Bobbing Around Volume 15 Number 2

Extreme heat has been killing people and even melting roads in many places on the planet. Deniers will now find that the sand is too hot to put their heads in.

“Sea levels are rising, ice caps are melting, storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc, 13 of the top 14 warmest years in recorded history have happened since 2000, and this past summer scientists found levels of carbon diode in our atmosphere not seen in hundreds of thousands of years.” Hillary Clinton

Bobbing Around

Volume Fifteen, Number Two,
August, 2015

Bob Rich’s rave

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bobswriting.com    anxietyanddepression-help.com/    mudsmith.net/    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
subscribe/unsubscribe
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
Writing red hot
On global temperatures
World population is growing
Not yet a review
Turnback is murder

*Responses to past issues
John Harland, re being childfree

*Politics
Why I am an Australian Green
We DO have an impact
Prince Charles: rewire the global economy to stop climate change
Mini ice age coming???
Not all politicians are idiots
Has Donald Trump any chance? And why? by Thom Hartmann
Monsanto: I agree
Understanding the Iran deal
Domestic violence is unacceptable
Time to give Fox the boot

*Environment
A brief primer of the evidence
Predictions catching up with mine
Alaska on fire
Francis on GMOs
You can eat local
Naomi speaks sense
Greenland iceberg calving causes earthquakes
Oceans nearing tipping point
The World Has Lost About 230 Million Seabirds in 60 Years

*Good news
Queensland mega coal mine dying?
Dutch climate change court hearing: WE WON!
And 8 kids in Washington State too
Germany closing brown coal power plants
Chevron has to listen
What trees can do

*Compassionate action
Homeless kids can be kids

*Inspiring people
Law of morality higher than an evil law
Robert Redford and young activist address UN
Saudi prince intends to give $32 billion to charity
He gives free haircuts to homeless
Bracelets from the heart
Thank you, Leonardo

*Technology
Go Elon!

*Deeper issues
More wisdom from my favourite Catholic
An answer to hopelessness
Mohammed on today’s extremists
Fish are people too
Malala’s wisdom
I’m not cured, but am healed
On war

*Psychology
My father committed suicide
I have no life
Infidelity
I quit

*Health
Nuts are not to be despised
Air pollution pickles your brain
Toxins in the home
Value the dandelion
How to fix your stiff neck
TV rots your brain
The Lancet Commission 2015: Health and Climate Change

*For writers
Hacking Amazon
Who can market
Comma tips

*What my friends want you to know
Fossil Finance — Tim Buckley webinar
8 pm Tuesday 4 August
Naomi Klein down under
Stand with India’s Farmers against Monsanto
Run 4 Refugees 2015 is here! 18 Oct
Monthly author assistance
New, free self-publishing guide
Support girl to confront bank CEO
Help Robert Redford keep Shell out of the Arctic
Avaaz for Paris
EarthArtBeat Festival, 20-22 Nov
My Year Without Matches
Vanuatu, 5 months post-cyclone

*Reviews
Breaking the silence, by Maria Nieto
Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Maria Nieto

*Have a laugh
Politics I agree with
This gorilla makes sense
Turtle view
Don’t piss on San Francisco!


I am responsible for anything I have written. However, where I reproduce contributions from other people, I do not necessarily endorse their opinions. I may or may not agree with them, but give them the courtesy of a forum.


Bobbing Around is COPYRIGHTED. No part of it may be reproduced in any form, at any venue, without the express permission of the publisher (ME!) and the author if that is another person. You may forward the entire magazine to anyone else.

It’s a case of taking huge risks to get something we don’t need. Michael Brune, about Shell in the Arctic.

As I read the news and listen to our media pundits, I wonder why protecting and preserving the natural world, and raising the quality of life in every way possible for all people, should be considered “special interest”? Are they not concerns that every human being should share?
Karl Kofoed


From me to you

Writing red hot
On global temperatures
World population is growing
Not yet a review
Turnback is murder

 

Writing red hot

It is taking me immense self-discipline to work on this issue of Bobbing Around, because my current writing project has hijacked me. This is Finding the Enemy, the sequel to The Doom Healer.

I’ve been releasing chapters of Doom Healer weekly. Chapter 10 has just been released.

I’m about halfway through the sequel. It gets me out of bed at odd times, waltzes around the back of my mind — and I have to restrain myself not to tell you all about it.

Please visit The Doom Healer, read it, and leave a comment, either there or intended for Bobbing Around.


On global temperatures

I have reblogged an excellent post by Robertscribbler.

I am afraid, we’re still on track for my predictions. Robert doesn’t even take into account the various positive feedback mechanisms we have unleashed, such as exponentially increasing methane release in the Arctic.

But it’s all right. Remember, there is no need for despair (only for ACTION).


World population is growing

This was the message of a Care2 article. It then had a set of recommended actions that have nothing to do with population growth.

This was my comment:

Hey, those recommendations are bizarre.

Number 1: STOP BREEDING!

If I were a young person today, I’d choose to be childfree, for two reasons.

First, the coming years are guaranteed to be terrible. I think it is a crime to bring a new person into a life of guaranteed disaster. The most loving thing you can do to your child is to decide not to have one.

Second, why add to a known problem?

Number 2. is what the essay is relevant to: reduce the environmental footprint of people in the too-rich countries.

Number 3. Work for gender equality everywhere. Educate women, use their intelligence in making this a better world. This reduces breeding rates, as a very welcome side-effect.

Number 4. Redistribute wealth. Poverty, environmental destruction — and population explosion — are all worsened by the obscene amount of wealth concentration.

Number 5. Stop war. Demilitarise the planet. A few days of military spending a year is as much money as eliminating poverty from the whole planet. Again, better living standards lead to lower fertility rates.

But above all, personally, STOP BREEDING.


Not yet a review

I am doing a review swap with a lady, who was very reluctant, because she’d never written a review and thought she didn’t know how to do it. Well, she has started Ascending Spiral, and sent me this:

    I made the mistake of taking a peek at your book before completing the tasks Patrick assigned to me.

    But I am not sorry.

    My reading is going to be slow. It feels as if I am sitting a dinner table slowly savoring each mouth full of an incredibly tasteful sweet-sour delight.

    At this rate is going to take me a bit longer, and I am already a slow reader. I need to read, taste, make notes of your words to clearly remind me of some of the ways you and I may be alike. It is like therapy and entertainment at the same time for me. Just wanted you to know.


Turnback is murder

Australia’s criminal government has a policy of forcing boats carrying asylum seekers out of its territorial waters. Now, some members of the opposition Labor party would like to adopt the same policy.

This is the response I sent them:

    I am now an old bloke, but I arrived in Australia as a refugee. So, I have a lot of empathy and compassion for asylum seekers who escape situations of genocide to find safety somewhere, anywhere.

    They are NOT illegals. Seeking asylum is legal. Turning the boats back is illegal.

    Will Labor join the Coalition in murdering people?

    Pushing them out of our waters does not save their lives, but forces them to die elsewhere. Out of sight, out of mind?

    It’s supposed to discourage them from leaving their homes. But if you were Hazara in Afghanistan, or Karen in Burma, wouldn’t you want to leave?

