Will grassroots activism save our ecosystem?

It’s possible. But it would take a few hundred years…which we don’t have.

One of my presentation slides and the tough lesson of global depletion.

One of my presentation slides and the tough lesson of global depletion.

Here’s the way I see things. As an industrial engineer, corporate executive, management consultant, and executive recruiter, I see most big problems in this world as failures of leadership. My one-page story

In our little corner of the universe, we now have a planetary dilemma that is strikingly similar to one faced by the Rapa Nui on Easter Island over 1,000 years ago. They, like us, didn’t realize that their lifestyle was destroying the fragile ecosystem that sustained them—until it was too late.

But, unlike the Rapa Nui, we currently HAVE the knowledge AND the resources to reverse our deadly lifestyle trends. We just lack the committed leadership to get it done. Grassroots efforts are happening all over the world, but are not going to deliver enough change in time. Despite the best efforts of millions of committed individuals, take a look at the scoreboard bel0w–late in the 4th quarter of the game.

World energy consumption. The 2015 graph below is an indicator of our global lifestyle with our continued dependence on fossil fuels. The recent graph below tells the story. The top three sources of energy (oil, coal and natural gas) all continue to grow. Nuclear energy is holding steady, while hydro and other renewables continue to grow. This is good news; albeit a case of too little, too late. Source of graph: BP 2015 Statistical Review of World Energy


Tipping points. Soon it will be too late for us as we race past tipping points, beyond which there is no return to the way things used to be. As I see it, our only chance is for powerful, global leadership to urgently teach all humans everywhere what must be done to save ourselves. We have a number of HUGE problems with our unsustainable lifestyle, but the only one that can be changed relatively quickly is the way we eat. Fortunately, changing the way we eat (far less meat, a lot more plants) will do more for our ecosystem than any other action we could take. That’s because the way we eat determines how most of the world’s land and oceans are used.

J. Morris Hicks, promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

J. Morris Hicks, promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

What about a grassroots process of change? In short, we don’t have time. I am almost certain that the change must be led by a self-appointed, globally-recognized leader who can get an audience with most, if not all, of the top 100 leaders in the world. Then, with a carefully crafted, massive global awareness campaign, eating habits around the world can be changed.

More good news. Conditions have NEVER been better for global communications—all we need are powerful leaders with the right message and a few hundred billion dollars to deliver that message to every human who currently includes lots of meat, dairy, eggs and/or fish in their diet. Then, with enough repetitions of that message (from credible people) millions will begin to change, others will follow and the movement will gather momentum. We can do this!

Markets will respond to the shifting demand and land that is being used to grow cattle will be freed up to grow human food—OR to reforest vast amounts of land. Then, as the ecological benefits of the above continue to grow—we just might be able to buy ourselves enough time to fix three other problems before it’s too late: overpopulation, an economy based on the maximization of the consumption of STUFF in a world of finite resources, AND the burning of fossil fuels that support the whole mess.

Michael Bloomberg could get this done. And he's already got a reputation for taking a stand against junk food.

Michael Bloomberg could get this done. And he’s already got a reputation for taking a stand against junk food.

Who will the primary leaders be? I have concluded that it will be easier to enlighten a person (about the importance of food choices) who is already a powerful, globally-recognized leader than it will be to make a great leader out of someone who’s already passionate about the plant-based lifestyle. Sadly, I don’t believe that there is a single globally-recognized leader who “totally gets it” about the critical importance of our food choices in the 21st century.

Who are the “capable” world leaders who could do the job if they were sufficiently enlightened? My list includes: Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Bill Clinton, Elon Musk, Prince Charles, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, Michael Bloomberg and others. And, I have reached out to all of them in various ways.

For me, it’s a fairly simple business issue. With the right global leader, we assess the problem, outline a solution, develop a plan of action, garner international support, raise the billions needed and get started–with never ending urgency–working on the #1 lifestyle problem in the world–the steadily rising demand for meat, dairy, eggs and fish in our diets.

AZ jpg Book AdPeople who think that things are getting better and that there is a trend toward eating more plants and less meat–are NOT looking at the big picture of what is happening in the entire world. Maybe this recent U.N. (FAO) graph will help. Notice that over the past 51 years, meat production has quadrupled from 75 million tons/year to over 300 million tons/year.

Bloomberg Business reports that the 2013 number was 309 million tons. Soaring Meat Production Threatens Global Environment. And the global fish graph (below) is just as bad–now well over 150 million tons in 2010, having increased seven-fold since 1950.

All of this “big picture” sustainability information is covered in our new book, along with simple instructions (from an MD) about how to do it. Click image above to order.



A few of my blogs that are relevant to our ongoing discussions:

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 jmh@4leafglobal.com

—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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