In 1971 John Francis witnessed a catastrophic oil spill in San Francisco Bay. The greasy black sludge that coated resident sea life and stained nearby beaches left an indelible impression him as well. As a young man at the dawn of the environmental movement he felt compelled to act. But what can one person do to change a society bent on its own destruction?
Left with little do that would make a difference in world Francis abandoned all forms of motorized transport. He started walking. But still hoping to make an impact on his community and himself Francis took his devotion a step future and swore a vow of silence. For 17 years he did not utter a word. And yet he still managed to earn college and graduate degrees in science and environmental studies.
Dr. John Francis went on to become the United Nation’s goodwill ambassador to the world’s grassroots communities and the U.S. Government hired him to help establish policies for the management of oil spills.