Rifle Shot at Climate Change
Globally coordinated effort to annihilate its #1 driver
SOS #164 -- J. Morris Hicks -- (6-28-22)
Today, I am writing about an envisioned, well-funded, globally-coordinated NGO/Media organization of the future -- a giant effort that can begin slowly and then become the world's largest promoter of sustainable living in less than two years.

Its singular focus will be the complete worldwide elimination of the single largest driver of climate change. Clearly, what we have been doing is not working when it comes to a steadily heating world. (Click here for data source)

The world just keeps getting hotter!
What is NOT working? For the last forty years, countless scientists, thinkers and global leaders have urged the world's public to make a plethora of lifestyle changes aimed primarily at replacing dirty energy with clean, renewable energy.

Part of our problem is that we talk mostly about greenhouse gas emissions without ever mentioning the global deforestation that has been happening since humans started farming over ten thousand years ago.

Notice in the chart below, the world's land was 57% forested ten thousand years ago. In 2018, it was down to 38% and it is still going down every year.

It took us over 10,000 years to reduce our forest acreage five percentage points from 57% to 52%. Then, in just over 300 years, we have lowered our forest acreage by almost four times as much: from 52% coverage to the 38% of forested land that we have today. Click here for source document.
Do you see what is happening?
We're quickly destroying the lungs of the Earth to grow animals for humans to eat
And no global leaders or world organizations anywhere are even talking about it. Can you read the fine print in the above chart? Here it is for your convenience:

  • Agriculture is by far the largest single driver of deforestation. To bring deforestation to an end, humanity has to find ways to produce more food on less land.
Producing more food on less land? A very simple solution that world leaders are not promoting.

The global solution to climate change is a simple matter of completely eliminating all of animal agriculture and replacing that horribly destructive industry with one that grows only food for humans to eat.

How can that possibly happen? The vast majority of humans in the developed world truly believe that they need to eat lots of animal protein to be healthy. Therefore, that way of eating is wildly popular. Most people love their food and they don't want any world leader or any organization to take it away from them.

Meanwhile, the production processes for all of those animal-based products is destroying nature's ability to keep us humans alive. A few key points:

  • The solution is ultra simple, yet excruciatingly difficult -- as it all depends on rapidly changing the eating habits of billions of people.

  • The good news is that we don't need to get hundreds of governments all over the world to address this existential problem that humanity is facing.

  • We simply must take this Homo sapiens-saving message directly to the billions of citizens who are eating most of the animal-based foods.

  • And we need to repeat that message over and over and over again. People will have trouble at first, but with a constancy of purpose, we can get this done.

Referring back to the beginning of this SOS Memo, today I am
writing about an envisioned, well-funded, globally-focused NGO/Media organization of the future -- a giant global effort that can start slowly and then become the world's largest promoter of sustainable living in less than two years.

Its singular focus will be the complete worldwide elimination of the single largest driver of climate change. Clearly, what we have been doing is not working when it comes to a steadily heating world. (Click here for data source)
Why do we need such a huge organization for promoting a sustainable way of feeding ourselves? Check out this info from an NPR article that was posted four days ago.

At the root of our problem is the ever-changing news cycle that jumps from one emergency to another. Here is a link to that NPR piece along with these conclusions:
  • "What we found suggests that people need to hear the same accurate messages about climate change again and again."
  • "If they only hear it once, it recedes very quickly," Wood said.
  • And that creates a new challenge, he said: "The news media isn't designed to act that way."

In a single paragraph, the authors of that NPR piece described exactly what I have been trying to do with these SOS Memos for many years. I have tried to make sure that we continue to focus on the single most important issue.

That single issue is the food that we eat all over the world. We could focus on hundreds of other drivers of climate change, but if we aren't able to get the masses moving quickly away from animal-based foods, we will not be able to slow climate change enough to save our species.

It's as simple as that!

We also have other problems that are exacerbating the situation. With almost eight billion humans on the planet and over six million being added every month, we're quickly running out of the resources to support a rapidly expanding population along with its steadily increasing rate of consumption of stuff in a world of finite resources.

