SOS #76    J. Morris Hicks    (10-22-20)  
World's Largest Trojan Horse. What's it hiding?
After learning about the cargo that this ultra-modern, wind-powered sailing ship pictured below was carrying, I immediately thought of a Trojan Horse analogy. For most casual readers, the image of this  beautiful, highly efficient, commercial sailing ship will probably conjure up thoughts of how "green" we are now starting to live.

But, if you dig a little deeper, you will discover that this beautiful vessel operates in the service of the two dirtiest industries on the planet -- automotive and energy.  

According to a CNN article, Sweden's OceanBird, pictured here, is the world's largest sailing vessel and is expected to make her maiden voyage in 2024. She is a 650-foot, 35,000 ton vessel, with five sails reaching higher than the length of a football field. Her massive sails can even be lowered in order to pass under certain bridges.

Although OceanBird is far more environmentally-friendly than other ships in her line of work, it's the line of work that is the problem -- transporting new automobiles across the ocean.

Would you believe that they can pack 7,000 automobiles on this single ship? For the average-size family car, we're talking about a line of cars -- parked bumper-to-bumper -- stretching over 21 miles.

It's hard to get 7,000 cars in one photo, but if you could, it would look something like -- times seven

As stated in the article, new ships like this one are part of efforts by shipping companies who are trying to comply with new regulations by the UN's Maritime Organization to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050. I prefer to call a spade a spade and refer to this situation as an example of trying to clean up a filthy industry by what amounts to:

Putting Lipstick on a Pig

While she might look a little bit better, at the end of the day, you still have a pig on your hands. Why not just get rid of the pig? In this case the pig is the automotive industry. 

In Outcry, we talk about the urgent need to totally reinvent the way we live on this planet -- a way that is capable of reducing the world's total automobile, truck and bus industry by over 80%. 

While we're talking about putting lipstick on a pig, let's talk about the money-motivated healthcare industry in the USA. As with the automotive industry, why don't we just try to completely eliminate the need for some of the least effective and most expensive parts of it?

Let's talk about Heart Disease

Check out this statistic on the World Health Organization websiteCardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number 1 cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. 
Almost 18 million a year! How does that compare to deaths from Covid-19 this year? As of 10-21-20, according to daily figures that are reported by virtually every news organization in the world -- the worldwide total number of deaths from Covid-19 in 2020 now stands at just under 1.334 million. 

So even if we have a surge in deaths and end this year with two million deaths from Covid-19 this year, it will just be a tiny fraction of the nearly 18 million deaths driven by heart disease each year.

While it is a tragedy that so many people have already died from Covid-19, it is a far greater tragedy that millions of people around the world are dying from a disease that has been proven preventable and/or reversible in most cases.

Preventable and reversible? Yes, and that bit of news has been public knowledge for a long time. Dr. Dean Ornish wrote this on the front cover of our "Healthy Eating, Healthy World" book in 2011:

What's good for you is also good for the planet. Heart disease and diabetes are completely preventable and even reversible for most people today by changing diet and lifestyle. This book shows you how. 

That book is pictured below alongside the 4Leaf Guide that I co-authored with Dr. Kerry Graff in 2015. As for heart disease specifically, you should check out the magnificent work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic. 

Both of the above books can guide almost anyone to a life of vibrant health -- free of chronic disease and blessed with a trim body, lots of energy and a chance to stop participating in one of the nastiest, most wasteful and harmful industries in the world -- the animal-based food industry and the related healthcare industry that profits from people getting sick and needing insanely expensive procedures.

But the more significant benefit of eating plants instead of animals -- is our future as a species -- as alluded to in the "Protein Myth" in the above slide. This is my conclusion after studying this topic since 2002:

If we cannot take the "animal out of the equation" when it comes to feeding ourselves, we will never learn to live in harmony with nature - thereby placing the future of our civilization (and our species) in serious jeopardy. 

Just before finishing this SOS Memo, I ran across another piece in The NY Times that was totally devoted to how we can make the animal-based food industry better for the environment. It's just another example of trying to make our bad habits less bad.

Why not do ourselves and our biosphere a great favor and just swap out those bad habits for a way of life that promotes health, hope and harmony on planet Earth?

The Bottom Line. This SOS Memo has covered three of the grossly unsustainable elements of our modern lives -- our energy system, our transportation system -- and our widespread consumption of animal-based foods.  

We cover many more of those unsustainable elements in Outcry, where we also take a look at the many wonderful things that are possible when we step back and re-design our entire way of life on planet Earth.

The beauty of life in the Great Big Northern (GBN), that we describe in Outcry, is that it is an envisioned way of life where only green lifestyle options exist -- making it very easy for everyone to follow nature's guidelines that are essential to our own survival.

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks


PS: For a highly informative 44-slide pictorial tour of Outcry, just click here. Also, check out this July 2020 news about the remarkable James Lovelock, who at age 101, now says that "he AND our biosphere are in the final 1% of their lives." Hopefully, he is wrong about both predictions.

Also, let's talk.To help jumpstart a  global conversation 
that I keep encouraging, I am now offering to conduct private Zoom conferences free of charge to groups of almost any size. I look forward to Zooming with you and your group sometime soon. 

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 20-minute slide show and then ending with a discussion and Q&A with the attendees. The sessions 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 websiteHere 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. 

Please let me hear from you directly regarding any ideas or questions you may have.

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.

Click here for links to all blogs and SOS Memos since 2016

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

I welcome your feedback and/or questions at:

In the past two years, I have spoken at a VegFest in
Fort Myers, at 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.

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

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