The Digital Conversationalist


#152 Weekend reads – why can’t we just talk straight?

The horror of the fires in Lahaina, Maui, have captured all our attention in recent weeks, but don’t worry, new extreme weather events are on the way, which will take our attention elsewhere and we’ll forget about what’s going on over there. Do keep an eye on the hurricane heading for California this weekend… The word unprecedented has been used. Take care my friends.

But I don’t want to move on from Maui and one of the bigger stories is what’s happening after the tragedy. People are desperately trying to survive and support their community, but guess what is going on? They are being offered low cash amounts by big property developers to buy their land. Apparently, the desire for another Waikiki is in the works. That’s all we need!!!

This is disaster capitalism in action, and honestly, this whole idea of developing a mega tourist centre in a world experiencing climate escalation is completely crazy – we’ll suffer the emissions of its creation, and it will probably never see the light of day, because more extreme weather is coming, like heat – but it’s also the story of greed and manipulation over those who don’t have many options. We’re not going to help you rebuild, instead we’re going to screw you while you’re down! What have we become?

The money grabbing developers, as well as the lack of compassion for the people on the ground, who have lost everything, just feels like a perfect testament to how we got to where we are globally in the first place. This is the story of colonialism and greed playing out in real time.

This video explains it well

There’s another story on the why. A small group of families, going back generations, settled in Hawaii and became the country’s sugar barons. They also introduced the grass that resulted in the devastating fires. The descendants of these families are still there, still wealthy and still making money, but have you seen them put their hand up and accept responsibility?

Of course not, I’m sure their lawyers are very busy right now, but let’s cut to the chase – if we really want to address the global emergency we are all facing, these sorts of straight-talking conversations need to start happening and now. The barons need to stand up and say: we are responsible, and we are going to help rebuild Lahaina back to its original royal glory, and we are going to be an integral part of the community moving forward, which includes addressing inequality.

If you want to read a really compelling piece that looks backward and forwards, I highly recommend this: Lahaina used to be a wetland. It’s got a lot of nuance and is very well written. It’s also been interesting to understand the two Hawaii’s, something that didn’t hit the headlines before this tragedy. Maybe we should be embracing this as a huge opportunity for overdue change, because boy we need it.

It’s these sorts of moments where we – humanity – show who we are. We can continue as we’ve always done – which has pushed us closer and closer to the edge of catastrophe for the world – or we can say the time for dramatic change is here. Let’s embrace the opportunity to build a better world, and let’s get it right so nature can flourish, and indigenous people can be the guardians of our lands again.

Honestly, if we don’t get this message soon, not just in Lahaina but everywhere, we’re not going to make it.

It’s time for some straight talking, everywhere. There is so much bullshit going on, so I’m not surprised people are confused and feeling helpless, but deep down, we all know that if we don’t get this moment right, things will unravel faster and faster.

Those who will experience the full force of this unravelling will be the poorest and most vulnerable to start with, but it’s coming for the wealthy and comfortable too. Time to face up to what we have on our hands, and straight talking is a necessary ingredient in the mix of the changes we need to be embracing right now.

Let’s demand it, the time for straight talking and transparency is well overdue.

Onto the reads.

Friend’s content and mine

My friend, Palmer Owyoung has just published a book on what we can do about climate change. I have it on order, but he’s written this great article: What I Learned by Writing a Book About Climate Change

Super delighted to launch this podcast this week Uncommon Courage: Why are values so important? on Apple Podcasts and wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you so much to the wonderful Kevin Cottam for taking me through the process. Reach out to him if you’re curious.

Donation time

If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Why not make a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Or donate to the UN Refugee Program, Medicine Sans Frontier, PowerOf,, Red Cross, and so many more, including urgent fundraising and those supporting animals, like the Soi Dog Foundation. A fabulous organisation I support is B1G1 – check it out and set up an account. It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.

Content to read

And here’s the content I’ve been reading, listening to or watching. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read, listen to or watch them all. It’s time to pay attention to the information that matters.

Climate crisis

LIVE: Republican LIE Causes BIG Problems…This Expert Can STOP Them | The Weekend Show

The Age of Megafailure. How Societies Fall From the Heights 

Three Lessons We Should Be Learning About the 21st Century — But Aren’t

Billionaire investor threatens to pull out of UK amid global outcry at new oil rush | Fossil fuels | The Guardian

Ethiopia’s Tigray crisis: Deaths from starvation after aid halted – official – BBC News

Opinion | Climate change came for Maui, Hawaii — and we could be next – The Washington Post

Is climate change accelerating and is it worse than we expected? | New Scientist

Microplastics Found In Human Hearts For First Time, Showing Impact Of Pollution (

Hurricane Hilary expected to bring heavy rain to the U.S. Southwest: Live Updates (

Lahaina. Yellowknife. Hurricane Hilary. Climate scientists’ worst fears are here – Los Angeles Times (

UK weather: more than half a month’s rain to fall in south of England | UK weather | The Guardian

Major ‘Population Correction’ Coming For Humanity, Scientist Predicts : ScienceAlert

