The Digital Conversationalist

Political earthquake The Netherlands

#136 Weekend reads – a political earthquake in… The Netherlands?

I know it’s hard to keep on top of everything and work out what’s important, because since writing this introduction, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin and that’s got everyone’s attention. However, there’s another story, not making global headlines, but it’s important and a sign of the very challenging times we face.

Described as a ‘political earthquake,’ a farmers’ party, called the Farmer-Citizen Movement or BBB, has stunned Dutch politicians, as it’s set to become the biggest party in the upper house of parliament, after provincial elections.

The BBB was only set up in 2019 following widespread farmers’ protests, and they are fighting the government, because one of the EU mandates the ruling party is pushing is to slash nitrogen emissions, due to the fact it’s harmful to biodiversity. How they are doing this is by dramatically reducing livestock and buying out thousands of farms.

I was in The Netherlands last summer when the protests were happening – it was intense then – but to see it move so quickly politically is staggering. However, it’s not just the farmers who are flocking to the BBB’s banner, led by Caroline van der Plas, its appeal has gone beyond the rural heartland, and has become a populist platform, apparently representing traditional, conservative Dutch social and moral values. Just that sentence has so many undertones…

The BBB are due to take 15 of the Senate’s seats with almost 20% of the vote. The greens have 15 Senate seats, and the main four-party coalition, led by prime minister Mark Rutte, is expected to lose eight seats, and will only have 24.

The turnout for the vote was reported between 57.5% and 62 percent, which is the highest turnout for provincial elections in decades! But seriously, in these crazy times, it should be 90 percent. You don’t vote, anything can happen, as we are seeing again and again and again.

Some clear messages I’ve taken away

  1. When it comes to the environment, the farmers have a HUGE role to play, and all over the world, there appears very few examples of all interested parties coming together to work out how everyone can play a role to move forward and put nature first. This must be the priority. We have to work it out and involve farmers in the solutions
  2. Again, every day people are being ignored and side-lined. Moments like this will inspire citizens living in other countries to move forward, potentially without supporting the current ruling parties – obviously this is not always a bad thing. But it will make traditional parties nervous, and honestly, they should be nervous
  3. This will have significant ramifications for the EU, because it was EU legislation that forced this action to reduce farms and cattle impact – something to watch
  4. The BBB obviously need to prove they can be successful, and if you read the Financial Times article below, they all have minimal experience in politics, so it could impact their ability to be succeed. Another side of the story to watch
  5. And finally, probably the most important message of all – VOTE for the future YOU want, because those who are really motivated right now, might not be in alignment with YOU! Anyone of any age not voting today is leaving their future to chance (hey Brexit) because surely we see now, any outcome is possible. Round up your community and VOTE – especially millennials and GenX, because this is YOUR future, you want to leave it to these motivated people, not in alignment with you?

My biggest concern, of course, is this is a bad outcome for the environment. The number of seats is large enough to set progress back. So we must elect politicians committed to putting nature first and we have to work with the farmers (and all other relevant industries) to find a path forward. Yes?

If you want to understand this a little more, there’s an interesting piece from DutchReview below, called ‘4 things to know about the 2023 Dutch election results.’ It provides a more local perspective on what’s going on.

Crazy times. Wasn’t expecting it from The Netherlands, well not this week, there’s enough other crazy stuff going on around the world already. 

Please read the environment section below. A lot of big things are brewing, and we really have no time to lose. Time to act.

Friend’s content and mine

Do you want to implement changes in your company? Use storytelling – a #WomenIAdmire is Anjali Sharma, she is terrific and when she speaks about storytelling, it’s with such incredible clarity, so you can apply it to yourself, or your business. Interviewed by another friend, Rodrigo Canelas, make sure you subscribe to this show and keep a look out for his guests. He’s doing a fabulous job – as you’ll see.

I published a couple of blogs this week, the first There’s a #ClimateBrawl in town and I’m not joining in. The people who are participating in this and sharing correct data, are doing a fabulous job, but it’s just not in me to participate this way. It’s too ugly, it’s soul destroying and I prefer to bring people with me, versus being offensive. One of my rules in The Social Leadership Manifesto, is never condescend or patronize. We’re getting nowhere with that.

The second blog is a chapter from my book – Uncommon Courage #31 Manbassadors – and my friends, we have some work to do, men and women. But I encourage all of the great men in the world to step up, speak up and show up. We need male role models as the dominant voice, versus much of the ugliness we’re seeing. And yes, us ladies have some work to do too.

