Bobbing Around Volume 21 Number 1

Eating a factory-farmed animal is like eating suffering
Anna Sri

Doing my best to be my best.

I’m the servant of the seven billion human beings alive today, dedicated to their well-being.
Dalai Lama

Bobbing Around

Volume Twenty-one, Number One,
July, 2021

Bob Rich’s rave

email    previous issues

*About Bobbing Around
guidelines for contributions

Comments are welcome — on the bottom of every post and page here, including this one.

You can send me a private message via my contact form

Do note that anyone buying any of my titles anywhere, in any format, qualifies for a second electronic book for free. Emailing me a review qualifies as proof of purchase (unless I sent you a free review copy of course).

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.

* From me to you
21 today!
You can NOW read Lifting the Gloom
How to survive climate change
Caught by climate change
I’m offering a new resource
New ongoing project at Sleepy Lion Publishing


* New stuff

Good news
Greenpeace wins court case

A mighty little lady
Dalai Lama and Greta Thunberg inspiring to action

Deeper Issues

I approve of these announcements
Your Personal Truth — Available for Pre-Order! (Will Release on July 7th)
Poetry readings for abuse survivors

Sleeper, Awake, reviewed by: Boris Petrov
and Jodi Pratt
The Lip Reader, by Michael Thal

Logic of Evolution, by Laurie Corzett
Carnation milk

* Blog posts during June
Dove for the future

Yvonne Rowan on the second American Civil War

Entries in the Greens essay contest:

Intersections of Suffering by Anna Sri

Scovid19 by Jon Cocks

The Allegory by Mark Pooley

The situation is hopeless. We must take the next step by David Feith

A script for insomnia

Plot gone to pot: June Rhobin’s Round.

Luck-It on COVID
My first little podcast!

From Misery to Hope by Robert Palmer and Kary Youman

From me to you

21 today!
You can NOW read Lifting the Gloom
How to survive climate change
Caught by climate change
I’m offering a new resource
New ongoing project at Sleepy Lion Publishing


21 today!

That’s Bobbing Around, not me. I started a newsletter in July, 2000 because this was the advice to writers: build an email list. Soon, however, I started making genuine friends through Bobbing Around, and it became a tool for environmental and humanitarian action, and… it was fun. If you have read Lifting the Gloom, you’ll know that fun is the number 1 antidepressant, something that everyone, everyone, everyone needs (to quote my favourite author).

Oh. If you haven’t read Lifting the Gloom, why not? See the next little item.

To celebrate this birthday, I am wishing you a happy birthday, too. Oh, you think it’s not your birthday? Read this card:

You can NOW read Lifting the Gloom

My latest book is completed, and as good as I can make it. Now I am looking for beta readers to help me to improve it even more.

What’s the qualification for being a beta reader? Reading the book. You can qualify very easily by sending me a message, either by email or via my contact form (click the tab at the top).

But if you really feel hesitant about being able to do it, then here is your chance to learn a new skill. Please read what I say about beta reading.

How to survive climate change

If you’re one of my old friends, you will have heard it all before, but the Union of Concerned Scientists hasn’t.

They called for member contributions on how to fight climate change. This is what I wrote:

    The climate catastrophe is not an isolated problem, but one of several symptoms. The result is that we are in the 6th extinction event of Earth. The basic cause is the global economy. Most proposed solutions attempt replacement of one technology for another, without addressing unlimited growth in a limited system. The only possible solution is, LIVE SIMPLY SO YOU MAY SIMPLY LIVE. We need to change focus from GDP to quality of life, and, merely, survival.

Caught by climate change

Friday, 11 June 2021
Climate change affects weather by giving it more energy. Whether it’s drought, flood, wildfire, wind, heatwave, coldsnap, blizzard — whatever the weather does is more extreme.

Where I live is a current example. We have experienced the greatest rainfall in recorded history. One country town had more than its year’s average in a few hours.

There are floods, trees fallen on houses, across roads and power lines. A few kilometres from my home, two power poles snapped off at ground level.

I admire and pity the thousands of paid and volunteer workers out there in the pouring rain, day and night. They are rescuing people, preventing further damage insofar as that’s possible, and are working to repair the power grid.

In my house, the electricity cut off last Wednesday 7 pm. There is hope that it may return on Monday.

I have actually organised a battery to work off my rooftop solar, but alas it’s still in the future, and my time machine won’t work without electricity.

So, I’ve gone visiting my community, Moora Moora. While outside temperature is 8 degrees C, and in my house about 12, here it’s almost too hot. Their freestanding solar system is working fine, which is how I can let you know, all is well.

Have a good life,


PS. Our power came back 7 pm on Saturday, exactly 3 days later. Many people are less fortunate, and are still forced to live a medieval lifestyle.

I’m offering a new resource

My psychology website includes a popular resource: Contacts, links and resources.

Every week, I get a number of requests for inclusion by alcohol and other drug treatment businesses. They write a genuinely useful, accurate essay about some aspect of mental health, perfectly reasonably tie it to their commercial services, and use this as a marketing exercise.

