The Digital Conversationalist

Andrea T Edwards

#158 Weekend reads – dark humour is perfectly respectable

I came across an article this week, Microplastics in clouds may be contributing to climate change and here’s a snippet: “Airborne microplastics degrade much faster in the upper atmosphere due to strong ultraviolet radiation, which releases greenhouse gases and contributes to global warming.”

And I laughed. Not a joyful laugh, a dark laugh, because of course it is! Every day I hear something ridiculous – a politician announcing a reversal of green policies (Sunak), ignorant political contenders claiming they can solve all of our problems (Trump), 99% of humanity is breathing toxic air – it’s polluted with microplastics or forever chemicals or carbon or whatever, our water is polluted or diminishing at a rapid rate, alfalfa farms in the US are draining aquifers all while growing food for cows in Saudi Arabia, our forests are no longer carbon sinks but instead carbon sources, extinctions, massive coral bleaching events, depletion of our land and natural wonders, soil degradation, and the list goes on.

It’s so ridiculous what we are doing to ourselves, it’s almost unbelievable, unless you have a passion for history (which I do) and know that many times over, humanity has lived in excess of what its environment can provide, resulting in the catastrophic collapse of past civilizations. The only difference this time is it’s not just one civilization that will collapse, but all… so, where are we going to go next, exactly?

So yes, I have entered the realm of dark laughter, because it’s the only way I can stay sane. I have deniers jumping on my social media posts, attacking me for what I share, and I laugh in the same way. I don’t feel any emotions towards them, and I have no animosity either. For whatever reason they believe what they believe, I ain’t changing that, so why get all emotional about it? Plenty of other things to get emotional about, like making sure my boys can chase their dreams!  

When it comes to the trolls, botts and deniers, I just think you do you and I’ll do me, because I will never stop working to guarantee my children and all children a chance at some sort of a future. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing after all. I’m a parent and that “job” is supposed to be about giving my kids a step up to a better life than I’ve had. Right now, I feel the chances of that are almost zero, but still I try.

So, when people argue with me about climate change (I don’t argue back), but I’m like OK let’s say that climate change is all bullshit – what shall we do about the accelerated extinctions and the loss of ecosystems?

Or the immense amount of waste in our rivers and oceans?

Or the escalating number of refugees and human slaves – most of which are women and children?

Or the speed at which we are losing healthy topsoil, which means we won’t be able to grow enough food to feed everyone?

Or the extreme heat events which have killed so many and will kill many many more and very soon?

Or the fact that, for every degree of warming, we have 7% more moisture in the atmosphere, which is why we’re seeing more extreme flooding events. It’s New York this weekend, I wonder where it will be next weekend? Maybe where I live. Maybe where you live.

Or the fact that no country – rich or poor – is ready for the extreme weather events hitting their town, city or country?

Or rapid glacial melt?

Or the Arctic and the soon-to-be-experienced blue ocean event?

Or Antarctica with Thwaites seriously concerning scientists?

Or permafrost melt and methane release – aka the methane dragon?

The fact that we are probably confirmed to have hit 1.5C this year, not in 2050 or 2100, but now? Earth’s average 2023 temperature is now likely to reach 1.5 °C of warming

And I could go on and on and on.

We are in trouble my friends, on so many levels, and it is time for every adult on this planet, especially those in the middle class and up (that’s 3.8 billion people+ if you didn’t know) to step up, speak up, reduce our consumption by at least 75%, and we need to regenerate our world everywhere and get back in balance with what our earth can provide. If we don’t do that, well….

Read this for inspiration and a road map: Indigenous women are showing us how to fight for environmental and human rights

I don’t know if it will be enough to succeed, truly, but I know that if we come together and try our hardest, well it might just be enough to slow it down. Of course, we might still face collapse, but at least we’ll collapse together, united, trying our hardest to succeed. That’s a better option than the current dystopian path we’re on, don’t you think?

