DIRE news re climate change CAN be a good thing…

Because it may jolt us into taking URGENT action NOW!

Al Gore won the Nobel Prize for his "global warming" movie---even though he never mentioned the #1 cause.

Al Gore won the Nobel Prize for his “global warming” movie—even though he never mentioned the #1 cause.

Thanks to Al Gore and most of the other so-called sustainability experts in the world, the average citizen has no idea that the leading cause of global warming is the raising of livestock for our dinner tables. Not only is it the leading cause, it may be contribute more greenhouse gases (GHG) than all other human activities COMBINED.

So how can dire news about global warming be a good thing? Because changing the way we eat may be the ONLY way to avert the upcoming “tipping points” being predicted by many creditable scientists.

It is also important to mention that the average citizen has no idea whatsoever regarding the severity and significance of those tipping points. They, like most of our leaders, remain comfortably unaware about many very important things in this world.

NY Times LogoBut the average citizen is beginning to accept the reality of climate change—largely due to a steady stream of informative articles like this 11-1-13 piece in the New York Times, entitled Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies (See link below). From the article based on a leaked draft U.N. report:

Climate change will pose sharp risks to the world’s food supply in coming decades, potentially undermining crop production and driving up prices at a time when the demand for food is expected to soar, scientists have found.

The report also finds other sweeping impacts from climate change already occurring across the planet, and warns that these are likely to intensify as human emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise. The scientists describe a natural world in turmoil as plants and animals colonize new areas to escape rising temperatures, and warn that many could become extinct. The document also finds that it is not too late for cuts in emissions to have a strong impact on the future risks of climate change, though the costs would be incurred in the next few decades and the main benefits would probably be seen in the late 21st century and beyond.

Stephen Emmott BookSince reading Dr. Stephen Emmott’s book in early September, I have been thinking a great deal about the heightened URGENCY of our global situation. While there are many out-of-control problems that are primarily driven by our food choices, none of them appear to be as URGENT as global warming.

And, various noted people like Goodland, Anhang and McKibben all seem to agree that we’re approaching a critical tipping point as early as 2017. They also agree that none of our world leaders are taking any meaningful steps whatsoever to address that looming crisis.

Asteroid approaching EarthMaybe we should consider the imminent global warming crisis a good thing—almost like the asteroid type of problem described by Dr. Emmott in his book:

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 3 June 2072, and we knew that its impact was going to wipe out 70% of all life on Earth, governments worldwide would marshal the entire planet into unprecedented action.

That is what inspired me to think of the global warming crisis as an “asteroid” type of problem. And we can use that problem as real justification for immediately taking action to promote a global shift to whole foods, plant-based eating. Not only will it give us the BEST possible chance of averting the worst effects of global warming, the collateral benefits of that action will be enormous:

While addressing the leading cause of global warming, we also promote the health for all humans and slash the cost of healthcare around the world. Further, we ease the water crisis, stop the destruction of rainforest, end the needless suffering of billions of animals, foster the regeneration of harmony in our oceans and open the door to end world hunger through far better utilization of the world’s agricultural land. Our action would be a giant step toward promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth—and the longterm sustainability of humankind.—J. Morris Hicks

We don't have to tell people that they ALL must eliminate animal products from their diet. We just need to tell them why them must move quickly toward eating mostly whole plants.

We needn’t tell people that they must eliminate ALL animal products from their diet. We just tell them why they must move quickly toward eating mostly whole plants.

The host of benefits that result from helping people everywhere take charge of their health are enormous, and we can achieve those benefits by taking our message directly to the people; bypassing governments, politicians, food companies, big Pharma and other forces that will be threatened by our actions.

I keep thinking that we must enlist the support of the world’s most powerful leaders, and we must come together and formulate a plan of action over the next few months—not years. Maybe there is a way that we can help Bill and Melinda Gates (Pope Francis and others) embrace the vision for what is possible—potential improvements in the world that go far beyond the combined efforts of their respective organizations’ many noble initiatives.

Bill and Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates

In an interview with Charlie Rose referenced below, Bill Gates was described as having a burning desire to do everything within his power to make the world a better place. And, he and Melinda are indeed doing some very good things in their many efforts to take care of the poorest billion people on the planet. Yet, they don’t appear to be doing much to promote the essential systemic change to our unsustainable lifestyle described by Dr. Emmott.

There are 1100 people on the Gates Foundation payroll, yet none are tackling the number one cause of global warming or the number one cause of chronic disease or world hunger—all urgent problems primarily driven by the same thing—our food choices. While noble, their efforts appear scattered and will do nothing to help us avoid rapidly approaching tipping points—and the ensuing disasters that could lead to the collapse of our civilization and the ultimate demise of hundreds of thousands of species, including humanity.

