Because it may jolt us into taking URGENT action NOW!
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.
But 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.
Since 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.
Maybe 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
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.
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.
Then 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.)
What 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.
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.
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.
- Source article. 11-1-13 article. Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies – NYTimes.com.
- 5-14-13 CBS 60 Minutes. Bill Gates with Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes.
- 3-21-13. Bill Gates on “Food is ripe for innovation.”
- My 7-24-13 blog. James Cameron—on “Walking the Walk”
- My November 2012 blog re global warming. Are “ANY” prominent leaders taking global warming seriously?
- Sept. 7, 2013 video of Robert Goodland Searching for Truth in Agriculture (excerpts)
- 11-30-2012 blog. Greenhouse gases. “Obvious” solution still goes unnoticed.
- HUGE Global Campaign blog. S.O.S. (Saving Our Species) — An urgently needed PLAN
Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
- Dr. Campbell’s new book: WHOLE, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.
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—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation