The Digital Conversationalist

Weekend Reads Andrea T Edwards

#132 Weekend reads – Ohio’s Chernobyl and Antarctica’s extreme heat event

It took two weeks for mainstream media to pick up the story of a 150-car train derailment at East Palestine in Ohio, USA. Being referred to as Ohio’s Chernobyl, the residents are alarmed and do not trust what the officials are saying. A “controlled release” of chemicals – including vinyl chloride – occurred to prevent a catastrophic explosion, but there is evidence of massive pollution in the area. The Associated Press noted that the controlled burn of chemicals following the crash spewed “phosgene and hydrogen chloride into the air.”

Since this controlled explosion, we’ve heard stories of dying chickens and pets, people with swollen eyes and sore throats, strong chemical odours, a stream blackened by substances released from the train and dead fish. Sadly, most of the residents in this area are poor, so evacuation, or permanently leaving, is not an option for them.

East Palestine, Ohio residents describe effects of train derailment on their bodies and environment

This is an evolving story and worth a watch. It’s about corporate greed, government incompetence, and a potentially long-term lethal situation for residents.

On the other side of the world is a story that should be getting all our attention. This week we heard of an extraordinary marine heatwave that could threaten Antarctica’s ice shelves. This heatwave has the potential to disrupt critical parts of the global climate system and accelerate sea level rise.

Scientists said their recent voyages have been marked by an eerily warm ocean and record-low sea ice coverage—extreme climate conditions, even compared to the big changes of recent decades.

Described as dramatic, the scientists say: If such conditions recur in the coming years – and we have El Nino coming back this year – it could start a rapid destabilization of Antarctica’s critical underpinnings of the global climate system, including ice shelves, glaciers, coastal ecosystems and even ocean currents. Such radical changes have already been sweeping the Arctic, starting in the 1980s and accelerating in the 2000s.

We ignore this at our peril. Please do look into it, as well as all of the other climate news below, and then join the fight to stop our world descending into a climate ‘doom loop,’ as reported in The Guardian this week too. We are getting closer and closer.

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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.

Climate crisis

Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday Glacier’ is in trouble, scientists say

‘Extreme situation’: Antarctic sea ice hits record low

Big Heat Hits Antarctica

Antarctica’s Thwaites glacier at mercy of sea warmth increase

Antarctic Researchers Report an Extraordinary Marine Heatwave That Could Threaten Antarctica’s Ice Shelves

Vast glacier at mercy of sea warmth increase

‘Extraordinary marine heatwave’ could threaten Antarctica’s ice shelves

Sea level rise poses ‘unthinkable’ risks for the planet, Security Council hears

Rising seas threaten ‘mass exodus on a biblical scale’, UN chief warns tks Kevin Cottam

What is lidar?

Future sea-level projections with a coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice-sheet model

Twice as Much Land in Developing Nations Will be Swamped by Rising Seas than Previously Projected, New Research Shows

France tears down beach apartment block as rising sea bites

World risks descending into a climate ‘doom loop’, warn thinktanks

Emission Cuts Will Fail to Stop Climate Change. What to Do Then?

Nearly 30 dangerous feedback loops could permanently shift the Earth’s climate, scientists say

World Bank chief resigns after climate stance misstep

David Malpass: World Bank leader who was called climate denier quits

Water carved New Zealand’s stunning landscape. Now too much is risking lives   

New Zealand minister decries climate crisis ‘lost decades’ in wake of Cyclone Gabrielle

New Zealand cyclone death toll climbs to five with ‘grave concerns’ for 3,500 missing as military delivers aid to cities cut off by devastating floods

Evacuations urged as ‘potentially devastating’ storm lashes New Zealand

Three dead after New Zealand declares state of emergency

Child among four dead in New Zealand as 1,400 remain missing

Thousands left without power in New Zealand

Cows follow farmer’s voice, swim through Hawke’s Bay floodwaters tks Gilly Chater

Fresh storm warnings for New Zealand’s worst-hit regions as death toll rises to five

Cyclone Gabrielle floods: Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne isolated and running low on supplies – death toll set to rise as witnesses describe seeing ‘multiple bodies’

New Zealand: search for the missing as Cyclone Gabrielle death toll climbs to nine

Extreme heatwave conditions: Bureau of Meteorology provide national update | 9 News Australia

‘Birdsville mindset’: what an outback town where the roads melt can teach us about living with heat

Solar’s stunning journey from lab curiosity to global juggernaut wiping out fossil fuels

Cacti replacing snow on Swiss mountainsides due to global heating

Scientist Rebellion Letter: We are Not Safe!  

