The Digital Conversationalist

Weekend Reads

#97 Weekend reads – have we hit climate breakdown?

All of these stories should be THE major story for the climate this week (see links for the stories below in the climate section).

Climate change: Wildfire smoke linked to Arctic melting

Microplastics found in human blood for first time

No country met WHO air quality standards in 2021, survey shows

‘It’s not supposed to be white’: one of the Great Barrier Reef’s healthiest reefs succumbs to bleaching

Accelerating Melt Rate Makes Greenland Ice Sheet World’s Largest “Dam” – Generating Huge Amounts of Heat From Hydropower

But no, the really BIG story this week had headlines like this: Hot poles: Antarctica, Arctic 40 and 30 degrees Celsius above normal.

Or this…

Antarctic temps 70 degrees hotter than normal; ‘This is a Pacific Northwest 2021 heat wave kind of event’

Something Is Up With Earth’s North and South Poles

Heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles alarm climate scientists

Antarctic areas reach 40C above normal at same time as north pole regions hit 30C above usual levels

At this time of year, the Antarctic should be rapidly cooling after its summer, and the Arctic only slowly emerging from its winter, as the days start to lengthen. For both poles to show such heating at once is unprecedented. There’s that word again, unprecedented!

The fear from scientists is that it could signal faster and abrupt climate breakdown, and provides a significant warning of disruption in Earth’s climate systems.

The danger is declared as twofold: heatwaves at the poles are a strong signal of the damage humanity is wreaking on the climate; and the melting could also trigger further cascading changes that will accelerate climate breakdown.

Some of the observations by the people who study this stuff…

Extreme events are exceeding model projections. These events drive home the urgency of action.

We have entered a new extreme phase of climate change much earlier than we had expected.

But I think George Monbiot said it best in this Tweet

George Monbiot

And let’s not forget, we woke up to this stunning piece of news – In a First, an Ice Shelf Collapses in East Antarctica. It’s been compared to the size of LA! Massive.

It is beyond time to act my friends and do everything we can to ensure we are not sleepwalking towards unbearable suffering. And I mean everything. This is something we have to get our head arounds, because it’s not an easy thing to face at all. But we can do this. However to succeed, it requires all on board. Are you on board?

Friend’s content and mine

The Next Stage of Events is Inclusivity – Are You Ready? – my friend Warwick Merry, writes a fantastic article on the future of events and some key considerations. Worth a read.

Cascading Crises: Plummeting Trust and Climbing Stress | The Impact on International Schools – the fabulous Samantha Gayfer put together this stunning article on the challenges of mental health for international schools. I think this is relevant to everyone. Full of facts and useful links.

How do we land a message with someone not ready to hear it? – a podcast with my friend Dr Frank Hagenow, a doctor of psychology and leadership communication expert. Worth a listen if you want to understand more about landing a message, especially if it’s one people don’t want to hear.  

When did we accept so much contempt in our societies? A blog discussing two things that create contempt and asking the question – why do we keep accepting that which divides us?

Week two of climate action tips #UncommonCourage, also updating at the blog What can I do to act on climate change? Actions we can all embrace

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, 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

War and weapons

Ukraine thwarts Russian advances; fight rages for Mariupol

The small town which managed to block Russia’s big plans

Mariupol: Why Mariupol is so important to Russia’s plan

Hypersonic missiles: Why is Russia using them in Ukraine?

Doomsday plane worth £150M that can ‘withstand nuclear blasts’ flies over English Channel

The world, sanctions, the economy

No gun. No helmet. No action: The frustrations of some novice Americans who signed up to fight in Ukraine.

Ukraine crisis tests unity as Biden visits Europe

White House avoids Trump attacks on Russia-Ukraine

Boris Johnson sparks fury after comparison to Brexit

Germany: An Energy Embargo Against Russia Is Unsustainable

Bangladesh Seeks $22.4 Million Insurance Claim from Missile Strike on Ship in Ukraine

India studies ‘rupee-rouble’ exchange scheme to beat Russia sanctions tks Richard Turrin

Asian gas buyers puzzle over Putin’s demand for payment in roubles

Russia has a $140 billion stockpile of gold, but no one wants to buy it

Abramovich’s Dubai House Hunt Shows Russian Diaspore Widening

Information, misinformation, social media, propaganda

Schwarzenegger’s video is a master class in getting people to reconsider their views

Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky calls for global protests to reject Russian war

20 days in Mariupol: team that documented city’s agony

Advice to Photographers in Ukraine, by Timothy Fadek

Russian regulator blocks Google News, cites Ukraine conflict -Interfax

Russian Navy ship paraded in propaganda footage ‘destroyed by Ukraine’

Russian Actress Chulpan Khamatova In Exile Following Criticism Of Ukraine War tks Elaine Ho

Ukraine conflict presents a minefield for Anonymous and hacktivists

Comic Relief: ‘Helpless’ David Tennant praised for moving speech about Ukraine

Those on the right who loudly praised Putin have now fallen strangely silent.

