Bobbing Around Volume 18 Number 9

Collapse is a process, not an event. And it’s already underway, all around us. Collapse is already here.
Chris Martenson This essay is a must-read.

All religions agree that God forbids killing.
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar, who has joined Pope Francis in calling for the end of war.

Bobbing Around

Volume Eighteen, Number 9,
March, 2019

Bob Rich’s rave

email    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions

*From me to you
From Depression to Contentment is NOW AVAILABLE
LiFE Award to two new books
Aussie Anecdotes are flying
ANZAC biscuits
Dr Ian Ellis-Jones, mindfulness scholar

*Blog posts during February

Want to understand that terrible cold in the USA? The Polar Vortex explained.
Cork is out of the methane bubble Early rain on permafrost is positive feedback.

Law catches up with science An Australian court has refused permission for a coalmine on climate change grounds.

Hungarian PM in a hurry toward extinction He wants Hungarians to breed, in order to keep refugees out.

2000 climate change victims saved They are flamingo chicks, as important in the scheme of things as any other babies.

Dope drags you down Teenage smoking of marijuana leads to adult depression.

Nonhuman people Bird language, and tool use by many species.

EV epic to admire From Holland to Australia, then a long way around this continent.
Electricity-free refrigeration This technology is well tested.

Water bottle hygiene Melissa tells you how.
Glyphosate DOES worsen cancer risk The evidence is in.

Sex in writing February’s Rhobin’s Round.
School dragon at New Book Review It’s OK, Theresa laughed at the label.
Interview with the winner of my free edit contest Read about Keith’s remarkable vote, and how he got it.

Trump as God’s chosen??? Support Faithful America to counter false Christianity.
2018 books of note Michael Thal’s yearly judgment includes one of mine.
Amnesty wants a vote, not a donation Please note that this was in February. However, Amnesty International still needs your support, and voting for Credo Mobile’s selections is always a good move.

Wait, by Stuart Perkins A beautiful prose poem that’s a primer on mindfulness.
Buddhist equanimity is USEFUL And a bit of fun from me.

*New stuff

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.

Climate Change Is Accelerating. The 2030 climate forecasts made in 2009 have come true in half the time.
Rod Keenan

If your bathtub was overflowing, you wouldn’t immediately reach for a mop — you’d first turn off the tap. That’s what we need to do with single-use plastics.
Annie Leonard and Martin Bourque

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.

From me to you

From Depression to Contentment is NOW AVAILABLE
LiFE Award to two new books
Aussie Anecdotes are flying
ANZAC biscuits
Dr Ian Ellis-Jones, mindfulness scholar


From Depression to Contentment is NOW AVAILABLE

Galloping climate change… Pesticides leading to extinctions… Hate and division and insane politicians…

You’d need to be crazy to stay sane in today’s world. Fortunately for me, I have a set of tools to stop me from jumping off the planet, and I share them in my just-published book, “From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide.”

At this stage, paperback only. If you experience environmental despair, check it out at Amazon Australia or the main Amazon

Your low moods may have a different source from environmental despair, but the many tools in this course of therapy you can keep in your pocket will work regardless.

Advance reviewer Theresa Hortley has said: “All of Bob’s novels I’ve read are full of therapeutic lessons. Here is a book designed as a set of therapeutic lessons that is as enjoyable to read as any novel.”

Please do me a special favour: Go to your public library, and request a copy of this book. ISBN is 978-1-61599-435-9.

LiFE Award to two new books

Both are written by Jennifer Poulter, who is as enthusiastic about environmental books for kids as I am. Please check out The Forest Giant and Beware!.

Little kids love Jennifer’s books. And in case you don’t know yet, the LiFE Award: Literature For Environment honours books that advance the cause of the environment in any way.

And if you write books with an environmental message, do apply for the LiFE Award.

Aussie Anecdotes are flying

Trevor Tucker’s anthology contains three contributions from me, as well as other fine stories that will bring Australia to life for you.

Paper copies are available from Trevor’s website, for $19.20 including delivery within Australia.

Kindle versions are up at the Aussie Amazon.

It’s on Kobo.

Barnes and Noble stores it.

And you can get it at Smashwords.

And in the USA as well.