Until we show a significant level of commitment to changing our path, my dark laughter will continue. The truth is, if I don’t do that, I’ll fall into deep despair, and I don’t want to be there, that would suck. I am also committed to never giving up because my kids deserve all I’ve got. Can you help me in this fight? We need as many as we can on board now.

Anyhoo, onto the reads….

Friend’s content and mine

Mighty Parents – Neerja Singh is a WONDERFUL storyteller and I love how she captures the complexity of parenting and children in this blog. Check it out and make sure you follow Neerja.  

Groundbreaking Elephant Rescue: Unchained Elephants’ Historic Effort Saves One-Eyed Bull Elephant huge huge congratulations to Vicki Kiely, Daniel Alvaro Villota and the team at Unchained Elephants for not only rescuing Kanoon (a bull elephant) but for the recognition it is receiving. Brilliant!

Great piece by c.j. Ng, who was also a wonderful guest on The Know Show this week – follow him, especially if you’re interested in B2B sales or China  How to See Through Low-Ball Tactics by Your Negotiating Adversary | LinkedIn

34 ขั้นตอนในการเตรียมตัวเพื่อสภาวะอุณหภูมิสูงถึงระดับที่ไม่สามารถอยู่ได้ – The Digital Conversationalist ( I am super grateful to Khun Kasanan Suwanmongkol and Khun Bo Choomanee for agreeing to translate the blog “34 actions to prepare for a heat index that hits unliveable territory” into Thai. Please share with your Thai community, so everyone has a chance to get prepared before the hot seasons kicks in, which typically starts in February.

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.

Planetary emergency

Just how bad is climate change? It’s worse than you think, says Doomsday author | WRAL TechWire

Politicians failing to grasp ‘scientific reality’ of climate: expert (

Western Sydney planning problem results in blistering future for residents | — Australia’s leading news site

Bird flu kills 400 seals, sea lions in Uruguay (

Flooding in New York: Rain Eases, but Officials Warn That Flood Risks Remain – The New York Times (

(PDF) Climate Disruption Caused by a Decline in Marine Biodiversity and Pollution (

We Are Witnessing the First Stages of Civilization’s Collapse | The Nation

Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall cut down by ‘vandals’ – BBC News

How to be a hands-on citizen | Psyche Guides inspiring!

Microplastics in clouds may be contributing to climate change, research suggests | Science & Tech News | Sky News

Spotted-tailed quoll thought extinct in South Australia caught at Beachport after 130 years – ABC News

An Ecological Civilization is the renaissance we’ve been waiting for | One Earth

Swiss glaciers lose 10% of their volume in two years | Glaciers | The Guardian

‘We’re changing the clouds.’ An unintended test of geoengineering is fueling record ocean warmth | Science | AAAS

After hottest summer ever, beware of climate deniers – and doomers (

Everyone Daydreams About Collapse. Few Understand It. (

It’s Definitive – The Gulf Stream Is Weakening | IFLScience

Florida’s coral reef is in crisis. These crabs can help. – Vox

‘Even Lucifer was using a fan’: Brazil bakes as mercilessly hot spring begins | Brazil | The Guardian

On the Media: Suing to Save the Planet, and How Climate Activism Got a Bad Rap on Apple Podcasts

Sustainable tourism: This Nordic nation is introducing tourist tax to protect its ‘unspoilt nature’ | Euronews BTW it shouldn’t be a tourist tax, but a tourist cap! We’ve got to slow it all down.

