We can ‘solve’ problems but we must ‘endure’ predicaments.
So what about climate change? Is it a problem that can be solved or is it a predicament that must be endured? That depends on who you ask. If you look at this chart that is updated monthly by Scripps, it makes it difficult to believe that we’ll find a way out of this mess.
As noted below, May is the first month with CO2 in our atmosphere over 400 parts per million in millions of years—remember, we’ve only been around for about 200,000 years.
This morning, I re-examined a recent (April 2014) article by Daniel Smith that appeared in the New York Times Magazine. (See link below). It was all about Paul Kingsworth and his conclusion that civilization is over and that we must learn to live with the mess the we humans have made out of a perfectly healthy planet. From that article:
Kingsnorth and Hine’s aspirations for their manifesto weren’t revolutionary, but neither were they nihilistic. Each man draws a distinction between a “problem,” which can be solved, and a “predicament,” which must be endured. “Uncivilization” was firm in its conviction that climate change and other ecological crises are predicaments, and it called for a cadre of like-minded writers to “challenge the stories which underpin our civilization: the myth of progress, the myth of human centrality and the myth of separation from ‘nature.’ ”
It reminded me of some of my earlier posts where I had concluded that humans are the infestation of planet Earth and that it was our responsibility (as the only species with a cognitive niche) to fix it. What does infestation look like? Here’s one small example of human activity in just the United States. This video compresses 203 years of “human progress” into less than a half-minute:
A 24-second look at what we’ve done to fish migration in the USA
Paul Kingsworth, Stephen Emmott and many others have concluded that our civilization is either doomed or has already ended. They see no way to reverse the damage that has been done.
Here’s the way I see it. In my last blog (posted 5-27-14) I listed four problems that must be solved in the next 100 years in order to have a chance of saving our civilization.
- Changing what we eat.
- Solving our overpopulation dilemma.
- Switching our global energy system from fossil fuels to renewables.
- Creating a new economic model that enables us to live in harmony with nature.
The good news is that changing what we eat has a three-fold feature of being the easiest, the quickest and by far, the most ecologically beneficial of the four challenges. Any meat-eater can change to 100% plant-based overnight and can immediately start helping to “save the world” as we know it.
And, if enough people change soon enough, we’ll quickly change the way the planet is being used, vast swaths of land can be returned to Nature, water pollution and soil erosion will ease, the oceans will get healthier, world hunger will be solved, we end the barbaric practice of torturing hundreds of billions of creatures each year and we’ll all get much healthier.
But most importantly, we’ll buy enough time to work on the other three challenges—all of which will take many decades, if not centuries to solve.
Am I the only one who believes we can beat climate change?
No. But, of the truly educated population on this crucial topic, most are probably beginning to lose hope. On the other hand, the vast majority of the world’s humans are oblivious to the looming disaster. They’re all busy with jobs, baseball games, wars, and a zillion other activities that are exclusive only to our species.
They don’t really worry about climate change, because they figure that somehow it will be solved and, whether it is or not, it is not likely to affect their life and there’s not much they can do about it anyway.
But not me. Because of my background, I have a clearer view of the “big picture” than most and I also understand what can happen when you have powerful leadership with unlimited resources. I explain all of that in my most recent blog of 5-27-14, Just ONE powerful leader and a few caring billionaires
Here’s what I believe can happen. Over the next ten years, if we can influence billions of people everywhere to replace most of their meat, dairy, egg and fish (MDEF) calories with plant-based alternatives—that many great things can happen.
- If enough people make big enough changes, we can eliminate 75% of the MDEF calories currently produced in the world.
- We’ll be able to feed all 7 billion people on less than half the 8 billion acres currently being used.
- We’ll free up more than 4 billion acres of land—an area about twice the size of the United States.
- We can plant trees on most of that land, returning hundreds of millions of acres to rainforest that have been ravaged by human “progress” for the last century.
It only takes one. I believe that if just one powerful leader (with unlimited resources) makes changing what we eat his/her #1 priority for the next ten years, that huge progress can be made and that the worst effects of climate change can be avoided. And, until someone either proves me wrong, or has a better idea, I will continue to promote the “One Leader—Unlimited Resources” model as our ONLY known chance to save our civilization.
Who could that leader be? If they “caught the vision,” any of these people could be that leader: Oprah Winfrey, Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Prince Charles, Barack Obama, Warren Buffett, Bill Clinton, Ted Turner or a handful of others.
And, as an executive recruiter for the last 15 years, I believe almost all problems boil down to leadership. The right leader, with enough resources, can accomplish almost anything.
My tagline for my search firm tells the story, “Delivering value well beyond executive search.” Value? How about saving our civilization? ansleygroup.com We celebrate fifteen years in business on Monday, June 9, 2014.
Please share your comments below and vote on this blog at the top of the page. Also tweet it, FaceBook it and generally get behind promoting my “One leader—Unlimited Resources” model for rapid progress toward saving our civilization.
- Inspiration article by Daniel Smith in the New York Times Magazine (April 17, 2014)
- Are humans the “infestation” of planet Earth? Posted 7-8-13, this was my first blog that mentioned Stephen Emmott.
- “You’re Screwed” or “We’re F_ _ _ _ D?” Take your pick. Posted 7-14-13, this was the next blog posted (features some entertaining, but scary video).
- “Infestation” IS the best word—if it gets your attention August, 2013, this addresses some negative feedback about using the word “infestation” to describe humans.
- NOTHING is more important than SUSTAINABILITY! Posted 1-25-14, this was my first blog featuring my new SOLO focus.
- From bigot to activist—my seven steps to altruism Posted 5-4-14, this blog tracks my life from birth to activist and my continued believe that we can solve our problems.
- Just ONE powerful leader and a few caring billionaires Posted on 5-27-14, this blog outlines the answer to the problem—that I believe CAN be solved.
- The Anthropocene Age blog that I found this week; lots of interesting information here.
- Can the human race survive? An article on the above blog-site; an interesting read but not a single mention of what impact our food choices are having.
- Saving us in the Anthropocene a very well-researched piece by my friend Paul Peacock, a huge advocate of the whole food, plant based diet.
The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.
Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
- What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
- A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
- Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unaware, by Richard Oppenlander.
Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.
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