A Creative “Idea” for Saving our Civilization

This blogpost first appeared as a Bite-Size Blog (BSB #167)) that was distributed to my mailing list on September 21, 2018.

It is a well-known fact that sea levels are rising. But most people are unaware that those seas may be rising far more rapidly than mainstream scientists are predicting.

But, rather than debate how soon or how much the rising seas may jeopardize our coastal cities, why not consider that whatever time we have before serious disaster strikes–as an opportunity to re-invent the way we live?

Why not leverage the widespread certainty that sea levels are rising to galvanize support for designing a completely sustainable way to live in the United States? Why not create a model for the rest of the world to follow?

I am talking about a green model that can enable us to truly live in harmony with nature; thereby improving our chances to survive and thrive indefinitely on planet Earth.

A little background.  We know that, sooner or later, rising seas will force the relocation of many millions of Americans. So, let’s leverage that widespread awareness to carefully plan, and start building, an ultra-green way for humankind to coexist with nature–indefinitely, on our beautiful planet.

Click to order on Amazon >>>

In doing that, we must think far beyond driving electric cars and recycling our newspapers. As Dr. James Lovelock says below, we must learn to live in a way that actually improves the ecosystem of our hostess–Mother Nature. As he says,

If the Earth improves as a result of our presence, then we will flourish. If it doesn’t, we will die off.

This is our baseline. It can only get better from here.

Clearly we have a lot of work to do. So let’s start the process in earnest NOW–long before millions of Americans are forced, with little or no advance warning, to abandon their coastal residences.

So what is that creative IDEA?  It begins with setting aside a ten-mile-wide corridor of land extending from Atlanta to Los Angeles. In the center of that corridor will be a hyper-loop train system than will enable rapid, highly efficient movement of people, food and other freight across the country.

Ultimately, this system can eliminate the need for the vast majority of travel by automobile or airplane–both of which are environmental disasters.

The southern location was selected because of a number of factors like moderate climate, more access to solar energy, proximity to food sources, no huge mountains to cross and the sheer abundance of sparsely developed open spaces.

Within that corridor we can build a “Shangri-La” of sorts, featuring an ultra-green way of enjoyable living that will appeal to almost everyone. And it will be designed in such a manner that will minimize human interference with nature.

Think of this new Shangri-La as an exquisitely planned human habitat covering 22,000 square miles and capable of providing an exceptionally  rich lifestyle for up to 100 million residents.

Worried about population density? The above numbers will equate to about 5,000 residents per square mile, which would be 80% less dense than New York City is today. Also, no one would be forced to move to America’s new “green” region.

Instead, interested residents would undergo a thorough application process in which they formally agree to abide by an extensive set of community lifestyle regulations–all of which are aimed at protecting Mother Nature.

A few ideas regarding how this might work:

1. Vehicles.  No one will “own” an automobile or bicycle. All would be shared and the autos would be powered by batteries that are charged 100% by renewable energy, primarily solar and wind.

2. Amenities. Parks, theaters, schools, natural spaces, biking paths, fountains and playgrounds would be abundant and beautiful.

3. HyperLoop Trains.  I envision three tubes in each direction: Local, Express and  Freight . Most  people  could walk, bike or use shared  vehicles to access this amazing system that could traverse the entire country in three hours. And most of it would be above ground, thereby affording breathtaking views at speeds up to 760 mph.

4. What about food? You guessed it, all food will be plant based. If anyone still doubts the grossly unsustainable insanity of eating animals, they should read this latest news about the overflowing “pig poop lagoons” in North Carolina.

5. Housing & Energy. All housing units would be designed to best leverage the highly efficient use of renewable energy to provide an exceptionally enjoyable lifestyle for all. And all human waste would be recycled.

6. Government & Economy?  Above my pay grade and to be determined. But it would be nothing like what we currently have in the USA. Its overarching objective would be the protection of nature coupled with providing a life of comfort, meaning and dignity for all citizens. A true win-win for all concerned.

What about government? I am calling it the American Green Region Authority (AGRA)–an organization that would be charged with managing this futuristic human habitat almost like a totally new country.

7. Future Vision . While the system is being rolled out and fine-tuned in that southern corridor, future regional systems could be planned.

For example, we might want one to connect the Chicago area with the southern corridor in Texas and other viable routes to provide access to the NE and NW regions of the USA. And just think about the millions of jobs that will be created.

Are we capable of making this happen? Noted Harvard biologist, theorist and naturalist, E.O. Wilson says “yes” –but with some reservations:

“We have enough intelligence, goodwill, generosity and enterprise to turn Earth into a paradise both for ourselves and for the biosphere that gave us birth…the problem is that we are an innately dysfunctional species.” —  E.O. Wilson

Maybe we can prove him wrong about our dysfunction. 

Ultimately, I envision over 300 million Americans living in three or four corridors requiring a total of less than 100,000 square miles, an area about the size of Oregon.

That would mean that over 90% of our nation’s citizens could live comfortably in less than 5% of our total area. After setting aside certain areas for food production, recreation, military and manufacturing–the rest could be returned completely to nature. 

No doubt you have many questions about this whole “idea.” I look forward to hearing those questions and to sharing further thoughts with you in person. Perhaps you can attend my next speaking event in NYC or maybe you can invite me to speak somewhere near you.

Sincerely, J. Morris (Jim) Hicks

PS: Try to consider the  positives to be gained rather than dwelling on certain luxuries that might be lost. Also, we should think about the absolute  horror show that will ensue if, or when, our civilization collapses. 

I truly believe that the process I have described herein is our generation’s chance to help make a satisfying life possible for all of the innocent children who follow us.

One more thing, I encourage you to tell the good people at TED Talks that this is truly “an idea worth sharing.” It’s a lot better idea than trying to colonize Mars or the moon.

J. Morris Hicks on Fishers Island Sound

Finally, do you have friends in or near New York City? If so, please tell them that on October 17, I will be delivering a “big picture” presentation (with emphasis on hope) at a venue near Penn Station, beginning at 6:30 pm and including a pot-luck dinner. Click here for details  and to make a reservation.

I welcome your feedback and questions at jmorrishicks@me.com

Posted in Climate Change, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Arctic Crisis 2018 – 2019; in Charts and Graphs

Introduction. This is the page where you can stay up to date relative to the sea ice extent in the Arctic. There are twelve charts below for the latest twelve months of data from the NSIDC, the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

This page includes graphs showing sea ice extent by month since 1979. You will see below that records are being set for each month for the lowest ice extent on record.