Zelenskyy Calls Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher With Thanks For Raising Millions For Ukrainians

Stockman Slams Zelenskyy’s Hyperbole: Pearl Harbor My Eye! tks Mark Thorburn

Mikhail Baryshnikov: Do not punish Russian artists and athletes for war


‘We’re going back to a USSR’: long queues return for Russian shoppers as sanctions bite

US officially accuses Russian forces of war crimes in Ukraine


Nuclear Energy Group ‘Gravely’ Worried About Ukraine Plants, Repeats Offer To Help

Deeper reading

How Will Ukraine War End?

‘It’s Our Home Turf.’ The Man On Ukraine’s Digital Frontline

Western agents seek to get inside Putin’s head

Ukrainian Railways Chief Says ‘Honest’ Belarusians Are Cutting Russian Supplies By Train

Other politics and economy

Ai Weiwei on the new Silk Road: ‘This is China’s counterattack in a global game of chess’

The US dollar’s global standing as the top reserve currency has lost ground to China’s yuan and others, says IMF

Amid worsening humanitarian crisis, UNHCR chief urges sustained int’l support to Afghan people

U.S. Supreme Court pick Jackson edges closer to confirmation

U.S. Treasury market pain amplifies worry about liquidity

Political Trailblazer Madeleine Albright Dies…

Taliban Renege on Promise to Open Afghan Girls’ Schools

Sri Lanka tests UN’s patience on human rights

Madeline Albright, the first ever female US secretary of state, dies aged 84

Climate crisis

In a First, an Ice Shelf Collapses in East Antarctica

Earth’s poles are experiencing what experts are calling unprecedented warming at the same time.

Hot poles: Antarctica, Arctic 40 and 30 degrees Celsius above normal

Antarctic temps 70 degrees hotter than normal; ‘This is a Pacific Northwest 2021 heat wave kind of event’

Antarctic temps 70 degrees hotter than normal; ‘This is a Pacific Northwest 2021 heat wave kind of event’ tks Susanna Hasenoehrl

Heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles alarm climate scientists tks Mike Barry

Accelerating Melt Rate Makes Greenland Ice Sheet World’s Largest “Dam” – Generating Huge Amounts of Heat From Hydropower

Climate change: Wildfire smoke linked to Arctic melting

‘It’s not supposed to be white’: one of the Great Barrier Reef’s healthiest reefs succumbs to bleaching

No country met WHO air quality standards in 2021, survey shows tks Samantha Gayfer

Tiny particles of plastic have been detected in human blood for the very first time. They can’t be filtered out

As Climate Fears Mount, Some in U.S. Are Deciding to Relocate

Climate change: Extreme weather warning systems for all ‘in five years’

How the World’s Richest People Are Driving Global Warming tks Enda Eames

The world has less than 10 years to advert climate change catastrophe

Microplastics found in human blood for first time

Protecting rural Wales: The battle between saving agricultural land and tackling climate change

Does ‘climate anxiety’ belong in the DSM? tks Andrew Bryant

Astronomy’s contribution to climate change rivals the emissions from some countries

Australia’s carbon credit scheme ‘largely a sham’, says whistleblower who tried to rein it in

Why estimates of the ‘cost’ of climate action are overly pessimistic

NGOs sue Thailand government for failing to protect Thais from air pollution

Coalition expands recycling, carbon credit scheme by $60m amid claims of climate ‘fraud’ by thinktank

Royal Mint to turn electronic waste into gold

Texas is battling over 170 wildfires

As Lake Powell Hits Landmark Low, Arizona Looks to a $1 Billion Investment and Mexican Seawater to Slake its Thirst

Solar farm protest march led by MPs Matt Hancock and Lucy Frazer

The SEC Unveils Proposed Climate Disclosure Rules

Climate change: ‘Madness’ to turn to fossil fuels because of Ukraine war tks Damian Corbet

Which plant-based milk is better for the planet? This is what the science says

Carbon Farming: A Climate Solution Under Our Feet

Adam McKay’s ‘Don’t Look Up’ Inspires Climate Change Activists in France

Ohio’s fracking industry – boom as promised or something else?

