The fact that we caused it.
Sounds crazy, right? But bear with me for a minute as I give credit for inspiring that title to David Wallace-Wells, the author of a #1 best-selling 2019 book,
The Uninhabitable Earth.
In the first section,
, he writes:
That we know global warming is our own doing should be a comfort, not a cause for despair, however incomprehensibly large and complicated we find the processes that have brought it into being; that we know we are, ourselves, responsible for all of its punishing effects should be empowering, and not just perversely.
Global warming is, after all, a human invention. And the flip side of our real-time guilt is that we remain in command. No matter how out-of-control the climate system seems, with its roiling typhoons, unprecedented famines and heat waves, refugee crises and climate conflicts--we are all its authors. And still writing.
He goes on to say that some among us are "more prolific authors" of climate change than others, but that we've all been a part of what brought us to this crossroads and "now we all share the responsibility to write the next act." How true. He goes on to say:
Each of us imposes some suffering on our future selves every time we flip on a light switch, buy a plane ticket, or fail to vote. Now we all share a responsibility to write the next act.
We found a way to engineer devastation, and we can find a way to engineer our way out of it, or rather, engineer our way toward a degraded muddle, but one that nevertheless extend forward the promise of new generations finding their own way forward, perhaps toward some brighter environmental future.
The good news about all of the above is that we can now look on the bright side of a disaster that we all created. Just think how bad we would feel if it were proven that humans had nothing to do with causing the real disaster that we know as climate change.
What if it really were just Mother Nature doing her thing? If that were the case, it would be near impossible for us to even conceive that we mortals could reverse a monumental disaster that nature created on her own.
Needed: Global Cooperation. Given the crisis that we all had a part in creating, what we now need is genuine global cooperation if we're going to have a chance of coping with humanity's greatest challenge ever. As for cooperation, I turn to Wallace-Wells for one more quote:
If you had to invent a threat grand enough, and global enough, to plausibly conjure into being a system of true international cooperation, climate change would be it; the threat everywhere, and overwhelming, and total.
The Bottom Line. Although it should be "comforting" that we humans might be able to resolve a crisis that we created, dealing with that crisis must be a truly unified global effort unlike anything the world has ever seen. And that seems very unlikely to happen.
It is obvious that elected officials, or autocrats, throughout the world are not up to the monumental task of leading all of humanity toward a way of life that can co-exist in harmony with nature.
We all know that true international cooperation is not happening. And it's not even close. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being maximum cooperation, I figure that we're still in the very low single digits and, of late, moving even lower.
For true global cooperation, maybe we need a coalition of power that is beholden only to their family, their conscience and their wealth. Maybe something like a...
A coalition of power and influence
After all, the world's wealthiest people are the ones who have the most to lose if our civilization comes to an end - and there are thousands of them. According to Wikipedia, there are currently over 2,000 billionaires in the world.
That said, what do you think would happen if the wealthiest and most respected on that list got organized and began demanding, promoting, and funding, a globally-coordinated effort to raise awareness, define the gravity of the situation and galvanize the broad support necessary to truly fight climate like the existential threat that it is?
I'm not sure what would happen. And I'm not confident that we will ever see such a coalition develop.
But that doesn't stop me from "imagineering" it as a first step toward a viable global solution.
So, in next week's SOS Memo, I will describe a possible scenario in the United States wherein eight of the world's wealthiest, best-known and/or most-respected billionaires band together to begin developing a vision of sustainability aimed at transforming our civilization into one that will be allowed to co-exist indefinitely with nature.
That said, I will continue to focus on all of the above - in my research, my writing and my speaking.
As for speaking,
I am still looking for mainstream audiences who may have an interest in learning more about a realistically hopeful vision for our future.
As such, I will travel anywhere for an opportunity to speak to one or more groups in each city that I visit. I only ask for travel expenses and a modest honorarium.
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:
churches, think-tanks, legislative bodies, environmental
organizations, alumni associations, leadership clubs,
and/or civic groups who may appreciate a message of reality and hope for our future.
Or maybe we'll see you at the world's first ever Plant Based EXPO next month. 4Leaf Global has a table and will be administering 4Leaf Surveys for free to the public. Click on this image for more info:
Finally, the Weekly Climate Updates
This past week saw new records in both sea ice extent in the Arctic and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere as measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii.
1. Weekly Arctic Update. As of yesterday, the Arctic sea ice extent was 921,000 square kilometers below 2012 on the same date. That's like a new area of heat-absorbing blue ocean that is well over twice the size of California. In September of 2012, sea ice extent set an all-time record low that still stands by a large margin over all other years.
2. Weekly CO2 ppm Update. This week featured five new record-setting daily average readings above 415, setting new records several times this week. The current record is 415.5, which was set on 5-13-19. Remember that 350 ppm is considered the upper limit of the safe range.
What else can you do? 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 to 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.
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC
(now contains 5-minute video of me speaking in Tucson)
In the past 12 months, I have spoken at a
Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth
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