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, Medicine Sans Frontier, PowerOf , , 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.

Climate crisis

Sea Ice in Crisis with Peter Wadhams and Patrick Hogan

Arctic climate modelling too conservative

Why We’re Headed for the Mother of All Financial Crises

Rainforests pump water round the tropics—but the pulse of this heart is weakening

Here’s How Wildfires Can Destroy the Ozone Layer

High Seas Treaty exempts deep-sea mining from stricter environmental rules

Misuse of Phosphorus Is Wreaking Havoc, Scientists Warn

Aramco: Saudi state-owned oil giant sees record profit of $161bn

March 2023 ENSO update: no more La Niña!

Canada is sitting on 12 ‘carbon bombs.’ Here’s where they are tks Kevin Cottam

Cyclone Freddy was the most energetic storm on record. Is it a harbinger of things to come?

Menindee: Millions of dead fish wash up near Australian town

Global fresh water demand will outstrip supply by 40% by 2030, say experts

Singaporeans, Australians top spenders on bottled water: UN study

Biden just betrayed the planet – and his own campaign vows

Biden Administration Expected to Move Ahead on a Major Oil Project in Alaska

Biden Says Generation ‘Damned’ If We Don’t Fix Climate Change, Also Approves Willow Oil Drilling Project

Greenland temperatures surge up to 50 degrees above normal, setting records

Argentina’s record-breaking heatwave has ‘no similarities in history’ tks Dr David Ko

Is PERMAFROST the Climate Tipping Point of No Return?

Evidence for horrifying new disease linked to plastic consumption in Australia tks Claire Kielty

Conflict and Violence are the Primary Causes of Hunger and Famine, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Tells the Human Rights Council

World on brink of going hungry as food costs and availability reaching ‘crisis’ point

Overshoot: Why It’s Already Too Late To Save Civilization

The plastic water bottle industry is booming. Here’s why that’s a huge problem

‘Cognitive dissonance’ and climate change: Why some people stop using plastic straws but buy a new car tks Joshua O’Neill

French TV stations are adding climate change context to their weather forecasts

Cyclone Freddy death toll passes 200 as rescue workers warn more victims will be found

Clean-up of radioactive water leak ongoing at Minnesota nuclear plant

Extreme drought, weather forcing cattle producers to thin herds at near-record numbers: industry experts

Kentucky Residents Angered by US Forest Service Logging Plan That Targets Mature Trees

Levee breaches on Pajaro River in Monterey County prompting evacuations and rescues

Pan-Arctic marine biodiversity and species co-occurrence patterns under recent climate

World’s Largest Organism Is Slowly Being Eaten, Scientist Says

How To Stop Lying To Our Kids About Climate Change

BBC will not broadcast Attenborough episode over fear of ‘rightwing backlash’

How light pollution disrupts plants’ senses tks Steve Johnson

Are we all doomed? A climate scientist weighs in

Who Will Make The Decisions

Fact Check: Did Greta Thunberg Delete Claim That Humanity Will End by 2023?

Tokyo sees another record early start to cherry blossom season

Here’s a concrete example of how we can achieve a circular economy for plastics tks Andrew Psarianos

This is What 600″ of Snowfall Looks Like at Bear Valley Resort, CA

PM2.5: Endless deja vu in Thailand 

‘My clothes haven’t killed anything’: Stella McCartney says it with horses on Paris runway tks Stephanie Dickson

The Quiet Part Out Loud | Frankly 13

Global politics

Putin arrest warrant issued over war crime allegations

Putin arrest warrant: Biden welcomes ICC’s war crimes charges

US drone crashes after encounter with Russian jet

Farmers’ protest party win shock Dutch vote victory

Dutch Farmers protest party in shock victory in provincial elections

Farmer protest party triumphs in provincial Dutch elections

4 things to know about the 2023 Dutch election results

Factbox: Middle East flashpoints that could be affected by Saudi-Iran deal

President Biden on Mobilizing Youth, Climate Change & Human Rights

It’s OK to be Angry about Capitalism review: Bernie Sanders, by the book

Paul Ryan Says Even MAGA Diehards Believe Trump Can’t Win in 2024

Mike Pence Is Warning Us About Trump

Trump Blames Pence For Jan. 6 Violence For Not Going Along With His Coup Attempt

DeSantis Launches 18-State Alliance to Ban ESG Investing

Aukus deal: US, UK and Australia agree on nuclear submarine project

Paul Keating labels Aukus submarine pact ‘worst deal in all history’ in attack on Albanese government

Economist breaks down how Britain is creeping towards authoritarianism

Will Ron DeSantis be the end of ‘Florida man’? Press critics sound the alarm over the potential demise of the famous ‘Sunshine Law.’

