We did the last Know Show of the year, reflecting on all that happened in 2022, and I encourage everyone to do this, because it really adds some context to the news that consumes us. Reflecting back is the opposite of the rapid news cycle that blows by us every day, inciting immediate responses and reactions, very little reflection, and a constant state of overwhelm.
From the celebrity shenanigans, including Djokovic, Will Smith, Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and of course Ye – all of which get far too much attention in a world facing so many challenges! To famous deaths, notably Queen Elizabeth II, tWitch, Christine McVie, Angela Lansbury, Irene Cara, Ray Liotta, Sidney Poitier, William Hurt and many more.
If you think back to this time 12 months ago, we were starting to understand that the new Omicron variant was potentially less lethal than prior variants, which gave us all a little bit of hope moving into 2023. But then, of course, Covid isn’t over and while it’s out of the news, it’s not out of our societies. China is expecting one million deaths now it has opened up.
Although, the moment that really set the world back in 2022, is when Putin decided to invade the Ukraine. As the world’s mental health was already battered, this sent many over the edge – the threat of nuclear war didn’t help matters much. Such a senseless war and the last thing the world needs right now.
From an environment perspective, it’s been a VERY intense year and one wonders if it’s enough for us to finally get the message? Businesses seem to be moving faster in 2022, but governments…. Not in alignment with the emergency at all. What both businesses and governments are doing right now would have mattered 30 years ago, today, it’s nowhere near the scale of action required.
Here’s a flavour of some of the big environment events in 2022
- We passed the 5th of nine planetary boundaries in January, and then we passed the 6th of the nine planetary boundaries in April
- The Arctic and Antarctica hit 30 and 40 degrees above average on the same day at the same time
- Two IPCC Reports were released, which received very limited media coverage, even though the research should have focused all of our attention. Instead, the focus was on Putin/Ukraine
- Extreme flooding in Australia and we’ve seen it all over the world
- Mega droughts in Europe, US, Africa, China
- Rain bombs have become a common thing
- We are facing the potential of global famine, and famine has already started, with the Horn of Africa and Somalia devastated
- Eco-anxiety is on the rise and people are screaming their fear on social media everywhere
- Macron stated it is the end of abundance and he is correct
- Although Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles Day were all blockbuster events – yeah, we’re really not getting the message
- Pakistan saw the greatest body of water ever released on earth when a glacial lake burst. There are 33 other glacial lakes at risk of busting, just in Pakistan
- Adaptation preparations all over the world are not even remotely ready, and very few countries are geared up for the extreme weather events that are coming, and they will continue to get worse
- New projections expect we will experience 1.5 by 2024/25 when El Nino returns. It won’t be embedded permanently then, but we’ll sure know what it feels like. Research also indicates that Australia is royally screwed
- Right now, we’re seeing crazy floods in Spain and the Congo, while there is an Arctic freeze in Europe and North America, which is connecting with a heatwave in Spain and North Africa – all perfectly normal ☹
- We had two COPS and very little progress – fossil fuel lobbyists were out in huge numbers
- Environmental protestors around the world are being jailed longer than rapists and murderers – you know, they’re living with existential dread, let’s go hard on them!
- The fossil fuel industry keeps growing and growing and growing, and a new report this week states that we are not facing 2.4-2.8 global warming, it’s looking more like 4C – 10C! Remember even the cockroaches die at 8C.
Add to that, a record number of journalists were killed this year, a jump of 45% to 119, and detentions of journalists rose too, by 13.8%, to 535 cases, which broke last year’s record and has now reached the highest number ever recorded. As a side note, three journalists have died mysteriously in Qatar.
From crypto, to the mayhem in the global economy, to the chaos of global politics, thankfully we have seen some good news in the mix. Labour was elected in Australia (even though Murdoch worked hard to stop it) and Lula is back in Brazil. Let’s hope he can get the environmental destruction under control. Probably the hardest job in the world right now.
A controversial World Cup has consumed our attention these past few months, so has Elon Musk, and Iran is now in a challenging position. If the protestors fail, the crackdown will be harsh. If they win, due to the fact there is no opposition, Iran could become a failed state. Either way, challenging times ahead.
As I look ahead to 2023, for the first time in my life, I know I won’t feel the hope I’ve always felt at the start of a New Year. As a global community, we have enormous challenges to overcome, and we need to design a new world, in alignment with all life on earth.
I know many think we are a hopeless case (and I have my moments of doom, believe me), but seriously, if enough of us get the message that urgent action is required right now, that the only way to ensure we don’t head into terrible misery and an unbearable future is by working together as a global community, and that we must vote for the leaders the world needs at this time, then we have a chance. It’s not easy, but we CAN DO IT! We’ve got to keep the hope alive, we must.
Let’s get to work in 2023 and do this, yes? Our kids deserve all our best efforts now. We can’t let them down.
Let me know if you value this?
If you enjoy or value my Weekend Reads, please drop me a note wherever I’ve shared it and tell me? I’d love to know the articles you read as you scan through the headlines, because I just want to be sure I’m doing something that’s valued.
The Weekend Reads is a labour of love and it’s my way of helping my community navigate the constant news shocks we face every single day, but it’s hard to know if this is worth it, as I’m getting very little interaction when I share this every week. I’d love to know it’s something you do value.
I’m going to have a break from the reads until the New Year. If you’ve been following and supporting my work, thank you, I appreciate it. I wish you a very happy, safe and sustainable festive season, and let’s get focused in 2023 on the work we need to do to ensure a liveable future for ourselves and future generations.
Friend’s content and mine
We are in a devastating waste crisis; don’t we all think it’s time to act? We must get a handle on this. It is getting worse and worse and worse!!
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, Medicine Sans Frontier, PowerOf , Kiva.org , Soi Dog Foundation. It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.
Content to read
And here’s the content I’ve been reading or watching 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.
Hurricane Ian left bees starving in Florida. Here’s why they need us tks Vicky Coburn
MONBIOSIS with George Monbiot: Ep13 – Don’t Look Up!
Climate Scientist Answers Earth Questions From Twitter
Abrupt global ocean circulation collapse. Time to start prepping?
What a stupid year tks Phillipa Edwards
Business and technology
The viral AI avatar app Lensa undressed me—without my consent tks Barry Graubart
Stephen Fry: “Lost, alone and I wanted to take my life”
Pandemic write-up Thread by @brownecfm on Thread Reader App tks Phillipa Edwards
Passion, humour, history
Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!
Three environment resources to help navigate this challenging territory. 1. Knowledge, constantly updating. 2. Individual action and awareness, so we do our part. 3. Resources for those struggling with eco-anxiety. Please share with your community.
Uncommon Courage: an invitation – my latest book
Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 has given us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.
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.
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