ANZAC biscuits

There is a bit of a language clash: what in Australia we call a biscuit, ignorant Americans refer to as cookies. But the Cookie Monster does love ANZAC biscuits.

The First World War was inflicted on humanity soon after the colonies on the Australian continent formed a new nation. They thought of themselves as proudly British, and thousands volunteered to fight. The Brit generals, however, didn’t value such colonials, and sacrificed them at Gallipoli, in Turkey. Combined with their brothers from New Zealand, they were put into an impossible situation, and suffered a terrible defeat that nevertheless forged them into the pride of the new nation.

There was no refrigeration yet, and transportation was slow. So, the women back home invented something they could bake for their boys that would last the trip, be nourishing and tasty. Thus was the ANZAC biscuit born.

Why mention it now? Because my friend Kim Robinson has a recipe site that advertises books, and to please her, I’ve posted my second recipe there. You’ve guessed it: I describe how to bake one of my favourites.

The recipe is here.

Do have a look, and while there, explore a little. You’ll find lots of good things to virtually eat, and links to books from all of Kim’s author friends.

Dr Ian Ellis-Jones, mindfulness scholar

I found Ian’s blog when researching my just-published book, From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide. If you want to improve your understanding on a wide range of issues, you just can’t go past his blog, where he states:

“Welcome to my blog — a free-spirited exploration of spirituality, mindfulness, philosophy and literature. A member of the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, I lectured at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry (now the Health Education and Training Institute) for 14 years and at the University of Technology, Sydney for 16 years. I am now a freelance lecturer, speaker and facilitator, presenting classes at Sydney’s Wellness Empowerment and Training Institute, Sydney U3A and elsewhere.”

Here is my public chat with Ian.

New stuff

The canary is dying
One pic worth 1000 words
British farmer gains enlightenment
Trauma help, from Dorothy Watson
Why am I still living?
My mother has become paranoid
Deeper Issues
Why I wrote a book about living with a disability in Australia, by Dr Peter Gibilisco
Green renovation
Three sleep links
I approve of these announcements
Owner Builder magazine
New book by John Forelli
Doctors without borders
Defend science
Bill Parker’s new audiobook
The Forest Giant by Jennifer Poulter and Theda Mimilaki
From Depression to Contentment, by Carol Anderson
Eating out
Panda Power


The canary is dying

For years, commentators have said that Australia is the canary in the mine of climate change.

I will say no more, but ask you to read this powerful essay by Australian author Richard Flanagan. It applies to you, wherever you live.


One pic worth 1000 words

Thank you, Karl Kofoed, for sending this to me:


British farmer gains enlightenment

He originally came from Sri Lanka, but has been farming in Britain for much of his life. But one day, he was taking 40 lambs to slaughter, and couldn’t do it anymore. Instead of murdering those cute little beings, he took them to an animal sanctuary. Now, he grows plants and cooks for people.

My dear grandson Jarvis will agree.


Trauma help, from Dorothy Watson
Why am I still living?
My mother has become paranoid


Trauma help, from Dorothy Watson

Dorothy Watson grew up with a single mother who suffered from bipolar disorder. Her mom wasn’t properly diagnosed until Dorothy was about 12 years old, so she saw her mom struggle for a long time. Since she has seen how hard life can be for people whose mental health hasn’t been properly addressed, she is an advocate for mental wellness. She has sent me the following:

Taking Control of Your Trauma: A Guide to PTSD Treatment This not only has great general information about this mental health disorder, but it also sheds light on the many treatment options available for those struggling with it.

Why Women Have Higher Rates of PTSD Than Men A lot of people picture men when envisioning someone with PTSD, but the truth is more women struggle with it. Thankfully, there are many ways for them to seek help.

PTSD in Children — Does Your Child Have Symptoms? Sadly, many children are affected by PTSD (this article notes that an estimated “60 percent of children who survive disasters” develop it, among others). This resource will help concerned parents find help for their children.

Promoting Mental Health at Home: How to Design the Perfect Meditation Room Many people with PTSD have told me that along with therapy, meditation and yoga are both wonderful ways to ease their symptoms. It’s really easy to create a calming space for practicing both at home.

