BSB 169     J. Morris Hicks     (10-5-18) 
Remedy for Complacency - an EMERGENCY!
In last week's BSB, I mentioned the need for a major emergency to jolt us into urgently addressing climate change and other sustainability issues NOW.

Along those lines,  Dr. Emmott, visiting physics professor at the University of Oxford and Director of Computational Science at Microsoft in the UK, described a hypothetical emergency in his 2013 book TEN BILLION:

If we discovered tomorrow that there was an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, and--because physics is a fairly simple science--we were able to calculate that it was going to hit Earth on June 3, 2072, and we knew that its impact was going to wipe out 70 percent of all life on Earth, governments worldwide would marshal the entire planet into unprecedented action. 

Every scientist, engineer, university, and business would be enlisted: half to find a way of stopping it, the other half to find a way for our species to survive and rebuild if the first option were unsuccessful.

What about now? In the absence of a visible "asteroid" type of emergency that captures the attention of the entire world, virtually no meaningful action is being taken by world leaders to resolve our ever worsening sustainability crisis. Even though, as I see it...

Our current sustainability crisis is a far greater threat 
t o our survival than a single rogue asteroid.  

As for resolving our numerous sustainability issues, I am convinced that we must totally re-invent the way we live. Minor, uncoordinated improvements, regardless of the good intentions of the people initiating those improvements - will sadly be a case of too little, too late. 

No more bandaids. Some situations demand that we start over and do some creative "imagineering" -- because trying to gradually tweak our current way of living into something that can work in harmony with nature would be like trying to...

Make a solar-powered car out of a donkey

Not gonna happen. We must have a master plan for tackling all elements of our unsustainable lifestyle simultaneously: fossil fuels, overpopulation, perpetual growth, eating animals and the "rapacious" consumption of resources. Yet there is no indication that any such "master plan" is even being discussed. 

That's why we need an EMERGENCY!

Toward the end of Emmott's book, he compared today's sustainability crisis with his asteroid analogy, stating:

We are in almost precisely that situation now, except that there isn't a specific date and there isn't an asteroid.
As I said at the beginning, we can rightly call the situation we're in an unprecedented emergency.

The problem is us.

His book, a one-hour read, ends with this paragraph:

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 fucked.

Hopefully, Dr. Emmott is wrong about that last sentence. To be sure, I've been trying to prove him wrong ever since I read his book five years ago. 

Full disclosure. In October of 2013, I met with Dr. Emmott in London and we discussed what an urgent global shift away from eating animals might do for our chances to save our civilization. 

He commented that although it would be a "huge step in the right direction," he didn't think that a radical dietary shift  alone would be enough to save us. I agree. 

We're facing serious, complex issues. The Earth can support, indefinitely, only about one billion people -- as we are currently living in the USA. Yet, as we approach the eight billion mark, our population is still growing rapidly, we're consuming way too much stuff, burning way too many fossil fuels and eating the wrong food for our species.

Now that doesn't mean that we are incapable of resolving all of those complex issues. It just means that we need a visible emergency that is serious enough to jolt us into realizing that those complex, civilization-threatening issues are real.

Needed emergency? A genuine emergency that might jolt us into action is the one that's brewing right now in south Florida. Most climate scientists know that the Miami area will be underwater someday, but no one knows exactly when.

Someday, Mother Nature will Reclaim this Real Estate

But a sudden panic in the south Florida high end real estate market could trigger a chain reaction around the world. Millions of people would suddenly realize that, someday, many other coastal locations will also be reclaimed by nature and no longer available or suitable for human habitat.

Award-winning journalist and author Dahr Jamail and Stuart Scott talk about that impending south Florida real estate crisis in an 11-minute video included in this recent BSB:

After our world leaders are jolted into coming to grips with the issues we face, some of them may be interested in examining a potentially game-changing idea that I described in a recent blog. That "idea" involves a massive lifestyle re-invention project in the USA that could serve as a model for the rest of the world.

It features an envisioned 2200-mile, ten mile wide, "green" corridor from Atlanta to Los Angeles - a region carefully planned as a highly efficient, beautiful, comfortable and very livable habitat for up to 100 million Americans. 

When that vision is fully deployed in other regions of the USA and abroad, Mother Nature might finally be content with having us humans as long-term "guests" on her planet. Check out the details here: 

Bottom Line.  Many millions of conscientious Earthlings are worried about the environment and are embracing all sorts of ideas and initiatives for making things better. But, admirable as they are, those disparate efforts are not going to get us out of the massive hole we've dug for ourselves.

Colonizing Mars is not the answer. What we need are urgently executed, globally coordinated initiatives aimed at all of the elements of our civilization that are preventing us from living in harmony with nature. 

Maybe that upcoming emergency in South Florida  will grab our attention and get us stared in the right direction.
What can you do? You can circulate this BSB along with the above "creative idea" article with prominent journalists thought leaders and elected officials that you admire. 

I have sent this information to Jeremy Rifkin, a well-connected visionary who knows a thing or two about the kind of "green" global economy that we must have. He also knows that eating animals is not compatible with a viable future for humans.

Maybe you can also contact his office. I found his direct email on his website:

Speaking in NYC on Oct. 17.  Do you have friends in or near New York City? If so, please tell them that I will be delivering a "big picture" presentation (with emphasis on hope) at a venue near Penn Station, beginning at 6:30 pm and including a plant-based, pot-luck dinner. Click here for details

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.
Finally,  here are a few related "Bite-Size Blogs" (BSBs) from the past few weeks: 

Rapacious Consumption of Resources - Fenner  (9-28-18)

Want to see a list of all my BSBs?  Click here.

Be well,

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

I welcome your feedback and/or questions at:

Looking for Opportunities to Speak.  Since 2016, my research, writing and speaking has been focused on the sustainability of our ecosystem and our future as a species. With a primary emphasis on food choices, I call it the "most important topic in the history of humanity." 

After all, what could possibly be more important to humans than the survival of our species?

 (now contains 5-minute video of me speaking in Tucson) 

Speaking Activity:    In 2018 I spoke at a   VegFest  in Fort Myers, FL,  at the  in Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, and at the    College of the Holy Cross  in Worcester, MA. Upcoming talks: On Oct. 17 at   Plant Powered Manhattan --NYC; and in  South Haven, Michigan , November 2-4.

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

Want to see earlier Bite-Size Blogs?  Click here
If you got this blog from a friend or found it on our website and want to  receive more of these Bite-Size Blogs?  Join Our Mailing List

Want to get started nurturing your own health and the health of our planet? Take our survey at
Click here to learn more about this free online dietary assessment tool.

4Leaf Logo
See what's happening on our social sites