The Digital Conversationalist

Andrea T Edwards

#95 Weekend reads – the “Five Fragilities” the world faces

Here we go, another intense week, and one thing I am understanding is many many people are struggling with the size of the shift the world is going through, and facing this change is overwhelming. I completely understand. It is. It’s a HUGE time for all of us.

There are many stories or themes I could focus everyone’s attention on, and the global food catastrophe has certainly been taking my attention this week, but I want to highlight one article that I believe is very much worth everyone’s time – although this is not a happy read.

The article to look out for is: How countries can respond to a perfect long storm, which appeared in Thank you to Eugene Wee for bringing this to my attention.

It’s a transcript of Singapore Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who spoke this week on how countries can navigate the current problems, as well as the “five fragilities” the world faces. Here’s a snippet of what he says.

Five Fragilities

  1. UKRAINE – there is no realistic prospect of a trajectory with a good outcome coming out of the war, or that leaves any major country better off than before. It is only a question of how bad the outcomes will be. The situation will likely get worse before it can get better, but none of the trajectories is going to lead the world to a better place.
  2. INFLATIONbeyond Ukraine itself, it is the ramifications for the world that we should be most concerned about.
  3. CLIMATEIt is no longer possible to make the adjustments needed to tackle the climate crisis without ensuring energy security. The Ukraine war has forced that.
  4. GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITYa real challenge that we have to prepare for. The pathogens are coming. The risks have been accentuated by global warming, the loss of biodiversity, deforestation, and increased human incursions into the natural world.
  5. LESS INCLUSIVE GROWTHwithin and across nations. There is a real risk of rollback in the gains that the developing and emerging world have made in the last 2-3 decades. Expecting other structural shifts — geopolitical instabilities, higher food and energy prices and slower growth, and the fact that both climate change and pandemics will hit the poorest and the most vulnerable countries the hardest.

The country whose politicians I always listen to, are from Singapore. I recommend checking in from time to time for those who don’t or have never lived there. An Asian powerhouse, Singapore navigates a unique place on the global stage, between all of the superpowers and the diplomacy in the language is worth listening too.

Friend’s content and mine

Kitty Marshall’s necklace – a wonderful article from my friend Kate Steele, in honour of International Women’s Day. A poignant reminder of our history.

It’s International Women’s Day and I’m frustrated as hell – I contributed to the IWD22 discussion again, expressing serious frustration with the lack of progress being made, and the fact we have slipped back by a generation in the last two years.

Will you stop supporting live animal shows? – wonderful to host my friend Vicki Kiely on my podcast. Vicki is an activist and a voice for the voiceless. Please listen and let’s change how we view the natural world, respecting the magnificent wildlife we share this planet with. It’s not for our entertainment.

How I am coping with these challenging times yes a busy week creating content. I decided to record a short podcast talking about how I’m coping in these times and share two strategies.

What can I do to act on the climate crisis? – and I also launched a daily campaign, talking about the actions we can all take to do our bit. I will put the first week into a blog and share that next week, updating it as I go.

Donation time

If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Or donate to the UN Refugee Program, PowerOf , , Soi Dog Foundation.  It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.

If you want to support Ukraine

Red Cross Ukraine

Medicine Sans Frontier

Defend Ukraine – tks Kate Steele

As well as World Food Programme and UN Refugee Program

Content to read

And here’s the content I’ve been reading this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.

Global politics – focus on Ukraine

Ukraine: Zelensky, US ridicule Russian chemical weapons claims

Ukraine President Zelensky: From TV star to wartime leader tks Damian Corbet

What Happened on Day 15 of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine war: Children of the Soviet era running from Russia

Emotions high as EU leaders face up to Putin’s war

Zelensky’s historic address to UK MPs

Ukraine says it successfully attacked Russian vehicles in Kyiv thanks to a Telegram tip

In appearance from presidential office in Kyiv, Zelensky says Russian forces are ‘all criminals’

Ukraine: Are arms shipments from the West making a difference?

Gymnastics: Russian athlete’s Ukraine invasion symbol blasted as ‘shocking’

West ‘didn’t act early enough’ on Russian threat – Truss

Signs of the Works Conducted by Russia in the field of Military Microbiology with Haemorrhagic Fever Viruses

Food catastrophe and energy

The Future Turns Dark for Russia’s Oil Industry

Ukraine war ‘catastrophic for global food’

Agricultural commodities prices will soar as trade is hit

Hundreds of bakeries shut in Sri Lanka after cooking gas runs out – not about the Ukraine, but illustrates impact in developing countries. It’s already extremely challenging and now, with this war, it will be even more challenging for the developing world.

Column: Europe prepares for high gas prices to last into 2023 tks Michelle Giamusso

The Real Reason Behind Surging Gas Prices

Environment impact

The link between Putin and climate change

A shift to clean energy would halt Russia’s petro-thuggery and more tks Susanna Hasenoehrl

Activists Deplore the Human Toll and Environmental Devastation from Russia’s Unprovoked War of Aggression in Ukraine


Chernobyl Is Not the Only Nuclear Threat Russia’s Invasion Has Sparked in Ukraine


Huawei board members resign over silence on Ukraine

Russia-Ukraine: Is internet on verge of break-up?

