Addressing the primary four drivers of global depletion
Things that we value most—family, health, freedom, happiness, peace and wealth—do not exist without sustainability. In other words, if we don’t quickly learn how to live in harmony with nature, life will be nothing more than a hell on Earth for those few of us who survive. — J. Morris Hicks
For the past year, I have been writing about the near certain collapse of our civilization before 2100—unless we begin to make some radical changes soon. And we need to make those changes in four critical areas.
The problem is that we simply don’t have the necessary time to address the first three—as we’re rapidly running out of water and land NOW. And the experts agree that we’re rapidly approaching tipping points, beyond which there is no possibility of avoiding the worst effects of climate change—a problem that exacerbates ALL other environmental dilemmas.
The good news is that one of those four critical areas can be addressed quickly, easily and inexpensively. Why is that not happening? Read on. Here’s that list of four:
1. Overpopulation. As a species, it took us 200,000 years to reach the one billion population mark in 1800. Just 100 years later, we hit the two billion mark. Since then, we’ve added another five billion in just the last century and continue to add almost one million people every four days. Since 1800, we’ve grown from one billion to a population of 7.2 Billion. This problem will take many decades, if not centuries, to bring under control—unless Mother Nature chooses to do it herself. And that would not be a pretty picture.
2. Over-consumption. We now have a global economy that encourages infinite consumption in a finite world. We have long since passed the Earth’s human carrying capacity—as we head down the same path as the settlers of Easter Island—rapidly destroying our natural resources—as we all maximize the consumption of more STUFF. Any third grader can tell you that this simply cannot continue. This problem will also take many decades, if not centuries to resolve.
3. Dependence on fossil fuels. Over 80% of the world’s energy consumption is provided by fossil fuels—and that percentage hasn’t changed much in the last twenty years. Further, if we actually burn ALL the known reserves, experts agree that there is no way we can avoid the worst effects of climate change. Even if we were urgently working on replacing fossil fuels with renewables (which we’re not), it would take us twenty years and $18 trillion dollars to switch over to renewables.
That leaves problem #4 as our ONLY viable pathway!
4. We’re eating the wrong food. Back when we were only one billion strong, we could eat almost anything we wanted, and it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. But, at 7.2 billion and growing quickly, our food choices now determine how the entire planet is used.
And the way we have chosen to eat in the developed world, on a per calorie basis, requires over ten times as much land, water and energy as do plant-based calories. Not only are there more people everyday, more people are eating more of the grossly inefficient foods—meat, dairy, eggs and fish.
Simply to feed ourselves for the next forty years, we will need to produce more food than the entire agricultural output of the past 10,000 years combined. — Stephen Emmott, “TEN BILLION”
The Solution. All we need to do is change what we eat as quickly as possible. We must work urgently on the “demand” side of the equation; informing people everywhere about the many reasons they should replace most of their meat, dairy, egg and fish calories (with plant-based alternatives) as quickly as they can.
As consumers begin making healthier food choices, markets will quickly respond, people will begin getting healthier, the cost of healthcare will plummet, water will become more plentiful, trees can be planted on the freed-up land and our fragile ecosystem will begin to heal.
Eventually, we must also deal with overpopulation, over-consumption and our dependence on fossil fuels—but those tasks will take many decades, if not centuries.
Taking URGENT action NOW with our food choices can buy us the time we need to address them all.
Lack of Leadership. The above solution to me is like a “blinding flash of the obvious,” yet no world leaders are urgently working on that solution. It’s like every country is out for themselves—with no regard whatsoever to the gross unsuitability of the path we have collectively chosen.
That path is all about consuming as much as possible for as long as possible. Until our civilization collapses and we all become cannibals—fighting each other for enough food and water to survive. I agree with Dr. Emmott’s assessment toward the end of TEN BILLION:
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.
A big part of the problem. We’re not getting the information we need. The scale and the nature of the problem is simply not being communicated to us. And when we are advised to do something, it barely makes a dent in the problem.
Even the environmental groups are failing us. I agree with Dr. Emmott. The leaders and experts are not giving us the information we need. And because of special interests, many don’t even know the right information themselves. But that doesn’t lessen the need for disseminating that information as quickly as possible. It is absolutely essential for our survival as a species longterm.
We need powerful leadership and we need it NOW. We must have leaders who’re not afraid to launch a MASSIVE, privately funded and coordinated, global awareness campaign. How much will it cost and how long will it take to make a difference?
It might cost $50 Billion, $100 Billion or several Trillion dollars. But what difference does it make—if it enables us to save our civilization? When our civilization collapses, what good is money anyway?
The Bottom Line. It will be impossible for us to EVER live in harmony with nature—without radically changing what we’re now eating in the developed world. The good news is that making that shift can happen relatively quickly, easily and inexpensively. It all depends on three things: leadership, leadership and leadership.
Please send this blog and my One-Page Recipe for Saving our Ecosystem to everyone you respect as a leader. Maybe one of them will have the courage and integrity to lead us out of the most urgent situation in the history of humanity.
Ask those leaders to read TEN BILLION (#5 below), then the other five sources listed here. They’ll know what to do. Also, have them give me a call as I would love to help. 917-399-9700 in Stamford, CT.
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.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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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 email@example.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info: