NO ONE in the mainstream is talking about the OBVIOUS solution!
Last night, I watched the 60 Minutes segment on the billionaires’ “Giving Pledge” that aired last year. Not a single one of them said one word about the obvious solution to water scarcity or climate change—arguably the two most serious issues in the history of humankind.
With Charlie Rose moderating, they talked about dozens of worthy causes, yet not a single one of those initiatives will contribute significantly to our most serious problem—the sustainability of our civilization and, ultimately, our species. On the contrary, there was a lot of joking around and laughter as they each seized opportunities to offer up their “spin” on the challenge of giving away billions of dollars.
3-minute portion of that 60-Minutes segment (Nov. 2013)
Another leader speaks out. Last week, there was an article featuring the chairman of the largest food company in the world, Nestle. He makes a good point, people don’t seem to be paying much attention to the water crisis, which he says is more urgent than climate change. Nestlé warns water scarcity ‘more urgent’ than climate change. But he doesn’t mention how easily that water problem could be solved, while solving climate change at the same time. From the article:
“Today, you cannot have a political discussion anywhere without talking about climate change,”Nestlé chairman Peter Brabeck told the Financial Times in an interview. “Nobody talks about the water situation in this sense. And this water problem is much more urgent.
“I am not saying climate change is not important. What I am saying is even without climate change we are running out of water and I think this has to become the first priority,” he said, adding that global warming got more attention because it had “better ambassadors” such as Nobel Prize-winning scientists and Hollywood film makers.
I featured him in one of my 2011 blogs. World hunger, energy, water — and the “obvious” solution. Although he mentioned the gross inefficiencies of our meat-based diet, he never mentioned the OBVIOUS solution. But he did make this point that verifies that he knows about the gross inefficiencies of animal-based foods:
“The demand for meat,” he says, “has a multiplier effect of 10. You need 10 times as much land, 10 times as much [feed], 10 times as much water to produce one calorie of meat as you do to have one calorie of vegetables or grain.”
Then there’s Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. As one of the most widely acclaimed environmentalists of our time, you’d think that he might occasionally mention our food choices as being a great opportunity for curbing climate change or water scarcity. NOT!
In a 7-2-14 article on Climate Change in the Huffington Post, he talks about the 2 degree Celsius limit, yet makes NO MENTION whatsoever of food choices. Rather, he talks about the prospect of all nations working independently to burn less fossil fuels.
Sorry, Jeffrey, but that’s just not going to work. It hasn’t worked for twenty-two consecutive years, what makes you think it’s going to work now? From his article.
The 2-degrees C limit was adopted by all governments in 2010. Since then emissions have kept on rising, and we are running out of time to stay within 2-degres. More precisely, we are running out of our planet’s carbon budget, that is, the amount of carbon we can burn and still remain below 2-degrees C. In just a few years we’ll lose the remaining chance to keep the Earth’s temperature below the 2-degree C limit.
Yet, we can still succeed — if all major economies of the world begin to take strong and consistent actions to decarbonize their national energy systems in three main ways: shifting to low-carbon electricity; moving from fossil fuels to electricity in vehicles and buildings; and massive gains of energy efficiency.
A fourth main global pillar is to shift from deforestation to reforestation and to reduce emissions from agriculture. These transformations are deep, but they are feasible and will not only protect the climate but also boost prosperity if we apply our efforts and ingenuity to the effort.
Hey Jeffrey, to shift to reforestation, you first have to free up land and stop grabbing 30 million acres of rainforest each year so that we can produce more meat.
The bottom line. Our mainstream leaders are missing the obvious solution. And it’s due to a combination of MONEY, ignorance and popularity. Consider that NONE of our large environmental organizations (Sierra, Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy, etc.) are talking about the leading cause of global warming.
Why not? As Michael Pollan says in the new documentary, Cowspiracy, “it would hurt their fund raising.”
Since NO ONE in the mainstream is mentioning or working on the OBVIOUS solution, I have made that my primary mission—to search for that one powerful leader. We need a globally recognized person with an open mind—coupled with a reputation for integrity and care for the environment.
Once we find that leader, we can then work on helping him/her grasp the “blinding flash of the obvious” that I’ve been talking about for a decade now: “We’re eating the wrong food!” As a corporate headhunter, my new one-pager is a tool that I will use often in that search.
Earlier blogs on this topic:
- The most crucial task in the history of humanity…
- Why does Bill Gates not embrace my idea?
- A two-page pdf. My 3-21-14 letter to Bill and Melinda
- If I could pick just one leader, it would be Ted Turner.
- Leaders. Billionaires. The future of our civilization.
- Reduce Livestock. Reforest the Land. Sequester GHG.
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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