    In my childhood, there was a lot of prejudice against Greeks and Italians. Later, it was Vietnamese. All three of these are now part of Australia’s mix, and are accepted. Why should the current lot be different?

    Give them a chance.

Responses to past issues

John Harland, re being childfree

 

John Harland, re being childfree

Hi Bob

On the issue of living childless I would add the concept that in such a deeply-networked species as human beings, there are many more ways to contribute to the welfare of our species than by adding numbers to it, or even being one of those sustaining numbers.

“It is the quality of upbringing, not the quantity of people brought into the world, that is the central value. Unwanted children, or those who receive insufficient care and education, can do as much harm as most people can do good.”

I once did a social benefit analysis of the work of a mentor who seemed to have helped to turn a highly capable but alienated youth from a probable course as an addict to one of real social contribution, (although not of high financial income). The magnitude of the figures, even in raw financial terms, was sobering.

The mentee is now doing a great job as a parent in a relationship with a good dynamic equilibrium. (“Stable” sometimes seems too tame a word).

Educators contribute at least as much as parents to the effectiveness of a community. (I am scratching here for a better concept than “productivity”, however much it is modified to try to suit objectives beyond material accumulation).

By working with communities of children, rather than only a family, educators can inculcate some learning more effectively than parents can.

Perhaps we need to suggest that the resources devoted to assisted reproduction might better go to better public education. (-;

Regards

John Harland

John Harland has worked primarily as and educator but also builds bikes and guitars, both primarily of reused material. Bicycles because of a love of convivial modes of transport and guitars because of the capacity of music to foster the networking of human thinking. He is a parent and grandparent, one in each generation.


Politics

Why I am an Australian Green
We DO have an impact
Prince Charles: rewire the global economy to stop climate change
Mini ice age coming???
Not all politicians are idiots
Has Donald Trump any chance? And why? by Thom Hartmann
Monsanto: I agree
Understanding the Iran deal
Domestic violence is unacceptable
Time to give Fox the boot

 

Why I am an Australian Green

Here is a statement from the new leader of the Australian Greens:

“A fundamental Greens value is compassion. A caring society reduces inequality wherever it can — which is why we’ve been working on removing negative gearing, fixing super and standing strong to protect family payments and parental leave…”

Please read on.


We DO have an impact

Queensland’s Minister of Environment has stated that pressure from environmental groups has been instrumental in protecting the Great Barrier Reef. He was responding to a whinge from the COALition Australian government’s Minister for Destroying Environment Greg Hunt.


Prince Charles: rewire the global economy to stop climate change

Speaking at the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership Prince Charles spoke sense, and did so powerfully. We could instantly reduce carbon dioxide generation by 13% if we remove the huge subsidies governments give the guilty companies.

I am glad he is adding his voice to the call for a saner global culture. Business as usual is leading to extinction, and how much money you have is irrelevant.


Mini ice age coming???

This is politics rather than environment, because what my friend Bill Sutcliffe calls the dinosaur press has got hold of a prediction of sunspot decline, twisted it, and are using it for confusion.

Joe Romm, writing at Climate Progress demonstrates how ridiculous this is.

Certainly, sunspot activity will reduce in the 2030s, to about the “Maunder Minimum,” which occurred at about the time of Europe’s (not the globe’s) Mini Ice Age. But…

  • The Little Ice Age turns out to have been quite little.
  • What cooling there was probably was driven more by volcanoes than the Maunder Minimum.
  • The warming effect from global greenhouse gases will overwhelm any reduction in solar forcing, even more so by the 2030s.


Not all politicians are idiots

But Australia’s Treasurer certainly expresses idiotic opinions.

Daniel Andrews, the new Premier of Victoria is doing great things for the environment, including facilitating wind power extension.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey thinks they look ugly. Has he ever looked at an open cut coal mine?
coalmine
windturb


Has Donald Trump any chance? And why?
by Thom Hartmann

Read this analysis to understand why this clown is drawing large crowds.

If I were an American, I’d vote for Bernie Sanders. Thom Hartmann sounds like he will, too, but points out that these two have one thing in common: opposing the so-called free trade agreements that free multinationals to exploit entire nations.


Monsanto: I agree

This lady is Dr. Vandana Shiva
vshiva


Understanding the Iran deal

It will only take you a few minutes to read this interview which explains why the Iran nuclear deal was a great success for nuclear safety. It makes it practically impossible for Iran to make a nuclear weapon.


Domestic violence is unacceptable

As in other overdeveloped countries, Australia is suffering an epidemic of domestic violence. Shelters are so full they have to turn desperate people away. And the inhumane government is reducing funding.

This year alone, 49 women have already been killed in Australia. Official figures record that in the three months of this year there were 28,870 domestic violence related assaults – that’s 80 attacks a day.

It is a joke that Prime Monster Tony Abbott is “Minister for Women.”

The Australian Greens are working to do something about this.

Please, help us spread the word and grow the movement of Australians who are calling for the government to do more to end this domestic violence epidemic.


Time to give Fox the boot

The Philadelphia Inquirer must love my friend Karl Kofoed. He keeps submitting hard-hitting, accurate and passionate letters like this:

    The recent news that France decided to ban Fox “news” may offend some folks, but fact checkers have determined that 40% of their product is misinformation and lies.

    It’s broadcasting’s job to report facts, not to tell us what to think. Even Fox admits (to avoid slander lawsuits) that it is producing “opinion” and “entertainment”. In a 2000 Forbes interview Rupert Murdoch said, “I seen nothing wrong with using my media outlets to promote my personal political agenda.” Free Speech protection doesn’t extend to the right to falsely yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is none. Maybe it’s time the US followed France’s lead. That would send a long overdue message to all TV newscasters that replacing facts with opinion isn’t public service, it’s propaganda.

    K.B. Kofoed


    Environment

    A brief primer of the evidence
    Predictions catching up with mine
    Alaska on fire
    Francis on GMOs
    You can eat local
    Naomi speaks sense
    Greenland iceberg calving causes earthquakes
    Oceans nearing tipping point
    The World Has Lost About 230 Million Seabirds in 60 Years

     

    A brief primer of the evidence

    A friend had a look at the start of my book The Doom Healer, and wrote this:

      Bob, where in this world do you get your ‘facts’? Global warming has been going on for millions of years. The earth warms up and the oceans wash across the land, leaving silt. Then we have an ice age and the oceans retreat. This goes on for millions of years. Where do you think coal comes from? At least in the developed world, the earth is in better shape than it was 50-100 years ago. Our rivers are cleaner. We’re protecting our forests and our wild life.

    She is a nice lady, but sadly misinformed. Here is a brief list of plain-language explanations of the established set of scientific findings on the issue of anthropogenic climate change:
    ACF
    NOAA
    NASA
    co2


    Predictions catching up with mine

    Newly released figures show that the sea is now dying. Ocean acidification has crossed a threshold about 2008, and is now killing plankton — the basis of all marine life.

    “Major cities such as New York and London will fight to survive the rise in temperatures the likes of which humans have never experienced before.”


    Alaska on fire

    In the past 60 years, Alaska has warmed more than twice as much as the rest of the USA.
    alaskafires
    There has been a nearly 10-fold increase in the number of large fires in the Arctic region in the 2000s compared to the 1950s and 1960s.

