The Digital Conversationalist


#164 Weekend reads – are you becoming numb yet? Why we can’t turn away

Are you becoming numb to all the terrible news? I know many are, and worse, young people, are completely switching off. This spells trouble ahead, because now is the time to rise and say: we do not agree with the direction we are taking as a global society and we demand change. It is time to fight with everything we have for peace.  

Because if we don’t do this, what do you think will happen? When we are silent, we are still participating, even if we believe we’re saving ourselves. When you look back through history, collective silence and numbness is what has always led us down paths we do not want to tread. Let’s not do it again, because today, with our ecology on the brink of collapse, war will hasten our demise.  

The news is harrowing. We are watching widespread destruction and suffering in Palestine, with the death toll now well over 11,000, but we also know of the Israeli families dealing with the “unknowing” of what is happening to the hostages, their families, one just a baby, less than 12 months old.

We are also seeing a rise in antisemitism (something I never thought I’d witness in my life) and hatred towards Muslims again – we must not allow this to continue. Please say no to ALL racism, it can have no role if we hope for a future. We are one species, one family, and we need peace if we are going to overcome the enormous challenges we face.

Russia and Ukraine? We’re barely hearing anything about it in the media now, as the other war takes centre stage, but it is still happening, and many continue to suffer.

Beyond war, there are many shenanigans afoot that require our attention and active participation to solve these challenges. One example is data centres draining aquifers and fresh water sources across the world, but especially in the Global South, where the people living have no access to clean drinking water at all. How can the businesses behind this continue? How did they even think it was OK to start?

Did you know 50 questions on your favorite AI tool devours the equivalent of a bottle of drinking water? Every time I read stories like this, I can’t help but wonder why we continue to create environmentally destructive industries in this day and age! It cannot go on, especially when we are facing massive water shortages everywhere.

A new report was released on global food shortages, with this stand out quote:

“Very little is known about how shocks in agricultural inputs would impact crop yields and food availability on a large scale.”

Wait, what, how don’t we know the answer to this VERY critical question?

And a final WTF – in Africa, thousands are dying, because of a lack of weather stations, which means families are flooded and dying in their homes while they sleep, with no warnings issued at all.

In the US and the EU, with a total population of 1.1 billion, there are 636 weather radar stations. Whereas in Africa, with a population of 1.2 billion, there are only 37 weather stations. How can we possibly know what’s going on with global weather patterns when we have such an imbalance? This is something we CAN and must address.

I know it’s hard, but we must face this time and we need to act, raise our voices and be the leaders the world needs right now. If we don’t, who will?

Onto the reads….

Friend’s content and mine

A huge thank you to Andrew Buoy, Vice President of Group Sustainability for SingTel and Optus, who really shared from the heart, inspired me with the action the telecom industry collectively is taking, and shared how we are ALL in climate jobs today. Make sure you have a listen.

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

Greenhouse Gas concentrations hit record high. Again. (

Some ultra-processed foods are good for your health, WHO-backed study finds | Health | The Guardian

How climate change affects life in the U.S. : NPR

If it keeps on raining the levee’s gonna break | BusinessGreen Blog Post

What the Melting of Antarctic Ice Shelves Means for the Planet – Inside Climate News

Climate resilience in the face of bad global warming (

EU agrees to ban exports of waste plastic to poor countries | Waste | The Guardian (

‘We’re not doomed yet’: reasons for climate hope, by a climatologist – Positive News

Indigenous Consent: Essential for Climate Action | Duke Global

Israeli private detective targeted climate activists in hacking campaign : NPR

How could global food production break down? (

Africa: Without Warning – Africa’s Lack of Weather Stations Is Costing Lives –

EU strikes deal on new ‘ecocide’ rules to put polluters in jail –

How big are the fires burning in Australia’s north? Interactive map shows they’ve burned an area larger than Spain | Bushfires | The Guardian

School Strike 4 Climate: Australian students use ‘sick note’ to demand climate action – BBC News

Seafood industry plagued by forced work, similar to modern slavery: report | Fortune (

Q&A: Warming of 2C would trigger ‘catastrophic’ loss of world’s ice, new report says – Carbon Brief

The 100 Most Influential Climate Leaders in Business 2023 | TIME

Publisher’s Note: Slow and steady will not win the climate race | Corporate Knights

Himalayan glaciers melting 65 percent faster than previous decade: study (

Offshore carbon capture next frontier of ‘ocean abuse’ (

El Niño reaches ‘strong’ intensity, pointing to a scorching 2024 ahead for the planet – ABC News

CHANGE OR WE ARE FUCKED – by Rachel Donald (

National Climate Assessment: 5 takeaways on the US climate report | CNN

Just 5% of public feel prepared for climate change, poll suggests | The Independent

‘The science is irrefutable’: US warming faster than global average, says report | Climate crisis | The Guardian

It’s not yet summer in Brazil, but a dangerous heat wave is sweeping the country | AP News

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon falls 22% in 2023 (

It’s not yet summer in Brazil, but a dangerous heat wave is sweeping the country | FOX31 Denver (

Georgia, Southeast among the most at-risk from climate change, report finds (

Climate-heating gases reach record highs, UN reports | Greenhouse gas emissions | The Guardian

Brazil: Health warnings as country gripped by ‘unbearable’ heatwave – BBC News

Polluting Industries Say the Cost of Cleaner Air Is Too High – The New York Times (

The 2023 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: the imperative for a health-centred response in a world facing irreversible harms – The Lancet

Michael Mann: Yes, we can still stop the worst effects of climate change. Here’s why. | Live Science

‘Smallholders are victims of the haze, not the cause’: Indonesian oil palm farmers union advisor Aida Greenbury | News | Eco-Business | Asia Pacific