I simply cannot include them all, so for several years have been turning them away with an apology.
Instead, here is a new page. Detox facilities, or anyone else with a link to a useful essay about mental health, are welcome to post a link to their essay, with a max. 200 word description.

New ongoing project at Sleepy Lion Publishing

Over the years, I have compiled oodles of writing-related posts and essays. Michael Amos, the publisher at Sleepy Lion, has requested that I regularly supply him with one, as a service to writers at his web site.

The first one has flown: it is How to write a review.

Good news

Greenpeace wins court case

One of Australia’s most climate-suicidal companies is electricity provider AGL. Greenpeace Australia mounted a campaign, using their logo in derisory street signs and things, and so AGL sued them (well, us, I am a member) for violation of copyright.

The court judged in Greenpeace’s favour! This is yet another recent instance of favourable legal outcomes globally.

You would think that the executives and shareholders of these companies live on the same planet, and want to survive, and want their kids and grandkids to survive in perpetuity. If you find their actions hard to understand, read what I say about adaptation and cognitive dissonance in How to change the world.


A mighty little lady
Dalai Lama and Greta Thunberg inspiring to action


A mighty little lady

You’ll be fascinated and impressed when you read Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life summary at the Luck-It network. It is one of an occasional series of inspiring life stories, and stands out even in that crowd.

Dalai Lama and Greta Thunberg inspiring to action

One of the four entries I have published from the Greens essay contest is David Feith’s The situation is hopeless. We must take the next step.

He cited several references, one of them being Mind and Life Institute, 2021 The Dalai Lama with Greta Thunberg and leading scientists: a conversation on the crisis of climate feedback loops.

When uploading anything, I need to check the links, so I clicked on this one — and was captured. You just have to read it. The power comes, not from the terrible dangers, but from all the participants’ focus on WHAT WE CAN DO.

Go out there and plant a tree. Do everything you can to stop deforestation. Let’s implement His Holiness’ idea of watering North Africa and Australia with solar-powered desalination plants.

Deeper Issues


James Corbyn has drawn my attention to an essay he has written about minimalism. It is aimed at students, but then we are all students in the school of life. He wrote this about it:

In recent years, minimalism has gained a stream, attracting more and more people with its simplicity and positive effects on mental and physical health. Though the term itself can be understood differently, the principles of minimalism are the same at its core: it promotes living a simple yet fulfilled life, focusing on things that have value and removing clutter and distractions from things that truly matter.

For students who are struggling to stay organized and focused on their studies, adopting minimalism principles is beneficial in many ways. Getting rid of things that keep distracting will save your time and clear your mind. On the other hand, stop buying unnecessary stuff and this will save you money and contribute to your financial wellness. In essence, the core principle of minimalism is to analyze your environment and determine what is useless, what distracts you from significant things and goals, and then remove those things from your life.

Now, as you are aware of the benefits the minimalist lifestyle brings, it’s time to get started! The path is not easy at the beginning and requires determination and persistence as you changing your mindset. This article introduces the principles of minimalism and highlights how you can embrace a minimalist lifestyle little by little, step by step, and enjoy living a simple and clutter-free yet fulfilling and meaningful life.

I approve of these announcements

Your Personal Truth — Available for Pre-Order! (Will Release on July 7th)
Poetry readings for abuse survivors


Your Personal Truth — Available for Pre-Order! (Will Release on July 7th)

This is Issac Robledo’s latest book. He writes:

If you are interested in pre-ordering the book, you can now do so on Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. If you pre-order the book now, it will be available to read on July 7th. Please feel free to click through to learn more and read the book description as well.

I beta read this book for Issac, and like his other books, can thoroughly recommend it.

Poetry readings for abuse survivors

Back in the days when there were a great many survivors in the Bay Area interested in 12 step meetings, Survivorship conferences, and other ways of meeting survivors, we held readings at bookstores. They were well received and both fun and inspiring. Now there are few independent bookstores and it would be much harder to get enough people to attend.

That’s why we turned to the Internet. Here is a link to the EventBrite announcement.

It will be Saturday, July 10, 2021 from 4-6 pm Pacific Time: 5-7 pm Mountain Time: 6-8 pm Central Time: and 7-9 pm East Coast Time.

Six poets from varying backgrounds will read some of their work during the first hour, and the second hour will be open to everybody attending to ask questions or share comments.

I hope you are well, and that you will attend!

Jean Riseman


Sleeper, Awake, reviewed by: Boris Petrov
and Jodi Pratt
The Lip Reader, by Michael Thal


Sleeper, Awake, reviewed by: Boris Petrov

I love reading sci fi novels, and this one made my day, very interesting and capturing, I couldn’t stop reading it until I finished.
Strongly recommend this book. In these weird and uncertain times a welcome distraction from every day tasks and duties and at the same time a mind bugging about the future.

and Jodi Pratt

5.0 out of 5 stars Immersive experience

Not my usual reading genre, but once I allowed myself to merge with Flora and experience the new world through her, it was a magical adventure. In this novel, the reader is allowed to live in an alternate, future world where virtually all of humanity’s biggest challenges have been resolved and people live, child-like, having all their needs met–and lives lived–through a network of benign technologies. And yet some human frailties persist–physical, psychological and philosophical–and the past is still needed to inform the future. The writing is fluid, creative and even poetic. The reader leaves the work feeling satisfied, but left to ponder on how much–or little–humanity might change 1400+ years from now and whether it’s an existence we should look forward to… or work hard to avoid.