    And it’s not only Alaska. The last rainforest in North America is on fire. The entire Northwest is suffering from record fires, due to record heat and drought.
    columbiafire


    Francis on GMOs

    Pope Francis has it right regarding GMOs.

    This is not an emotional or even scientific issue, but a moral one. The science is neutral. How it is used is evil.


    You can eat local

    One essential to transitioning to a sustainable society is to reduce transport. Melissa Breyer, writing at Tree Hugger shows that everywhere in the USA, you could live almost all on food grown within 100 miles.
    usfood


    Naomi speaks sense

    naomiklein1
    Read the details.


    Greenland iceberg calving causes earthquakes

    A Category 5 earthquake is pretty major. Greenland regularly has such earthquakes, every time a huge iceberg detaches.

    Imagine a slice of bread that’s 2 kilometres tall. It’s unstable, so falls over as its base starts floating up. The top knocks against the glacier, hard enough to reverse ice flow for a short while. That’s the earthquake. Then, as the berg becomes horizontal, it causes a tsunami.

    So what? You don’t live in Greenland, so who cares? If you live in any coastal city, you should. All that melting is coming to get you.

    This is a call to action. Live simply so you may simply live. Reduce your environmental footprint. Every action, every decision should be guided by its environmental impact.


    Oceans nearing tipping point

    The latest issue of Science has a summary report from Gattuso et al. pointing out what carbon dioxide and warming are doing to the oceans.

    The changes are getting close to becoming irreversible.
    coral


    The World Has Lost About 230 Million Seabirds in 60 Years

    Research at University of British Columbia has shown a 70% drop in sea bird populations since 1950. This was a very large scale, exhaustive study.
    seabird
    One of the many reasons is plastic waste. Watch this incredibly moving video by Chris Jordan.


    Good news

    Queensland mega coal mine dying?
    Dutch climate change court hearing: WE WON!
    And 8 kids in Washington State too
    Germany closing brown coal power plants
    Chevron has to listen
    What trees can do

     

    Queensland mega coal mine dying?

    Adani, the Indian coal mob with a terrible environmental and humanitarian record, has been trying to develop one of the world’s largest thermal coal mines in a sensitive area of Queensland. Among other issues, this would mean the death of the Great Barrier Reef.

    We have opposed them on every front. Most of the world’s large banks have refused funding, though a few Australian banks are still involved. There are legal challenges from the wonderful traditional owners of the land, and environmental groups.

    The price of coal has plummeted, and the Indian government’s policy is now focused on renewables, not coal.

    At last, there is a sign that Adani may be cracking. May Mr Adani crawl back into his coal hole.
    adanicoal


    Dutch climate change court hearing: WE WON!

    886 Dutch people have sued their government over inaction on climate change.

    They have won, for all of us. Wherever you live, it may be your country’s turn?
    dutchwin


    And 8 kids in Washington State too

    …have sued their State’s Department of Ecology ‘to recommend to the legislature an effective emissions reduction trajectory that is based on best available climate science and will achieve safe atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide by 2100.’

    The youngest is 9 years old. Their petition was rejected. They appealed, and the court ruled in their favour — our favour.
    washingt


    Germany closing brown coal power plants

    As has happened in many fields over the past 30 years, Germany is leading. It is mothballing highly polluting coal-fired power stations.

    I wish Australia would follow suit, or better, lead the way.


    Chevron has to listen

    “You came, you contaminated, you lost in the courts, and you ran from the law” said Humberto Piaguaje from the Ecuadorian Amazon to Chevron’s CEO John Watson — in front of Chevron’s investors, no less.

    Humberto, along with our allies, delivered the largest petition ever to Chevron — almost 200,000 signatures from SumOfUs members — demanding the company pay what it owes to the Amazon communities it systematically destroyed for almost 20 years.

    Thanks to us coming together, the resolution asking Chevron to compensate communities in Ecuador was supported by shareholders who own $62 billion dollars worth of Chevron’s stock — almost $10 billion more than a couple of years back!

    That means our pressure is working and every year we are getting closer to making Chevron pay. Big Oil thinks it can get away with destroying the environment and people’s livelihoods without having to compensate a penny. Thanks to the SumOfUs community and our allies, that is no longer true.

    Thank you for coming together this time and every time,

    Paul, Ledys and the rest of the team at SumOfUs.org.


    What trees can do

    desert-to
    after-trees
    this is what tree planting over 22 years has done, over a huge area of Africa.

    They need your support.


    Compassionate Action

    Homeless kids can be kids

    Did you know there are about 23,000 homeless kids in New York?

    I find this shocking.

    Things are ever worse for their families during school holidays. A number of charities are doing something about it, including Homes for the Homeless. Read about their wonderful program.
    hfh


    Inspiring people

    Law of morality higher than an evil law
    Robert Redford and young activist address UN
    Saudi prince intends to give $32 billion to charity
    He gives free haircuts to homeless
    Bracelets from the heart
    Thank you, Leonardo

     

    Law of morality higher than an evil law

    Recently, the criminal government of Australia has proposed a law that makes it a punishable offence for staff at concentration camps for asylum seekers to disclose matters like child sexual abuse by guards.

    Read the brief but inspiring letter from 41 current or past staff members who dare the government to jail them for defying this immoral law.


    Robert Redford and young activist address UN

    The famous actor, and a teenager raised in the Aztec tradition, spoke for action on climate change.
    x


    Saudi prince intends to give $32 billion to charity

    Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of the Saudi King, is strong on women’s rights, disaster relief and fostering cultural understanding.

    He will give his personal fortune — one of the biggest on the planet — to worthy causes.

    May he be a shining example, and may he remind people that Muslim does not equal terrorist.


    He gives free haircuts to homeless

    Nasir Sobhani cuts hair 5 days a week for money. On his days off, he gives free haircuts to homeless people, who greatly appreciate him.

    This is compassion in action. Note that his name is Islamic. A generous heart can live in any person.


    Bracelets from the heart

    I find it shocking that in some parts of the USA, there are kids who rely on charity in order to have lunch. A 9-year-old girl is doing something about it: acting local, she has raised money for a charitable program that feeds such kids.
    lexivo


    Thank you, Leonardo

    Leonardo DiCapricio is an admirable young man. Instead of fame and fortune leading him to idiotic behaviour, as with so many other celebrities, he is devoting his influence and money to saving our planet.

    His foundation has just made grants totalling $15 million to a range of environmental organisation that deserve our support too.
    leonardo2


    Technology

    Go Elon!

     

    Go Elon!

    elon
    EcoWatch reports that Tesla is well on the way to revolutionising the way we use energy. An oil industry magazine’s headline: “Hell on Wheels.”

    Hell to them is heaven to us. Elon Musk is expanding. Tesla has bought a huge piece of land, where a solar-powered gigafactory will flood the planet with electric cars, solar-storage batteries and other appropriate technology, in sufficient volume to drive prices down.