So, You Want a PTSD Service Dog? Man’s best friend is quickly becoming a renowned source of support for those with PTSD (as well as many other mental health issues). This great article has answers for anyone with questions about getting one of these special creatures for themselves or a loved one.

Why am I still living?

SO For a while no I’ve hated myself and dealt with trauma almost my whole life, I’ve tried taking my life so many times.

Why am I still living?

Ros my dear,

From this very short note, there is no way I can tell what the underlying problem is. But let’s deal first with wanting to kill yourself.

Have you murdered anyone? Committed horrible crimes that have the death penalty in many places? I know nothing about you, but I’ll bet, you don’t hurt other people, only yourself, right?

So, why should you deserve the death penalty? What you need is caring and love, not punishment.

You write that you have suffered from trauma for most of your life. No doubt your wish to die is in order to run away from the terrible memories and re-livings. You probably don’t know, but there is another way of coping with them.

When something triggers a traumatic memory, it feels as if you were back there, as if you were in a terrible situation. There are ways of changing this. A few sessions with someone trained in Traumatic Incident Reduction or with a psychologist trained in one of several methods will change those re-livings into memories that won’t bother you anymore. The TIR website lists practitioners, and there will probably be some in your area.

Look up this list of places in your state where you can get help, and also here are support groups: people who have been where you are now, and can become your friends and advisors.

You are still living because there is a life for you to live.

Please email me back, and welcome to my global group of grandchildren.


My mother has become paranoid

My mother has suddenly become paranoid of everyone and everything. and when I say everything even the moon was following her last time we talked. She takes pictures of everything that is suspicious and has filled many memory cards of data. She even bought a dash cam to record her drives. Now she wants me to take a lie detector test as she believes me and my sister are part of the “gang stalking” her. She also found online information about some kinds of “individuals” that are targets of government torment and now thinks she is one of those! There is nothing I can do to convince her, if I try she will not even talk to me. I need to know if she is sick or what condition she has, to do more research on what I can do to help her, if anything.

How do you know if someone you love has developed Paranoid Personality Disorder. What can you do to convince them to seek help?

Joe, thank you for being a caring, loving son. You are right, she is suffering from what nowadays is called “delusional disorder.”

As you have found, arguing with her is useless. It only makes you “join the enemy.”

If she is not a danger to herself, or to other people, then the best course of action is to enable her to live happily with her delusions. How to do that needs creativity. You know her, I don’t, so you and your sister need to think up some ways.

For example, if she is religious, you can agree about her ideas of persecution from the government and stalking gangs, but say things like, “Last night I had a dream and Jesus told me that He is specially looking out for your safety. Isn’t that lucky?”

Look for a psychiatrist who is willing to play along. He is a secret agent of the Defenders, and has access to protective potions that interfere with the evil actions of the stalkers. (These are the drugs of course.)

The exact stories depend very much on the person, and the exact delusions, but I have used this approach with several people. The aim is not to make the false beliefs go away, but to make the person’s life pleasant and liveable again.

Good luck,


Deeper Issues

Why I wrote a book about living with a disability in Australia, by Dr Peter Gibilisco

The book’s title is 6 and ½ years on a dung-hill: life in Specialist Disability Accommodation.

It consists of edited versions of posts I have made to On Line Opinion (OLO), John Menadue, ProBono, The Conversation, DesignForAll, and my personal blog.

My aim is to affirm vital principles that need to be better understood and implemented if the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is going to be of benefit and fulfil its mandate, so that care doesn’t become careless.

What I have to say should be of assistance to people like myself who not only need heightened levels of care, but also encouragement to “keep going.” If we are to maximise our potential, we need to grit our teeth (if we still have teeth) and rise to a big challenge even though we face severe deterioration. What I have to say is aimed to encourage people to keep on pushing the case for disability justice.

But my words are also aimed at those providing a service to people with disabilities. I’m addressing all who are involved in disability care, whether they are in one-on-one relationships, or professionals, social workers or those with medical and nursing expertise. My book is also aimed at those managing facilities that look after communities and groups of people. So, the book has a wide focus.

At times readers will say to me, “Hang on! That’s a bit over the top!” I apologise if I hurt anyone with what I say, but my aim is not to win a fight, but to present a case.