What about that Crisis in the Arctic?

When we’re talking about something this serious, I always like to have hard data, like the “charts and graphs” mentioned above. To convey my preference for data over opinions, this image has been sitting on my desk for the better part of twenty years.

The graph below tracks the sea ice volume in cubic kilometers. The gray bars below represent the volume of Arctic sea ice in thousands of cubic kilometers at the minimum level each year (occurs in September). For the past eight years, it has been about 75% less than the volume in 1979, when satellite imaging began. When the blue line touches the red line, there will be no ice in the Arctic Ocean.

This chart is the minimum sea ice for 2018, occurring again in September.

Earlier this year, I reached out via email to Dr. Peter Wadhams of the University of Cambridge to get his input on some alarming events that were taking place in the Arctic. He feared that this year would be the one where there was zero sea ice in the Arctic for at least part of September. Fortunately that did not happen, but probably will before 2023, five years from now. His response appears just below his image.

Dr. Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics, University of Cambridge

July 16, 2018

Dear James,

Many thanks for your message. The Arctic ice has been behaving in a new way. In terms of annual mean extent, it is lower than ever before, but the decline in volume is spread throughout the year rather than being focused on September. 

The above graph shows this – the ice extent is paralleling the average at a lower level rather than diverging from it as summer approaches, but you can also see this if you go right back to last autumn. The ice is switching to a significant decline at all seasons, so an ice-free September, previously thought to be a dire warning, may not happen . 

Instead the ice just declines at all seasons until finally it goes altogether.

Best wishes, Peter

So, based on his recommendation, I went to nsidc.org to research the “average monthly sea ice extent” in the Arctic Ocean since August of 2017. Each of the eleven graphs that appear below cover the period since 1979 when satellite imaging of ice cover began.

Note that all of the following twelve graphs reveal that Arctic Sea Ice extent is following the same downward trend that Dr. Wadhams mentioned.

I reviewed this Sam Carana chart with Dr. Wadhams in Feb. 2018, See one minute video below.

Candid Camera: One minute with Dr. Wadhams–NYC Feb. 2018

While we’re on the topic of rapidly warming Arctic temperatures, take a look at the graph below that was recently created and posted at the Arctic News Blogspot by Sam Carana. The last datapoint is July 6, 2018. Note that this graph is just a snapshot look at one particular date (July 6) for each of  the past five years.

Given that it’s only one day over a five-year pereiod, I would like to think that the sharp temperature increase in this graph is a fluke. But given all the other data, like the above chart, I fear that these numbers may spell big trouble.

Notice that the following nine “ice extent” graphs (from October to June 2018), all seem to be telling the same grim story regarding the disappearance of ice at the top of the world.

The Last 12 Most Recent Months of Sea Ice Coverage in the Arctic

Every single month of the year shows a sharp and continuing decline since 1979. The data is in millions of square kilometers.

November 2017. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2017)December 2017. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2017)January 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

February 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

March 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)April 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

May 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

June 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

July 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

Aug 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

Sept 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

Oct 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

Nov 2018. Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent (1979-2018)

What’s next? The trend line is steadily downward for every month of the year since 1979. It’s only a matter of time before we have our first ice-free summer in the Arctic. Here are a few related BSBs on that topic.

An Arctic Alert for your Friday the 13th  (7-13-18)

From Curiosity about Food Choices to OMG! (7-20-18)

J. Morris Hicks on Fishers Island Sound

I welcome your feedback and questions at jmorrishicks@me.com

Best Regards, J. Morris (Jim) Hicks

Posted in Climate Change, Sustainability | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Our own health, or the health of our ecosystem?

Which is more important?

Healthy PeopleMy guess is that most people would answer that “our own health” is more important. Not because they’re selfish or uncaring about the environment, but because they probably don’t know what’s at stake should our ecosystem no longer be able to sustain us. And they don’t know about the most powerful action we can take to promote ecological health.

My answer to the title question is that NOTHING is more important than the sustainability of our ecosystem. That’s because without a healthy ecosystem, our civilization will collapse, making life a hell on Earth for those few of us who survive. And, when that happens, what good is being healthy if we don’t have enough food, water, shelter and clean air?

Harmony of Nature

Harmony of Nature

As for environmental health, most people think it’s a matter of recycling, taking shorter showers, driving electric cars, installing solar panels, etc. All good things to be sure, but only a drop in the bucket when it comes to preserving our ecosystem’s ability to sustain us.

First, we must all understand the extent of the problem. Our ecosystem is already sick and is getting sicker each day–and it is human activity that is most responsible. Recently, I published a blog entitled Racing past environmental tipping points in 2015. It was inspired by a new scientific study reporting that we’d already passed four of nine planetary boundaries (extinction rate, deforestation, CO2 levels and the flow of fertilizer waste into our oceans) and concluding:

At the rate things are going, the Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a “safe operating space” for human beings.

So what should we be doing to keep our planet a “safe operating space” for human beings? First, we need to step back and look at the BIG PICTURE of the categories of human behavior that are harming our planet. Then we must take the most powerful step that we can take when it comes to saving our ecosystem. I have concluded that we have four urgent problems when it comes to human activity:

  1. Overpopulation. Nearing 7.5 billion now, and rising by over 200,000 per day.
  2. Overconsumption. Our entire global economy is based on maximizing the consumption of STUFF in a world of finite resources.
  3. Dependence on Fossil Fuels. This is primarily driven by the first two, and despite all the windmills and solar panels out there, our consumption of fossil fuels increases each and every year.
  4. Eating the Wrong Food. Compared to a plant-based diet, the typical western diet (S.A.D. in the USA) requires over ten times as much land, water and energy to produce the same number of calories.
Our top leaders must soon understand the power of plant foods to promote human health, solve world hunger and save our ecosystem. The greatest win-win-win in history.

Our top leaders must soon understand the power of plant foods to promote human health, solve world hunger and save our ecosystem. The greatest win-win-win in history.

We must eventually address ALL of the above issues in order to support the long-term sustainability of first, our civilization, and ultimately, the human species. The problem is that it will take many decades, if not centuries, to make all the necessary changes in the first three categories.

But the GOOD NEWS is that the “wrong food” category can be fixed in a relatively short period of time. More good news — our consumption of animal-based foods is by far the leading contributor to most of our environmental problems. If we can fix that one, we can buy ourselves enough time to fix the other three.

How do we fix the global feeding model?