    More power to him.
    gigafactory


    Deeper Issues

    More wisdom from my favourite Catholic
    An answer to hopelessness
    Mohammed on today’s extremists
    Fish are people too
    Malala’s wisdom
    I’m not cured, but am healed
    On war

     

    More wisdom from my favourite Catholic

    pope-imbalance


    An answer to hopelessness

    Here is a light-hearted article by Tim Hjersted about doom, which has it right.

    Here is a quote:

      The 4 Bodhisattva vows are something I have internalized subconsciously in my mind, and I think they can be applied pretty well to our planetary meta story:

      Although sentient beings are innumerable, we vow to save them.
      Although our evil desires are limitless, we vow to be rid of them.
      Although the teaching is limitless, we vow to learn it all.
      Although Buddhism is unattainable, we vow to attain it.

      If it is unattainable, how can we attain it? But we should! That is Buddhism. To think, “Because it is possible we will do it,” is not Buddhism. Even though it is impossible, we have to do it because our true nature wants us to.” — Shunryu Suzuki

      So here’s my version:

      Although the problems of the world are innumerable, we vow to solve them.
      Although the suffering of humanity is limitless, we vow to lessen it.
      Although creating a sustainable civilization may be impossible, we vow to create it.
      Although saving the world is impossible, we vow to save it.

      If saving the world as a human habitat is impossible, how can we save it? But we should! That is our way. To think, “Because it is possible we will do it,” is not the way. Even though it is impossible, we have to do it because our true nature wants us to.


    Mohammed on today’s extremists

    Kashif N. Chaudhry has written an interesting essay that is in accordance with my understanding of the Qur’an.

    Not only did Mohammed forbid what terrorists like the Taliban and ISIS are doing, but he predicted their coming.

    Here is a quote:

      An honest study of the Quran shows that groups like ISIS act in complete defiance of the injunctions of Islam. The Quran, for instance, equates one murder to the elimination of the whole human race (5:32), and considers persecution and disorder on earth as an even worse offense (2:217). It lays emphasis on peace, justice and human rights. It champions freedom of conscience and forbids worldly punishment for apostasy and blasphemy.


    Fish are people too

    An article in Nature by Alison Abbott reports on the work of ecologist Redouan Bshary, which has demonstrated that many species of fish can reason, learn better than a 4-year-old human, cooperate, take advantage of changes in their situation — they demonstrate intelligence many humans arrogantly reserve for themselves, or at best for mammals.

    You can read read another account of the same research. Both are worth reading, because they use different examples.
    bluefish


    Malala’s wisdom

    nowarschool


    I’m not cured, but am healed

    Donna Jackson Nakazawa has suffered all her life — until she changed how she sees reality. Her inspiring story is worth reading.

    Who knows, you might be able to achieve the same miracle.

    Mind you, the same message is in my book on cancer.


    On war

    popewar


    Psychology

    My father committed suicide
    I have no life
    Infidelity
    I quit

     

    My father committed suicide

    4 months ago. I was having my regular talk with my daddy before I went to sleep. He was telling me he fount me and my husband a house and we would go to dinner the next night and go check the house out. Nothing out of the ordinary. I talked to my dad multiple times a day everyday. But that morning I woke to get my oldest ready for school I had received a text from my dad in the middle of the night. Around 2am. It said “I hope you can forgive me, love you forever dad” naturally I called instantly no answer so I rushed all my children into the car. Drive to my dad’s, beat on the doors and windows to get no answer. I kicked the door in I wanted to make sure my daddy was okay. I found him on his bed he had shot himself. At that moment my world crumbled. I keep myself together for my kids but I feel myself falling apart. I can’t let him go I’m not ready to live without my daddy. I’m constantly questioning everything leading to that day. And sometime I wake up and I relive that whole day over and over again in my mind. The pain is unbearable. I wasn’t supposed to lose my parent so young. Why would he leave me like this? Why can’t I stop running every thing through my mind. What do I do?

    Galina my dear,

    It hurts, doesn’t it? Grief is the price of love. It is a real pain, and you are honouring him by feeling it. He deserves this pain of yours.

    Just think, how he would feel if you had died, and left him. He’d feel worse, because he’d think, “Parents are supposed to die before their kids.”

    And his last thought was his love for you.

    He only died 4 months ago. When you suffer a serious loss like this, you can expect the grief to last 1 to 2 years (whatever people may tell you), although everyone is different. It is like a broken bone: it hurts, takes time to heal, and leaves you stronger if everything goes well.

    So, give yourself permission to feel this pain.

    From what you wrote, the day before, he had plans, expected a future. We don’t know what went on in his mind before he shot himself, except that he loved you, to the last moment.

    How to cope? You still have children and a husband you need to care for and live with. If only your oldest goes to school, you have very young children to look after.

    You also still have a life to live. Here is something that has worked for other people I’ve counselled who suffered a major grief like this.

    Set aside a certain amount of time each day, for focusing on your grief. At this early stage, a total of two hours a day would be good, but fit in whatever you can, in whatever way you can.

    Write these “appointments with daddy” down in your diary or on your calendar. They are important appointments.

    During the time you have devoted to your grief, you give yourself permission to feel it to the full. Cry, look at photos, do all the grieving things you have been doing all the time until now.

    But during the rest of your day, every time a thought of grief comes, say within your mind, “Go away daddy, I have an appointment with you for 2 pm” (or whatever the time of your appointment is).

    Because you have these special crying times, and keep the appointments, he will go. You will be able to get on with life in between.

    Hugs to you and your kids,
    Bob


    I have no life

    I am 22 years old. I don’t have a boyfriend and I suffered a heartbreak which affected my life and personality a lot, in a bad way. I don’t have a job. I graduated this year, with 2 diplomas with honour. I really studied well, but can’t find a job. I am at home all the time, doing nothing. It feels like my life has stopped and everyone else is happy, doing something and I am like “I have no life”. I feel so worthless.
    What to do when your life seems to have stopped for you?

    Leah my dear,

    It seems to me that the heartbreak you suffered has traumatised you. It changed the way you see yourself, and the way you see other people. It changed your expectation of what life is like.

    And it seems to me that this has changed your ways of doing things. Now, you may have created a prison for yourself, and are staying in it, because at some level you feel that if you come out of prison, you will get hurt again.

    I have no idea what resources there are where you live for seeking help. But help is possible. You would greatly benefit from a few sessions with a good psychologist. If you came to me, I would handle your situation the way I approach any other trauma, such as the emotional effects of a car smash or a robbery.

    Your life has stopped, because you have chosen to stop it. Staying alone at home all day is not going to find you a job, or friends, or a boyfriend. And everyone else is not happy. They experience a mixture of happiness and unhappiness, just like you used to before your heartbreak.
    It is time to take charge again. One young man hurt you. That doesn’t make all people dangerous. Things went bad in one aspect of your life. That doesn’t make it necessary for you to hide from all aspects.

    You have good qualifications. I assume you have been looking for a job, sending in applications, maybe getting interviews, but no job.

    Read the wording of your applications. Does it reflect your sadness and lack of joy? Can you rewrite the application to make it sound as if you were positive, capable, full of life?

    If you were to go along to an interview, looking like your cry for help sounds, you’d be guaranteed not to get the job. Would you hire someone so sad and down? No, you’d go for the confident bearing and smiling face.