And my case can be understood by the following points:

1. I write about myself as a severely disabled member of this community. I want to tell a story about my goals and about the hurdles I have had to overcome in recent times. I have already written and published about my earlier life A Patient’s Journey: Friedrich Ataxia. Now I want to write as my strength and sight get weaker. In recent times I have had to confront further disappointments and want to share some of those to explain just how crazy life can be with the deterioration of my bodily condition, so that readers can better understand. I want to assist those who are keen to ensure that care doesn’t become careless.

2. I also write about some negative tendencies I have encountered, and continue to encounter, and which need to be overcome. I have experienced these in the care that is given to support people like myself. I’m aware this might read as if I am simply just whining, and it’s not always easy to explain what seems glaringly obvious to me. Some things need to be avoided if care is not going to become careless. Some of these tendencies are:

2a. Stereotyping within the disability sector, which is often enforced by standardized policies.

2b. Treating people with disabilities as ‘customers.’ This is a very spurious term, especially concerning the care people with severe disabilities ought to receive.

2c. Treating people with slurred speech as if they have a mental deficiency. Adam Vogel (2015) wrote ‘Speech disorder is an invisible form of disability.’ How we sound influences how we are perceived physically, intellectually and morally. For individuals with a speech disorder (e.g., slurred/slow speech, stuttering), those biases are often intensified, leading to substantial social impact beyond the speech disorder itself.

3. And so I am giving advice not just to those I know but also to those forming policy, making laws and framing legislation. I am giving advice about the principles that should govern schemes like the NDIS. Disability is not easily lived with, let alone overcome. For success, the NDIS’ will require a greater contribution from all citizens to support all who are directly involved. And this book is my contribution.

Friedreich’s Ataxia does not affect intelligence, but many working in the disability sector act as if they do not believe this. But the reality can be highlighted by my academic qualifications, which are a double degree from Monash University, Master of Arts from Monash University and a Doctor of Philosophy from University of Melbourne. My PhD was achieved late into the progression of my disease, when I was 43 years old. Many say to me that this was a huge achievement, and I am aware of some taken-for-granted misunderstandings about Friedreich’s Ataxia.

However, there are many degrading effects to be battled with, such as blindness, very poor speech, hearing impairment, poor heart and limited mobility and coordination.

This book has been achieved with the assistance of two very good friends, Bruce Wearne and Christina Irugalbandara.


Green renovation

If you are planning on renovating your house, and/or if your energy bills are higher than you like, you could do worse than study this well-researched essay.


Three sleep links

One ethical way of publicising a business is to offer a free service. Stephanie Linder, who has something to do with mattresses, has gone to a great deal of trouble to write well-researched, helpful guides on three topics that will be highly useful to people affected by the relevant issues. If you

you will find their information to be invaluable.

I approve of these announcements

Owner Builder magazine
New book by John Forelli
Doctors without borders
Defend science
New audio book by Bill Parker


Owner Builder magazine

“Life is like riding a bicycle; in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein

The Owner Builder 211 February/March 2019 is on sale from 30 January 2019.

Old Dadswell Town in Victoria is a touch of nostalgia, history, memorabilia and good old Aussie humour.
See the website and Sample Issue Extract for more details of this issue.

Hard copy back issues a thing of the past. The magazine will still be printed in hard copy each issue, and be available in that format through newsagents and to subscribers who are current at posting date. However, there will no longer be any hard copy versions of back issues available. All are still available as digital PDF versions — just remember to provide your email address when ordering.

All hard copy subscriptions now include the digital PDF version as a special bonus. If you are a regular reader and enjoy the content provided, please consider taking out a subscription.

New book by John Forelli

Have you ever asked yourself the question… what is the true nature of reality, and what is my place in it?

John Forelli went to Peru in search of the answer. Waiting for him in the Sacred Valley was a hut, a psychoactive brew called ayahuasca, and a beautiful woman.

Presented with photographs of Peru from the ancient alleys of Cusco to the dizzying heights of Machu Picchu, Ayahuasca in the Age of Donald Trump is a spiritual quest within a travel memoir.

It is the true story of John’s trip — the journey of a lifetime.

Buy it on Amazon now.