Buying time by filling our grocery carts with plant-based foods

Filling our carts with plants NOW can buy us time to fix the other three categories of our grossly unsustainable lifestyle.

By convincing all humans that not only is a diet of whole, plant-based foods great for our health–it’s also the single best favor that we can do for our environment and for all humans who follow us on Planet Earth.

Most people reading this article on this website already know about the power of whole, plant-based foods for promoting vibrant human health. Now, we just need to do our best to spread the good news about the most important benefit of eating plant-based foods: promoting the health of the fragile ecosystem that sustains us.

The Bottom Line

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

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

More good news. The fact is that anyone who is eating animal-based foods can switch to mostly plant-based in just a matter of days. So, the single best thing that we can all do for our environment, our civilization and the future of our species is to help EVERYONE understand the most important reasons why they should make that switch–the sooner the better!

In closing, consider this sobering factoid from the Global Footprint people. If everyone in the world lived like the average European, our planet could only support two billion people indefinitely. Even more sobering…if everyone tried to live like the average American, our precious planet could only support one billion people. We’re nearing 7.5 billion now and still adding over 200,000 people per day.

This is why I call our food choices in the 21st century the most important topic in the history of humanity. That’s because our future as a species is riding on those choices. Finally, this article is not about doom and gloom; it is about simple third grade arithmetic that our global leaders have failed to embrace. Once they do, we’ll be well on our way to reversing climate change, restoring our rainforests and oceans and slashing the cost of healthcare throughout the world–truly a win-win for our own health and for the health of the ecosystem that supports us all.

Posted in Activism & Leadership, Big Picture, Sustainability | Tagged | 2 Comments

Money-Controlled Science and the Demise of Academic Freedom

Chapter 10 from our new book, “Downsizing the Cancer Industry”

Book Update. John Kelly, MD (author of Stop Feeding Your Cancer), and I have hit a legal snag with regards to publishing our new book but wanted to go ahead and immediately publish this all-important chapter. In just over 5,000 words, we make the case for why Dr. T. Colin Campbell is an outstanding candidate for the Nobel committee to consider–in the field of physiology and medicine.

Click here for a printer-friendly 12-page pdf of this blog. Please feel free to circulate all of this information around the world. If you have any questions or maybe some ideas for promoting Colin’s candidacy for this prestigious prize, please contact me at 917-399-9700 via email at jmorrishicks@me.com.

A word about modesty. This paragraph appears toward the end of the following chapter, but I chose to also include it here just to remove any doubt about Colin’s own role in an ever-expanding grassroots effort promoting his candidacy for the Nobel Prize.

An exceptionally modest man, I can assure you that Colin doesn’t seek the award for personal glory; he just knows, as I do, that this kind of recognition could possibly bring the positive fame and global awareness necessary to jolt the fields of academia and medicine into action—in a manner that could benefit all future generations on Earth. What possible scientific discovery could be more important than that? And; therefore, what scientist is more worthy of receiving the Nobel Prize?

Chapter 10

The Road to the Nobel Prize Can Be Arduous

By J. Morris Hicks

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. –Nelson Mandela

Before Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1993 and elected president of South Africa in 1994, he served twenty-seven years of a life sentence in prison for conspiracy to overthrow the state. At the time of his death at the age of 95 in 2013, he was one of the best-loved and most respected individuals who ever lived.

Nobel CoinAlthough Dr. T. Colin Campbell has never spent a single night in jail, you could say that he has served for the last thirty years in what might be called a scientific prison. That unjust sentence was his reward for publishing dozens of peer-reviewed papers that challenged the nutritional quality of animal-based foods—that were produced by industries that contribute huge sums of money to colleges of agriculture like the one at Cornell University.

As with Nelson Mandela being freed from prison and later becoming president of his country, in addition to receiving many of the world’s top honors—perhaps a similar level of long overdue recognition awaits Colin Campbell. I am one of a large group of individuals who believe that his unmatched body of work in cancer research is deserving of similar international recognition. Specifically, we feel that his break-through work is worthy of consideration by the Nobel Committee when choosing recipients of their annual prize for outstanding discoveries in the fields of life sciences or medicine. And since Nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously, we need to help Colin get out of that scientific prison sooner rather than later.

Mandela was 75 years old when he won the Nobel Prize and Colin Campbell is a very healthy 82 as of this writing, so there is still time to sufficiently restore and polish his former sterling image in the world of science. To be sure, early in his career, he was a scientific superstar, who once had a sparkling reputation that began to fade over three decades ago–right about the time he started boldly sharing his conclusions about animal protein within the peer-reviewed world of science. As Colin told me recently:

The evidence for me was abundantly convincing in 1983 that animal protein plays a major role in the growth of cancer in animals, and most-likely in humans. –T. Colin Campbell

What Happened to Colin Campbell’s Career at Cornell?

Noticing last summer that he had begun speaking in public about the way Cornell University had been undermining his career in recent decades, I asked him if he would be amenable to my describing some of his many academic ordeals in this book. So I write this chapter with his permission and active participation in helping to ensure that everything that you read here is factual.

Savage Hall at Cornell University where Dr. Campbell earned his PhD and taught for many years

Savage Hall at Cornell University where Dr. Campbell earned his PhD and taught for many years

My story on this topic began in November of 2009, when I first observed an example of the administrative mistreatment that Colin had been enduring for two decades. That evening, I attended what would become the final lecture he would ever deliver on the Cornell campus–to a packed house at Savage Hall, where he had spent most of his career.

The audience that evening was comprised of students, faculty and a few individuals from the public. Prominent in his final lecture was the amazing story cited earlier about how he had been able to turn cancer “on and off” in laboratory rats in his own Cornell lab—simply by adjusting the concentration of casein (the protein in cow’s milk) up or down in their diet.

The crowd reaction that evening was greatly mixed—ranging from enthusiastic and engaging questions from students to shameful statements of condemnation from faculty members who publicly insulted him for having the audacity to present such abominable “phony science” in front of the undergraduates who were present in the lecture hall that evening. I was stunned. To me, it was like a bishop had just slapped the face of the pope.

Later that evening, at dinner with Colin and Karen Campbell, it was surprising to see that Colin was as relaxed and as jovial as ever—with no apparent hangover from the vile comments made to his face that evening. Both he and Karen commented that this very same kind of public ridicule had been happening at Cornell for twenty years and that they were sadly quite accustomed to it. Let’s take a look at how Colin’s spectacular career had led him to this point.