On the other hand, Bill Gates seems to understand a great deal of the “Food Math” problem, but is pursuing solutions that won’t make much of a difference for another ten or twenty years. This is one of his quotes from the 3-21-13 article referenced below:

The global population is on track to reach 9 billion by 2050. What are all those people going to eat? With billions of people adding more animal protein to their diets — meat consumption is expected to double by 2050 — it seems clear that arable land for raising livestock won’t be able to keep up.

World BankThen there is Robert Goodland, environmental advisor for the World Bank for 23 years. In his video on 9-7-13 (see link below), he talks about a 2017 tipping point and says that reducing animal consumption by 25% would enable us to meet that GHG goal necessary to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. But, like Emmott, Brown and McKibben, he offers no plan for getting that done. With livestock producing 51% of GHG, Goodland says there’s no possible way that we’re going to avert that 2017 tipping point without significantly reducing the GHG produced by the livestock industry.

My conclusion is that we must launch a HUGE global campaign promoting the demand for whole, plant-based foods while lowering the demand for meat, dairy, eggs, fish and highly processed foods. We need to go directly to consumers all over the world as we educate, motivate and legislate in a way that will influence hundreds of millions of people to move quickly in the direction of a whole foods, plant-based diet. We can’t change laws or get governments around the world to move quickly, but individuals around the world can decide for themselves to radically change what they eat, and they can make that change in just a few days—just like James and Suzy Cameron did 18 months ago. (See link to HUGE global campaign below.)

Gates FoundationWhat would happen if Bill Gates fully understood the global warming crisis that Emmott, Goodland & McKibben are talking about? And the “blinding flash of the obvious” solution that we’re talking about? He’s a very smart man who cares a great deal about the welfare of people all over the planet. He and Melinda also control the wealthiest philanthropic organization in the world.

Suzy and James Cameron are truly "walking the walk" when it comes to teaching the world about sustainability.

Suzy and James Cameron are truly “walking the walk” when it comes to teaching the world about sustainability.

In spite of the growing CLARITY and URGENCY, most of our leaders and thinkers are still “sleepwalking off a cliff”—totally unaware of what is happening and what they could do about it.

But there are two highly influential people on the world stage who are FULLY aware of what is happening—James and Suzy Cameron. From a recent memo from Suzy:

Yes…we have both read “10 Billion” and I have already given quite a few copies out. It is sobering and completely reinforces the urgency that we feel with each passing day. I too am astounded at how many people are just not aware of where we are headed as a civilization.

Even the very well established environmental groups are clueless to the food/environment connection. I have been running in these circles for the last two decades and I just started being aware a year and a half ago after I watched Forks Over Knives and started reading everything that I could get my hands on.

I wonder if Bill Gates has read Emmott’s book. (Emmott is a Microsoft scientist) What would Bill have to say about all of this if he really understood the urgency we’re describing? Emmott’s quote:

Why we are not doing more about the situation we’re in— given the scale of the problem and the urgency— I simply cannot understand.

Stephen Emmott One final note re Dr. Emmott. Following our recent October 9 meeting in London, he cautioned me about “leading” with some specific future “tipping point” that may very well not happen in the predicted three or four years. As he says, it’s impossible to determine exactly when something as complicated as climate change may actually reach a tipping point.

Our entire effort would lose credibility if we rallied the troops around some future event that didn’t happen right on schedule. Rather, we should focus on the imminent issue of global warming and doing all than we can to remove the #1 cause—raising animals for food.

Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf 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.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf page and also enjoy some great recipes from 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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—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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2 Responses to DIRE news re climate change CAN be a good thing…

  1. Joanne Irwin says:

    Sounds like you need to start knocking on Bill Gates’ door. You can do it, if anyone can!!
    When I began consuming a whole foods, plant based lifestyle in ’06, my motivation was purely for health reasons. Now, however, I’m aware of where our civilization is headed if we maintain animal consumption. How about targeting Oprah? Her magazine enjoys high reader volume. An article on your SOS campaign, when it’s officially launched, could be highlighted. I’m sure she’d agree.
    I think all of us who follow your work agree that it often takes a crisis to initiate the much needed and well deserved kick in the kista, whether it’s to make nutritional changes or otherwise. I’ve seen it in my own family. A medical warning hits someone over the head, and they turn again to the healing benefits of plant based foods. Hopefully, our planet will act before the asteroid heads our way. Thanks, Jim, for all you do.

  2. Salvatore Liggieri says:


    Eloquently stated and very convincing but still you are pushing for the IMPOSSIBLE DREAM.

    Unless a world catastrophe happens, will people stop slaughtering animals for food? Will that ever happen? Given a choice, hamburger or broccoli, most people will choose hamburger (with fries).

    And the beat goes on. Hurry up Jim, I’m running out of time.

    Sal Liggieri

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