This SOS Memo is exclusively about the necessity of a global, never-ending focus on the leading driver of climate change: animal agriculture. With the right leadership team in place -- along with an unlimited budget, we should have no trouble completely eliminating that leading driver of climate change in as little as five years.

In the next two slides, there are a total of thirteen people who, collectively possess the knowledge, the global respect, the passion and the skills needed to influence enough people around the world to tame the climate change monster. They will also have no trouble raising the trillions of dollars needed.

Not all of them have the knowledge and not all of them have the leadership skills -- but as a total team, I sincerely believe that they can change the world.
Ranging in age from 19 to 96, among the group above, there is a collective body of knowledge, fame and credibility that is more than capable of leading humanity back to a sustainable way of life.

In may public talks these days, I describe how all of these ten well-known leaders, along with the three superstars below -- could come together and develop a plan for the future -- a plan that would involve the total elimination of animal agriculture before 2030.
So, who will be on the leadership team of the most crucial effort in the history of humanity? In a perfect world, it would include seven or eight of the individuals in the first slide -- along with these three superstars pictured above.

In my public presentations, I talk extensively about the manner in which the 12 or 13 leaders mentioned in this SOS Memo might join forces to fight climate change.

But it won't be Al Gore who will bring them together. That's because he knows that any attempt to persuade people to change what they are eating -- would be met, in the near term, by stiff resistance -- and a loss of popularity and respect for himself.

Although I believe that Mr. Gore generally means well, I just don't believe that any ego-centric political leader is equipped to fill the primary leadership role in such a complex and crucially needed organization.
The Curious Case of Al Gore
Why can he not be the overall leader of this effort? In a word, he is a politician first -- and what is urgently needed is a data-driven, big-picture thinker, problem solver and leader.
Almost everyone is familiar with Al Gore's longterm interest in environmental issues. For all of his work, we should be eternally grateful. But for now, the world needs powerful leadership that is well-suited to the task of totally dismantling the animal agriculture industry.
As for Mr. Gore, in his 2006 documentary, he never mentioned the true, leading driver of climate change.

Not surprisingly, since that famous film, he has chosen to remain silent on what is likely the most crucial topic in the history of humanity: our love affair with animal-based foods.

But just imagine what would happen if Barack, Michelle and Oprah were to catch the vision and begin to embrace the truths about sustainability from Jane, Greta, Sir David, Mayor Adams, Steven Chu and the Camerons?

And how would Apple's Tim Cook fit into the picture? I talk candidly about that topic in my public presentations, like the one in Honolulu referenced at the end of this SOS Memo. That said, I do envision a particularly fragile and crucially important role for him.

It is my conclusion that a well-known and well-balanced group of leaders will be able to influence the entire world to begin shifting rapidly to a plant-based way of eating. How? Via a never-ending series of facts, figures, conclusions and choices.

As a former executive recruiter, I know that Al Gore is definitely not the right candidate for the top leadership role. But, he may be able to join that team six months down the road.

A little background. My friend and colleague, Dr. Sailesh Rao, was one of hundreds of volunteers who worked in Mr. Gore's Inconvenient Truth campaign from 2006 to 2012.

After three years of working under his guidance, many on the team became frustrated that their standard presentations (approved by Mr. Gore) did not highlight the leading driver of climate change. So, in 2009, Dr. Rao wrote this letter to Mr. Gore and it was signed by 71 of his co-workers.

In this well-written letter, the group collectively implored Mr. Gore to let them start sounding the alarm about the necessity of moving rapidly away from animal agriculture for two reasons: Human Health and Environmental Health -- both of which could benefit greatly from a concerted shift toward plant-based eating.
August 10, 2009
Subject: Elephant in the Room

Dear Mr. Gore,

We are Climate Project presenters who have worked to convey the urgency of the climate crisis for nearly three years. As we portray this crisis as a planetary emergency, however, we find it increasingly difficult to ignore the impacts of the Western diet on the state of our planet – in particular, the climate impacts of eating beef and other meats.
The 2006 United Nations FAO report, “Livestock's Long Shadow,” estimated that humans use nearly one third of the ice-free land area of the planet, or nearly twelve billion acres, for livestock production. According to many scholars, such as Professor David Pimentel of Cornell University, just over one-fourth of humanity consumes most of these livestock products. 