From the Dairy Farm to an Indictment of Cow’s Milk

After growing up on a dairy farm in northern Virginia, Colin chose to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and headed off to Penn State, where he received his pre-vet bachelor’s degree in 1956. After spending a year in veterinarian school at the University of Georgia, he received a telegram from a famous Cornell professor offering him a full scholarship to study nutritional science at Cornell. He accepted that generous offer and went on to earn his masters and PhD degrees there in nutritional biochemistry in 1958 and 1961 respectively.

Fourteen years later, after career stints at M.I.T. and Virginia Tech, Colin was destined to return to Cornell–to a full, tenured professorship at age 40 (A rarity at such a young age) at the university’s Division of Nutritional Sciences. After being interviewed by the department head, two deans and the president of the university, Colin was overjoyed with their resulting offer. Later, he described the Cornell opportunity in one of his books–with an emphasis on the sacred subject of academic freedom:

They granted me a position that provided an almost unparalleled opportunity to reach for the skies. Mere words cannot adequately express my gratitude for their expressions of support; the exemplary personal philosophies of these gentlemen gives meaning to the idea of academic freedom, a concept that needs all the support it can get in these challenging times.

Over the next twenty years at Cornell, he made good on the decision by those four gentlemen to offer him that full, tenured professorship. Quite simply, he became the best producing scientist in the top nutritional science program at one of the most respected universities in the world.

He consistently generated more research funding than anyone else in that large department and conducted and published the results of over 300 peer-reviewed studies during the course of his career—more than any other professor. Largely due to his work, the Cornell Division of Nutritional Sciences was consistently ranked #1 in the nation. Nowadays, with the division being managed by those who are subservient to the dairy and genetics industry, its national ranking has dropped to #20 in the latest poll.

During his first twenty years at Ithaca, while actively securing funding and publishing scientific studies, he remained in very high esteem at Cornell—as long as he didn’t make too many statements that implicated the mighty dairy and beef industries and their implicit role in promoting chronic disease. He knew at the time that the president and other senior officials at Cornell didn’t want to hear any incriminating news about the industries that were providing hefty research funding for their university.

That doesn’t sound like academic freedom to me, and it certainly didn’t sound like academic freedom to Colin–during what should have been the most exhilarating years of his time at Cornell. From 1975 forward, here are a few of his career highlights, beginning with the massive China-Cornell Oxford Project that was described in the New York Times as the “grand prix of epidemiology:

China Oxford Project

  • Organized and directed the most comprehensive study of diet, health, and disease in the history of the world, the China-Cornell-Oxford Project.
  • Received over seventy grant years of peer reviewed research funding, mostly from the National Institutes of Health.
  • Served on several National Academy of Sciences expert panels, including the 1982 “Diet, Nutrition and Cancer” report.
  • Awarded the coveted Jacob Gould Schurman Endowed Chair in 1985, the only professor in the division of nutritional sciences so honored.
  • Finally, from the legendary and greatly admired Cornell president at the occasion of his own farewell address (to 8,000 people) in 1995, Dr. Frank Rhodes cited Colin’s massive China Project as “one of the greatest embodiments of Cornell excellence to take place during his twenty-two years at the helm of this great institution.”
T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell

T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell

At about the time of that address in 1995, Colin was beginning to feel the academic freedom issues that he had dreaded since he began challenging the meat and dairy industries and was beginning to suffer some of the administration-driven indignities that accompanied those issues.

Here is a sampling of nine official university actions against him, in no particular order:

  1. Abrupt cancellation of his very popular and officially approved “vegetarian” nutrition course, with no input from Colin and without even the courtesy of a phone call. (This highly popular course was taught from 1994 to 2003; when it was removed from the catalog, nearly 5,000 students petitioned to have it restored).
  2. Refusal to show him a letter sent by the director of his department to another department on campus prohibiting them from offering the cancelled course as well.
  3. Not providing him with an office in Savage Hall where he had spent the bulk of his career.
  4. Removing his photo from the wall of distinguished professors who had served in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.
  5. Refusal to allow the film crew of Forks Over Knives to shoot background footage at Cornell’s experimental farm facilities where he had previously done research–simply because he was personally involved.
  6. Being informed, through a fellow professor, of the words of a former senior staffer of the communications department “that never again were they to give him ink.”
  7. Sending by the director of his department to the Dean of Faculty office two letters, both including trumped-up allegations about his being responsible for unfounded indiscretions of others–along with spreading a personally vicious rumor told on campus about his own indiscretions in federal offices in Washington.
  8. Very late cancellation of an already scheduled hall for a lecture he was to be delivering with an internationally distinguished colleague; then being told that he would “never again” get such a hall.
  9. Removal of all details about his splendid career from the Cornell website; only a tiny picture, title and contact information remain.

This is definitely not the kind of treatment that one of the greatest nutritional scientists in the world and the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus at Cornell should be getting at the institution where he earned his Masters and PhD and spent the majority of his career. But it gets worse.

The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

After joining the board of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in 2012, I began working closely with Colin on a number of issues. One of the more significant examples occurred during the summer of 2014. In early June, Colin called to tell me about the latest, and most egregious violation of academic freedom that he had suffered to date at Cornell.

Cornell ChronicleHe then proceeded to tell me about an impending Cornell Chronicle (campus newspaper) article (praising the success of his eCornell plant-based course) that was being suppressed by the office of the president, David Skorton. Apparently, he killed the article, stating that the university could not endorse the scientific findings it cited–not that anyone had requested such an endorsement. That never-published article began as follows:

By far, the No. 1 eCornell online program is Plant-Based Nutrition. The three-course series, for which medical professionals can earn continuing education credits, explains the science behind decades of research that shows that diets high in animal protein are a considerable risk factor for developing heart disease, cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

That science builds on the lifetime of research (more than 250 peer-review papers) by Professor Emeritus T. Colin Campbell, M.S. ’57, Ph.D. ’62, Cornell’s Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry. Since “retiring” in 2001, Campbell has devoted his efforts to advancing and disseminating the findings of those Cornell studies.

Compared to numerous examples of abridgement of Colin’s faculty rights and privileges over the years, this act to censure the press at a land grant university was particularly disturbing. I remember asking Colin that morning, “Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to seek legal counsel to contest this blatant breach of the First Amendment?”

