Do you know the significance of 350 parts per million?

It is the maximum safe level of CO2 in our atmosphere. 

It’s also a level that we will probably never see again. Read on…

350-org-logo1From the website. The number 350 means climate safety: to preserve a livable planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 400 parts per million to below 350 ppm.

We believe that a global grassroots movement can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice. That movement is rising from the bottom up all over the world, and is uniting to create the solutions that will ensure a better future for all.


J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

Am I pessimistic? Why do I say that we will probably never see the south side of 350 ppm ever again? Because, not only has it recently gone above 400 ppm, the rate of increase has never been greater. Meanwhile, the many environmental groups who say that fighting climate change is among their top priorities, hardly ever mention the ONLY primary driver of climate change that can be reduced quickly and permanently.

Of course I am talking about “getting the animal out of the equation” when it comes to how we feed ourselves in the 21st century. How much of climate change is driven by the raising of livestock? That depends on who you ask as the official estimates range from 14% to 51%.

Regardless of which one you choose to believe, what we eat plays a HUGE role in climate change and, even at the most conservative 14% level, livestock accounts for more climate change than ALL of transportation combined. Take just 4 minutes to watch this video of scary data from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. It provides you with a much BIGGER picture than the above graph.

Watch video carefully in full screen mode.

A few questions to consider now that you have a better understanding of climate change than well over 99% of the human population.

  1. Did you notice how, near the end, that the video went back and covered CO2 concentrations as far back as 800,000 BC?
  2. What did you learn from the video?
  3. What are you going to do about it?
  4. Why are the big environmental groups NOT talking about the ONLY primary driver of climate change that we can dramatically reduce quickly–the way we eat?
  5. Why do they seem to ONLY focus on transportation and coal-powered electricity? (If you’re thinking money, you’d be right. It would be bad for their fundraising if they were to be perceived as “anti-meat.”)

Let’s take a quick look at transportation, which includes all cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes in the world–as all sectors of transportation continue to increase exponentially. A  few factoids from the book TEN BILLION:

  • Cars. In 1960 there were 100 million cars on the world’s roads. In 1980, there were 300 million. Now there are over one billion cars and we’re on track to build another 4 billion by 2050.
  • Air travel. In 1960 we flew 62 billion passenger miles. In 1980, it had grown to 620 billion. Now it is well over 4 trillion miles.

What about replacing coal power with renewables? Despite all the windmills and solar panels going up all over the USA and Europe, the global demand for coal continues to shoot upward. And the world steadily continues to heat. Note that China now uses more coal than the rest of the world combined.


The Bottom Line. As I stated in Chapter 31 of our new book, we’ve got four big problems when it comes to climate change and sustainability in general.

  1. Overpopulation, exceeding the carrying capacity of our planet
  2. The way we live, work, travel, and strive to consume unlimited amounts of STUFF in a world of finite resources
  3. The burning of fossil fuels driven by the first two unsustainable situations listed above.
  4. The way we eat.

The 4Leaf Solution. All we need to do is replace most meat & dairy calories with much more healthy whole plants.

The first three will take many decades, if not centuries, to bring us back to living in sustainable harmony with nature. And since we don’t have that much time, that leaves ONLY #4, changing what we eat from a grossly unsustainable model of meat, dairy, eggs and fish to a global diet consisting of mostly whole plant-based foods.

If we can get the requisite leadership and funding in place, a rapid shift toward a global plant-based feeding model is possible. Not only would we make a serious dent in many categories of our most critical environmental issues: climate change, water shortage, species extinction, desertification, etc.–we might ALSO buy ourselves enough time to address and solve the first three issues listed earlier.

What can you do? You can share this blogpost with government officials, industry leaders, and any environmental group that you might support. You can also give them a copy of our new book–written so that an 8th grader or any congressperson could easily understand.

AZ jpg Book AdSince 2011, I have written about the simple solution to sustainability in hundreds of articles and in two books. The most recent book is our 4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health. Related to this article, here are a few chapters that you might find  enlightening. All  37 chapters are five pages or less:

  • Chapter 4. Why should we eat mostly plants?
  • Chapter 27. Cancer, climate change and world hunger
  • Chapter 29. The brain-locking protein myth
  • Chapter 31. Sustainability is paramount.
  • Chapter 32. Profound lessons from Easter Island
  • Chapter 36. New world of harmony. A look at how our world might look after we have made the necessary steps to get us back into living in harmony with nature. The main point is that we will NEVER be able to live in harmony with nature again without making radical changes in the way we feed ourselves.

A few relevant articles on this “big picture” topic:

The following six books 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

  1. 4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health, powerful new book by Kerry Graff, MD and yours truly
  2. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (my first book)
  3. 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.
  4. Primary cause of cancer is not bad luck. Stop Feeding Your Cancer, by John Kelly, MD
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

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

Want to find out how healthy you are eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes about two minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

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 Program website, which is now being used by an ever-growing army of enlightened medical doctors who are fed up with “disease care” and want to promote true health for their patients.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

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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