To put that number in perspective, the Global Biodiversity Assessment of 1995 estimated that the Earth can sustainably support just one billion human beings at American levels of consumption. 

We also feel that this moment provides us a unique opportunity to address the health care dilemma in tandem. As preventative health care increasingly becomes a focus in our struggle to remake the US health care system, we believe that a potential synergy exists with our two campaigns. 

For the last fifty years, various US Surgeons General have recommended a reduction in beef and red meat consumption as part of a heart-healthy diet. Indeed, the 2007 Second Expert Report of the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research – the world’s most definitive report on cancer prevention, involving scientists from thirty countries – underscored the cancer prevention implications of these recommendations. 

The consumption of beef and red meat could thus become a nexus in the relationship between personal and global health, and greatly help invigorate individual involvement in the fight against global warming. 

We strongly believe that your public stand on meat consumption, in conjunction with Dr. Pachauri's forceful stand, would truly be world-changing. Please count on our unflagging support in taking such a courageous step. 

Respectfully yours, Dr. Sailesh Rao + 71 co-signees 
(Climate Project Presenters)
As you can see in this graph, the world's meat production has increased over 30% since 2006, when An Inconvenient Truth hit the theaters. What would this graph look like if Mr. Gore had led his team of trained presenters in aggressively trying to promote an urgent shift in the direction of plant-based eating?
As for that earlier letter to Mr. Gore in 2009 -- it received a lame, non-committal response with zero commitment to start emphasizing the supreme importance of food choices when it comes to climate change.

Fast-forward three years to 2012. Dr. Rao and that same group of co-signers sent another letter to Mr. Gore -- and then they resigned from his team.

August 2012

Dear Mr. Gore,

It has been three years since we wrote to you on the subject of "the Elephant in the Room" concerning the climate impacts of animal agriculture and the Western diet, in a letter dated August 12, 2009. Thank you for your gracious reply to that letter.

Since then, two developments have occurred in the scientific literature that lead us to believe that the Elephant was just a baby in 2009 and that it is now growing into adulthood, making it even more impossible to ignore.
Firstly, in December, 2009, the Worldwatch Institute published a paper by Dr. Robert Goodland, former lead environmental advisor of the World Bank Group and Dr. Jeff Anhang, environmental specialist at the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC). The paper was entitled, "Livestock and Climate Change," and it contained the bombshell estimation that:
"livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32,564 million tons of CO2 per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions (their emphasis)."

Fast forward to 2022. It has now been sixteen years since Al Gore's famous climate change movie that aired in 2006. Since then, there has been total silence from Mr. Gore when it comes to the true, leading driver of climate change.

If we expect Mr. Gore to EVER climb aboard that express train to tackle the leading driver, we're going to have to find some courageous leaders to get that train moving first.

Once that happens, perhaps we will see Mr. Gore eventually racing to catch and board that train that will lead our civilization back to living in harmony with nature.
What must our dream team do?
We must bypass all governments as we develop and execute a global plan for actually slowing the pace of climate change -- or maybe even reversing it.
To be sure, I can only imagine what might happen in that aforementioned meeting with 10 or 12 leadership superstars -- along with Dr. Sailesh Rao who can explain to them in just six minutes why animal agriculture is driving 87% of climate change and why that is good news.

Click image to watch this compelling, six-minute video.
Regarding that giant "media" company idea. What happens when you start spending trillions of dollars broadcasting the truth about climate change, round the clock, every day of the year, all over the world -- from highly regarded leaders like Michelle, Barack and Oprah?

