Bobbing Around Volume 20 Number 7

Dissatisfaction is an inside not an outside thing. As long as you take it with you, you can enjoy being miserable anywhere.
Pip Lipkin


The worsening state of soils [is] at least as important as the climate crisis.
UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2020 report on soils


If you are worrying about a problem with a solution, seek the solution instead of worrying. If there is a problem with no solution, what’s the point of worrying?
Dalai Lama

Bobbing Around

Volume Twenty, Number Seven,
January, 2021

Bob Rich’s rave

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* From me to you
Essay contest
For you
Well, almost

 

* New stuff
Environment
Coal power: on the way out
Good news
FoE Netherlands sues Shell
Thank you, Denmark
Psychology
What should I put in my suicide letter (I refuse to call it a note)?
What do I do when I’ve gotten myself romantically involved with someone who is still grieving the loss of their girlfriend who committed suicide? He says he likes me a lot but I’m just not her.
Deeper Issues
Biosphere Earth, by Chris Searles
The What’s Important Manifesto, by Don Lubov
Health
Nonstick death
I approve of these announcements
For Australian young women wanting to make a difference
Where a few dollars help a huge amount
Award for nonfiction books
Lovingkindness practice: meditate with Penny Fenner
Reviews
Exploring Your Intelligent Body, by Rob A. Rich
The Little Green Frog by Jack and Harry Beaumont
Uncovering and Embracing Soul Power, by Edward Miller
Ten journeys on a fragile planet, by Rod Taylor
* Blog posts during December

Environment
10 Sustainable Holiday Gift Ideas: a guest post by Shannon Sullivan
Going… going: extinctions on course
Incontinent container ship

Politics
Proof: Murdoch lies on climate change

Inspiration
A cartoon of love: the more you give the more you get.
Angels from Jail
What would YOU do with a huge lottery win?

Psychology
The loneliness of Christmas

Philosophy
More evidence: trees are people too
And fish that have domesticated a shrimp!
You don’t need a big brain to be smart

Health
The truth about vaccinations

Writing
Criteria for judging any piece of writing
Criteria for an essay
Announcements
Cheaper to improve your memory, until New Year’s Day
Poetry
Carolyn’s Christmas offering

Stories
Forgiveness: an extract from my work in progress, Lifting the Gloom, as my contribution to Rhobin’s Rounds in December, 2020.


From me to you

Essay contest
For you
Well, almost

 

Essay contest

After several months of negotiation and work, I have at last organised an essay contest. Like everything I do, it is designed to work for a survivable future, and one worth surviving in.

The theme is The Four Pillars of the Greens. This is to publicise the principles the Australian Greens are based on, which are exactly what I am about. My hope is that the contest will convince my countrymen to join this political party: the only one in Australia with an attitude of decency and compassion, of working for environmental sustainability above all else, the only one that cannot be bought by vested interests.

Unfortunately, Australian laws prevent anyone from outside Australia to enter this contest. However, even if you’re a furriner, you may be interested in having a look at the contest specifications. Please spread the word anywhere potential entrants (that is, Aussies) may find out about it.


For you


Well, almost

Since my hospital adventure in September when I almost died, many kind people have asked about my health, and the project to recover strength and fitness to the previous level.

My regular routine involves 16 exercises. Of these, 14 have exceeded what I could do before, but two are lagging behind. Riding the exercise bike, I am well beyond what I could do then, but the real bike out on the road is something else, with a long way to improve.

Both Buddhist equanimity and positive psychology tell me to celebrate the good, and simply accept the bad. Que Sera, Sera.


Environment

Coal power: on the way out

Ten years ago, two big Japanese investors bought the coal-fired power station that provides much of the electricity for Perth, the capital of Western Australia.

Now, they have written off its value. If you don’t understand economese, that means they consider it to be worthless. If they were offering it on the market, no one would buy it.

The main reason is shown in the picture:


Good news

FoE Netherlands sues Shell
Thank you, Denmark

 

FoE Netherlands sues Shell

In a court case with global implications, Shell is accused of having broken Dutch laws by its actions to sabotage moving from a carbon-based economy.

Read about it and cheer.


Thank you, Denmark

Denmark is a small country, but until now, it has been the biggest oil producer in Europe. On the 7th of December, its government announced that all new oil exploration will stop within its area of the North Sea by 2050. They would do it sooner, except that contracts with large companies lock it in until then.

OK, this is too little, too late, but it’s the best they can do, and no one can do better than that.


Psychology

What should I put in my suicide letter (I refuse to call it a note)?
What do I do when I’ve gotten myself romantically involved with someone who is still grieving the loss of their girlfriend who committed suicide? He says he likes me a lot but I’m just not her.

 

What should I put in my suicide letter (I refuse to call it a note)?

The very best thing you can put into your suicide letter is “My dear X and Y and Z (whoever you addressed it to), I have been very seriously suicidal, and wanted to say goodbye to you. Luckily, I am still here, still alive, because I didn’t want to impose pain on you.”

