The purpose of this SOS Memo is to JOLT thoughtful people into coming to grips with the runaway incivility of what we call civilization. A news story last week provided an opportunity to get that jolting process started.
That story, which was reported by CNN, the NY Times and other media -- was a heartbreaking saga about 5,867 beef cows
on their way from New Zealand to to a meat factory in China.
But their transport ship sank in a storm. As a result, their mass drowning deaths were likely far more horrific than the routine slaughter method of a bullet to the head that they would have experienced had their ship, shown below, arrived safely in China.
In a similar incident in November of 2019
, some 14,600 sheep met their deaths when their transport ship capsized on its way from Romania to Saudi Arabia. Here's an image of the type of conditions those poor animals endured on their journey to the slaughterhouse.
In a society that prides itself on its love for animals, how could anyone think that this is normal, civil or moral?
These are just two examples of millions of atrocities that take place every year on our planet -- so that we humans can enjoy a harmful, cruel, wasteful and unsustainable lifestyle for maybe another fifty years or so.
We make the case in our book for the urgent need to totally reinvent our civilization. Willy-nilly, uncoordinated efforts to make our horribly wasteful and harmful lifestyles greener are simply not going to suffice. Worse still, those well-intentioned actions may promote complacency among the populace -- by suggesting that we are doing all that we can to promote the overall health of the biosphere that keeps us alive. We definitely are not. And it's not even close.
When I first saw the story about those poor cows and then the one about the sheep, I couldn't help but think about the absolute mess we have made of our home planet for the last century -- a mere blink of the eye in geological time. I was also reminded of the harsh message to us from Mother Nature that comprises the foreword of Outcry.
Below is the complete text of what she wrote. Of course, she didn't actually write it -- but rather came to me in a dream in mid-2019 and told me what to write. It was also that dream that inspired me to write Outcry.
Notice that her message is addressed only to those humans who live in the "developed" or "civilized" nations. She explains why in the first paragraph.
Foreword to Outcry by Mother Nature
This message is addressed to the billions of humans who reside in the developed nations of planet Earth.
You may wonder why I am not sending this message to all humans who live here. It's because you in the developed world are the ones who have done most of the disruption of my efforts to sustain you -- while the remaining three or four billion people have done most of the suffering as a result of your reckless behavior.
A little background. Our planet became part of the Milky Way Galaxy over four billion years ago and the first forms of life emerged here a few hundred million years later. During those four billion years of life on our planet, millions of species of plant, bird, insect, fish, reptile and mammal have come and gone.
And it seems like only yesterday that you humans arrived -- in fact, it has been about 300,000 years -- a mere blink of the eye in geological time. So, let's put your "Johnny-come-lately" status in perspective.
Imagine that all of the last four billion years (of life on Earth) could be crammed into just one year. What portion of that single imagined year has your species been a part of Earth's biodiversity?
Amazingly, you humans emerged as a species in just the last thirty-nine minutes of the last hour of that imagined year. Yet in just those few short moments, what a mess you have made -- running roughshod over millions of other species in nature -- while stealing their natural habitat to establish your residences, farms, factories, shopping centers, warehouses, theme parks, bridges, tunnels, airports, golf courses, schools, concert halls, sports arenas, prisons, freeways, zoos, cemeteries, and on and on.
You seem oblivious to the damage you are inflicting as your reckless behavior keeps getting exponentially worse. In just the last two seconds of that imagined year mentioned earlier, your population has exploded eightfold -- going from one billion in the year 1800 to almost eight billion in 2020. And each time your population doubles, your consumption of manufactured goods quadruples -- as more people in the developing world are able to buy lots of mostly unnecessary stuff for the first time.
Sadly, there appears to be no end to your madness as you continue to swell your numbers by well over one million people every week -- while at the same time, you keep squandering my overly-stressed natural resources to maximize your steadily increasing consumption of stuff.
Then, most of that stuff ends up in landfills within a matter of months, adding insult to injury in your abuse of my hospitality.
Just since 2006, when the United Nations issued a huge report, Livestock's Long Shadow, chronicling your unsustainable agricultural practices, you've added over one billion new mouths to feed, caused additional erosion of hundreds of billions of tons of topsoil and destroyed another billion acres of rainforest.
What's the matter with you people? You seem to be intent on destroying every element of the natural world that has preceded you -- leaving me with no other choice but to focus primarily on protecting all of the other natural species with which you share the planet -- the many species that you seem so intent on destroying.
As a result of your failed stewardship of this planet, things are likely to become very painful for you in the near future, and for that, I am terribly sorry. But frankly, I have run out of patience with you and your selfish ways. Quite simply, you've become very problematic tenants who are now in serious danger of being evicted. Consider this your first warning -- yet it could be your last. If you don't get your act together real soon, I am doubtful about your long-term chances.
As you may know, there is a chance that artificial intelligence empowered robotic cyborgs may someday take over the stewardship of this planet since you humans have failed so miserably. Perhaps they could do a much better job than you have done, yet for some reason, the whole idea makes me nervous.
So due to my uneasiness about the cyborgs and despite all of your failures, I am still in your corner and am hoping that you humans will come together, restore order and learn to live in complete harmony with all of nature -- for a long, long time to come.
With tough love, Mom
PS: This book will outline how you can earn your way back into my good graces. It won't be easy, and you will quite possibly fail, but at least you have been warned --and you do still have a chance to make things right. My friends, the authors, will do their best to show you the way in this timely book that was published in an e-book format only -- without killing any of my trees.
The Bottom Line. We are not even remotely close to living in a manner that can be sustained for very much longer. My estimate is that we are living around 10 to 20% as efficiently as we need to live -- if we expect to survive as a species. That said, the way we are living now is going to end up killing all life on Earth if we don't wake up soon.
We're like the lemmings in this image, we sense that something is terribly wrong but few of us are choosing to even talk about it -- much less raise hell about it.
Sign up here for the 11 Days of Global Unity series. Our Outcry video is scheduled for 9-13-20, a day that primarily focuses on the environment.
Please contact me directly if you have any ideas for adding more support for our collective efforts to quickly learn how to live in harmony with nature -- for all the children of the world.
To help jumpstart the essential global conversation that I keep mentioning, I am now offering to conduct Zoom conferences free of charge to groups of almost any size. I look forward to Zooming with you and your group in the near future. Send 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, does not kill any trees 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 and I look forward to the opportunity of tailoring my presentation to best suit an audience you may have in mind:
Universities, churches, book groups, legislative bodies, think-tanks, 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.
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.
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 VegFest
Fort Myers, at vsh.org 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.
Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth
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