Intelligence is falling, some say, by 7% a generation. We are dumbing down. Hawkins didn't factor this in and, without intelligence, we don't have the nous to solve all the other problems. If brain size is an arbiter of intelligence our brain size has fallen from 1.49kg 10,000 years ago to today’s 1.35kg. Some would say that’s a function of land-based agriculture and a shift away from marine-based diets, which is increasingly being shown to have been the origin of our superior intelligence, the very thing that separates us from chimpanzees, despite sharing 98% of the same genes. In any event, multiple measures of IQ and mental health show a clear decline in our ability to think clearly and feel good. The increase in suicide, now the greatest cause of violent deaths globally, and the epidemic of depression, with one in six prescribed drugs, reflects our inability to connect and having a fully functioning community. We need sharp minds, fully firing, willing to face and resolve shared problems and crises facing humanity today.
It is a fact that 98% of the structural fats of our brains is DHA, an omega 3 fat derived directly from seafood. Plant-based omega-3, ALA, is not sufficient to build a baby’s brain. Only 0.05% of flax oil’s ALA converts into DHA. DHA has to become ‘phosphorylated’ meaning attached to phospholipids, the richest source of which is seafood and eggs. But the binding together of these structural fats requires methylation, which requires B vitamins and especially B12, folate and B6. The richest source of B12 is seafood. Plants have none. When we ran our first experiment, in 1987, giving children high potency multivitamins, and showed a 7% increase in IQ, published in the Lancet, I believe it was these methylating nutrients that did it. If I had known what I know now I would have also given omega-3 DHA. When humanity evolved the seas, rivers and estuaries were packed with nutrient-dense seafood, and shellfish, capturing tons of carbon, cleaning the ocean, making oxygen, feeding us. We have to protect the oceans, but also start marine agriculture on a large scale to have any chance of feeding the billions of brains of our ever-growing species. We cannot do it on plant-based food alone – we’ll maybe we could if we grew tons of seaweed since you can, in a lab, convert the fats in cold-water seaweed into omega-3 DHA.
The other big brain drain is sugar and addictive social media, including gaming and gambling. Basically, anything that gets you hooked triggers the ancient adrenal ‘hunter’ brain, turning you into a stress bunny, good for consuming, spending, eating, drinking, worrying and fighting, but no good for thinking, solving or sleeping.
As a laudable article in the Lancet said in 2015 ‘Nutritional therapy has to be mainstream in psychiatry.” But it isn’t. Alzheimer’s we know, is preventable. When robust evidence showing 73% less brain shrinkage in those with pre-dementia given B vitamins and sufficient in omega-3, and no further memory loss, is ignored despite nine double decker buses full of (790) people were diagnosed yesterday with the preventable brain killer disease, what chance have we got? That brings us to D for design.
DESIGN THAT WORKS
Our current Design for health, aka NHS/PHE standard policy, stinks. We have all the evidence and the means to stop it but are letting people develop diabetes, dementia and cancer. It isn't just health, but also economics and ecology. We need a new design for all of them.
As Buckminster Fuller said: “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
That’s what we need – a new model. Given that almost a quarter of taxes are spent on disease care this is certainly one area that needs not just reform but a total revolution. The true causes of disease, sub-optimum nutrition being the big one, have to be the first, not the last priority in an intelligent healthcare system, as opposed to the current drug-peddling model.
The original idea for the NHS, as proposed by Bevan, was nothing like what what we see today. He was inspired by the "The Peckham Experiment". Paying one shilling (equivalent to 5 pounds today) a week, they had access to a range of activities such as physical exercise, swimming, games and workshops, learning about nutrition, growing things and home economics. They had a yearly medical. Bevan thought that having such community health centres across Britain would transform our health. That was his vision for the NHS. But the doctors, or British Medical Association, didn’t approval and wanted to be in charge of our health, thus his dream was turned into the GP led NHS we have today which has abysmally failed to create healthy communities learning how to stay healthy and have become, instead, a highly educated sales force for the pharmaceutical industry. No wonder the rate of depression among GPs is so high.
We need new design for health, economics, ecology policies, transport and other key issues. Now, even though I got an A in Economics I consider myself naïve. But why can we not have a true carbon tax, making goods that fly across the world more expensive than food grown in our back yard? Then, do away with tariffs, whether in the EU or not? Why have we ended the motive for individuals to invest in solar panels? Just think of it. Millions of people spending their own money on solar panels that feeds cheaper electricity into the grid. I mean, of course we should be doing it! I can run my Fforest Barn Mountain Retreat on solar electric, solar thermal panels and a highly efficient boiler fire, burning dead wood from the forest.