The Lip Reader, by Michael Thal

This book is in effect the journal of a now-dead woman, shining a light onto a culture exotic to most of us, and as the title implies, onto the obvious and subtle effects of deafness. Some of the events covered are dramatic enough to feature in any novel, others are commonplace, part of almost any life, but all are told with a refreshing clearness that made me want to read on. As a writer myself, I want to learn how Michael Thal has achieved this, because usually everyday events are things I, and I think most other readers, skim past. I think it is the way Michael has brought the narrator, Zhila, to life, and presented everything from her point of view in a way that educated me in “becoming” a person very different in background, personality and experiences.

Zhila, Michael and I are all passionately opposed to discrimination, lack of respect and caring, treating difference as something to despise. Perhaps the most moving story was when she had the job of carer for a wheelchair-bound old woman everyone disliked, even her daughter. But when Zhila learned her story, they became friends — perhaps the first friend this old victim of past abuse had since her back injury.

If you want an enjoyable, interesting read, and would like to see a pathway to becoming a better person yourself, you should invest in Michael’s writing, including The Lip Reader.


Logic of Evolution, by Laurie Corzett

            Successful progenitors
            survive to sow seed
            by force or persuasion
            or hiding off screen
            or banding together
            that more may succeed,
            and upgrade conditions,
            enhance the breed.

            But, for such teams to work well
            we must
            learn to respect, honor, and trust;
            expect to contribute, receive and share,
            accept the caring for and care.
            In community varied seeds are sown.
            Thus is a thriving future grown.

            Or, sibling rankling infests, turns
            on neighbors as scorn.
            Barriers proliferate,
            preparations for war.
            Who is emboldened by
            destruction and blood,
            blasting civilizations
            back into mud?

            Are these principled people
            filled with kindness and joy?
            Those who can create, build;
            the lacking destroy.
            Guns, bombs, cruel words,
            contempt, angry sneers,
            promotion of pain,
            preying on fears,
            paying us naught but
            unneeded tears
            and advancement of certain
            unsavory careers.

            We can reject violent lies,
            realize the prize.
            Here! before our eyes.
            Simple. Easy. Free.
            Expect, accept, embrace
            the abundance
            of Peace.


Carnation milk

I got this gem from Don Lubov:

A little old lady from Wisconsin had worked in and around her family dairy farms since she was old enough to walk, with hours of hard work and little compensation.

When canned Carnation Milk became available in grocery stores in the 1940s, she read an advertisement offering $5,000 for the best slogan. The producers wanted a rhyme beginning with ‘Carnation Milk is best of all’.

She thought to herself, I know everything there is to know about milk and dairy farms. I can do this! She sent in her entry, and several weeks later, a long black car pulled up in front of her house.

A large man got out, knocked on her door and said, “Ma’am, the president of Carnation Milk absolutely LOVED your entry, so much so in fact, that we are here today to award you a $1,000 gift, as we will not be able to use your entry for any of our advertisements!”

Our president, did however have one copy printed up, and it’s now hanging on his office wall.

About Bobbing Around

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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.

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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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3 Responses to Bobbing Around Volume 21 Number 1

  1. Bill Parker says:

    I have given up on mankind on Earth. We are doomed. The only way is to spread out to other planets. COVID-19 was only a harbinger of more to come. I am just an old hippie with a peace sign on my tee shirt but folks, it didn’t work. All I see is chaos all around me. I wanted the brotherhood of man, but that didn’t work, too. I have to somehow learn now to survive in chaos. I am like the eye of the hurricane.
    Just my humble opinion.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you for commenting, Bill.
      At one level, I completely agree with you. I think you’ve read “Ascending Spiral,” so you know that’s why I am here in this life.
      But that doesn’t mean we should give up and stop doing our best. Suppose you are in a basketball game, and 20 points down with a minute of the game to go. You gain the ball and have a chance at a shot. Will you bother to try for a goal? Surely not!
      As for other planets, that’s even worse of a mirage. What right do Elon and Jeff have to waste huge resources and make things worse for everyone, just to create a miserable and temporary existence for a few on Mars? It ain’t gonna happen.


  2. Carolyn Howard-Johnson says:

    Great quotation. It is so easy now to help the planet by making better food choices. Vegan. Vegetarian. Pescatarian. Sustainable. Organic. It isn’t political. It’s personal for all of us. We can all contribute.

    Forgive typos, please. I dictate when using iPhone. Carolyn Howard-Johnson Author of the multi award-winning HowtoDoItFrugally Series of books for writers E-Mail: Free resources for writers: Retweet with me: @frugalbookpromo. Find me on Facebook: Follow my Amazon profile:


    Liked by 1 person

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