He said that he was and that he would begin contacting lawyers. About a week later, I called and asked if he’d found an attorney willing to take his case. Since he had not, I asked if he would like for me to make a few calls. And that’s how our legal adventure began with the most prominent First Amendment attorney in the United States–a name that is known well by every member of Congress. I am talking about Mr. Floyd Abrams, a partner with the New York firm of Cahill, Gordon and Reindel, LLP and a fellow graduate of Cornell University.

Fighting for Academic Freedom at Cornell

After doing an online search for attorneys specializing in First Amendment work, I discovered a number of firms and reached out with letters to several of them. My letter to Mr. Floyd Abrams of Cahill, Gordon and Reindel was emailed to his office in New York on June 27, 2014. It began as follows:

Dear Mr. Abrams, 

Just this morning, I found your law firm on the U.S. News Best Lawyers list for First Amendment work. As a board member of the non-profit organization listed below, I am writing to request an initial meeting with you to discuss an academic freedom issue involving our Chairman, Dr. T. Colin Campbell. He wants to understand all of his options, including possible litigation.

Like you, Colin studied at Cornell, earning his MS there in 1958 and his PhD in 1961 and he has been a full, tenured professor there since 1975. He is currently the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry and you will notice that his current page on the Cornell website has no content relative to his long and distinguished career there. I see that you earned your BS at Cornell in 1956, the same year that Colin earned his BS at Penn State. So you two guys are probably close to the same age.

I have known Colin for about ten years and, since 2012, have been a member of his board that oversees the non-profit Center for Nutrition Studies that bears his name. The author of the million-seller The China Study and several more recent books, Dr. Campbell has already had a profoundly positive impact throughout the entire world. So positive in fact, that I predict that someday he will win the Nobel Prize.

That’s the good news. The bad news relates to Cornell University itself and is a topic that we would like to review with you in private.

Sincerely, J. Morris (Jim) Hicks 

Floyd Abrams at his desk in New York where we met with him in July of 2014

Floyd Abrams at his desk in New York

After receiving my letter, Mr. Abrams phoned me about a week later and agreed to meet with Colin and me in his New York City office on July 31, 2014.

It turned out to be a wonderful meeting as Mr. Abrams listened carefully, took lots of notes and asked some great questions. Although he didn’t seem inclined to want to litigate the case, he got back to us with this advisory letter about six weeks later.

Advisory Letter from Attorney Floyd Abrams

September 19, 2014

Dear Dr. Campbell:

I’ve given a great deal of thought to your situation–plight might be a better word–and have discussed it with a number of my colleagues. Your work is not only of the highest significance but from what you’ve told me, it certainly appears that you’ve been treated in a manner that is not only unfair but at odds with generally held notions of academic freedom. The unavailability of classrooms to you to lecture in and the other limitations on your ability to fully use university facilities are unacceptable responses to the views you have expressed and if you can demonstrate that they do, in fact, result from the expression of those views, you should be able to persuade an independent decision-maker that you have been badly mistreated.

That said, I do not believe a courtroom is an appropriate forum for your claims. Cornell, as I have said, is not judged by strict First Amendment standards. You have little, if any damages, as measured in purely legal terms. And proof that the university is acting out of the motives you suggest is, at best, difficult to establish.

That is why I suggest to you that you take two courses of action. The first is to write to the president or provost of the university, setting forth in detail your grievances and asking either or both of them to treat you in all respects as other members of the Cornell faculty are treated. The second, as I mentioned in our meeting (but only after you file a formal complaint with the university, as I suggest above, and either hear back from them or hear nothing) is to contact the American Association of University Professors to seek their assistance. That organization exists to deal with situations such as you describe and universities are generally loathe to ignore its remonstrations. 

I know that this is not the response you sought but it does reflect my best judgment about how best to deal with the situation in which you find yourself. Your work is of enormous consequence and I wish you well.

With admiration and best regards, Floyd Abrams

Academic Freedom Letter to the President of Cornell

Over the next few weeks, we followed Mr. Abrams’ advice and prepared a lengthy letter containing about 2,000 words–explaining all of the academic freedom issues to Cornell’s president, David Skorton. The letter was dated 10-13-14 and included a formal request for four specific action items:

  1. Publish the Cornell Chronicle article (enclosed) that was written by them and advocated for publication. I also ask that your office write the specifics behind denying publication of this article.
  2. Affirm my right to schedule halls for lectures per their availability.
  3. Make available the previously written letter from Director of Nutritional Sciences, Professor Patrick 
Stover, wherein he denied another campus department from offering the course that I had taught and that was approved
  4. Prepare a policy document (perhaps from existing documents) that clearly specifies what the concept 
of academic freedom means to our institution, its faculty, its students and its patrons and what it does not mean. This should also speak to the option of department chairs to arbitrarily cancel courses previously approved by department and college procedures as well as to the line of authority for determining which information the University Communications Department chooses to publish. I also suggest that the Faculty Senate review and approve this document.

Colin hand-delivered a carefully worded, very thoughtful, three-page letter to President Skorton at his Cornell office on 10-13-14. Hoping at least to have a chance to discuss all of the issues in person, Colin was rightfully disappointed when he received a curt reply of less than 100 words fifteen days later.

In that very short note, he failed to even acknowledge the four specific requests near the end of Colin’s letter. He also deferred the Cornell Chronicle issue to others and added,

“As to the additional points you raise, as I understand it, you have had ample opportunity to vet those concerns through appropriate channels at Cornell. Based on information shared in your letter, it appears that you have a wide and enthusiastic audience for your research. I wish you continued success.” —David Skorton, President

Cornell Logo

That was it. No offer to meet and discuss. No apology. Nothing. This bureaucratic-sounding, meaningless response from President Skorton was disappointing to be sure, but not that surprising. It is the kind of reaction that Colin Campbell had come to expect from the academic system in general–after thirty years of challenging that system. His challenges were never in an attempt to incur damage but rather a sincere effort to preserve the precious academic freedom that is necessary for individual scientists to find and publicize the truth that the public deserves to hear.

Healthcare–A “Sick and Morbid System”

As I write this today on the 4th of July, 2016, I just received an email from Colin in response to a message that I sent him yesterday regarding my disappointment with VP Biden and his refusal to meet with John Kelly during his visit to Ireland a few weeks earlier. Dr. Kelly had truly felt that the vice president would’ve taken time to meet with him—given how personally important the topic of cancer is to the Biden family. Colin’s response was right to the point, “It is a very sick, morbid system that few people really know.” His comment reminded me of his candid description of that system in his 2005 bestseller, The China Study (co-authored with son Thomas M. Campbell, MD):

I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to health, government is not for the people; it is for the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry at the expense of the people. It is a systemic problem where industry, academia and government combine to determine the health of this country…The entire system—government, science, medicine, industry and media—promotes profits over health, technology over food and confusion over clarity. Most, but not all, of the confusion about nutrition is created in legal, fully disclosed ways and is disseminated by unsuspecting, well-intentioned people, whether researchers, politicians or journalists. The most damaging aspect of the system is not sensational, nor is it likely to create much of a stir upon its discovery. It is a silent enemy that few people see and understand.