Asia will not get to net-zero without changing its diet – Nikkei Asia

Heavy Rainfall Triggers Multiple Landslides in India’s Himachal Pradesh | Firstpost Earth

Nearly 50% of environmentalists abandoned Twitter following Musk’s takeover (

The Sriracha Shortage Is a Very Bad Sign – The Atlantic

‘Real threat to city’: Yellowknife in Canada evacuates as wildfire nears | Canada | The Guardian

Geoengineering Is Going to Happen (

Amid the ash of Lahaina, aid and anger are spreading | CNN

Charge us with contempt too, say 40 people, if climate activist prosecuted | UK news | The Guardian

Study reveals America’s wealthiest 10% responsible for 40% of US greenhouse gas emissions (

Drinking water of millions of Americans contaminated with ‘forever chemicals’ | PFAS | The Guardian

“The Heat Will Kill You First”: Rolling Stone’s Jeff Goodell on Life and Death on a Scorched Planet

Dead trees around the world are shocking scientists (

Spain firefighters make gains in battle against Tenerife blaze (

Low river levels leading to concerns with potential for bacteria growth (

Spare a thought for those living “the hot life” (

Heat wave coming to central U.S., with excessive heat warning in Texas – The Washington Post

The Gulf is record hot. What’s the impact on hurricane season? (

Europe Heatwave Expands as French Citizens Told to Stay Home – Bloomberg

Climate change: Something strange is happening in the Pacific and we must find out why | New Scientist

Hawaii wildfires: Maui emergency chief quits after sirens criticism – BBC News

After a record year of catastrophes, FEMA’s disaster fund is slipping into the red before hurricane season even peaks | CNN Politics

Fire Expert Says Climate & Native Vegetation Changes Fueled Explosive Maui Wildfires

Watch the treacherous journeys out of wildfire-hit Canada – BBC News

Atlantic collapse: Q&A with scientists behind controversial study predicting a colder Europe (

A pledge for public ownership in energy companies (

The Hawaii Wildfires Are a Warning – The Atlantic

‘Amped-up citizen science’ to save the world: Q&A with Conservation AI Hub’s Grant Hamilton (

Canada reports worst wildfire season on record — and there’s more to come this fall | CBC News

‘An utter disgrace’: 90% of England’s most precious river habitats blighted by raw sewage and farming pollution | Rivers | The Guardian

Hapag-Lloyd warns Panama Canal drought restrictions could hurt shipping giant (

Internal documents suggest coordinated messaging campaign promoting LNG – Squamish Chief

Extreme flooding seen across the world so far this summer – video report | Environment | The Guardian

The threat of melting sea ice and marine heatwaves in the Antarctic

Everything, everywhere, all at once: The great floods of 2023 – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (

Amazon Nations Unite in Criticism of EU Deforestation Rules (

Why Some Americans Do Not See Urgency on Climate Change | Pew Research Center

Climate change: ‘We shouldn’t wait for catastrophic weather events to act’ – The Irish Times

Recovery of Great Barrier Reef stalls as scientists point to bleaching, disease and starfish attacks | Great Barrier Reef | The Guardian

Is the Atlantic Ocean’s great conveyer belt really slowing down? (

Opinion | The Hawaii wildfires prove they are getting harder to tame – The Washington Post

Visualizing the Global Population by Water Security Levels (

Where do we go when the seas rise? – BBC World Service

Ocean surface hits highest ever recorded temperature and set to rise further | Oceans | The Guardian

Maui fire: 96 killed as governor warns of ‘significant’ death toll rise – BBC News

First of its Kind Discovery in Mali: Vast Reservoirs of Clean Hydrogen Gas – Hydrogen Central (

The true cost of frequent flyer reward schemes — Possible (

The Clean Energy Future Is Arriving Faster Than You Think – The New York Times (

Surprising Study: Seemingly Healthy Ecosystems May Already Be on the Path To Decline (

Severe thunderstorms account for up to 70% of all insured natural catastrophe losses in first half of 2023, Swiss Re Institute estimates | Swiss Re

Watching The World Burn on Our Phones

Building seawalls will not work — especially not in Florida | Column (

US war veteran says Hawaii wildfires are worse than Afghanistan | US News | Sky News

Outrage + Optimism: You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers on Apple Podcasts

Morocco breaks heat record (

Fires in Maui: ‘Tourists swim in the waters we died in’ – Maui resident – BBC News

“We’re Not Going to Die This Way”: Father Jumped into Ocean with 5 Kids to Escape Maui Fire

Spanish bears rebound from brink of extinction as locals adapt to their presence once again – The Irish Times

What comes after Extinction Rebellion? The future depends on the emergence of a climate majority – ABC Religion & Ethics

Charts | Copernicus

Judge rules in favor of youths in landmark Montana climate trial – The Washington Post

Rising methane could be a sign that Earth’s climate is part-way through a ‘termination-level transition’ (

Extreme weather, Net Zero’s not enough, and the US right declares war on climate action | XR UK

Medical experts warn hospitals need to be prepared for heatwave demands #HealthCrisis #ClimateCrisis #Cairns #FNQ – Climate Action Australia

