BSB #82 Ongoing Quest for Sustainability

Refining my Sustainability Message
by J. Morris Hicks

After studying the impact of our food choices on so many important things, for so long, I concluded in 2009 that our food choices in the 21st century was the most important topic in the history of humanity. That's because I had long believed that our future as a species was riding on those choices. For a number of reasons, I am now updating my thinking on this crucial topic. 

Background. Back in 2009, two environmental specialists at the World Bank, Goodland and Anhang, concluded that the raising of livestock was the leading driver of climate change. They estimated that the production cycle of nearly 100 billion animals per year was generating "at least 51%" of all human induced greenhouse gases. In other words, more than all other drivers of climate change--combined. 

Based largely on my strong belief that they were right, I concluded that if we could eliminate 75% of the world's consumption of animal products that we just might buy ourselves enough time to resolve the more complicated first three challenges standing in the way of our longterm sustainability as a species:

During the past week, I have revised my thinking in that I no longer believe that eliminating animal based foods will "buy us enough time" to resolve other huge problems like climate change. What led me to revise my thinking? Three things:
  • The world consumption of animal-based foods continues to skyrocket every year.
  • Likewise, the world's use of fossil fuel continues to steadily climb as CO2 ppm concentration in the atmosphere continues to rise well above 400 ppm--far above the "safe" limit of 350.
  • With predictions of an "ice free" Arctic as early as the summer of 2017, we may have already passed the climate change tipping point. 

What to do? I posted a lengthy blog yesterday describing how I have changed my primary message. The big change is that I now believe that we need much more than a massive shift to plant-based eating for humans. We also need urgent action from world leaders to develop and execute a "geo-engineering" plan to physically remove vast quantities of CO2 that are in our atmosphere now. 

Although the odds are against either one of those happening, I will continue to do all that I can to help raise the odds that they do. Take a look at yesterday's "full size" blogpost and let me know what you think. Like the title says...

Be well, 

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

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