The Digital Conversationalist

Andrea T Edwards

#168 Weekend reads – that’s a wrap for 2023, what a year

Welcome to the last Weekend Reads for 2023, and a reminder of why I do this. The news is overwhelming for most people and this years’ frenzy is like nothing I’ve seen in my life, especially since I started doing this work. I can promise you; I get how hard it is to stay on top of things.

But that’s why I do this – I track the main news, with a strong focus on the planetary emergency we face, as well as the wider issues we’re dealing with aka the polycrisis – all with the hope of making it easier for you to navigate the information maelstrom.

The second reason is because it’s time to pay attention to the information that matters, and in a world overflowing with misinformation and disinformation, this is my attempt to help you overcome that challenge too. I’m also working hard to get the focus off ‘shiny things’ and moving eyeballs to the important information we need to know and understand.

So that’s why I do the Weekend Reads. I don’t track how many people read it because it’s never about numbers. It’s about being useful in a world that feels like it’s spinning out of control, and I encourage everyone to work out how you can be useful, then get going on that important work. We need all the good people in the world rising now – speaking up, acting on solutions, sharing those solutions, teaching, inspiring.  

This year has been intense, so intense. I have spoken to many who are struggling with what’s going on, from geopolitics to war to climate acceleration, and people tell me they just can’t cope. It’s all too much, especially because the news is consistently bad.

While I absolutely appreciate and respect this need to withdraw, please can I ask everyone to pay attention – at least – to what matters to you. This means the risks you face personally in this newly evolving world, so you can get ready to face what is emerging. Heat has been a massive issue in 2023 and it’s going to be hotter in 2024, so we need to understand how to get ready for that. Here’s one blog I did on that, there is more: 34 actions to prepare for a heat index that hits unliveable territory.

The other issue we must face is getting our minds strong for the challenging years ahead. We need to be resilient and courageous in the face of the multiple issues coming our way. The more we understand the risks and get ready, the better it will be for all of us. If we don’t pay attention and face these challenges without preparation, things are going to be a lot harder for all of us.

I know it’s not a lovely little “enjoy the Festive Season and Happy New Year” sign off, because that’s not where we are. I wish it was, but those glory days most of us have experienced all our lives are over, so what are we going to do to prepare for what is next? That’s where we are, and honestly, I’d love to withdraw, but I can’t. I can see what’s coming and want to help you see it too, so you can get yourself, your family and your community ready.

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and regenerate our beautiful world, while preparing for a hotter future, as well as other extreme weather events, and to scale down our consumption so we can get back in balance with nature. Let’s make 2024 the year we get serious about doing this, because as we’ve seen from Cop28, our leaders are incapable of making these changes. However, whether they lead us or don’t, the physics of nature is at play here, and we must work within the confines of what natures provides or we will lose it all anyway.

A final thanks to everyone who checks in on the Weekend Reads, those who share great information which I regularly include, and to everyone who has been a guest on The Know Show, Climate Courage, and on my podcast Uncommon Courage. I appreciate all the support and let’s all keep fighting for a better world in 2024!

Onto the final Weekend Reads for 2023.  

Friends content and mine

If you didn’t have an opportunity to watch it live yesterday, I recommend the last Climate Courage of the year, with Dr. David Ko, Richard Busellato and SirCollins Manyasi. There is so much knowledge and insight here, which is so valuable for all of us to understand. If we can grasp the scale of the challenges we face, we can work out how to overcome.

Beautiful work from my friend Andrew Psarianos of Picture Perfect Productions. There are so many amazing people in this world, who need their stories told! Can you tell stories about the amazing people changing our world?

Meet Irum Fawad, a true power-woman, who is relentless in driving changes in Pakistan, for women, for young people, and for broader society. She is a lady with swagger, and I love a lady with swagger.

A reminder…

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.