Will’s Vegan Store


PM Lee Hsien Loong on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore on 24 March 2022

America Is About to Test How Long ‘Normal’ Can Hold

Evidence grows that vaccines lower the risk of getting long COVID

Can Covid-19 make your brain shrink? Here’s what Oxford study says

A New Covid-19 Wave Will Hit the U.S. Its Severity Is Unknown.

All vaccinated travellers can enter Singapore without quarantine from April 1, no need for VTL flights

Shanghai won’t lock down despite COVID-19 spike: Official

How long can I test positive for Covid? When you’re most contagious and Omicron incubation period explained

What is the Omicron Variant’s Incubation Period and How Long Are You Contagious?

Here’s how to decide if you’re safe to go out when you’re recovering from omicron

Business and technology

Applebee’s Executive Offers Dark Vision Of Restaurant Hiring

Analysis: Hard landing: Lessors lose hope of getting Russian planes back

P&O Ferries: Not consulting on job cuts broke law, boss admits

Catherine Mattiske: The Science of Learning – Podcast

Mark Zuckerberg and Meta’s Leadership Take Remote Work to the Extreme

Microsoft asked 31,000 people what’s changed about work. One result was startling

Global Exodus From Chinese Markets Prompts Xi to Change Tack

A strong message’: Insurance giant Swiss Re unveils plan to restrict cover for new oil and gas projects tks Susanna Hasenoehrl

LinkedIn CEO on New No-Politics Button, the Great Reshuffle and More tks Dan Hochuli

Social issues and humanity

Why This Grandma Believes In The Arrowsmith Program – tks Barbara Arrowsmith

Losing My Ambition tks Samantha Gayfer

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins is dead at 50

Natalie Portman wanted to shift football culture. So she founded Angel City FC

According to scientists, that class clown from seventh grade may have been the brightest kid in the room.

Since March 2019 government trust & distrust have fluctuated but 2021 ended with soaring levels of distrust tks Phillipa Edwards

Melinda French Gates: Courage is ‘using your voice’ to push for necessary but controversial change

Hong Kong expats drive unprecedented demand for Singapore school places

Lia Thomas: Florida governor Ron DeSantis refuses to recognise Thomas win

Sales of anti-Scott Morrison bin stickers surge after Liberal council threatens rubbish services tks Phillipa Edwards

‘It’s a culture war that’s totally out of control’: the authors whose books are being banned in US schools

US House passes Crown Act which would end hair discrimination

Stress in America Money, inflation, war pile on to nation stuck in COVID-19 survival mode tks Samantha Gayfer

Are the days of high-heels at work finally over? tks Russell D Russell

Bill Maher Slams the GOP, the ACLU, MTV, and Tucker Carlson on ‘Real Time’

A 28-year-old who retired with $2.25 million shares the secret to saving

The Game Defends Kanye West Following Grammys’ Ban Over ‘Concerning Online Behaviour’

Spinoza: A Complete Guide to Life – tks Ferenc Nyiro

Passion, humour, history

Richard Curtis: Ferrell should have had Oscar nomination for Elf

Doja Cat Claims She’s Quitting Music Following Clash With Fans: ‘I Don’t Give A Fuck Anymore’

33 men from across the globe dazzle in their national costume for beauty pageant

Ashleigh Barty: World number one makes shock call to quit tennis

Mike Myers is back in his many disguises. In the first trailer for his upcoming show The Pentaverate

We’re About To Witness A Super-Rare Planetary Alignment In March’s Early Morning Sky

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



Uncommon Courage: an invitation – my latest book

You can buy it on AmazonApple BooksBarnes & Noble, Book DepositoryBooktopia, SmashwordsKobo, Gardners, Odilo, Indie Bound, BookShop by BookTrib and Scribd.

Better yet, order it from your local bookstore, so you can #SupportLocal.

You can read the reviews, including a new five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another on Book Commentary and Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.

Come and join the conversation in my new Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.

Uncommon Courage, the podcast – Apple, Spotify and everywhere podcasts are published.

Uncommon Courage: an invitation, by Andrea T Edwards #UncommonCourage

The Know Show

Check out The Know Show. It’s a weekly wrap up of the news!

18 Steps to an All-Star LinkedIn Profile 

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