There is a wonderful book, Man’s search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. It was published in 1946, and still a global bestseller. Viktor suffered horrors the like of which we would buckle under, as a slave worker of the Nazis during the Second World War, then wrote this book.

Here is one of his stories. A man came to him, terribly grieving for his wife who had died in the Holocaust. Naturally, Viktor’s therapy with him was complex and went on for some time, but at the end he asked, “What is better, that she is dead and you are suffering this grief, or if you were dead, and she was suffering this grief?”

This helped the poor man to cope.

Same to you. You are contemplating killing yourself because you are suffering. But if you die, those who care will be suffering, and even more, because they will feel guilt as well as grief.

Whatever the reason for your despair, you can grow and become better, stronger person if you hang on to life, in order to be of service to others.

I am happy to work with you privately. Please visit my blog, Bobbing Around and send me a message via my contacts page.

With love and caring,
Bob

To my delight, he contacted me the day after I posted my answer and we are now working together for his benefit.

What do I do when I’ve gotten myself romantically involved with someone who is still grieving the loss of their girlfriend who committed suicide? He says he likes me a lot but I’m just not her.

My dear, serious grief takes between one and two years to resolve, if everything goes well. You need to respect his grief. He needs to go through it, and that’s the wisest thing he can do.

Draw his attention to Seven Choices: Finding Daylight After Loss Shatters Your World by Elizabeth Harper Neeld. It is the best guide for dealing with grief.

In the meantime, you have a choice.

1. You can stay his friend and support, without expecting anything more, now or ever. It is possible that when he is able to move on, he will fall in love with you. It is possible that he won’t. Your aim is not to wait for that, but to be there for him, without the expectation of a return. This is what all the great religions and philosophies tell us is the purpose of life.

2. You can look for love elsewhere. You can still stay friends, but decide that this romantic relationship was not meant to be.

Have a good life, either way.


Deeper Issues

Biosphere Earth, by Chris Searles
The What’s Important Manifesto, by Don Lubov

 

Biosphere Earth, by Chris Searles

Chris has written an important series of blog posts over considerable time. This link is to the synopsis. Well worth reading.


The What’s Important Manifesto, by Don Lubov

Be your authentic self.
Encourage others to be their authentic selves.
Neither expect nor demand perfection.
Learn to accept and love yourself, and others, in spite of imperfections.
Know that you are loved unconditionally, always.
You are always loved, whether you perceive it or not.
If you have love, all else is incidental, if you do not have love, you will not know contentment.
There is no substitute for love…not power, not fame, not money, not titles or awards…nothing.
In this brief time we have alive, be the best you can be. Neither you nor anyone else in the world has a right to expect more from you than your best at that time.
Be the kind of person you’d like to meet.
Re-invent yourself every day…you can do anything you put your mind to.
Let the lives of others be improved for them having met you.
Respect all life, including this planet, for we are all One.
Be grateful for the opportunity to have lived at all.
Know, too, that love is the most powerful force in the universe.

Don Lubov


Health

Nonstick death


Read the words of a lawyer responsible for uncovering yet another corporate crime of genocide. Greed knows no bounds.

The ultimate insanity is to poison every living being on Earth, inevitably including the CEOs, executives and shareholders responsible. And yet, this is what the developers and manufacturers of PFAS and PFOS have done.

These chemicals are part of Teflon, and thousands of other very convenient and useful products. You have them in your body, and they are responsible for many serious health problems including cancers.

The author, Rob Bilott, is calling for action. Join him.


I approve of these announcements

For Australian young women wanting to make a difference
Where a few dollars help a huge amount
Award for nonfiction books
Lovingkindness practice: meditate with Penny Fenner

 

For Australian young women wanting to make a difference

The Australia Institute is inviting applications forthe Anne Kantor Young Women Environmentalists Fellowship: a new program providing paid training opportunities for new voices in environmental, climate and energy issues.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • provide Fellows with a unique opportunity to gain on the job training with environmental, climate and energy research or advocacy-based organisations
  • create an experienced pool of Fellows with the skills and experience to effectively advocate for change in the areas of environment, climate and energy
  • establish a pipeline of new voices to contribute to Australia’s future environmental, climate and energy debates
  • build relationships and drive future collaboration with partner organisations and other stakeholders who focus on environmental, climate and energy research or advocacy.
      Applications close Friday 15th January, 2021.


      Where a few dollars help a huge amount

      Scott Dauman has lost his home to a hurricane, has stage 3 cancer, but has so far managed to survive the dreaded pandemic. Sometimes, he is in too much pain to stand, but is struggling on.

      The more you give, the more you grow. Please have a look at the GoFundMe page a kind lady has started for him.


      Award for nonfiction books

      If you have a nonfiction book published in 2020, you will want to check out I M Light Publishing’s new award.


      Lovingkindness practice: meditate with Penny Fenner


      This lovely recorded meditation is Penny’s present to the world.

      Penny is an friend from the Australian Psychological Society’s “Buddhism and Psychology Interest Group.” Especially during the lockdown, she has been of service to people globally, and I cannot recommend her highly enough. She runs Skillful Action.


