Happy New Year! Gettin’ Green in 2013

Balancing politics and the environment — a sad story of painful frustration

Green 2013The first African American head of the EPA, Lisa P. Jackson, is stepping down at the end of President Obama’s first term.

After a frustrating, stressful and painful four years, she apparently has decided that she’s had enough. The article in the New York Times that caught my attention mentioned climate change:

E.P.A. Chief to Step Down, With Climate Still Low Priority

While reading through the first source article listed below, I found many links that connected me with related articles. Here’s an excerpt from an article pointing out that neither Romney or Obama ever mentioned climate change on the campaign trail—and none of the debate moderators ever mentioned it either.

Romney ObamaMr. Obama has supported broad climate change legislation, financed extensive clean energy projects and pushed new regulations to reduce global warming emissions from cars and power plants. But neither he nor Mr. Romney has laid out during the campaign a legislative or regulatory program to address the fundamental questions arising from one of the most vexing economic, environmental, political and humanitarian issues to face the planet.

Should the United States cut its greenhouse gas emissions, and, if so, how far and how fast? Should fossil fuels be more heavily taxed? Should any form of clean energy be subsidized, and for how long? Should the United States lead international mitigation efforts? Should the nation pour billions of new dollars into basic energy research? Is the climate system so fraught with uncertainty that the rational response is to do nothing?

EPA LogoWhat does the EPA really do? While reading a number of these articles, I began to wonder about the official mission of the EPA. As you might expect, it deals with all aspects of the environment but focuses most of its efforts on the natural resources of the United States.

From the EPA website, I found this mission statement—along with the last two bullet points (of 7) beneath that statement—two points that address the global environmental issues:

The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

  • Environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive
  • The United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment.
Along with a tremendous amount of highly processed carbs, this is where most westerners get their calories---a grossly unsustainable way of eating.

Along with a tremendous amount of highly processed carbs, this is where most westerners get their calories—a grossly unsustainable way of eating.

A not too surprising observation. Nowhere in all of the articles was there a single word about:

  • The #1 cause of climate change
  • The #1 cause of water shortage or
  • The #1 cause of the demise of our global ecosystem.

That number one cause has been mentioned at least 500 times in my blogs during the past twenty-two months. That #1 cause is the ridiculously wasteful, harmful and unsustainable typical western diet of meat, dairy, and/or eggs three meals a day.

The really sad part about this story is that our sitting president is aware of all of the factors mentioned above—yet he has done absolutely nothing about publicizing that crucial information. In an earlier blog, I embedded this video of him answering a question in August of 2008, just before his election to President in November. The question was asked by a young woman at a high school in Florida—and his response convinced me that he knows his stuff about this crucial topic.

Now comes the all-important second term. With all due respect to Mr. Obama, we can be sure that he would not have been elected in the first place (or re-elected) if he had started talking about the incredible five-part benefits of moving toward a whole foods, plant-based diet. But since he will never have to run for office again, he can now put his heart and soul into telling us what he truly believes:

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth—and the longterm sustainability of the human race.

  1. Promoting health and saving the lives of millions of Americans
  2. Balancing the budget by saving the U.S. government about a trillion on health care.
  3. Preserving fossil fuels. The most powerful move we could make to provide us with more time to develop sustainable sources of energy.
  4. Fight climate change. Moving toward plant-based eating gradually eliminates the #1 cause of global warming.
  5. Save water & nurture ecosystem. Our meat and dairy diet-style requires over ten times as much water and over ten times as much land—both are critical for the longterm sustainability of the human race.

Although I feel a little bit sorry for Ms. Jackson, I doubt that she fully grasps that big picture herself. And as for her farewell statement regarding the state of the department, “the ship is sailing in the right direction,” I don’t think that ship has even left the dock—and is still years away from doing so. With an $8 Billion budget and 17,000 employees, you’d think she could do a better job of promoting the awareness of the above world-changing facts. From the article:

In a brief interview on Wednesday evening, Ms. Jackson said that she hoped to decompress after four intense years running the E.P.A., which has 17,000 employees and an $8 billion annual budget. She said she would probably do some consulting and public speaking but has not begun looking for a new job. She is thought to be a candidate for the presidency of Princeton.