Hawaii wildfires: Maui residents had only moments to make life-or-death decisions | AP News

‘Pioneering’ CO2 storage projects could have leaked (

Extreme Australian bushfires pose serious threat to global climate, scientists warn (

First images emerge from ‘engulfed’ Enterprise (

Burning mangrove trees for a living: ‘I’d quit tomorrow if I could’ – BBC News

‘You’re kind of raised to hate tourists’: Maui fires fan tensions on Hawaiian island – BBC News

Lahaina used to be a wetland – by Emily Atkin – HEATED

Frankfurt Airport Flooded | Heavy Rains, Storm in Germany | Passengers Stranded, Flights Cancelled

Termination Zero: Our Predicament May Be Totally Unprecedented : ScienceAlert

We are not doomed

Italy floods: Torrent of muddy floodwater bursts through alpine town – BBC News

‘National disgrace’: protest after tree estimated to be hundreds of years old cut down in Tasmania | Tasmania | The Guardian (

Uh-Oh. Now What? Are We Acquiring the Data to Understand the Situation?

Maui is suing Big Oil – ExxonKnews

10 Facts That Prove the World Is in a Climate Emergency | WIRED

Wildfire evacuees frustrated by Facebook news ban in Canada – BBC News

Undermining science undermines us all | Australian Academy of Science

Global Climate Threat: Urgent Address to the World Science Community | Egon Cholakia

Egon Cholakian (CERN/NASA): A few years to act – Breaking Latest News

Global politics

Ukraine war: New grain deal, US extends offer to Ukrainians | Euronews

Russian agent wanted for murder of Alexander Litvinenko has cancer linked to radioactive poison used in attack | The Sun

Suspected spies for Russia held in major UK security investigation – BBC News

Spain: Pedro Sánchez’s socialist candidate wins crucial vote for control of parliament | Euronews

Should world leaders start talking to the Taliban? – BBC News

Watch Rachel Maddow Highlights: Aug. 14

Trump and 18 others charged in Georgia election inquiry – BBC News

Opinion | Why the Fani Willis Prosecution of Donald Trump Is Indispensable – The New York Times (

Our collective malady: Donald Trump’s mental health crisis is America’s problem |

Travis King: North Korea says US soldier fled because of racism in army – BBC News

‘Blood on his hands’: Abbott under fire for busing migrants to Chicago after 3-year-old dies – Raw Story

Israelis seek opportunities abroad amid unrest at home – BBC News

RAF intercepts Russian bombers north of UK – BBC News

Business and technology

Australia inflation: Corporate profits heat up inflation: OECD (

What rockets a brand into cult following status? – BBC Worklife

Video captures parade of Starlink satellites (

How Margot Robbie built a powerhouse movie production company | Fortune

Agencies Demand Clarity After B Corp’s ‘ambiguous Stance’ On Shell’s Media Review | The Drum

Tyson Foods To Shut Down 4 Chicken Plants After Fall In Demand (

Sam Bankman-Fried Pushed One Boundary Too Many – The Atlantic

The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett: CMO Of Netflix, Uber & Apple! Work Life Balance Is BAD Advice! “I Lost My Baby & My Husband!” – Bozoma Saint John on Apple Podcasts

Jeff Bezos bought a $68 million home near Miami | Fortune

Salesforce pays Matthew McConaughey reported $10m/year | Fortune

Social issues

Hospital bosses ignored months of doctors’ warnings about Lucy Letby – BBC News

Wish you weren’t here! How tourists are ruining the world’s greatest destinations | Travel | The Guardian

Five key moments in the crushing of Afghan women’s rights – BBC News

The Gray Area with Sean Illing: The new crisis of masculinity on Apple Podcasts

Spooked by drownings, Phuket steps up safety curbs (

Barbie banned from Algerian cinemas for ‘corrupting morals’ – BBC News

North Korea enforces an anti-shorts law – but it’s only affecting women | Euronews

Quinton Aaron shares strong response to Sandra Bullock critics amid Oher-Tuohy case (

The psychological immune system: four ways to bolster yours – and have a happier, calmer life | Health & wellbeing | The Guardian

Christian Atsu’s partner ‘hopes his name will never go away’ after losing life in Turkey earthquakes – BBC Sport

‘A lack of respect’: Catalonian nudists campaign against clothed tourists | Naturism | The Guardian

The new Andrew Tate: Toxic manosphere podcaster claims ‘all women are whores’ (

COVID doesn’t explain why Gen Z, millennials are dying. What does? (

The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett: Moment 122: The Unseen And Horrifying Knock On Effect Of Dating Apps On Our Society

Boy survives 100ft Grand Canyon fall after dodging tourist photo – BBC News

Passion, humour, history

Decay and discovery: the allure of abandoned sites in Malaysia | Malaysia | The Guardian

Barbie Is Warner Bros.’ Biggest Movie Ever in U.S., Beats Dark Knight – Variety

England v Australia: Tim Minchin responds to clip of Matilda the Musical cast cheering on Lionesses

So, what did you read? What jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!



Want to get in touch?

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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.

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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