      Reviews

      Exploring Your Intelligent Body, by Rob A. Rich
      The Little Green Frog by Jack and Harry Beaumont
      Uncovering and Embracing Soul Power, by Edward Miller
      Ten journeys on a fragile planet, by Rod Taylor

       

      Exploring Your Intelligent Body, by Rob A. Rich


      Twenty years ago, Rob had chronic lower back pain no treatment could fix. Then Alison Baench cured it permanently in one session. Magic. She was using orthobionomy, a technique few people have heard of. So, Rob studied up on it, and now is a top expert who regularly teaches courses and supervises less experienced practitioners. This book is the distillation of his twenty years of experience.

      Orthobionomy is based on sound physiological principles. I was impressed by how much of Rob’s explanation uses simple, well-stated logic. For example, when you impose pain, the recipient responds with fear, and with attempts at avoiding and reducing the pain. This results in stiffening of muscles, that is, resistance to the treatment. So, orthobionomy uses techniques that avoid painful pressure or manipulation. Instead, certain positions, gentle pushes or pulls give the body information on what is out of kilter, then the body corrects itself. This is the rationale of the “intelligent body” of the title.

      Rob explains that physical symptoms can be caused by a very complex interaction of physical issues, thoughts and emotions, and therefore treatment needs to take all of these into account. In turn, attending to the physical symptoms can have major psychological benefits. This is in complete accord with my experience as a psychotherapist. Therefore, Rob has a chapter each from Hannah Moore, a naturopath, and Lisa Tyree, a counsellor, but in fact much of his own writing in the rest of the book focuses on such interactions.

      Here is a book that will get you to think about health in a new way. It is full of self-help techniques that will empower you to deal with aches and pains, both physical and psychological.

      Rob is my son. I edited his book, and although I have followed his professional progress over the years, I learned a lot while going through it. So, this review is genuinely my opinion.


      The Little Green Frog by Jack and Harry Beaumont


      Jack and Harry are eight and six years old respectively. Maybe being published authors will qualify them for the Guiness Book of Records? Their charming drawings and simple words are exactly right for kids a year or two younger, and I can just see mother and knee-biter doing frog hops as they go from page to page.

      The little book is available from Green Olive Press


      Uncovering and Embracing Soul Power, by Edward Miller


      A Shintoist saying is “There are many mountains to God, and many paths up each mountain.” My path is Buddhism. Edward has designed his own, based on several sources, but there are such remarkable similarities that they both certainly ascend the same mountain, to the same reality.

      The essence of his method is simple, but the execution is complex, and does need guidance. All is One. I am not an isolated unit, but a part of Everything. All my suffering, of every kind, is because of ignoring this Truth. The whole book is an explanation and expansion of this concept, and detailed instruction on methods to eliminate suffering by implementing it.

      Edward draws on many sources of wisdom from many cultures, but as I have also observed, they all encapsulate the same message, one which he admirably implements.

      If you want a handbook for changing your life, and are willing to do the considerable work required, then this is the book for you.


      Ten journeys on a fragile planet, by Rod Taylor

      This book could be titled “Ten case studies in the best of humanity.” It so happens that I am Australian, the author is Australian, and all ten of the interviewees are Australians, but this is incidental. The events, environment and culture that provide the setting would be different in another land, but there are jewels like these ten everywhere.

      While the book features ten jewels, my review is about eleven. Rod writes in a very personal style, and never blows his own trumpet, but comes through to be like his interviewees.

      Here is a sample of Rod showing himself: “In my youth, there was talk of nuclear war and the possibility that our world would be consumed by the insane strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction. To us it was a theoretical proposition, a disaster that could happen. We had the possibility of calamity, but climate change is different because it is actually happening. In my lifetime it’s gone from just being a possibility to us seeing glimpses of what a disrupted global climate system looks like. Nuclear weapons and global warming aren’t going away. Humanity is doing a poor job on both fronts.”

      These eleven are people who care, who have made a difference through intelligence, perseverance and creativity. Some are well known, others I’ve never heard off, but all have a passion for truth, science, decency, being of service. Because of these attitudes, they are all alarmed by our environmental crisis, and in different ways are doing their best to work for a survivable future.

      I can’t do better than to quote Rod on what the book is about: “If there’s one defining attribute shared by the people in this book, it’s motivation — these are people who understand why we need to act. Each has seized upon the idea that there is something important; that there’s something they can do for the environment and for the community. The people in Fragile Planet are fiercely driven to avert the worst of climate change.”

      I really enjoyed Rod’s style of bringing a person to life, faults and all. While staying the journalist interviewing someone, he has the skill of showing his subject’s inside reality, “what makes her tick.” For example, I got to like maggot farmer Olympia, and strongly approve of what she is doing: in effect converting agriculture from a single-line process of fertiliser-to-waste to a circular economy of waste providing feed in a forever-loop.

      Ten Journeys on a Fragile Planet would be admirable compulsory reading for high school kids, to inspire them, and to educate them in what matters.


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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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