Those words reveal exactly why we were all so optimistic about the “moonshot” initiative, announced by the Obama administration in January of 2016. It was authorized, and was to be led, by two highly regarded, successful and charismatic career government leaders who would never have to run for public office again. Further, I know for a fact that President Obama knows a lot more about the relationship between food, disease and sustainability than most people realize—probably more than any American president in history.

Biden and Obama

In my opinion, the greatest failure of the Obama administration has been their failure to even consider the proven science about disease reversal that is possible by a simple shift to a whole food, plant-based diet.

And, of course we all know about the tragedies that VP Biden has endured in his life, particularly the loss of his son Beau to cancer in 2015. So when the moonshot was announced a year later, we all thought that it just might be that “perfect storm” confluence of events and circumstances that would be necessary for two powerful leaders to cast aside the political and economic shackles of the cancer system and truly delve into the nutritional science that revealed such exciting prospects for the cure—the findings from Colin Campbell’s Cornell labs three decades ago.

But it appears that what we thought was a golden opportunity will end up leading us nowhere. From a Biden interview with NPR in June of 2016, he talks about the “same old, same old” ways of fighting cancer that guarantee the continuation of the very sick and morbid system described by Dr. Campbell.

On the topic of colon cancer, VP Biden apparently thinks that the colon cancer gene discovery he mentions here qualifies as “exciting” news. He states in the NPR interview:

I do know that there is the overwhelming prospect that in the next year, two, three, four, five, you’re going to see significant breakthroughs for certain types of cancers as well as significant breakthroughs in terms of how to turn cancer into a chronic disease as opposed to a life-threatening disease. You’ve seen it already. For example, they’ve determined out in Utah at I believe…I think it was Huntsman, where they’ve detected a gene that relates to colon cancer. And so your probability of getting colon cancer [is] exponentially higher if you have this particular gene. Once you’re tested and identified that you have that, then you have more frequent colonoscopies. You increase exponentially the likelihood you’re not going to die from cancer.

That phrase about having “more frequent” colonoscopies reminds me of the role of our “disease care” system in the United States. It is a very profitable system that doesn’t want you to die and doesn’t want you to get well. It just wants you to keep coming back for treatment of your chronic disease—a treatment regimen that never ends until you die. Meanwhile, back to Cornell.

Pressing Forward After Another Rejection from Cornell

After receiving the rejection letter from Cornell President Skorton, we continued to follow the advice of attorney Floyd Abrams as we brought all of the same academic freedom issues to the attention of the American Association of University Professors. But those efforts have also failed to produce any meaningful results.

Elizabeth Garrett, first woman president of Cornell

Elizabeth Garrett

When David Skorton moved on to Smithsonian in 2015, Cornell University named its 13th president, Elizabeth Garrett–the fist woman to serve in that capacity. Noting her stellar legal background, Colin and I thought that she of all people would take a particularly strong interest in his academic freedom issue at Cornell.

She took office in July of 2015 and received a copy of the Skorton letter from Colin a few months later. Although she responded in a more eloquent and thoughtful manner than Skorton, it was clear that she had no intention of addressing or attempting to resolve the continual academic freedom issue that Colin had reported.

Sadly, a few months later, President Garrett became the first Cornell president to die in office, of colon cancer, in March of 2016—at the age of 52. It’s ironic that she died from a disease that could possibly have been prevented long ago by broad dissemination and further study of Campbell’s scientific work at Cornell dating back to the seventies—a process that neither she nor Skorton had any interest in pursuing or even discussing.

A Shrine to the Dairy Industry

Shortly after President Garrett took office, the new home of the Cornell University Department of Food Science was celebrated in a special dedication ceremony in October. With some 200 honorees, faculty and stakeholders at the ceremony, Kathryn J. Boor, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), said the “refurbished facilities will pay dividends for generations as Cornell continues its role as a global leader in food safety and innovation.”

Almost like a shrine to the dairy industry, the group was served milk and ice cream in the new 124-seat PepsiCo Auditorium of the newly renovated Stocking Hall that houses the department. Ironically, capping off this $105 million project is a gigantic milk bottle sculpture at the main entrance.

Glorifying Cow's Milk--at Cornell University

Glorifying Cow’s Milk (cancer’s favorite food) –at Cornell University

How many more people have to suffer and die from this horrible disease before a courageous leader in government or academia steps forward to publicly defend the First Amendment? Perhaps the distinguished scholars in Sweden who choose the annual winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine can help move that process along—by raising the public awareness regarding the global significance of T. Colin Campbell’s cancer research.

Consider these facts about the Nobel Prize in the physiology or medicine category:

  • A total of 106 Nobel prizes in this category have been awarded since 1901.
  • The last three recipients, all in 2015, included one scientist from Ireland (also named Campbell), one from Japan and one from China. They were 85, 81 and 85 years old respectively.
  • The oldest recipient ever, at 87, was an American, Peyton Rous, when he was awarded the medicine prize for his discovery of tumor-inducing viruses.

As alluded to earlier, the clock is ticking for Colin Campbell, who will turn 83 on March 14, 2017. That means that if he’s not awarded the prize until the autumn of 2021, he would likely become the oldest recipient ever–should he receive the prize in 2022 or after.

An exceptionally modest man, I can assure you that Colin doesn’t seek the award for personal glory; he just knows, as I do, that this kind of recognition could possibly bring the positive fame and global awareness necessary to jolt the fields of academia and medicine into action—in a manner that could benefit all future generations on Earth. What possible scientific discovery could be more important than that? And; therefore, what scientist is more worthy of receiving the Nobel Prize?

A Final Word–On the topic of Courage in Science

In closing, I would like to quote a few words from one of most accomplished and respected scientists in history—Albert Einstein. A man who is famous for many quotes, I particularly like how this one pulls no punches. Sadly, it describes the norm in nutritional science today–with the emphasis on maintaining the status quo—a practice that is certainly the very antithesis of T. Colin Campbell.