    So, the reason you can’t find a job is that you are sending out a message to the universe: “I am no good for anything!” This is false, but you get back what you send out.

    How to change it?

    Come out of prison. For now, while unemployed, you have free time. Use it in ways that will make you feel good. Take on a sport, or other forms of exercise that brings you in contact with new people. Start up a hobby that you find interesting, and again, leads to new contacts. Do some volunteering that benefits other people, or take an interest in church, politics, environment, music, arts… whatever fits with the interests you used to have before life went bad.

    Just because one person treated you badly doesn’t mean that you deserved it, that you are faulty and no good. It doesn’t mean that other people will hurt you.

    There is a life out there. Start living it again. The prison you are in is of your own making. Only you can free yourself.

    Love,
    Bob


    Infidelity

    I have been married for 31 years to a wonderful woman. We have 2 adult children and a 7 year old boy we adopted 5 years ago. 20 months ago I became involved with a coworker. Our relationship blossomed and I found myself more in love with her than I’ve ever been. Throughout the course of our relationship, my wife became increasingly suspicious, but I denied everything. And she believed me. My spiraling integrity finally got the best of me and I told her the truth. I left her for the other woman, but only briefly. I then moved in with a relative and began couples therapy with my wife as doing so was “the right thing.” We really never had any serious problems. I love her, but I remain more in love with the other woman (we continue to work together, but have ended our affair when I moved in with a relative). I feel trapped between Christian/ethical expectations, the fact that I still love my wife (although struggling to feel ‘in love’ with her, the fact that I will sacrifice the relationship I have with my adult children and family members, and the degree of love I feel for the other woman. I’m trying to find the love I once had for my wife, but it continually feels shadowed by what I feel for the other woman (who is also very in love with me).
    I once had a wonderful relationship with my wife. Then I discovered something with someone else I didn’t know was even possible in terms of emotional connection. Now I’m ignoring all of that for the sake of what I had with my wife and children and for everyone else.
    I think (operative word) I can make this sacrifice (giving up the relationship with the other woman), but I’m not certain if I want to or if I should. I’ve got a “fake it till I make it” kind of mentality going on, but it’s a struggle. Any advice?

    Dear Trev,

    Yours is a classical situation. You’re not the first caught in this dilemma. And there is no one solution.

    I read that you have made your choice. You’re committed to returning to your wife, and staying faithful, however hard you find it. The advice you are asking for is, how to succeed, and resist the pressures to fall back. Am I right?

    There is a trick for dealing with difficult, painful decisions and intentions. Ask the question, “In what way can I become a better person from experiencing my problem?”

    If you’d simply stayed faithful to your wife, unquestioningly going along with societal expectations, you’d have saved a lot of suffering for yourself and others. But, because you had the affair, you have been forced to think, to question, to grow. This is painful, and it’s easy to doubt yourself, to be tempted to fall back. Growth always hurts.

    But, have you become a better, wiser, more decent person because you were faced with a difficult choice, and decided to rebuild your marriage?

    I suspect your wife also found herself in a similar situation. Her temptation will have been to reject you, hate you, want revenge. Instead, she also made a good choice, and worked toward a reconciliation. So, she also has grown through suffering.

    All the same, her suffering is the direct consequence of your past weakness. You owe her restitution for this, and that may be the answer to your request. When you feel it’s just too hard, remember this. Feeling guilt and shame are counterproductive, but feeling responsibility for having imposed pain is good. You owe her. You can pay by giving her a good life, the security of being able to trust you, by acting in a way that makes her feel loved. We are what we DO, not what we think or feel. Whatever that is can stay private.

    Finally, you have experienced a joy you didn’t know existed. For this, you can stay thankful. One glass of wine can be fine. But now, having drunk that, you don’t need to become an alcoholic.
    Have a good life,

    Bob


    I quit

    I quit I am so tired of life every day I am going down so I want freedom from this life have no meaning for me world is like a machine but I am human not machine for making money

    My dear young friend,

    From this very short cry for help, I cannot tell why you feel like this, or what you can do about it, but “I am human not machine for making money” speaks to me.

    You are looking for meaning and purpose. You want to do something worthwhile with your life, beyond selfishness and pleasure.

    You can.

    I assume you are making money, and that other people are pressuring you to concentrate on materialist goals, to build a career, to “Succeed” and “Be Somebody.” And you are too spiritually developed to place importance on such things. Sure, a comfortable life is good, but what’s the point of chasing money without limit?

    Of course, I am guessing. But have I guessed right?

    If you want meaning and purpose, you need to generate them yourself. You can do so while engaging in your life, as it is right now, or you can reengineer your life to remove the aspects that have driven you to despair.

    I imagine that the pressures come from your family. You probably don’t want to hurt them, to disappoint them, but wish they would allow you to shape your own life. This is a problem only you can solve. You need to design an approach that leaves loved people reasonably happy, while at the same time allows you to modify your life to become meaningful, and focused on the things you find important and worthwhile.

    The path to a meaningful life is to be of service to others. You can spend much of your time in being the good son, the good student or worker, and yet have lots of energy for making life better in some way for people facing particular problems, or for your community, or for humanity at large.

    Your new grandfather,
    Bob


    Health

    Nuts are not to be despised
    Air pollution pickles your brain
    Toxins in the home
    Value the dandelion
    How to fix your stiff neck
    TV rots your brain
    The Lancet Commission 2015: Health and Climate Change

     

    Nuts are not to be despised

    Eating them improves your chances of good health.


    Air pollution pickles your brain

    Michael Graham Richard wrote in Tree Hugger that a new study shows that when you control for other factors, air pollution is directly responsible for destroying white matter in the brain. Unfortunately I could not access the article in Annals of Neurology, but the details reported indicate that it was a carefully designed study.
    airpollution


    Toxins in the home

    Read this helpful, informative article by Margie Kelly listing 10 ways Big Business is out to kill you in your own home. Billions of dollars in advertising convince people to buy products which have severe health effects.
    toxic


    Value the dandelion

    Michelle Schoffro Cook, who has written a book on cancer summarises evidence on the cancer-fighting properties of dandelion.

    You can save yourself all that weeding, and harvest it instead?
    dandelion


    How to fix your stiff neck

    This essay by Karden Rabin accurately explains the reason for upper spinal problems, and lists exercises that work. I’ll incorporate some of them in my regular routine.

    I did find some speling miskates 🙂 but despite that, the essay is excellent.
    fixneck


    TV rots your brain

    A large scale study, described in the Washington Post, although unfortunately without a reference, indicates that a sedentary lifestyle, especially one involving watching more than 4/24 TV watching, leads to cognitive decline.
    eviltv


    The Lancet Commission 2015: Health and Climate Change

    A landmark new report published in the international medical journal The Lancet states: “Tackling climate change is the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century”.

    The threat to health is by no means abated: the 2015 Commission understands climate change as a ‘health emergency’. In fact, the threat to human health from climate change is so great that it could undermine the last fifty years of gains in development and global health, according to the Commission.

    According to Commission Co-Chair Professor Anthony Costello, Director of the University College London (UCL) Institute for Global Health, UK, “Climate change has the potential to reverse the health gains from economic development that have been made in recent decades — not just through the direct effects on health from a changing and more unstable climate, but through indirect means such as increased migration and reduced social stability.”