People will listen, they will begin to understand the reality of where we are in the 21st century -- and they will begin to embrace health-promoting foods that also provide our best possible chance to slow or reverse climate change enough to prevent the suffering and the deaths of their families.
The Bottom Line
There is a desperate need for never-ending repetition of the truth about climate change!
How much should we spend on a never-ending global effort to do just that? How many trillions of dollars are needed to make sure that we have done our very best to leave a survivable world to the billions of innocent children that follow us?
Here are six bullet points of truth to keep in mind:

  • We know that animal agriculture is, by far, the leading driver of climate change.
  • We know that most people in the developed world could improve their own health AND save money simply by choosing to eat plant-based foods exclusively.
  • We also know that if we haven't waited too long -- such a rapid dietary shift among enough people -- has the potential to stop runaway climate change in its tracks.
  • We also know that most people in the developed world will not want to make that dietary switch at first.
  • That's why we need great leaders with an unlimited budget to quickly educate and help lead billions of people to a climate-change reversing way of eating ASAP.
  • We know that we must keep our message simple and singularly focused on just one objective: The urgent need to completely eliminate animal agriculture.

Like the NPR article stressed earlier: we must keep repeating the truth about climate change.

To be realistic, we're not likely to eliminate animal agriculture completely, but shooting for anything less would ensure that we would not even come close to our goal; thereby spelling the end of the road for humanity.

So, do you think that spending trillions of dollars per year is too much money? When you think about what's at stake here, you will probably conclude as Dr. Rao and I have -- that such a move would be the biggest bargain in the history of humanity.
Think about it, we are now spending over $2 trillion/year on global media and we're spending over four trillion dollars per year just for healthcare (disease management) here in the USA. Both of these efforts are failing miserably when it comes to doing anything about slowing the most serious threat in the history of humanity: climate change.

With regards to taming climate change, I have
always tried to make sure that we primarily
focus on the single most important issue.

That issue is the food that we eat all over the world. We could focus on hundreds of other drivers of climate change, but if we aren't able to get the masses moving quickly away from animal-based foods, we will not be able to slow climate change enough to save our species.

It's as simple as that! People everywhere have the collective tools to get that done.

They have the forks, spoons and chopsticks that they load with food for every meal. When the world-changing news from our global leadership team begins to reach hundreds of millions of people around the world, Al Gore just might be ready to race to catch that departing train and join the crucial global effort to lead all of humanity back to a sustainable future.
As my train rolled slowly out of Grand Central Terminal in New York last Wednesday morning, I was thinking about leadership and the fact that it's always lonely at the cutting edge of anything new -- especially if it involves asking people to give up some of their favorite things in life.

As a former railroad co-op student engineer while in college, I often think about trains when it comes to changing things on this planet. Great new ideas, like railroad trains, start out slowly, but once they gather momentum, they are essentially unstoppable.
Once we get that train rolling, we should welcome Mr. Gore back to the team with open arms. No one knows more about the environment than he does; we just need to make sure that he is given the role that matches up with his qualifications.

And, when we do, we trust that he will want to jump aboard our climate change train before it's too late.


  • Click the image below to hear my recent (May 2022) fifty-minute talk regarding much of what has been covered in this SOS Memo.
Don't have time to watch the entire Honolulu video? Click here to view all 60 slides in that talk

Finally, your group of participants will get a lot more out of my talk if they have read our latest book in advance.

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
PS: The Prevention of Human Extinction
To clarify, we're not trying to preserve civilization as we know it. Because what we have now is extremely wasteful, harmful and grossly unsustainable. It's an incredibly reckless way of living that is now threatening our very existence as a species.

We're talking about replacing it with an entirely new, ultra-green civilization of the future -- and we do our best to paint a picture of that envisioned way of sustainable living in OUTCRY. For what one Ohio State professor emeritus of history had to say about that book on Amazon, click here.