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice. –Albert Einstein

Never choosing to be a part of the norm or interested in maintaining the status quo—T. Colin Campbell has courageously and consistently challenged the vast interconnected health system for the last forty years. Because of his exceptional courage and integrity, he willingly sacrificed his career and reputation so that the world could eventually learn the complete truth about food. No doubt that if the great Dr. Albert Einstein were alive today, he would be cheering Colin’s courage from the sidelines.

An Added Bonus of Incalculable Value

Perhaps not realizing it at the time, Dr. Campbell’s scientific resarch also provided a nutritional foundation for a pragmatic pathway leading to the sustainability of our ecosystem, our civilization and our future as a species—a pathway that must begin with radically changing what we eat. Hopefully, the Nobel committee will seriously consider T. Colin Campbell’s exceptional courage, sacrifices and world-changing scientific findings when they choose their next few prize recipients in the category of physiology or medicine.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill

Our new book. Hopefully, we can get our legal difficulties resolved and can proceed with publishing our book, whose “working cover” is shown here. Click here for a mini-preview.


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

Posted in Academic Freedom, Activism & Leadership, Cancer, Sustainability | Tagged | 3 Comments

T. Colin Campbell and the Nobel Prize

Why he deserves it and the difference it could make

Nobel Coin(This post was updated on 12-3-18) In the summer of 2016, I got the green light from Dr. Campbell to include a chapter in our new book that promotes his candidacy as a future recipient of the Nobel Prize in the category of Physiology or Medicine for his breakthrough work in cancer research–work that has gone completely unnoticed by the “cancer industry.”

To be sure, he reluctantly gave me his blessing for that chapter in our book because, as a modest man of great substance and integrity, he is uncomfortable with such personal exposure and would never seek such recognition for personal benefit. To read that entire chapter now (about 5,000 words), click on the link below. Otherwise, continue reading.

Chapter 10. The Road to the Nobel Prize can be Arduous

But Colin understands, as I do, that recognition from the Nobel Committee would put a stake in the ground about the relationship between food and cancer, to the benefit of billions of people around the globe–now and in generations to come. That recognition would also open the pathway to the eventual elimination of all animal-based foods that are so harmful to our health and our ecosystem–even threatening our future as a species.

BSB Word 2 pdf Ad

On 7-18-16, I sent out BSB #16 announcing how we had included a chapter in our new book on this topic. It is a mini version of this blog that appears in my “Bite-Size Blog” series. Click on this image to learn more about these mini blogs.

Criteria for Nobel Selection. From the nobelprize.org website, the criteria for selection in the category of Physiology or Medicine is stated thusly:

The person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine.

Colin’s “prize-worthy” work in a nutshell. Since 1968, when he first learned of a scientific study (in India) strongly suggesting an association between animal protein in the diet and cancer growth, he has spent the better part of the next fifty years trying first verify if those findings were legitimate and secondly, to understand if those lab findings in animals were applicable to humans. By 1983, he had become quite convinced that they were on both counts, telling me two weeks ago:

The evidence for me was abundantly convincing in 1983 that animal protein plays a major role in the growth of cancer in animals, and most-likely in humans. — T. Colin Campbell, PhD

For the past fifty years, he has gone about his quest, getting funding from the NIH and leading many dozens of scientific studies of his own at Virginia Tech and Cornell. Throughout his journey, he has been met with stiff resistance from the “meat & dairy controlled” schools of nutrition who have no interest in hearing that eating animal-based foods could “very likely be associated with cancer growth in humans.”

Why is there such resistance from our top schools of nutrition and from the cancer industry in general? Why are they not thrilled that a possible cure for cancer is within reach?

In a word, yet no one wants to say it out loud, it all boils down to MONEY. If the general public were to learn that cancer growth could be slowed, stopped or reversed–simply by choosing the right foods, the cancer industry would be in big trouble.

To be sure, this $200 billion, profit-oriented business could never condone anything that threatened its revenue stream. That disturbing conclusion prompted me to offer up a new definition for “alternative medicine:”

“Any approach to medicine where an ultimate cure provides little or no  revenue for the medical industry.”

J. Morris Hicks

This 2005 book made Dr. Campbell's scientific findings about cancer available to the public.

This 2005 book made Dr. Campbell’s scientific findings about cancer available to the public.

In 2016, I began asking the same question in all of my letters to VP Biden, in my speeches, in my blogs and in our new book.

The question is about why no one in the cancer industry has bothered to conduct the human trials necessary to determine if there really is a simple cure for cancer within reach–and that it’s been right under our noses all along. Here’s that question that no one seems to be able to answer:

“In the thirteen years since The China Study was published in 2005, why hasn’t the NIH (or any other cancer research organization) conducted a single human study aimed at determining if Dr. Campbell’s lab findings were transferable to human cancer patients?”

The Bottom Line. If Colin is correct in his conclusion that cancer growth in humans can be stopped by removing animal protein from the diet, and he is highly confident that it can, when the information finally hits the mainstream news, it will likely mean huge financial set-backs for not only the meat, dairy, and egg industries, but also for the huge global pharmaceutical industry, on pace to hit $1.3 trillion by 2019.

Naturally, those huge industries are not real keen on a cure for cancer that might be as simple as choosing broccoli, beans and apples over burgers, omelets and cheese.

But unlike our top schools of nutrition and medicine, the Nobel Committee is not beholden to those industries and may be able to start making things right by awarding their prestigious prize to Dr. T. Colin Campbell–before it’s too late. Colin will turn 85 in March of 2019 and the Nobel Prize is not  presented posthumously. The oldest recipient ever was 87.

What can you do to help?

To raise the global awareness of T. Colin Campbell and his world-changing research, please share this blog-post with everyone you know. It’s time to take control of our health away from the industries who’re more concerned about their profits than they are the health of their patients.

Watch Dr. Campbell talk about his cancer research in this 2016 video, courtesy of Dr. John McDougall.

For more on this topic, visit: What’s FOOD got to do with cancer?

The Nobel Prize Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, while the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway.

The Nobel Prize Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, while the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway.

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.

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

Posted in Activism & Leadership, Sustainability | Tagged | 4 Comments

A new “generation” of blogs for the digital age

Designed to be read on smartphones or tablets in less than one minute

BSB Word 2 pdf Ad

Join our Mailing List. If you’re reading this page now, you are probably “following” this blog. If you want to receive the new BSBs, you will need to be on our Constant Contact mailing list, which you can join by clicking here.

