The Digital Conversationalist

Andrea T Edwards

#155 Weekend reads – an education in fire, and we all need it

One of life’s great privileges is to listen to experts discuss their area of expertise within the context of the bigger issues impacting our world. Yesterday, I got an education in fire from Graeme Thom, and it was truly enlightening. I encourage you to listen to it and really think about what Graeme is saying, including how far behind we are in preparing for fire and the conditions that will come with it, not just in Australia, but around the world, as well as what we can do about it.

Graeme was an Australian firefighter for 41 years, and after retiring, he is now working to fight fires, but this time he is in the other “ring” – working tirelessly to influence governments, institutions, and all relevant leaders on what needs to be done and how much needs to be invested. Ultimately, the investment required in tiny compared to the true cost of fires today, which he explains in detail.

Right now, fire is our master and as Graeme explains, it should be our servant. Standing witness to fires in Australia for more than four decades, he has watched the season get worse over this time, with bigger fires, more impact and more danger.

The risk to Australia in the coming months is HUGE. Only recently, the media started highlighting the risk on the horizon – using urgent language – and now Australians are being asked to get prepared. The one thing stopping that preparation? Apathy, from top to bottom.

Considering Graeme’s view of what is the come, based on what he’s seeing in the environment, a view with decades of experience behind it, I recommend everyone listens to Graeme and gets ready for this potentially brutal season ahead.  

Are you an expert in an area relevant to the polycrisis?

Here are the core pillars of the polycrisis that I focus on, and I would be happy to host anyone who has deep expertise in any of these areas to come and chat with me (on Climate Courage, Uncommon Courage, or The Know Show) within the context of the world’s bigger issues. Bringing these pieces together is something we all really need to focus on, and it’s been my commitment for several years to do this, but it is the ability to go deep into each pillar that I really value, and what I believe is important to understand.

Big week in the conversation on all things climate, so dig in. Ironically, this week isn’t about fire, but it certainly is about floods, and in the last 24 hours, a devastating earthquake in Morrocco. At time of writing, the death toll has passed 800.

It’s time to pay attention to the information that matters.

Friend’s content and mine

वह क्षेत्र जो रहने लायक नहीं रहे, उन पर पड़ने वाले ताप सूचकांक की तैयारी के लिए 34 कार्रवाइयां: – The Digital Conversationalist ( I am extremely grateful to Neerja Singh for translating ‘34 actions to prepare for a heat index that hits unliveable territory’ into Hindi. Please share this with your Hindi speaking community, especially the poorest, who are most at risk!

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

Powerful earthquake causes damage across Morocco – BBC News

El Nino weather pattern could mean extreme heat and fires for Australia in 2023 | — Australia’s leading news site

Deadly humid heatwaves to spread rapidly as climate warms – study | Climate crisis | The Guardian

‘We are not prepared’: Disasters spread as climate change strikes – POLITICO

A scientist manipulated climate data. Conservative media celebrated. – E&E News by POLITICO (

Climate change: UN calls for radical changes to stem warming – BBC News

The world’s first climate change report card is in – The Verge

Watch stunning lightning strikes at the heart of Hurricane Lee – BBC News

Rescue efforts stepped up after deadly floods in central Greece | Greece | The Guardian

UN announces ‘climate breakdown’ after record summer heat | Climate News | Al Jazeera

Research file: We watched every PragerU Kids video. Here are the lowlights. | PDF | Frederick Douglass | Israel (

Making Sense with Sam Harris: #333 — Sanity Check on Climate Change on Apple Podcasts

Doomsday preventer: A volcanic eruption could cool the Earth – let’s pray for one | WRAL TechWire

The RSPB took on ministers and fell to earth. How it happened is a warning to us all | George Monbiot | The Guardian

Hong Kong and southern China battle widespread flooding from record rains – BBC News

Heat denial: influencers question validity of high temperatures | Climate crisis | The Guardian

Boy, 12, dies after being forced to run in 36C heat during gym class without water – Mirror Online

Climate activists protested at Burning Man. Then the climate crashed the party : NPR

Antarctica warming much faster than models predicted in ‘deeply concerning’ sign for sea levels | Antarctica | The Guardian

Hong Kong ‘black’ rainstorm: Widespread flash flooding after heaviest rainfall since 1884 | CNN