Click on the image below for a preview of this 2020 book -- along with the complete Foreword by Mother Nature.
This "Big Picture" section will provide you with handy reference materials on this most crucial of all topics.
"Big Picture"
Data and Video Section
Beginning with the timeline of research
Five World-Changing Films
That People Everywhere Must See
Film #1 in 2014
In 2014, Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn produced their first documentary film Cowspiracy. Executive producer is Leonardo DiCaprio, it runs 90 minutes and has been on Netflix since 2015. In 2020, I met Kip and Keegan in Sedona where I was honored to be able to speak at the same conference with them and other great leaders in this movement like Dr. Sailesh Rao and Dr. Michael Greger.
Film #2 in 2017
Also on Netflix, Kip and Keegan teamed up again in 2017 to produce What the Health, which is also on Netflix. It runs 92 minutes and may be the best documentary ever that focuses on the health reasons for choosing to eat plant-based. Click here to watch the short trailer. You can also watch the full movie for free on Vimeo.
Film #3 in 2021
In 2021, Kip Anderson teamed up with British filmmaker Ali Tabrizi, to produce Seaspiracy, an 89-minute film that vividly and alarmingly reveals what is at stake when it comes to the crucial importance of our oceans to our future as a species. Most people have no idea regarding the environmental horrors of commercial fishing -- a disgusting industry that kills dolphins by the thousands and tosses them back into the ocean. It runs 90 minutes on Netflix. Click here to view the trailer.
Film #4 in 2021
As our situation becomes more desperate, the documentary films become more terrifying. As alluded to earlier, we are literally Eating Our Way to Extinction, a process that is vividly covered in this 2021 film (81 minutes). Narrated and produced by Kate Winslet, you can watch this great film on Amazon Prime or on YouTube for $3.99. The great ocean scientist and former head of NOAA, Dr. Sylvia Earle lends powerful credibility to such a crucial topic.
Film #5 in 2022
This new film (89 minutes) features a young activist who travels around his country, New Zealand in an effort to find out the truth about the horrors of the dairy industry in his native land.

The film uncovers alarming information about the environmental and health impacts of the industry -- leading up to the discovery that we are on the edge of the biggest global disruption of food and agriculture in history. This new film is now available for free at waterbear.com
Grasping the "Big Picture"
These 2 films will help in understanding
our unprecedented dilemma.
This 83-minute documentary is all about the findings that were documented in Dr. Stephen Emmott's 2013 book. TEN BILLION.

He brilliantly describes the grossly unsustainable way of living that has brought us to the emergency situation in which we find ourselves. Since I met him in London in 2013, he has become much more serious about the need to abolish the practice of eating meat, dairy, eggs and/or fish at almost every meal.

Just click on the hourglass image. Dr. Emmott delivers a very compelling message from the stage of a theater in London. This 2013 film is still relevant and will certainly help more people grasp that all-important "big picture."
Finally, this half-hour video was published in November of 2021. It was produced by Michael Dowd, a non-scientific researcher like me who does a very fine job of explaining the many facets of the obstacles standing between us and our survival as a species. Dowd focuses on the problem; not the solution. I prefer to focus on both.

What else can you do?
Probably a lot more than you think
  • Start with the new documentary (Film #4) mentioned earlier -- Eating our way to Extinction for $6 on Netflix. Watch it often with your friends and family.
  • Share this SOS Memo widely: Certainties, Uncertainties & Priorities by J. Morris Hicks.
  • Get an e-copy of OUTCRY. Visit Outcry page on Amazon and get a much bigger understanding of the situation in which all humans find ourselves.
  • Inform all the young people in your world that you are deadly serious about this topic. Urge them to read these SOS Memos and our latest book, OUTCRY.
  • Completely stop eating meat, dairy, eggs and fish today and tell everyone why you are taking such a "radical" step. You're doing it for the innocent children of the world.
  • As noted above, do yourself a favor and make sure that your plant-based meals of the future consist of whole plants -- the kinds of foods that prevent or reverse most chronic diseases AND enable your body to effortlessly seek its optimal weight.
I am confident that if a few million people carefully read and digested this book that there would be a more robust conversation around the world regarding our grossly unsustainable way of living in the developed world.

To my knowledge, OUTCRY remains the only book ever published that features an envisioned, totally-green, ultra-sustainable, super-desirable, future way of living for humans -- along with ideas for how we might get there as quickly as possible.

The links below to earlier SOS Memos will help you understand how these ideas unfolded since 2018.
You can join my mailing list and/or find all of my previous postings by visiting the SOS Memos page on my website. 
Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth
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