A little background about the beginning of these new blogs

(Scroll down for copies of all of my new Bite-Size Blogs; most recent listed first)

June 6, 2016 — the date I posted the first BSB. When I typed that date, it reminded me of what happened on this same date–50 years ago. While driving my 1960 Chevy to work, I happened to glance down at the odometer and saw that it was reading 66,666.6 miles at that precise moment. Later that day, while in a store, the clerk asked me for the date to put on the receipt for my purchase.

This is the model and color of my 60 Chevy in 1966.

Model and color of my 60 Chevy in 1966

That’s when I said “June 6” and he proceeded to write 6-6-66 on the invoice while muttering, “Wow, that’s a lot of sixes.” That’s when I said “Oh, my God” as I remembered my odometer reading earlier that day. I felt at the time that I must’ve been in the “Twilight Zone,” a prominent TV show at the time. I was in college at the time and graduated almost exactly two years later, during the first week of June.

My point here is that I will never forget June 6, 1966 and I hope that my readers will never forget June 6, 2016–the day that I launched this new generation of blogs that I predict will be much more effective than my original version of full-size blogs. As of today, almost 1,000 of them still reside on my website and have been read by millions of people in nearly 200 countries. The first one was posted on 2-10-11 and entitled: Barbara Walters…A Missed Opportunity.

For your convenience, here is a link to the very first BSB, posted on 6-6-16. The Beta test period was highly successful and I will now be posting at least one or two of these new blogs per week.

Now for the All-New Bite-Size Blogs

Banner HEHW Large

iPhone 6SThese “bite-size blogs” under the above image will take you no longer than one minute to read–and are designed to help you heal your body (if it needs healing) while healing your planet at the same time. A win-win for your health and for the future of humanity.

Hopefully, you will find these new “bites” easy to digest on your mobile device. They are easily readable on my iPhone 6S shown here. Let me know if you have trouble.

Listing of “Bite-Size Blogs” (Most recent listed first)


Sailing away with 4Leaf to health and sustainability

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

Nutrition Certificate

Posted in Big Picture | 1 Comment

Pomp, Circumstance and Beyond–“You’ve got to find what you love.”

But you don’t have to find it today.

Steve Jobs -- "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" speech. Stanford 2005.

“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” Steve Jobs Stanford University Commencement speech–2005.

In June of 2005, Steve Jobs delivered his famous “You’ve got to find what you love” speech at Stanford University. A video and full text of that speech can be found under the Video tab of this website.

In 2005, Steve was talking about the importance of finding your passion in life. And I am sure that, in the past 11 years, his speech has inspired millions to search for that passion.

But you may be wondering, “What should I do NOW to find that passion?” A few days ago, an article in the New York Times (Graduating and looking for your passion? Just be patient) addressed that question and got me to thinking about how long it took me to find my passion. From the article:

If you’re relying on a commencement speaker to set your compass, you may still be confused at day’s end. In my experience, it’s common to hear “Follow your passion” from the podium. This is great counsel if, in fact, you know what that passion is. But what if you don’t?

At Auburn, I studied industrial engineering, where we're always looking for "the biggest bang for the buck."

At Auburn, I studied industrial engineering, always looking at “the big picture.”

In June of 1968, I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, during the height of the Vietnam War. And I had no idea what my “passion” was at the time. But it didn’t really matter, because my immediate future was already decided–by the United States government. All I had to decide was in which branch of the military I wanted to serve.

Forty-eight years ago today, I was somewhat happy that I didn’t have to make any huge career decisions. I had already applied to officer programs in the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard and was almost certain that I would be serving in one of them by year’s end. And I was right–about seven months later, I was a newly-commissioned ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard, on my way to serve my three-year tour in Honolulu.

But what about finding that passion that Jobs talked about? As the Times article points out, that process started long before I graduated from college. As I read the article this morning, I was reminded of the career-forming decisions I had made in high school, in college, in the Coast Guard and in the first few jobs of my business career. The article featured three sections:

  1. Move toward what interests you.
  2. Seek purpose.
  3. Finish strong.
My three years in the Coast Guard were spent at USCG Base Honolulu in the shadows of Aloha Tower.

My three years with the Coast Guard in Honolulu played a huge part in my later career & life.

Looking back on my career, I could never have imagined back in 1968 that my passion would be working on the most important issue in the history of humanity: our food choices in the 21st century. The article inspired me to think about eight steps I have taken on my path to discovering and embracing that passion:

  1. Because I was comfortable with math and solving problems, I took advanced math courses in high school and chose to major in engineering in college.
  2. Because I liked “big picture” stuff more than details, I changed my college major from mechanical to industrial engineering at the end of my sophomore year.
  3. Wanting to broaden my perspective beyond engineering, while based in Honolulu, I earned an MBA at the University of Hawaii.
  4. Knowing that I liked solving problems more than I did sales, I left my first job as a sales engineer with Alcoa to become a consulting engineer with a consumer goods management consulting firm in 1972.
  5. Knowing that I wanted more continuity instead of an endless series of projects in my work, I left the consulting firm after nine years to become one of the division presidents of a Fortune 1,000 corporation in 1981.
  6. Knowing that I was not in love with the fashion industry where I was working, I ended up as an executive search consultant with my own firm in 1999–a career that has provided me with the freedom to explore other interests–for the past 17 years.
  7. Finally, after becoming curious about the optimal diet for humans in 2002, within six months, I realized that I had found my passion in life and that it drew heavily upon my personality, education, personal interests, sense of purpose and career.
  8. In May of 2003, after six months of studying the global feeding model, I had what I call my “blinding flash of the obvious–we’re eating the wrong food.”

Finally, I understood what Steve Jobs was talking about. I had found my passion and set about devoting 10,000 hours to that passion over the next thirteen years. Now, after publishing two books and over 900 articles on my website, the title on my business card reads: Writer. Speaker. Consultant. Activist. with the following tagline:

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Graduation DayHappy Graduation to all who will be walking to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance as you receive your diplomas this month. Hopefully, some of the information covered here will help you in your quest for finding your passion. For if you’re doing what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

One final bit of advice. Adopt a simple life, live within your means and beware of getting trapped by a high salary in a career you don’t enjoy. Keeping things simple now will raise your chances of finding what you love in the future. I didn’t find it until I was 58 years old–and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

Referenced in this piece:

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

Posted in Activism & Leadership, Big Picture | Tagged | 4 Comments