    “However, our analysis clearly shows that by tackling climate change, we can also benefit health, and tackling climate change in fact represents one of the greatest opportunities to benefit human health for generations to come.”

    Download The Lancet 2015 Commission (it’s free, but you need to register):
Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health.


    Writing

    Hacking Amazon
    Who can market
    Comma tips

     

    Hacking Amazon

    Tim Grahl offers a set of free and obligation-free videoson how to get the best out of selling your book on Amazon.

    Well, they’re not really videos, but audios with some graphics, but that’s all right. Also, I can read 10 times as fast as someone else speaks, so usually get impatient with audio instruction.

    However, the content is excellent, and well worth listening to.


    Who can market

    This particular blog post from Tim Grahl will speak to many writers. You don’t need to be a car salesman, but the provider of a valuable service.


    Comma tips

    In my work as an editor, I get comatose over the more comma mistakes. They are all too common.

    Where you need one

  • Between items of a list.

    “Man bride and accompanying crowd came out of the church.” This is possible in a gay marriage, but the intention may have been, “Man, bride, and accompanying crowd came out of the church.”

  • Between clauses.

    A clause is a sort of a sub-sentence. There are various kinds, but have one thing in common. You need a comma to show where one ends and the next begins. The comma after “kinds” in the previous sentence is an example.

    Note that you use a COMMA for this, not a semicolon.

  • Before and after interpolations.

    “Hey George, where have you been?” The comma is there because “Hey George” is an address (no, he doesn’t live there, but is being addressed, and no, he is not an envelope). An address is one form of interpolation. Others are bits and bobs you can stick into a sentence that don’t actually affect its meaning. “I was dreaming, I suppose.” Some interpolations say something about a verb or noun: “He ran, faster than the bus, but still failed to catch the aeroplane.” “The girl, who had red hair and blue lips, huddled close to the fire.”

    There is an intercontinental debate about some of these commas. In America, it is a mortal mistake to omit this one: “She insisted on coming, too.” In the rest of the English-speaking world, “too” doesn’t need to be preceded by a comma.

    Where you should not have one

    Between parts of a sentence. If two elements of writing only make sense because they belong together, they should not have a comma between them.

    “The horribly distorted face of the furiously shouting constable, was almost a beetroot colour.” This is a wordy version of “His face was purple.” This sentence has a subject (his face), verb (was) and object (purple). If you remove any of these elements, it is no longer a sentence. So, there should be no comma before ‘was,’ whether it’s the short or the expanded version.

    Here is an example from a contest for copywriters, who should have known better: “Britain is known for being a land of slogans and over the years many extremely well paid agencies, have come up with several slogans for London, none of them memorable however.” Not only is this ungrammatical and convoluted, but also has a comma between subject and verb. Oh well, no one, is perfect.

    This prohibition is in contrast to a part of a sentence that is not grammatically essential. “Of course, this is true.” The sentence is, “This is true.” To indicate that “of course” is an extra bit, you delimit it with a comma.

    One reason for the difficulty some people experience is that sometimes an interpolation precedes the verb. The end of the interpolation DOES need a comma, and to the uninformed eye, that may look like a comma before the verb. Well it is, but it belongs to the interpolation, not to the main sentence: “The man, feeling particularly preoccupied, bumped into a lamppost.”

    Where it is optional

    If you want a big argument about a little issue, ask whether you need a comma before the ‘and’ that introduces the last item in a list. This is the “Oxford comma.”

    My answer is, if Oxford the comma improves clarity or reduces confusion, put it in. If it doesn’t, leave it off.

    “A beggar, a blogger, a bumptious blimp and a beautiful bimbo had a conversation in a bar.” I see no point in a comma after “blimp,” because it’s perfectly clear that the next item in the list is coming. However, if the last item is long enough to need work for determining its start and end, e.g., “…a beautiful bimbo with bounteous boobs,” then I’d happily put it in.

    And the technical bits

    You might notice, I’ve put a comma after “e.g.” Same goes for thingies like “i.e.”

    “31st July, 2015,” or even in the silly back-to-front way “July 31st, 2015” are commatised.

    “Harry Smith” is commaless, but “Smith, Harry” isn’t unless the name is from a culture in which the surname comes first: Ban Ki-moon is Mr Ban, not Mr Ki-Moon.

              Now that you’ve read this piece,
              You can punctuate with ease.
              The comma’s a part
              Of the writing art,
              So, come on, get it right, please!


    What my friends want you to know

    Fossil Finance — Tim Buckley webinar
    8 pm Tuesday 4 August
    Naomi Klein down under
    Stand with India’s Farmers against Monsanto
    Run 4 Refugees 2015 is here! 18 Oct
    Monthly author assistance
    New, free self-publishing guide
    Support girl to confront bank CEO
    Help Robert Redford keep Shell out of the Arctic
    Avaaz for Paris
    EarthArtBeat Festival 20-22 Nov
    My Year Without Matches
    Vanuatu, 5 months post-cyclone

     

    Fossil Finance — Tim Buckley webinar
8 pm Tuesday 4 August

    Click to book

    Is the end in sight for coal? China and India are the world’s two biggest importers of thermal coal and both are moving rapidly to transform their energy markets. The implications for Australia are huge. If coal is indeed in structural decline, stranded assets await — mines in the Galilee Basin, Whitehaven, Shenhua to name a few. Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, draws on 25 years of financial market experience to survey the outlook for Australian coal. Join our webinar on Tuesday 4 August, 8 pm eastern time.

    Green Institute
    GPO Box 557
    Canberra, ACT 2601
    Australia
    office@greeninstitute.org.au
    +61 419 877 325


    Naomi Klein down under, 29 August

    

In her 2014 book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs., the Climate, Naomi Klein argues that those who see climate change as something that can be addressed without disrupting the status quo have missed the point. It is not about carbon, it is about capitalism: “Our economic system and our planetary system are now at war.” As capitalism depends on economic growth, which is fundamentally incompatible with significant emissions reduction, a whole new approach is required. Her proposition is that this confrontation can become the catalyst for radical positive change and the chance to build something better — a safer, fairer, more equal world.

    The Australia Institute is proud to support bringing Naomi Klein to Australia. Stay tuned for further festival news and announcements in the coming weeks.

    Dates: 
Saturday 29 August, Federation Square, Melbourne, Melbourne Writers’ Festival

    Sunday 30 August: An audience with Naomi Klein, Federation Square, Melbourne

    Naomi Klein: Capitalism & the Climate Book now.

    Synchronicity: that’s a theme emerging from the book I’m writing now, Finding the Enemy.


    Stand with India’s Farmers against Monsanto

    Monsanto, the world’s most hated corporation, will stop at nothing to increase its profits, even if it means swindling struggling Indian farmers.

    For generations, farmers have saved seeds from year to year — but the company has now made that illegal.

    Monsanto is sowing the seeds of debt bondage by charging outrageous annual royalties to keep using its seeds. Farmers are hopelessly saddled with crippling debt. Since Monsanto’s crops were introduced, over 200,000 farmers in India have committed suicide.