Doctors without borders

Well, my keyboard has a TERRIBLE French accent, but you know the mob I mean. They do amazing work in over 80 countries, including the second worst Ebola outbreak of all time, and the millions of refugees everywhere. You can feel a little better about the world we live in, and your place in it, by supporting them.

You can view a couple of inspiring videos from them , and pass on a little money to help their work.

Defend science

The latest report from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that the Trump administration has interfered with or sidelined science in 80 separate incidents over the past two years, demonstrating a pattern of hostility to facts — and posing a serious threat to public health and the environment. With Congress and the executive branch no longer ruled by one party, we now have a real opportunity to hold the Trump administration accountable for the last two years of attacks on science. And this is where UCS shines. They’re building on the strategies used in 2006 to successfully hold the Bush administration accountable for years of distortion and manipulation of science. With a new Congress comes a renewed opportunity: Let’s work together to repair what’s been done and create real accountability to prevent further corrosion of laws meant to protect our health, safety, and environment.

New audiobook by Bill Parker

I am not crazy. Elm Cove really did exist. I remember it. I went there when I was just a young boy. It existed in this time stream. I’m sure of it…

I am Dr. Mike Phillips, Ph.D. I am not some crazy conspiracy theorist. I am as sane and rational a person as you are. Twenty years ago, I was caught up in an alien insurrection happening right here on Earth. I was the only person that saw anything, but I was just a young boy, so no one believed me. Somehow, my life went on.

That was twenty years ago. From across the vastness of space and time, my Kasia found me. She was the one who brought me back to Elm Cove. It was not like a suspension of disbelief, but as if reality had been restored to me. This intrigue has taken me in like a lost child, and I have become an integral part of it. Now I find my life in peril and the future of all life on Earth at risk. They say that the truth will set you free, but does it really? I cannot save you. Only you can save yourself.

available on Audible.


The Forest Giant by Jennifer Poulter and Theda Mimilaki
From Depression to Contentment, by Carol Anderson


The Forest Giant by Jennifer Poulter and Theda Mimilaki

This beautifully illustrated kids’ book is one of those that makes you think and stays with you. A giant turns into a tree — with no reason why he should. In the way of a child’s thinking, he just does.

Then a couple of very modern children, phones in their hands and all, get lost. The giant returns to mobility, and rescues them. The subliminal message is of wilderness as friendly.

This book is one of the new recipients for the LiFE Award: Literature For Environment.

ISBN: 978-1-925484-41-0

From Depression to Contentment, by Carol Anderson

For people who suffer from a mild case of the blues to those who are gripped by more severe depression, this book provides a set of strategies and practices that lead to greater ease and contentment in day-to-day living.

This work challenges some of the popular thinking about depression — that it is a brain imbalance, a disorder or a disease that requires drugs to control. Rather Rich asserts that depression is the result of faulty thinking — it is not a condition you are hopelessly saddled with but a flawed belief system that you can change.

Having suffered from serious depression himself as well as working with many depressed clients as a former psychotherapist, Rich brings deep credibility to his work. Equally important to his credentials is his passion to empower others through writing this book — where hope and possibility leap off the page.

From Depression to Contentment is a loving gift to anyone who truly wants to change.

Carol E. Anderson is author of the award winning memoir, You Can’t Buy Love Like That: Growing Up Gay in the Sixties. Her essays have been published in The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and Curve Magazine. Her passions are photography, travel and empowering women to live their dreams.


Eating out
Panda Power


Eating out

Fellow Aussie author Wendy Laing has a monthly newsletter full of funnies. I got inspired to contribute to her February one:

Eating Out

“What’s the house special?”
“Ox tongue, sir.”
“YUK! I won’t eat something from an animal’s mouth! I know. Bring me a boiled egg.”

“A white coffee with no cream, please.”
“Sorry sir, we don’t have any cream. Would you like a white coffee with no milk instead?”

“The avocado salad sounds great. Only, can I have it without the avocado?”

“You look delicious. Can I have you on toast?”
“Only trouble, sir, that’s my husband behind the counter, and he has third dan black belt in karate.”

Panda Power

China’s largest clean energy provider has a sense of humour. They are constructing a HUGE solar energy plant that looks like a panda from the air.

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, 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.)

I’d love you to follow my blog. That will automatically get you a copy of this newsletter, and other posts. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newsletter. To do so, 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.

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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