We are being increasingly strangled by the energy demands of both the industrial and digital age. Few people have any idea how much searching endlessly on google and streaming actually costs, largely because of the all the market trading that goes on behind the scenes selling hot cookies. The IT industry accounts for 2% of our carbon footprint. For what do we need 5G? Weapons? Consumerism? Convenience? Our commercial technological progress in conveniently killing us. By the way, I’m not at all anti-technology but, as with everything, we have to ask to what end are we doing this? These ethical questions are key in this digital age.
That brings us to the third letter of the IDEA – E – not for ethics, but it could be, but for Enlightenment.
Humanity has to wake up out of pettiness, greed, control, fear, domination and aggression and realise that a heart-felt, spiritually and environmentally awake, community-focussed society can create a real paradise. We can make this world a better paradise, rather than hell. What we have now are a whole lot of tribes pulling in different directions – the Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Pagans, Atheists and those who have adopted science as their new religion. Then there’s the capitalists and the communists, the Remainers and the Brexiteers. On and on it goes, as we lament the dismal lack of enlightened leaders, and end up ruled by power-mad dictators. Even unifying ideas such as the EU are designed to protect us from invaders – be it Russian, American or Chinese. Sounds like Brave New World or 1984 to me. In case you haven’t read George Orwell’s and Aldous Huxley’s classic books lately I highly recommend it. Unity has to mean unity of humanity. Community means just that – a common unity. Human means – hu(the divine)man. The reality of an enlightened consciousness has to became a shared experience.
Yet, being human, and our full potential as fully developed, awake human beings, is not a belief but a fact as clear as our anatomy and physiology. All significant cultures have happened precisely because of a shared unifying vision, experience or belief – from the Egyptians to the Greeks. I have written about this in my book The Chemistry of Connection in which I also suggest that the digital age was kick-started by some bright young people in their thousands, the epicentre being Stanford and Berkeley in California, taking hallucinogens. Do not underestimate the effect this had. The awakenings people had in the 60’s started the whole health food movement, the green ecology movement, environmental protection, and accelerated women’s rights, black rights, gay rights as well as some damned good music! I am so delighted that finally the ban on research on entheogens has been lifted and is now in full swing in major universities around the world. We need all the help we can get getting enlightened and waking up to a humanity-centred, rather than self-centred existence. I’m not sure the threat to our existence is enough to bring us together. We need to create a new awakened culture, based on true ethics and morals, not greed and competition. The only way is ethics.
That introduces the final A in IDEA, which stands for Authenticity.
A FOR AUTHENTICITY
We do already have designs, or outlines of designs, that work better than what we’ve got. But they make no headway through the mire of greed, corruption and power politics. Jeremy Hunt said he wanted to do one thing that would make a real difference to health before he left the NHS. So, I wrote to him about how to prevent dementia. You should have seen the waffly replies! Boris wants to ban the sugar tax because it targets the poor. As if diabetes doesn’t. He also wants GM foods. We’re in for a rough
Jeremy Corbyn too has ignored all advances for a health services that targets the causes of our endemic diseases, as has Farage. As the NHS gets sold off Trump wants to make sure American companies get a good slice of Britain’s fastest growing, failing business. Meanwhile big pharma, no longer able to make their trillions of dollars from a dire lack of new blockbuster drugs, turn to vaccines and we, the innocent public, are told to forget the lies we were told about statins and other blockbusters and bend over and take the shot. Anyone who questions anything about any vaccine is a ‘vaccine denier’. Quoting the Guardian ‘While we fret about rising sea levels …. the threat posed by Russia …a lunatic in the White House…. it’s going to be the anti-vaxxers who end up killing all of us.’ Give us a break. Boris too wants to stop the anti-vaxxers (or make friends with big pharma).
It's all about money, power and control. By the way, Google have a ‘fairness’ algorithm where they decide what key words pop up when you put in ‘vaccine’ or ‘supplements’ skewing your choices to the negative. It’s just about which advertisers pay the most money. Keep the honeypot sweet. I like this quote “politicians take money from the rich to protect them from the poor and votes from the poor to protect them from the rich.” Excuse my sarcasm but until our social policies and politicians are truly and authentically working for the benefit of humanity we’re not going to really solve any big problems.
I will vote, act and fight for anything that is intelligent, authentic, ethically sound and designed for our upliftment, without regard to race, creed or colour. In my own little world I can do things that make a difference. And once enough people are making a difference, turning their backs on corruption, greed and fear-tactics for control, also making others as important as themselves, then, and only then, I believe we have a chance to save humanity, and to save the world for future generations. It's the only planet we’ve got, and an amazing one at that, even if Hawkins would have us move to another.