    Stand with India’s farmers and tell Monsanto to stop charging crippling royalties on its seeds.

    New numbers show farmer suicide rates have reached record highs in rural states as Monsanto’s infamous seeds have propagated throughout the country, and it’s about to get worse. Now, the new Indian government has opened GMO testing on eggplant, corn, rice and chickpeas, which could mean even more royalties across the agricultural industry.

    Cotton is currently India’s only GMO crop, but it makes up 95 percent of all cotton farming in the country, giving Monsanto a massive monopoly on the market. These seeds cost about three to eight times the cost of conventional seeds.

    As Vandana Shiva has said, when corporations control seeds, they control life. Monsanto is taking a renewable common resource and turning it into a nonrenewable, patented commodity.

    The battle between Indian farmers and Monsanto is heating up. Now more than ever, we need to raise our voices to show Monsanto the whole world is watching — and we won’t stand by while it makes billions in profits at the expense of the world’s poor farmers.

    Thanks for all you do,
    Carys, Nick and the team at SumOfUs


    Run 4 Refugees 2015 is here! 18 Oct

    asrc
    Run 4 Refugees is our major fundraising event for the year and we’d love for you to take part.

    Last year we had over 500 amazing people who ran and walked for refugees, and raised over $250,000. This year we’re aiming to raise over $300,000.

    The main event will be taking place in Melbourne on Sunday October 18th as part of the Melbourne Marathon Festival. However, there are lots of other runs around Australia on various dates if you can’t make it to Melbourne in October.

    Melbourne, Sunday 18th October

    It’s 12 weeks to until we strap on our runners and run, walk or crawl our way around the streets of Melbourne while raising much needed funds to support the ASRC.

    You don’t need to be a serious runner to take part, there are distances to suit everyone — from 3 Km to the full marathon.

    Sign up for the run.

    Create your fundraising page.

    What’s on in your city?

    Can’t make it to Melbourne on the 18th October? No worries, this year Run 4 Refugees is going national! Here are some of the runs happening around Australia until the end of the year.

    The Sun Herald City2Surf Sydney — August 9th
    Pub2Pub Sydney — August 23rd
    Adelaide Running Festival — August 23rd
    Sunday Mail Bridge to Brisbane Day — August 30th
    The Canberra Times Fun Run — September 6th
    Blackmores Sydney Running Festival — September 20th
    Twilight Bay Run Brisbane — September 20th
    Lake Macquarie Fernleigh 15 — October 18th
    The Sunday Age City2Sea Melbourne — November 16th
    The Swisse Colour Run — Australia Wide

    Once you have found the best event for you, head to GoFundraise to set up your fundraising page.

    Good luck and happy running!

    Tash and Jo
    ASRC Run 4 Refugees Team


    Monthly author assistance

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s monthly newsletter Sharing With Writers is always worth reading.

    Carolyn has a supportive online community. If you’re a writer, check it out.


    New, free self-publishing guide

    The route to getting your own book published is far less torturous than it used to be but you still need to know the best way to go about getting your literary creation out there and in the public eye.

    The odds of getting your book into print through a publisher have always been fairly slim in comparison to the number of authors who try, but thanks to the internet, publishing your own book is not the financial drain it once was.

    As this guide will show you, you can either pursue the eBook format or still follow the established path of physical publishing. Whichever route you choose, all the information contained within A Complete Guide to Publishing Your Own Book should provide valuable assistance.


    Support girl to confront bank CEO

    Hi Bob,
    Yesterday, in front of a packed business lunch in Sydney, I stood up and asked CommBank CEO Ian Narev if he will rule out financing the Abbot Point coal port that threatens the Reef and our climate. Thank you for standing with me.
    When I first started my petition calling on Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev to protect our future by ruling out investing in the Abbot Point coal port on the Great Barrier Reef, I never expected so much support. Yesterday, in Sydney on behalf of nearly 10,000 people I got to ask him whether he would.
    naomi

    Unfortunately, when I stood up and asked Ian Narev if he would rule out investing in the dangerous Abbot Point coal port, he refused. We need to raise the pressure.
    In the coming weeks, I’ll be delivering my petition with a Dollarmites action at CommBank HQ. Will you share the video of me asking my question with your friends to help us get to 15,000 signatures?
    I have to admit, asking my question in front of so many adults was scary, but it’s nowhere near as scary as the thought of growing up without a safe climate and without a healthy Reef. One of the things that helped me stand up was knowing so many people were behind me.
    Thank you,

    Naomi, 16, life-long Dollarmite.


    Help Robert Redford keep Shell out of the Arctic

    Dear Bob,

    You’ve heard the stunning news: Shell Oil’s reckless rush to drill in the Arctic’s Polar Bear Seas is no longer just a proposal — enormous drill ships are already on their way.

    But here’s what you need to know: they’re not there yet, and we can still stop them — with your help.

    Please make an emergency donation to help NRDC prevail over Shell in federal court and mobilize overwhelming public pressure on the White House to block Shell’s Arctic invasion.

    And because your support is so vital right now to this fight, any gift you make will be matched dollar-for-dollar, going twice as far to help save the Arctic.

    Shell’s drilling scheme is a disaster waiting to happen. The Interior Department itself says there is a 75% chance of a major oil spill — and no proven method for cleanup — if production goes forward in the Arctic’s ice-filled waters.

    A blowout could go completely unchecked all winter long.

    What’s more, burning this vast reserve of oil is guaranteed to cause more climate disruption for decades to come, threatening all of us.

    Join me and make a tax-deductible gift right away to help stop Shell and defend our environment in the most effective way possible. And your donation will be doubled thanks to a special matching grant.

    Shell has already proven the Arctic is no place for drilling. Their last attempt to invade the Arctic in 2012 was a debacle, racking up a litany of failures and near-misses. Let’s make sure they never get another chance.

    Thanks for stepping up,
    Robert Redford,
    Trustee, NRDC


    Avaaz for Paris

    The next round of climate talks is coming. Avaaz is one of the most effective organisations lobbying about matters such as the release of methane into the atmosphere, the tipping point I have warned about.

    They are asking for very small donations to facilitate their publicity.


    EarthArtBeat Festival, 20-22 Nov

    Moora Moora, my community, is organising a festival this year.

    If you’re a local, or have vague plans of travelling to Victoria, Australia some time, make sure you come along to this event.

    EarthArtBeat Festival is in support of community development and social change and is family friendly.

    Check it out at www.earthheart.org.au


    My Year Without Matches

    In 2010, Claire Dunn embarked on a year of bush living, completing the ‘Guunuwa Independent Wilderness Studies Program’. Feature essays about the year have appeared in The Australian Geographic, and the essay anthology Fire. With the support of a residential fellowship from the Eleanor Dark Foundation (Varuna, the Writers’ House) Claire completed her memoir.

    My Year Without Matches won the 2013 Byron Bay Writer’s Festival Manuscript Pitch competition and was published by Black Inc in May 2014.