Renowned climate scientist Michael E. Mann on what ‘doomers’ get wrong » Yale Climate Connections

Experimental forecast calls for ‘super’ El Niño by winter – The Washington Post

The Future is Made of Climate Catastrophe (

New Orleans’ drinking water threatened as saltwater intrusion looms – CBS News

Health-care systems’ resource footprints and their access and quality in 49 regions between 1995 and 2015: an input–output analysis – The Lancet Planetary Health

Dying forests: New carbon emitters? – Down to Earth (

Indigenous women are showing us how to fight for environmental and human rights | V (formerly Eve Ensler) | The Guardian

An El Niño winter is coming: What could that mean for the US? | CNN

Antarctica is experiencing rapid plant growth, concerning scientists

Climate scientist says climate is resilient to a point, but time is running out (

Which cities will still be livable in a climate-altered world? (

One of the most resilient trees on Earth is dying in droves (

How Medellin is beating the heat with green corridors – BBC Future

Caribbean parrots thought to be endemic are actually relicts of millennial-scale extinction (

‘Staggering’ green growth gives hope for 1.5C, says global energy chief | Green economy | The Guardian

Antarctic sea ice shrinks to lowest annual maximum level on record, data shows | Antarctica | The Guardian

How quickly could we phase out fossil fuels? (

The Powerful Think Tanks Portraying Climate Protest as Dangerous | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Arctic News: September 2023, highest anomaly on record? (

Scientists uncover concerning surprise lurking in Arctic air: ‘We find them even in remote polar regions’ (

Hundreds copy Trudi Warner’s banner in backlash against Solicitor General – Good Law Project

How to Prepare for What’s Coming without Being a Complete Asshole (

I am proud of how far Singapore has come. But let’s not trade liveability for short-term returns | Opinion | Eco-Business | Asia Pacific

Chart Shows ‘Disturbing’ Water Levels in Minnesota (

‘Imagine Westminster under water’: stricter tests needed to see how City copes with climate disasters | Banking | The Guardian

Army Corps will barge in up to 36 million gallons of freshwater a day as saltwater threatens drinking water south of New Orleans | CNN

UAE oil company executives working with Cop28 team, leak reveals | Cop28 | The Guardian (

Climate change is not new for Earth, but the rate of fossil fuel-driven warming is – Los Angeles Times (

A Record Number of Billion-Dollar Disasters Show U.S. Isn’t Ready for Climate Change – Scientific American

Opinion: Why we’re seeing so many deadly floods | CNN

Earth’s average 2023 temperature is now likely to reach 1.5 °C of warming (

Revealed: top carbon offset projects may not cut planet-heating emissions | Carbon offsetting | The Guardian

‘Climate villain’: scientists say Rupert Murdoch wielded his media empire to sow confusion and doubt | Rupert Murdoch | The Guardian (

Bill Gates: ‘complete nonsense’ that planting trees can solve climate (

Bill Gates Says Planting Trees to Solve Climate Crisis Is ‘Complete Nonsense’ (

Beer supplies in existential crisis as climate change hits barley | Fortune

Australia’s firefighters face worst season in years (

Global politics

What China’s economic problems mean for the world – BBC News

Nagorno-Karabakh state will cease to exist in January, says leader – BBC News

Nagorno-Karabakh: Erdoğan praises Azerbaijan as thousands flee to Armenia | Nagorno-Karabakh | The Guardian

‘I left to stay alive’: Nagorno-Karabakh empties of ethnic Armenians | Euronews

‘I will never go back’: death stalks the exodus from Nagorno-Karabakh | Nagorno-Karabakh | The Guardian

‘There Is No Hope’: Death and Desperation Take Over the World’s Largest Refugee Camp | TIME

Germany steps up border controls with Poland and Czech Republic | Euronews

Macron launches ‘ecological plan’ to cut France’s dependency on fossil fuels | Emmanuel Macron | The Guardian (

Syria’s forgotten (

The Daily: Canada Confronts India Over Alleged Assassination on Apple Podcasts

Canada’s House Speaker apologises for praising Ukrainian who fought for Nazis – BBC News

‘Bursts of anxiety’: Impact of Ukraine war on Russians laid bare in poll | Euronews

Ukraine: The soldiers who can’t leave the front line until the war is over – BBC News