Gettin' Green in 2013

Gettin’ Green in 2013

The Bottom Line. Our nation—and indeed our world—is absolutely nowhere when it comes to getting serious about our environment.

And unless Mr. Obama surprises me and really starts hitting the ball out of the park soon, we’re at least 8 years away from having another second-term president who will even have a ghost of a chance of providing serious leadership from the world’s most powerful office.

Maybe Ms. Jackson can inspire some up and coming Princeton students to get serious about the environment. Maybe—but I doubt that she will. So that leaves us. Let’s get things started by using this New Years Mantra:

Gettin’ Green in 2013

Consecutive daily blogs

Consecutive daily blogs

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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5 Responses to Happy New Year! Gettin’ Green in 2013

  1. CJ says:

    Happy New Year Jim and All! “Green in 2013” sounds GREAT!

    Jim, I like that you’re a realist: “The Bottom Line. Our nation—and indeed our world—is absolutely nowhere when it comes to getting serious about our environment.” Sadly, I don’t see this changing anytime soon given the state of things. Unfortunately for many, it takes a serious health concern, illness or some other crisis (e.g., Hurricane Sandy?) to take the steps necessary to create change or make the necessary mental shift to a better way.

    I feel appreciation for the work that you and the plant-based diet community are doing for the betterment of health and life for all beings and our planet. Best wishes for healthy and green 2013!

  2. For Dan Liese:
    Thanks for your reply article today. I wrote to the writer:
    Dale Faulkner – re your article on wellness — Comments, etc.

    See the reply that linked to your article

    Wellness program expected to cut claims and hold down insurance costs. – The Westerly Sun: News

    Happy New Year! Gettin’ Green in 2013 | J. Morris Hicks, author =


    Attached is my summary of guidance on “Healthy Lifestyle Education & Support.”

    You can greatly accelerate people getting healthier on their own by linking them to documents and videos and links that they can study. I have gathered such material over the last ten years plus I have conducted a grassroots program to help others get healthier, too.

    Here, on-line, is where I have stored the key materials that I provided to my fifth group of participants:

    HealthEdGrp5-Nov12 – Dropbox =


    And for variety, I have put some health items at http://chinaoneorcutt.com

    Best of all, you can point people to http://drmcdougall.com to get educated for free by Dr. John McDougall, who has been at this for ~40 years!

    Bill Kleinbauer

  3. Dan Liese says:


    Here is an article in Westerly Sun I thought you would like to see. Lets talk about some of the people you could touch base with about this and how your costs compare with what is being offered and maybe get some intel on how they are promoting this. It really does not mention to much about switching over to a health promoting diet.


    * http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/wellness-program-expected-to-cut-claims-and-hold-down-insurance/article_e553f1b2-535e-11e2-9984-0019bb2963f4.html *

    * *

    [image: Description: 007a_Liese Dan 2011]

    *Dan Liese*

    *Broker Associate CRP, ABR, CDPE, CRS*

    *the hard working nice guy*

    *your shoreline expert for 23 years*

    *RE**/**MAX* *Professionals*

    *Licensed and Selling Southern RI and Southeastern CT***

    *401-742-3216 cell*

    *401-216-6266 efax*


    * *

    P.S. Have a great day today and a better day tomorrow!

    *From:* J. Morris Hicks, author [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] *Sent:* Tuesday, January 01, 2013 6:48 AM *To:* dan@danliese.com *Subject:* [New post] Happy New Year! Gettin Green in 2013

    J. Morris Hicks posted: “Balancing politics and the environment — a sad story of painful frustration The first African American head of the EPA, Lisa P. Jackson, is stepping down at the end of President Obama’s first term. After a frustrating, stressful and painful four yea”

    • Joanne Irwin says:

      Exorbitant health care costs are motivating townships to invest in employee wellness programs. Hopefully, once individuals regain that joyous feeling of wellness, lightness, and energy, they will be even more motivated to explore the nutrition lifestyle which promises to give them those benefits ad infinitum……whole foods, plant based. Good to know that this is happening!

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