainability in El Paso
by J. Morris Hicks

During my flight to Texas last weekend, I read (for about the 10th time) the 2013 book,  TEN BILLION, by Dr. Stephen Emmott. About a one-hour read, this book (on my iPad) always helps to get me "fired up" about my favorite topic--SUSTAINABILITY.
As I told my lively audience at the winter dinner of the Vegetarian Society of El Paso, anyone who is interested in grasping the "big picture" about the alarming impact of our wasteful Western lifestyle on the future of our ecosystem and our civilization must read Dr. Emmott's book.

Who is Dr. Emmott? He is a scientist in the UK who heads up Computational Science at Microsoft, where he manages a team of researchers who are constantly investigating global trends that affect our future. After meeting with him in October of 2013 in London, I concluded that, regarding sustainability, he may be the single most informed person on the planet. He demonstrated that knowledge throughout the book  TEN BILLION, and closed with a terrifying conclusion: 

As a scientist, what do I think about our current situation? Science is essentially organized skepticism. I spend my life trying to prove my work wrong or look for alternative explanations for my results. I hope I'm wrong. But the science points to my not being wrong.

We urgently need to do--and I mean actually do something radical to avert a global catastrophe. But I don't think we will. I think we're f_ _ _ _ _.

Those last four words of the book got my attention and, during my meeting with him in 2013, I asked, "If we could convince the world's two billion wealthiest people to replace 75% of their meat, dairy, egg, & fish (MDEF) calories with plant-based alternatives, do you think that our civilization might have a chance of surviving--and might that new conclusion influence you to revise the last four words of your book to something a little more optimistic?"

He replied that he would need to do a great deal of study and analysis to properly answer that question, but did state emphatically that such a deliberate move away from eating animal-based foods would have an incredibly positive impact on our environment--and on our future as a species.

You may wonder why his book is not a best-seller and why it is only rated 4 stars on Amazon. It's because most people don't like books about "bad news." I call it a book for leaders. That's because, in order to solve any problem, leaders need to know all of the facts about that problem--the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Below, I have provided three links: two blogs and my El Paso presentation: 

2013 blog I wrote about Stephen Emmott

2014 blog about the most important topic in the history of humanity 

An online copy of my 62-slide presentation in El Paso this past weekend

Be well, 

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC
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