Cop 28

Failure of Cop28 on fossil fuel phase-out is ‘devastating’, say scientists | Cop28 | The Guardian

Cop28 landmark deal agreed to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels | Cop28 | The Guardian

Cop28 failed to halt fossil fuels’ deadly expansion plans – so what now? | Cop28 | The Guardian

Indigenous people and climate justice groups say Cop28 was ‘business as usual’ | Cop28 | The Guardian

‘Weak Tea’: Climate Scientists Push Back Against COP28 Cheer | Barron’s (

Scientists Warn That the Dubai Climate Conference Is Full of Crap (

Why some climate experts are criticizing what’s happened at the COP28 climate conference | PBS NewsHour

Cop28: landmark deal to ‘transition away’ from fossil fuels agreed – as it happened | Cop28 | The Guardian

COP28 agreement on fossil fuels live: New global deal agrees to move away from oil, gas, and coal – BBC News

Cop28: highlights and lowlights so far | Cop28 | The Guardian

COP28: Climate talks enter last day with no agreement in sight on fossil fuels | Euronews

At Cop28 it feels as if humanity’s shared lifeboat is sinking. There are only hours left to act | Vanessa Nakate | The Guardian

Cop28 is a farce rigged to fail, but there are other ways we can try to save the planet | George Monbiot | The Guardian

Ryan: EU will walk from talks if COP28 deal not changed (

Cop28: Australia, US and UK say they won’t sign agreement that would be ‘death certificate’ for small islands | Cop28 | The Guardian (

New COP28 draft text does not mention phase out of fossil fuels | Reuters

COP28 draft agreement falls fatally short of the clarity and ambition the climate and economy demand: a phase out of fossil fuels | Ceres

COP28 agreement on fossil fuels live: New global deal agrees to move away from oil, gas, and coal – BBC News

Video: Al Gore responds to COP28 president’s claim there’s ‘no science’ in ending use of fossil fuels | CNN (

Cop28: China ‘would like to see agreement to substitute renewables for fossil fuels’ | Cop28 | The Guardian

Chris Bowen says agreement on global fossil fuel phase out central to Australia’s renewable energy plans | Cop28 | The Guardian

COP28 pledges so far not enough to limit warming to 1.5C, warns IEA | Climate Crisis News | Al Jazeera (

Al Gore says it’s ‘ridiculous’ that UAE hosted climate conference | The Hill

COP28: Oil’s Prominence Vexes Activists Seeking Industry’s Demise – Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia piles pressure on UAE to shift COP28 focus away from oil and gas

Planetary emergency

How Earth’s first global heat officer is tackling climate change (

A global biodiversity tipping point as first marine fish extinction declared (

Something Dreadful Thawing Out of the Permafrost, Scientists Warn (

2023 proved that climate change isn’t coming — it’s here, and things are spiraling out of control |

Global Tipping Points | Home (

A Sobering Reality: Cocktail of Hazardous Pesticides in Wine Has Tripled – Monica Piccinini

The disagreement between two climate scientists that will decide our future (

Report warns climate change could wipe $600bn of value of infrastructure globally | New Civil Engineer

Global Warming Acceleration: El Nino Measuring Stick Looks Good (

Indonesia asks military to help farmers plant rice – BBC News

Data.GISS: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP v4) (

‘We used to give hope to the world’: is Costa Rica’s green halo fading? | Global development | The Guardian (

World’s Oldest Moss May Not Survive Humans (

Call me all the names you want – I won’t stop telling the truth about livestock farming | George Monbiot | The Guardian

A23a: Monster iceberg just shy of a trillion tonnes – BBC News

Arctic suffered hottest summer on record: NOAA | The Hill

EU countries back ban on destruction of unsold textiles | Reuters

Climate change causing 60% of plants and insects to fall out of sync (

We could be 16 years into a methane-fueled ‘termination’ event significant enough to end an ice age | Live Science

Climate change is unleashing a tsunami of infectious diseases–and we have fewer and fewer drugs that can treat them | Fortune

Global plastics treaty, third round of negotiations closes without agreement Materia Rinnovabile | Renewable Matter

Why making oil is more profitable than saving the planet : NPR

Supercharged heat waves like Washington’s deadliest will strike harder and more often, study says (

Climate change: if warming approaches 2°C, a trickle of extinctions will become a flood (