Wind-powered cargo ships are the future: Debunking four myths that stand in their way

Thousands of solar panels sent to power recovery effort in earthquake devastated Türkiye

Governments Spent Record $1 Trillion Last Year Subsidizing Fossil Fuels

Australia: Super funds face the future of fossil fuels

Trump silent on Ohio train derailment after lawmakers descend into blame game

Derailed Train in Ohio Carried Chemical Used to Make PVC, ‘the Worst’ of the Plastics

A week after evacuations near the toxic Ohio train wreck ended, anxious residents pack meeting to express doubts about safety

‘I Don’t Want to Take My Kids Back to That’: Ohio Residents Fear Toxic Aftermath of Train Crash

“There Will Be More Derailments”

“You Should Feel Guilty for Nothing” says Judge, as he finds Seven Guilty and Aquits Two, for Disrupting Esso Terminal in Birmingham

Yes, you can have kids and fight climate change at the same time

“If they don’t believe the science, they can fuck off:” Forrest backs coal and gas ban

Climate change may have made it easier for mosquitos to spread Malaria

Europe proposes mass exit from energy treaty

Coca-Cola says it’s difficult to source recycled plastic at a ‘reasonable’ price in Asia

Essential insects in East Asia have declined massively, study finds

Artic News

Europe on the verge of water catastrophe as groundwater reserves dry up, scientists warn

Pollinator declines linked to half million early human deaths annually

A third of companies linked to deforestation have no policy to end it

Saving the world’s largest animal can help reduce carbon emissions, study shows

‘Let them eat lentils’ won’t save us from animal farming – we must embrace meat substitutes

Fossil fuel emissions to peak within two years as global decarbonization picks up steam tks Dr David Ko

Extrapolations — Official Trailer

Global politics

Taliban bans contraception calling use a ‘western conspiracy’

Revealed: the hacking and disinformation team meddling in elections tks Sue Adams

Why the world needs Ukrainian victory

Ukraine War: Over 30,000 Wagner fighters injured or killed in Ukraine, says US

Serbia nationalist protests spike tensions over Russia

Off the air, Fox News stars blasted the election fraud claims they peddled

Fox News hosts thought Trump’s election fraud claims were ‘total BS’, court filings show

The Real Elitists Are at Fox News

China spy balloon: Three unidentified objects possibly benign, says US

US Air Force may have shot down hobby club’s balloon worth US$12 with US$439,000 missile

The Law Is Closing In on Trump

After helping prince’s rise, Trump and Kushner benefit from Saudi funds

Marjorie Taylor Greene Didn’t Like What She Saw

From Xboxes to ovens, Republicans’ war on energy efficiency is a tax on the poor

The Pointless Nikki Haley Campaign

Nicola Sturgeon says time is right to resign as Scotland’s first minister

Richard Sharp’s position as BBC chair ‘increasingly untenable’, says Labour tks Oliver Gill

Hugh Jackman: Inevitable that Australia will become a republic

Business and technology

CEO Pay Was Up 21% in 2022. These Are the Most Overpaid CEOs, According to a Shareholder Advocacy Group

The Gray Area with Sean Illing: The dark history of Silicon Valley

YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki Is Resigning. These 2 Things From Her Letter to Employees Stood Out Most

How Google Ran Out of Ideas

Facebook Parent Meta Gives Thousands of Workers Subpar Reviews

Apple Cofounder Says Musk Wants to ‘Be Like a Cult Leader’

Microsoft’s new ChatGPT AI starts sending ‘unhinged’ messages to people

Buzzfeed Columnist Tells CEO to “Get Fucked” for Move to AI Content

Well, I never: AI is very proficient at designing nerve agents

Mariana Mazzucato: ‘The McKinseys and the Deloittes have no expertise in the areas that they’re advising in’

They shared their layoff heartbreak on LinkedIn. Then it went viral

Yoodli – Free Communication Coach tks Rohit Bassi

Social issues

Babbage: Will bird flu cause the next human pandemic? The Economist Podcasts

Mass death of sea lions from bird flu suggests virus may be spreading between mammals in the wild

Is the US prepared for a possible bird flu pandemic? What we know.