UK go-ahead for North Sea oil and gas field angers environmental groups | Energy industry | The Guardian

Grubby, cruel and cheap: Suella Braverman stoops low with her bogus refugee figures | Peter Beaumont | The Guardian

‘Capitalism is dead. Now we have something much worse’: Yanis Varoufakis on extremism, Starmer, and the tyranny of big tech | Yanis Varoufakis | The Guardian (

Rosebank oil field given go-ahead by regulators – BBC News

Has Britain lost its climate crown? | Reuters

Only 22% of Britons trust Sunak on climate, finds Guardian poll | Climate crisis | The Guardian

The inside story of the mini-budget disaster – BBC News

Why is the campaign for an Indigenous voice struggling? It’s not just the media | Margaret Simons | The Guardian

Victorian Supreme Court judge uses retirement speech to call for constitutional recognition – ABC News (

Daniel Andrews resigns as premier of Victoria | Daniel Andrews | The Guardian

Dianne Feinstein: ‘Pioneering’ Senator dies aged 90 – BBC News

The End of Trump Inc. – The Atlantic

Deutsche Bank employees reportedly flagged suspicious transactions involving Trump and Kushner (

Travis King in US custody after North Korea expulsion – BBC News

Hutchinson sheds new light on Meadows, burning White House docs (

FACT SHEET: Enhancing the U.S.-Pacific Islands Partnership | The White House

Bob Menendez steps down as US Senate foreign relations chairman after indictment – BBC News

Business and technology

“It’s not science” – Organisations with links to Musk accused of “pro-growth” skew (

Apple’s Supply Chain Is on a Collision Course With Climate Change (

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says there are 3 Mark Zuckerbergs | Fortune

McKinsey pays out another $230mn to settle opioid cases | Financial Times (

US surgeons are killing themselves at an alarming rate. One decided to speak out | US healthcare | The Guardian (

Lego ditches oil-free brick in sustainability setback

Osiris-Rex: Nasa confirms return of asteroid Bennu samples – BBC News

Social issues

‘Get back into the kitchen’: what happened when Jill Scott and Gary Neville swapped social media accounts | Soccer | The Guardian (

Natural Antibiotics That Actually Work (

Calls to shut down right-wing UK news channel engulfed by misogyny scandal | Euronews

A QAnon ‘queen’ and the Canada town that wants her gone – BBC News

Rotterdam shootings: Gunman arrested after killing three people – BBC News

Long Covid Is Real. Now the Evidence Is Piling Up. – Bloomberg

Influencer cries after strangers refuse her offer to pay for their food shop (

BBC remains tight-lipped about ‘secret’ Panorama (

NT crocodile expert who once hosted David Attenborough pleads guilty to animal sexual abuse | Australia news | The Guardian

Why massive shoes are the trend of the year – BBC Culture

Gymnastics Ireland issues unreserved apology to black girl not given medal at event ceremony – BBC Sport

Russell Brand: Police receive further allegations against comedian – BBC News

POLL: Is Censorship a Partisan Issue? | RealClearPolitics

The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett: The Stress Doctor: Why You Should Always Look Into Someone’s Left Eye! & How Stress Leaks Through Skin, Is Contagious & Gives You Belly Fat! Dr. Tara Swart on Apple Podcasts

Woman’s body found in jaws of 13ft Florida alligator identified – BBC News


Tupac Shakur: Duane Davis charged with 1996 murder of rapper – BBC News

Electric blue tarantula species discovered in Thailand | CNN

An unprecedented look inside the Dome of the Rock (

Viral Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce clip leads to ‘crazy 24 hours’ – BBC News

Jessica Chastain Endorses Tweet Slamming Joe Jonas (

Wallabies Crash Out Of The World Cup After Horror Show Against Wales – Network Ten

7 Oldest Creation Myths in the World –

The Roman empire: why men just can’t stop thinking about it | Men | The Guardian

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
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  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.

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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?

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