Are You Hopeful or Worried on Earth Day?

Today marks the day we consider the health of the Earth. We all lead busy lives, so it is fitting that on this Earth Day we especially take some time to reflect on the human impacts of climate change. Those that closely follow climate change know that, depressingly, there is only a slim chance that we can reduce warming our planet enough to avert catastrophe for our children and theirs.  

Fortunately, there have been many recent events showing that more and more people are paying attention. By events, I don’t mean the wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, freezes, and other more frequent natural disasters. I mean the increasing divestiture of fossil fuel interests; the increased deployment of clean energy technologies including solar, wind, geothermal, and electric vehicles; the increased attention of better land management and the call for improvement of animal agriculture, including an end to factory farming; and among others, the increased attention to our oceans regarding the multiple crises of ocean acidification, pervasive overfishing and bottom trawling, and plastic pollution.

There are other promising signs that positive momentum is building. Look no further for the groundswell than from Greta Thunberg and the younger generations. Or the recent book and initiatives by Bill Gates. Or the recent private-partnerships of General Mills, Netflix, LinkedIn and other business leaders with the esteemed Project Drawdown organization. Perhaps most notable, is the absolute reversal of the US government, and its reengagement in climate-change mitigation, re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement, and – heralded just today – big targets announced in the Leaders Summit on Climate (Earth Day Live).

All well and good; yes, all well and good. What worries me is that, while these efforts are supremely admirable and absolutely necessary – finally “a start,” they won’t be enough to reverse the effects of physics and rising temperatures. The only thing that can counteract physics, is physics itself. That means not just a change in attitudes, but changes in business models and industrial policies that promote these hard changes; changes in international oversight and coercion for countries to meet their climate obligations; changes in the international treatment of women and girls, and of family planning; changes in taxation and penalties for every entity and every person that over-pollutes greenhouse gases, and incentives for those that don’t.

Do we have the will to meet these types of necessary changes? How will we do it? For example, do we abandon the employees and employers that are in the path of the storm, the fossil fuel companies, the animal agriculture companies, the fisheries, and others? Should we instead re-invest in their transition to clean and sustainable futures? Will we put teeth into the international agreements, with meaningful incentives and penalties? Will industry and business leaders embrace more efficient, clean, and sustainable futures that may contradict the capitalist model? Will individuals consider adopting plant-based diets, driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, and having fewer children?

These are the thoughts I have on Earth Day. I believe people and industry can realize the straits we’re in and that their changes will make a difference. And I believe governments can act together to encourage, invest, and enforce necessary changes towards a cooler planet. I am hopeful but I am concerned. We can do it! But will we.

If you’re new to Sustainability X, welcome! We will present solutions to the climate change crisis over the coming weeks and months, and how you can get involved. Please join our movement and follow us by clicking the “FOLLOW” link in the footer below!

How to Save Our Vanishing World

As reported by CBS news, “Dr. Jane Goodall, the world-renowned conservationist, desperately wants the world to pay attention to what she sees as the greatest threat to humanity’s existence… Her soft-spoken grace somehow helped cushion what was otherwise extremely sobering news: ‘I just know that if we carry on with business as usual, we’re going to destroy ourselves. It would be the end of us, as well as life on Earth as we know it,’ warned Goodall.”

Time running out to save biodiversity as species go extinct, leading scientists say

The question is not whether our human resolve will be great enough to avert disaster (i.e. what the warning signs are telling us about climate change, extinction of species, and the vanishing of the world as we know it), but how we will do it. Everyday the sun shines is another day for optimism in our collective human spirit and ingenuity. And ingenuity begins when the biggest of problems reveal themselves.

Today, all it takes is a computer or smartphone and a few Google searches to discover the full scope of what we’re up against. The good news is that we can take meaningful action and re-plot our planetary trajectory away from global warming and the sixth mass extinction. But time is running out.

How can we save our vanishing world? Acknowledge the challenges before us. Heed the warning signs and educate yourself about the extent of the crisis. Seek out solutions like from Project Drawdown and get involved, or create your own solutions like these ambitious sisters.

Each one of us has a role to play. We can change our individual behaviors which in aggregate can change the world. Consider your purchase decisions and consuming less overall. Consider reducing meat and dairy in your diet. Consider some of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gases at home.

We’re all in this together. Just as we find common purpose in fighting our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, together we can fight to change course and save our vanishing world.

If you’re new to Sustainability X, welcome! We will present solutions to the climate change crisis over the coming weeks and months, and how you can get involved. Please join our movement and follow us by clicking the “FOLLOW” link in the footer below!

It’s a Game Changer

Where does protein come from? It comes from meat, yes, but it originates in plants. And that is the central point of The Game Changers eye-opening documentary.


When elite athletes can improve their peak performance by converting to a plant-based diet, it utterly negates the ubiquitous and now debunked claims that meat-eating makes us stronger and healthier. How can it be that a vegetarian or vegan diet can actually make us more physically fit, healthier, and stronger than the perceived strong-man, armed-hunter, meat-eating archetype we’ve been conditioned to believe? Arnold Schwarzenegger sums it up in one word: marketing.

The Game Changers movie (on Netflix), produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jackie Chan, shows that our health is the top reason to eat less meat from animals. However, there are numerous other benefits of incorporating plant-based foods into our diets, none-the-least of which as said by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is that “making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change.” Of course, it also helps reduce the sadly ever-increasing amount of animal suffering attributed to raising and slaughtering animals.

Wouldn’t we all be better off if we could just eat less meat? According to Project Drawdown, “Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. According to a 2016 study, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs. $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved.”

Yes it can be difficult! Not only is meat-eating profoundly personal and cultural, it has been presented to us throughout our lives as the best choice, as well as normal and ethical. Now, not so much (…search “Ethics” on my previous post “Better than Beef?” on LinkedIn or my BLOG.) Fortunately, plant-based foods are proliferating and giving us all many more delicious choices. Times are changing from the days when “vegan” foods meant to plug your nose and swallow quickly. Some tasty examples include the alternative meats from Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, Nestlé, and others; as well as amazing recipes from The Game Changers, Plant Based on a Budget, among others.

The first step may be to become a “flexitarian” and go from there. As reported by CNN, “This flexitarian diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and plant-based protein sources including legumes, soybeans and nuts, along with modest amounts of poultry, fish, milk and eggs, and small amounts of red meat.” Even if you’re not planning to become an elite athlete, going plant-based may just help you live longer and help save the world.



If you’re new to Sustainability X, welcome! We will present solutions to the climate change crisis over the coming weeks and months, and how you can get involved. Please join our movement and follow us by clicking the “FOLLOW” link in the footer below!