Opinion | Carbon Offsets Are No Longer as Effective – The New York Times (

Brazil launches biggest ever operation against illegal cattle farms in Amazon | Brazil | The Guardian (

Indonesia awards biggest Indigenous forest claim yet to Bornean Dayaks

Why Vancouver is embracing brown lawns – BBC News

Thousands of Canada wildfire evacuees allowed to go home – BBC News

NASA-funded Study: Half of Glaciers Vanish with 1.5 Degrees of Warming | NASA

Hurricane Lee could become ‘extremely dangerous’ – BBC News

‘Major disruptor’: El Niño threatens the world’s rice supplies | Global development | The Guardian

Jordan Peterson Generates Millions of YouTube Hits for Climate Crisis Deniers – DeSmog

California coast witnesses rash of dolphin and sea lion deaths amid toxic algae outbreak (

US ‘university’ spreads climate lies and receives millions from rightwing donors | US news | The Guardian

Earth had hottest three-month period on record, with unprecedented sea surface temperatures and much extreme weather | World Meteorological Organization (

Can Shrinking Be Good for Japan? A Marxist Best Seller Makes the Case. – The New York Times (

World meteorologists point to ‘vicious cycle’ of heatwaves and air pollution | Climate crisis | The Guardian

UK scientists tell MPs that the oil party is over (

Bioregions 2023 | One Earth

“They will not stop until our ancestral lands are one infertile wasteland” – Indigenous leader calls for communities to abandon “corrupt” UN (

Historic Heatwave over the UK, France, and Benelux – Record-Breaking High Temperatures under the Heat Dome (

Canada’s mega-fires: 13.7 million hectares of forest have burned, twice as much as the 1989 record (

Seven dead as severe storms trigger flooding in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria | Climate crisis | The Guardian

Asian hornet likely to have become established in UK, say experts | Invasive species | The Guardian

Betting against worst-case climate scenarios is risky business – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (

Greece floods kill at least one as country grapples with ‘totally extreme weather phenomenon’ | CNN

“Business will kill your children:” Was Andrew Forrest’s climate speech really that “loopy”? | RenewEconomy

12 obvious ways to reduce emissions that nobody is talking about – Positive News

Gulf Stream could collapse as early as 2025 – Modern Diplomacy

Climate change is coming for your olive oil, too | Grist

Nobel Laureate: “Climate science has metastasized into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience” – Gript

Burning Man 2023 – Monday Afternoon Exodus

Nobel Prize Winner Who Doesn’t Believe Climate Crisis Has Speech Canceled (

Burning Man festival road reopens, allowing thousands to escape muddy trap | Reuters

Climate change will raise sea levels, cause apocalyptic floods and displace almost a billion people |

El Nino weather pattern could mean extreme heat and fires for Australia in 2023 | — Australia’s leading news site

The UK is at risk of running low on water. Why? | Financial Times (

Aerosol geoengineering will not stop Antarctic ice sheet from melting, simulations suggest – Physics World

Thousands queue for hours to leave Burning Man festival – BBC News

Torrential rain in Spain causes major flooding – BBC News

Monthly Review | The Double Objective of Democratic Ecosocialism

Lake Titicaca: The world’s highest navigable lake is drying out | CNN

Home insurers cut natural disasters from policies over climate risk – The Washington Post

Planet: Critical: Overshooting Earth’s Boundaries | Bill Rees on Apple Podcasts

The Battle Against the Fungal Apocalypse Is Just Beginning | WIRED

The Climate Crisis Could Mean the Twilight of the American West – Rolling Stone

Burning Man: Police investigating death during heavy rain – BBC News

Modern slavery: Pakistan’s latest climate change curse | Climate Crisis | Al Jazeera

Why Scotland must get real on climate crisis – Rupert Read (

‘Conserve food and water’: No way in or out of Burning Man after storm (

Eucalyptus Oil And Fire – Information About Flammable Eucalyptus Trees (

Forests | Free Full-Text | Drivers of Flammability of Eucalyptus globulus Labill Leaves: Terpenes, Essential Oils, and Moisture Content (