It Is Journalism’s Sacred Duty To Endanger The Lives Of As Many Trans People As Possible tks Brian Sibley

Why are there so many earthquakes? Experts explain why tremors have rocked Turkey, Syria and New Zealand this month – and reveal where the next one could be

COVID can trigger tinnitus. Could the vaccines do the same?

Young people are more likely to die of heart attacks post-COVID, study finds. But why? tks Joe Augustin

Turkey-Syria earthquake: Mother and baby rescued twice in three days

Turkey earthquake: 113 arrest warrants connected to building construction

No tents, no aid, nothing: Why Syrians feel forgotten

Christian Atsu found dead after Turkey earthquake

Turkey earthquake rescue: How two sisters were saved from the rubble

As Anger Swells Over Quake, Turkey Detains Building Contractors

Russian hackers ‘disrupt Turkey-Syria earthquake aid’ in cyber attack on Nato

What To Say To Someone Who Is A Fan Of Joe Rogan tks Gina Giachetti

The Fascinating Science of How We Think Not with the Brain But with the World

Chelsea Handler Fires Back at ‘Crybaby’ Tucker Carlson

Australia mine collapse: Two men dead at Dugald River zinc mine

The death of shame tks Phillipa Edwards

So your friend came out as non-binary: here’s how to use pronouns they/them tks Ken Craig-Saunders

A Popular—And Misunderstood—Theory of Relationships

The Dalai Lama on Why Leaders Should Be Mindful, Selfless, and Compassionate

How the Language of Therapy Took Over Dating In a time when emotion

Students who brutally beat bullied girl who later committed suicide are arrested and criminally charged

Brad Pitt Credits Bradley Cooper for Encouraging Him to Become Sober

Bruce Willis has dementia, his family announces tks Andy Lopata

Banksy’s Valentine’s Day art removed after just a few hours

Passion, humour, history

Raquel Welch: US actress and model dies at 82

The Netflix Royal Drama You Might Not Know About

‘Obsessive? This is who I am!’ How Lesley Paterson funded her 16-year Oscar dream – by winning triathlons

Here Are The Best Super Bowl Commercials Of 2023

Pregnant Rihanna lights up Super Bowl stage with ‘Diamonds’

Grazier-turned-publican saves much-loved historic pub off the beaten track — without resorting to pokies tks Willy Wahlin

The Sea Women Of South Korea

Egyptian Archaeologists Just Unearthed The Pʏʀᴀᴍɪᴅ Of Never-Before Known Ancient Eɢʏᴘᴛɪᴀɴ Qᴜᴇᴇɴ Neith And Rᴇᴡʀɪᴛᴇ Hɪsᴛᴏʀʏ

Wrexham: Will Ferrell spotted having pre-match pint in pub Published

Six of Europe’s best slow, scenic rail journeys

Largest penguin ever discovered weighed a whopping 340 pounds, fossils reveal

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



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Environment education

Four environment resources to help you 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.
  4. Finally, more than 100 mini-videos on many topics regarding the multiple crisis’ we face. Feel free to download and use as your own. No credit necessary.

Uncommon Courage: an invitation

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.

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 Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.

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The Know Show

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

Climate Courage

A fortnightly conversation on issues that matter to you and I, focusing on the actions we can all take.

18 Steps to an All-Star LinkedIn Profile 

Listed by Book Authority in the 100 Best LinkedIn Books of All Time and 22 Best New LinkedIn eBooks To Read In 2021 and 2022 categories. Grab it today if you want to take your professional presence to the next level! When it comes to LinkedIn, it really is time to ask — can you really afford not to have this book in the hands of every employee?

Are you a Social CEO? The Social CEO: How Social Media Can Make You A Stronger Leader. 

Want to claim your stage? Unleash Your Voice – Powerful Public Speaking for Every Woman 


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