3 Russian billionaires resign from board of $22 billion investment firm LetterOne after it locked out 2 Russian oligarchs over the invasion of Ukraine

Over 300 Companies Have Withdrawn from Russia—But Some Remain

PwC and KPMG exit Russia and Belarus in wake of Ukraine invasion

Russia oligarchs: The mega-rich men facing global sanctions tks Steve Johnson

Facebook eases rules to allow violent speech against ‘Russian invaders’ tks Maeve Henry

Facebook owner defends policy on calls for violence that angered Russia

Here Are Some of the Companies That Have Pledged to Stop Business in Russia

Shell buys cargo of Russian crude loading mid-March from Trafigura

World’s largest sailing yacht, Sailing Yacht A, seized tks Adam Taylor

China and economy

Russian economy in ‘shock’ from unprecedented economic war – Kremlin

The Anti-Dollar Axis tks Richard Turrin

Russian banks rush to switch to Chinese card system

Could China call off the Russian onslaught of Ukraine?

Russia, Belarus squarely in ‘default territory’ on billions in debt -World Bank

Humanity or lack of

Sex traffickers exploit Ukrainian refugees as dark side of exodus to Europe emerges

Ukraine: First Lady Olena Zelenska condemns Russian ‘mass murder’

‘Tip of the iceberg’: Berliners rally to welcome refugees from Ukraine

Ukraine crisis: how you can help from the UK by donating cash and supplies

Ukraine: Mother of Russian soldier asks ‘Whose door should I knock on to get my child back?’

Fake news, propaganda, the information war

The Russians using emojis to evade censors

Ukraine invasion: False claims the war is a hoax go viral

Ukrainians find that relatives in Russia do not believe there is a war tks Miguel Bernas

Deeper reflections

Russia’s war has already failed

Yes, the war in Ukraine deserves more attention than Syria or Afghanistan. Here’s why. Tks Miguel Bernas

What Does China Think of Putin’s War? – The New Yorker Podcast

“How We Should Deal with War in Our Minds” – Part 1

Igor Novikov on Standing His Ground in Ukraine The New Yorker Podcast

Putin’s Betting the West Will Break — It’s Up to Us to Prove Him Wrong tks Kevin Cottam

By using Ukraine to fight Russia, the US provoked Putin’s war

How countries can respond to a perfect long storm tks Eugene Wee – important read and what I’ve referenced in the introduction.

Don’t hand power to dangerous people (even when they really want it) — a modest Buddhist proposal

The curse of history – Campaign Diary: the war in Ukraine in context

Why John Mearsheimer Blames the U.S. for the Crisis in Ukraine

Podcast: The West Wages Economic War on Russia

Other politics

India accidentally fires missile into Pakistan

Whitmer plot underlines growing abuse of women officials

Report to Congress on 2022 Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment Pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act

Climate crisis

Residents evacuate after landslide in Sydney’s west destroys driveway | 9 News Australia

Climate crisis: Amazon rainforest tipping point is looming, data shows

UN ocean treaty is ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to protect the high seas

Microsoft’s Pursuit of Climate Goals Runs Into Headwinds tks Sussana Hasenoehrl

Sydney Harbour turns brown as authorities warn against swimming after floods

Sydney floods: No point tackling climate in Australia if emissions keep rising in developing world, PM says

Green credentials of world’s largest investor questioned over oil industry emails tks Robert Kirubi

Peter Dutton says Australians should look at ‘positives’ of flood response as Dominic Perrottet apologises

Manly Dam has spilled, putting thousands on flooding alert: Here’s what you need to know about Sydney’s dams

Sydney floods: two found dead, roads inundated, homes and suburbs across the city swamped

Colgate® Launches its Groundbreaking Recyclable Toothpaste Tube with “Recycle Me!” Packaging in the U.S. tks Ann-Katrin van Shie

Refillable groceries to be made available to every UK shopper

Historic day in the campaign to beat plastic pollution: Nations commit to develop a legally binding agreement

Q&A: Has the IPCC’s bleak warning of climate breakdown been heard?

‘Delay is Death,’ said UN Chief António Guterres of the New IPCC Report Showing Climate Impacts Are Outpacing Adaptation Efforts

UN climate report urges world to adapt now, or suffer later


COVID-19 to be endemic from July

Covid vaccines not linked to deaths, major US study finds

Business and technology

The 3 questions this CEO uses to weed out jerks

Beltway Big Tech: Former Silicon Valley Execs In The Biden…

Companies with female leaders outperform those dominated by men, data shows

Social issues and humanity

5 Physical Symptoms That Might Really Be Burnout in Disguise

“Studies evidence positive correlation between energy access and women’s economic empowerment… this is still not considered as one of the big levers for women’s economic empowerment”. tks Praveen Gupta

Opinion: Want to empower women? Call out hate speech online tks Karsten Warnecke

Podcast: Super Soul Special: Deepak Chopra Session: Belief Creates Reality

Passion, humour, history

Endurance: Shackleton’s lost ship is found in Antarctic

NSW Police hopes photo of tattoo will help identify Sydney Harbour Bridge crash driver

Shane Warne 1969-2022: A legend and larrikin who transcended cricket

Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!



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