US cities that are at risk of catastrophic water infrastructure failure | CNN

Made from fungi, this vegan leather can self-heal holes or rips (

5 Looming Grocery Shortages You Need to Know About (

How Vivek Ramaswamy makes money from climate denial (

Burning Man Drowning in Heavy Desert Rain | Climate Denial Crock of the Week (

Australia launches mission to rescue Antarctic researcher – BBC News

Exxon Mobil Predicts Climate Efforts Will Fail (

The summer from hell was just a warning (

The summer food went weird: searing heat reshapes US food production | Environment | The Guardian

Conservatives tweet while Canada burns | Canada’s National Observer: News & Analysis

The Long, Slow Death of Global Development – American Affairs Journal

Global politics

Voice to parliament: John Farnham permits his iconic song to front Yes campaign ad (

Joe Hildebrand on reasons to vote yes in Voice to Parliament, myths busted | — Australia’s leading news site

The campaign for the Voice referendum is off and away. Let’s take a closer look at the facts – ABC News

Here’s the truth about Aboriginal ‘elites’: everything they achieved had to be fought for | Indigenous voice to parliament | The Guardian (

Revealed: multiple sites of possible secret graves discovered at Stolen Generations institution for children | Stolen generations | The Guardian

The Gray Area with Sean Illing: Conservative socialism? on Apple Podcasts

Take another look at Joe Biden. His is the presidency progressives have been waiting for | Joe Biden | The Guardian (

‘There’s a very real danger here’: AOC on 2024, the climate crisis and ‘selling out’ | Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez | The Guardian (

The Daily: How 100,000 Migrants Became a Political Crisis in New York on Apple Podcasts

American Democracy Perseveres—For Now – The Atlantic

Salvaging global democratic politics requires far-reaching economic reforms | Inequality | The Guardian

The U.S. and Europe Are Splitting Over Ukraine – The Atlantic

Putin: ‘No new grain deal until West meets my demands’ | Euronews

Ukraine war: drone strikes on Russia, uranium tank shells for Kyiv | Euronews

Musk’s changes at Twitter helped spread Russian propaganda, EU study finds – The Washington Post

‘She’s totally lost it’: inside story of the unravelling of Liz Truss’s premiership | Liz Truss | The Guardian

Business and technology

Confessions of a McKinsey Whistleblower | The Nation

Mattel’s Windfall From ‘Barbie’ – The New York Times (

Elon Musk sped Twitter deal so he could fire top execs | Fortune

Influencers mock Amazon’s $25 per video offer | Fortune

Social issues

Gillian Keegan ‘covered-up’ RAAC dangers whistleblower claims (

Woman accused of faking symptoms of debilitating illness dies aged 33 | The Independent

Mexico decriminalizes abortion, extending Latin American trend of widening access to procedure | AP News

We’re not sure whether this song choice on the Jeremy Vine show was brilliant or terrible – The Poke

Cancer cases in under-50s worldwide up nearly 80% in three decades, study finds | Cancer | The Guardian

New cancer cases in under-50s have risen by 79% in 30 years (

Crocs Are Being Banned From Airports, Train Stations And Shopping Centres – Network Ten (

Scientists grow whole model of human embryo, without sperm or egg – BBC News

Johnny Kitagawa: J-pop agency boss resigns over predator’s abuse – BBC News

Alabama can prosecute those who help women travel for abortion, attorney general says –

Luis Rubiales: Spain’s men’s team call behaviour of federation president ‘unacceptable’ – BBC Sport

Jorge Vilda: Spanish federation sacks World Cup-winning coach amid Luis Rubiales kiss row – BBC Sport

The More Inner Work You Do, The More You See How Humanity Is Dominated By Narrative (

Virtually all children infected with COVID-19 show signs of blood vessel damage, study shows (

Covid testing to be scaled up in England as winter pressure on NHS draws near | Coronavirus | The Guardian

John Farnham cops abusive spray from long-time fans over use of iconic anthem in Voice to Parliament campaign | Sky News Australia

Elon Musk under fire for silence over man facing death sentence for tweets | The Independent


Man in contraption washes up in Florida after trying to run on water – BBC News (

Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell dies at 56 – BBC News

Diddy pays Sting $5k a day for “Every Breath You Take” sample he used for “I’ll Be Missing You” without permission | Fortune

What Happens Later: Everything We Know About Meg Ryan’s New Rom-Com | Glamour

So, what did you read? 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.

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 


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