Why It’s Alarming That Deep-Sea Currents are Beginning to Slow | Discover Magazine

Whale filmed swimming with Australian beachgoers dies after stranding – BBC News

World predicted to break 1.5°C warming limit for first time in 2024 | New Scientist

Quarter of world’s freshwater fish at risk of extinction, according to assessment | Fish | The Guardian

US Fast Food Testing Reveals Glyphosate and Other Toxic Chemicals in All Samples – Moms Across America – Sustainable Pulse

Australia: Record December heat in Sydney as temperatures hits 43.5C | World News | Sky News

Carbon dioxide levels hit 14 million year high: What to know (

Thousands of tonnes of dead fish wash ashore in Japan | Shepparton News (

Estimated 2 billion tons of sand and dust are entering the atmosphere per year: ‘We are in a vicious circle’ (

Explosion and fireball seen as storm sweeps through Tennessee – BBC News

Climate Change Hits Potatoes, Making Christmas Even Pricier – Bloomberg

What Would Happen If Everyone Suddenly Stopped Eating Meat? (

Coral reefs in peril from record-breaking ocean heat (

Meme Makes Misleading Comparison to Cast Doubt on Climate Change –

The Climate Change We’ve Already Created Will Last 50,000 Years, Scientists Warn : ScienceAlert

Global politics

It’s time for the west and the rest to talk to each other as equals (

Israel hostages: IDF says it mistakenly killed three men held in Gaza – BBC News

US President Biden warns Israel losing support over ‘indiscriminate bombing’ of Gaza | Euronews

Biden says Netanyahu must change, Israel losing global support | Reuters

Opinion | Why the U.S. Must Change Course on Gaza Today – The New York Times (

Situation in Gaza ‘beyond imaginable’, warns WHO | Euronews

Scholz gets Orbán out the room to open Ukraine’s membership talks – POLITICO

Article 370: India Supreme Court upholds repeal of Kashmir’s special status – BBC News

Rishi Sunak gets respite as UK MPs back Rwanda migration bill | Euronews

Ex-British foreign secretary on solving the global refugee crisis (

Netherlands raises threat level, sees ‘real chance’ of attack (

Biden impeachment: At-risk Republicans thread the needle in inquiry vote – BBC News

US Supreme Court to consider abortion pill case – BBC News

The president is not Superman – The Atlantic

Nikki Haley makes her pitch to beat Trump – BBC News

Supreme Court asked to decide if Trump can be prosecuted – BBC News

Kate Cox: Texas Supreme Court cancels abortion exception – BBC News

Business and technology

The antitrust theories are weak, but the effects can be chilling on corporate collaboration for climate action – ImpactAlpha

Elephants, Not Unicorns (

Revenue at Elon Musk’s X Falling at Alarming Rate: Report (

The layoffs that hammered the tech industry – The Atlantic

Award-winning high school student designs shower water-saving device for Australian homes – ABC News

Social issues

Deaths put spotlight on growing US homeless population – BBC News

Hacking trial: Piers Morgan denies hacking after judge rules Harry was Mirror victim – BBC News

Missing boy found in France to return to Britain in next two days | Reuters

Aitana Bonmati: Ballon d’Or and World Cup winner forged by adversity – BBC Sport

Italy’s pro-life groups trying to force women seeking abortions to listen to ‘foetal heartbeat’ | Euronews

Inside the Secret Hell of Going to War With Scientology (

Judge orders BBC to release emails related to Martin Bashir – BBC News

K-drama: The women pushing boundaries on TV – BBC News


Pliosaur discovery: Huge sea monster emerges from Dorset cliffs – BBC News

The one thing The Crown got wrong – BBC Culture

Perry death an accident caused by ketamine – coroner – BBC News

Man Found Giant Megalodon Shark Tooth in Florida (

Andre Braugher: How his deadpan delivery made Captain Holt Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s beating heart – BBC News

André Braugher Dead: ‘Homicide’, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Actor Was 61 – Deadline

Royal Family members reveal family Christmas card images – BBC News

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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