    Claire has been exploring and protecting wild places since she was a child. Her love for the natural world propelled her to work for many years as an environmental campaigner for such organisations as The Wilderness Society. In the drought of 2004, Claire co-authored the book Talking Water: An Australian Guidebook for the 21st Century.
    Claire writes for a variety of publications including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Wellbeing, while studying postgraduate psychology. She is a passionate advocate for ‘rewilding’ our inner and outer landscapes, and facilitates nature-based reconnection retreats and contemporary wilderness rites of passage. See her website: www.clairedunn.com.au
    clairedunn


    Vanuatu, 5 months post-cyclone

    vanuatu
    Disaster strikes. People compassionately give — then the next disaster strikes elsewhere, and the previous survivors are forgotten.

    Except by the Red Cross.

    Dear Bob,

    Thank you for standing with the people of Vanuatu as they faced one of the worst cyclones in their country’s history.

    The devastation wrought by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu was indescribable. On some islands, 90% of homes were damaged. Schools were flattened, water tanks destroyed, crops torn from the ground. It also caused flooding and other damage in the neighbouring nations of Kiribati, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands.

    Thanks to generous supporters like you, our Cyclone Pam (Vanuatu) 2015 Appeal raised $7.25 million to provide humanitarian support to communities in the Pacific.

    This meant we could reach 30,000 people across 15 islands with emergency relief supplies in the cyclone’s wake. It now means we can stay to support their recovery and prepare for storms to come.

    Red Cross was quickly able to distribute relief supplies, including:

    Tarpaulins and toolkits to provide temporary shelter for those who lost their homes
    Safe drinking water and jerry cans to store it in
    Sleeping mats and blankets
    Hygiene items
    Mosquito nets to prevent malaria and dengue fever.

    You can learn more about our response on the Red Cross website.

    The people of Vanuatu are resilient. With your help, we can stand with them as they recover. Over the coming months, we’ll be helping people to build weather-resistant homes and access safe water and sanitation facilities.

    And you make this work possible. Your generosity after Cyclone Pam has already made a real difference to families in Vanuatu.

    Please consider donating to our ongoing disaster recovery work both here in Australia and overseas today.


    Reviews

    Breaking the silence, by Maria Nieto
    Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Maria Nieto

    I’d like to remind readers of my review swap policy:

    If I consider a book to be worth 4 or 5 stars, I will provide a public review. I’ll publish it in Bobbing Around and happily post it on any web site you specify. You may use it in any way you wish, with a link back of course.

    However, I don’t trample on another writer’s baby. If I don’t consider the book to be excellent, I will privately let the author know why, pointing out what in my opinion are its good points, and where it needs improvement.

    Naturally, I expect the same in return.

    Also, I am not interested in certain genres.

     

    Breaking the silence, by Maria Nieto

    Little is heard about the Spanish Civil War nowadays, which is a pity, because it was one of the defining events of the 20th Century, when Fascism first flexed its muscles, on the way to trying to take over the world. Here, we have a fascinating combination of the perceptions of a young girl, reported by the intelligent old lady she had grown into.

    I am a strong believer in the proper use of Point Of View (POV), of presenting the story from within the reality of one of its participants. However, every rule has its exceptions. The POV in this story is always the author’s — the wise old lady’s — but despite this, the world of the little girl is vividly brought to life.

    In fact, I shared her grandmother’s anguish when little Mari suffered terrible injuries from an exploding shell, cheered on the ordinary people of Madrid fighting against Franco’s army, backed by the German air force and tanks — I was THERE, in the story.

    There are many admirable people in the novel. I don’t know if they are fictional or historical, nor does it matter. I admire Mari’s grandfather, the idealistic worker philosopher. His interactions with the little girl are delightful, and he is a person worthy of respect. Then there is her uncle, sheltering her in a little village, and a teenage Moorish soldier, who all present the best in what it is to be human, in stark contrast to the bestiality of others who rape and torture. The contrast of described horror to their nobility is particularly effective.

    Being an obsessive editor, I always find typos and other technical mistakes in whatever I read. I’m very impressed that this self-published book has very few of them. It is technically better than many a book from major publishing houses.

    This is a powerful book, a book to make you think, and question, and at times, to cry.

    And the ending will take you by surprise.

    You will find the book here.


    Ascending Spiral, reviewed by Maria Nieto

    As far as I can remember I have believed in Karma and for years I thought that the lesson I needed to learn in this life time was patience. After reading Bob Rich´s Ascending Spiral, a strange message from somewhere became clear to me. Yes, patience is good, but what I really need to learn is to forgive myself as well as to forgive my aggressors.

    Ascending Spiral was a hypnotic book. It was a good and entertaining bible carrying the message of human salvation without threats or condemnations. It was impossible for me to read this book at one sitting. Ascending Spiral made me think, stop, think and meditate about what I had just read. It was a great reading and emotional experience.

    Yes, Bob Rich, I will join your team, and I hope many will read your wonderful book and join us.

    Maria J. Nieto, author of Breaking the Silence


    Have a laugh

    Politics I agree with
    This gorilla makes sense
    Turtle view
    Don’t piss on San Francisco!

     

    Politics I agree with

    The Australian Greens have responded to reports of a Liberal push for an Inquiry into the scientific evidence behind man-made climate change by suggesting the government also establishes a Flat Earth Commissioner, to inquire “into the roundness or otherwise of the Earth” The Greens’ motion also suggests the PM’s business advisor, Maurice Newman, should appear before the Inquiry to discuss whether the ’round Earth theory’ is in fact a UN hoax.


    This gorilla makes sense

    gorilla


    Turtle view

    Not humorous but worth watching.
    turtle


    Don’t piss on San Francisco!

    (or Hamburg, Germany, and soon, on the Gold Coast, Australia).
    There is now a paint that converts the yellow stream into a boomerang
    urinate


    About Bobbing Around

    If you received a copy of Bobbing Around and don’t want a repeat, it’s simple. Drop me a line and I’ll drop you from my list.

    You may know someone who would enjoy reading my rave. Bobbing Around is being archived at http://mudsmith.net/bobbing.html, or you can forward a copy to your friend. However, you are NOT ALLOWED to pass on parts of the newsletter, without express permission of the article’s author and the Editor (hey, the second one is me.)

    If you are not a subscriber but want to be, email me. Subject should be ‘subscribe Bobbing Around’ (it will be if you click the link in this paragraph). In the body, please state your name, email address (get it right!), your country and something about yourself. I also want to know how you found your way to my newsletter. I hope we can become friends.

    Contributions are welcome, although I reserve the right to decline anything, or to request changes before acceptance. Welcome are:

    • Announcements, but note that publication date is neither fixed nor guaranteed;
    • Brags of achievements that may be of general interest, for example publication of your book;
    • Poems or very short stories and essays that fit the philosophy and style of Bobbing Around;
    • Above all, responses to items in past issues. I will not reject or censor such comments, even if I disagree with them.

    Submission Guidelines

    It is a FALSE RUMOUR that you need to buy one of my books before your submission is accepted. Not that I cry when someone does so.

    Above all, contributions should be brief. I may shorten them if necessary.

    Content should be non-discriminatory, polite and relevant. Announcements should be 100 to 200 words, shorter if possible. Book reviews, essays and stories should be at the very most 500 words, poems up to 30 lines.

    Author bios should be about 50 words, and if possible include a web address.

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About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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