I Want a Better Catastrophe · Flowchart

Climate change is altering animal brains and behavior − a neuroscientist explains how (

Delhi AQI: Toxic haze in India capital after Diwali festival – BBC News

2023 state of the climate report: Entering uncharted territory | BioScience | Oxford Academic (

The Climate Contradiction That Will Sink Us – The Atlantic

How to Collapse: Mass Starvation (

The Crash to Come | Jonathan Mingle | The New York Review of Books (

Fossil fuels: the hidden ingredient in our food chain | NationofChange

Weather tracker: Fatal floods in Somalia and record heat in Tokyo | Extreme weather | The Guardian

Can goats and sheep stop wildfires? This shepherdess is rallying the flock | Environment | The Guardian

Revealed: Mistakes that blocked Maui wildfire escape routes – BBC News

‘It’s sad waving goodbye to a dying glacier’ – SWI

Global politics

Less War, Less Warming: A Reparative Approach to US and UK Military Ecological Damages | Report | Common Wealth (

Israel’s opposition leader calls on Netanyahu to resign over Hamas attack | Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera (

Hostages’ fates haunt Israel as war intensifies – BBC News

Dr. Abuelaish, Who Lost 3 Daughters and a Niece in Gaza, Calls for Humanity To Prevail – The Media Line

Everyone loves diversity and inclusion – until you stick up for Palestinians | Freedom of speech | The Guardian (

Israel-Hamas war: Heavy fighting rages near main Gaza hospital with people trapped inside | Euronews

French march against antisemitism shakes up far right and far left – BBC News

Netanyahu slams Macron’s criticism of Israel: ‘He made a serious mistake, factually and morally’ | The Times of Israel

Putin Wants the West to Give Up on Ukraine – The Atlantic

Zimbabwe declares state of emergency in Harare over cholera – BBC News

When Apec ‘family photos’ used to be fun – BBC News

Biden calls Xi a dictator after carefully planned summit, Global Enterprise – THE BUSINESS TIMES

Xi Jinping arrives in US as his Chinese Dream sputters – BBC News

China’s matchmaking mums have a powerful ally: The Party – BBC News

The lying game: Australia’s political landscape to come – The Shot

Australia’s sea-dumping legislation: what is it and what does it mean for the marine environment? | Environment | The Guardian

Hello, Michael Gove? I’d like to report a gang of extremists who are undermining British values | George Monbiot | The Guardian

Supreme court rejects Rishi Sunak’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda | Immigration and asylum | The Guardian (

Andrea Jenkyns’ letter of no confidence in Rishi Sunak is so badly written it’s brilliant – and Laurence Fox made it even better – The Poke

UK economy flatlines as higher interest rates bite – BBC News

Joe Biden May Have Crossed Fatal ‘Red Line’ (

White House criticises Elon Musk over ‘hideous’ antisemitic lie – BBC News

Trump crosses a crucial line – The Atlantic

Trump’s Speech Mirrors Dictators Mussolini and Hitler (

The alarming news progressive groups delivered to the White House – POLITICO

What the Supreme Court’s New Ethics Code Lacks – The Atlantic

California farmers are reeling from loss of powerful congressional allies – POLITICO

Donald Trump: Legal experts see uphill battle in fraud case – BBC News

A must watch and very nuanced – critical messages in the mix we must learn! The canary in the coal mine is the rise of antisemitism. We cannot allow it to grow and consume our world.

Business and technology

Data centers ‘straining water resources’ as AI swells (

With antisemitic tweet, Elon Musk reveals his ‘actual truth’ | CNN Business

IBM suspends ads on X after they appeared next to Nazi posts – BBC News

F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix: Practice sessions chaotic with track problems – BBC Sport

Musk’s X launches court fight with Australian watchdog (

PepsiCo sued by New York state for plastic pollution – BBC News (

Google’s lawyer cringes in court when economics expert reveals confidential 36% payment figure to Apple | Fortune

Inside the World’s Only Vegemite Factory – The New York Times (

Mounjaro weight loss jab authorised in UK – BBC News

The AI Bias That’s Often Overlooked: Speciesism (

This futureproof e-bike has no battery and never needs charging | Advnture

Social issues

We are witnessing a pandemic of inhumanity: to halt the spread, we must cling to the law | Israel-Hamas war | The Guardian (

Infants Are Born With Syphilis in Growing Numbers, a Sign of a Wider Epidemic – The New York Times (

Millions of UK households forced to unplug fridge or freezer amid rising bills | UK cost of living crisis | The Guardian

Last Post tribute to Indigenous soldiers features James Morrison on bugle, Mark Atkins on didgeridoo – ABC News

Major medical breakthrough eliminates kidney stones with little to no pain (

Pope Francis dismisses conservative Texas bishop and critic Joseph Strickland | Pope Francis | The Guardian


National Geographic did a series on Covid, so I’ve collected it all here, with one other.

Why the new COVID shot is a game-changer (and why the term ‘booster’ is obsolete) (

What causes long COVID? The answer might be in your gut (

Multiple COVID infections can lead to chronic health issues. Here’s what to know. (

COVID-19 can ruin your sleep in many different ways—here’s why (

Why does COVID-19 cause brain fog? Scientists may finally have an answer. (

Now we know how COVID attacks your heart (

COVID-19 can interfere with your period in many ways. Here’s how. (

We’re in a new COVID wave. What can we expect this time? (


Top 22 artifacts from the Stone Age (

Lee Friedlander’s Intimate Portraits of His Wife, Through Sixty Years of Marriage | The New Yorker

Courteney Cox Talks About Her ‘Friends’ Love Story With Matthew Perry (

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 


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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