Israel sees one of its biggest-ever protests

Macron’s pension reforms pass French senate vote

French opposition submits no confidence motion to topple Macron’s government

France’s Macron to force through pension reform with no vote

Outcry as Finland election campaign hit by ‘racist’ advertising

1,100 scientists and students barred from UK amid China crackdown

John Major’s Foresight On Brexit tks Jonathan Caines

Business and technology

Open letter from Black Women in Venture Capital to Andy Kessler & WSJ Editors

Who is Greg Becker, the head of failed Silicon Valley Bank?

Regulators Close Another Bank and Move to Protect Deposits

Silicon Valley Bank Collapse Threatens Climate Start-Ups

KPMG Gave SVB, Signature Bank Clean Bill of Health Weeks Before Collapse

What do we know about the Silicon Valley and Signature Bank collapse?

Execs Make Millions via Timely Trades of Competitors’ Stock

‘It’s like a building where all the pieces are on fire’: Twitter engineer says layoffs created chaos and Elon Musk works in the office with 2 bodyguards

Elon Musk Recruiting Team To Build His Own Anti-‘Woke” AI To Rival ChatGPT

Economist Says AI Is a Doomed Bubble

AI: How ‘freaked out’ should we be?

The 10 fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. right now—many pay over $100,000 a year

Raphael Mechoulam, “Father of Cannabis Science”, Dies at Age 92

Social issues

Linker vs Braverman tks Andy Lopata

The hypersane are among us, if only we are prepared to look – Big Think

Leon founder HENRY DIMBLEBY on the conspiracy to make you FAT and food companies super-rich tks Angela Hunter

We blew up the pokies, brought back the music and lifted turnover 700%

Conservative Commentator Struggles To Define ‘Woke’ During Interview After Writing A Book About It

North Korea’s food shortage is about to take a deadly turn for the worse, experts say

Lineker row threatens to topple BBC chiefs and hit Tory asylum plans

Gary Lineker row: BBC boss asked if he bowed to government pressure

W1A Stars Hugh Bonneville And Jason Watkins Send Up BBC Gary Lineker Saga In Character

BBC and Gary Lineker: Tweets decision comes at high price for BBC

Match of the Day review – without Lineker, this is just 20 minutes of shameful, joyless TV

Fans defend Hailey Bieber after concertgoers chant insult at her during Justin Bieber concert: ‘Too far’

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Has the Best Take on Mental Health You Never Expected

Courteney Cox says she ‘messed up a lot’ by getting fillers

Cole Sprouse: My Narcissistic Mum Sacrificed My Childhood For Fame! The Diary Of A CEO Podcast

Daycare director left ‘disturbing’ voicemail in ‘tongues’ urging two moms to split up: ‘I’m a prophet’

Michelle Yeoh: The Crisis That Changed My Life 8 Years Ago Keeps Happening

‘I know where the bodies are buried’: one woman’s mission to change how the police investigate rape

This is what’s really behind Australia’s cost of living crisis, according to new research

Passion, humour, history

Michelle Yeoh wins best actress Oscar for Everything Everywhere All at Once

Angela Bassett’s Face When She Lost The Oscar To Jamie Lee Curtis Is Breaking Hearts

Ke Huy Quan’s 2023 Oscars Speech Had The Entire Audience Sobbing

British actor shouts ‘f*** the Tories’ in Oscars interview

Olney: Roman villa mosaic found under Aldi supermarket site

Lance Reddick, star of The Wire and John Wick, dies aged 60

What happens when the Terminator turns 75  

Nicolas Cage Refuses Corporate Spandex: ‘I Don’t Need To Be In The MCU, I’m Nic Cage’

Americans are asking if Hugh Grant was ‘rude or just British’ – 17 straight-talking responses

Extreme travel: It just got harder to see every place in the world

Free-diver plunges to record depth beneath frozen Swiss lake

Oscars 2023: RRR’s Naatu Naatu wins best original song tks Sagar Amlani

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



Want to get in touch?

All of my contact information is here on Linktree.

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.

Listen in to the Uncommon Courage, the podcast on Apple, Spotify and everywhere podcasts are published.

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 


Have I done a great job for you? Can you write a reference on my LinkedIn profile or on my Google Business page? If not for me, why not write one for someone else who inspires you or has helped you? Join the #GivingEconomy.

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