A friend lovingly told me recently to make sure I take a break from the news. This advice happens a lot and I always appreciate when someone understands the ‘cost’ of the news, because it is high. However, while I fully appreciate the care, I don’t think people quite get that it’s not just the reading/watching/listening, it’s also the thinking. I have lucid dreams where I’m discussing solutions to the biggest problems in the world, so it’s not just when I’m awake, it’s when I sleep too.
If anyone knows how you can escape your brain, I’m all ears. But rest assured, when I become incapable of standing back and being objective about the news, I do step away and allow myself the space to feel all the feelings that come from confronting our challenging times, day after day – no one is immune to that impact. Anyhoo, in case you don’t want to click through for more news, here’s a summary of the last week.
One of the biggest stories of the week, which included thousands of articles and conversations, was of course, Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie Oscar’s snub – a classic case of irony. We also had a heart-breaking story out of Georgia with hundreds of thousands of people impacted – both parents and children – after babies were stolen and sold around the world, operated by a crime syndicate that went on for decades! No one has been held to account.
A classic example of obscene wealth and disconnection from reality, a woman in Thailand was arrested after someone filmed her with her pet lion riding in an open-top Bentley. Really? Plastics, the saviour of the fossil fuel industry, is now fraught with risk from a short-, medium- and long-term profit squeeze driven by unprecedented, powerful market and political forces.
Then we saw Bill Gates leading the charge, with many more signing up, asking to be taxed – yes! A big move by President Biden, who is looking to delay LPG facility approvals until a complete environmental assessment is completed (this has environmentalists excited), and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend keeping an eye on what China is doing and saying around Covid19. Very interesting.
In the field of war, there seems to be more questions than answers around the downed plane in Ukraine, China is stepping up its diplomacy especially in regards to the Red Sea crisis, and the ICJ has ruled on Israel in South Africa’s genocide case, but this mandate is to ramp up action to significantly reduce deaths and destruction impacting Palestinian civilians. We could be waiting years on the genocide ruling.
Trump is, of course, in the news, but for those worried about his eventual return to office, there are some interesting conversations going on which make it look extremely challenging. Here’s one opinion, and of course, we’re seeing political shenanigans with the GOP playing games rather than moving the nation forward (cynical politics), and breaking news is Trump must pay $83.3m for defaming E Jean Carroll.
The people of the US are – meanwhile – experiencing severe weather events, with more than 90 dead in the US due to fierce winter storms, San Diego got hammered by floods as are many other parts of the world, drought in the Western US has been declared the worst in 500 years, and a heated conversation is brewing around the potential of an ARkStorm – which is described as California’s Other ‘Big One.’
In fact, it’s not just happening on US soil, but also on its military bases around the world. Did you see this crazy footage? Are we getting the message it might be time to start moving up and away from the ocean? It appears not.
Continuing around the world, Australia is experiencing record extreme heat and the on-going discussion about the date of Australia Day blazed across Australia’s newsfeeds this week. Up North in the UK, my word things are falling apart quickly now. Due to Brexit, there could be a £200m price hike for fruit and vegetable imports, and another report states millions of people in the UK need to double their income to escape poverty. You can watch the video below – devastating. At what point does a country become a failed state? More on the UK in the reads – link below.
Finally, travel and tourism. A few weeks ago, I included a news story that one in four Australians are planning to go on a cruise this year, but look at the environmental impact of these ships? We’re obviously getting the message, because very soon the ‘biggest baddest’ cruise ship in the world will be doing its maiden voyage – check out the greenwashing going on here.
And if you’re not cruising, perhaps think twice before heading to Antarctica, where tourism numbers have hit records and the question is – should we embrace the opportunity to experience the last great adventure, or is it time to recognize our precious natural environments are more important than our lust for travel and experiences?
Perhaps you have no interest in Antarctica, but are you a skier? Well you may unwittingly be contributing to forever chemical pollution on our highest mountain pistes. Then again, I suppose you’re lucky if you are skiing this year, as a lot of mountain tops around the world are bare of the usual snowfall, putting at risk water for humans living below, as well as to agriculture.
Join us next Friday
Finally, do click through to the reads, so much going on, but a reminder, The Know Show will be kicking off again for another season, this Friday, 2nd February at 3pm Singapore-time. Come and join us to get the lowdown on what’s going on around the world.
But before you leave, let me know what caught your attention? Or share with me what you’re paying attention to? I love that! It’s always great to get feedback so I know I’m delivering something of value.
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 gave us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.
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.
The Know Show
Check out The Know Show. It’s a fortnightly wrap up of the news! Starting again 2nd February.
A fortnightly conversation on issues that matter to you and I, focusing on the actions we can all take. I am yet to confirm the return date for this, but it’s coming.
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