How can climate change not be the main goal of all countries in 2020? Canada?!

A thought provoking call to action. Climate breakdown is the real crisis, not the royals, not Brexit….read and follow the link in the final paragraph to the 50 things we can all do to help the environment. Individually we may not be able (or willing?) to do them all, but we can do some of them. It’s down to us. It’s our planet, our home, and it needs help.

Robby Robin's Journey

Australia is burning. California’s been burning. British Columbia’s been burning. Portugal’s been burning. This summer, the Arctic broke records for wildfires in Canada, Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia. In the Arctic!  We’ve seen storms more volatile and ferocious than ever before, bringing destructive flooding.  Massive glaciers and ice sheets melting at unheard of rates. Threat of coastal flooding of epic proportions. Island nations fearful of being swallowed up by rising seas in the foreseeable future. What could possibly be more important to every country and every political leader than addressing climate change?

You got it, money. Not the money needed to make radical changes. Not the money needed to support innovation in developing new sustainable energy sources. Not the money needed to incentivize people to embrace new technologies free of fossil fuels. No, it’s all that money flowing from fossil fuel-based industries that decision makers are loath to give up…

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By: A one in ten opportunity

I receive occasional email newsletters from Bridget Whelan, author of Back to Creative Writing School, with hints and suggestions for aspring writers. This one has just arrived, and her suggestion is:

When you have time to write, but don’t  know what to write….
Find the 10th  book in your home (or where you are right now). Go to page 10 and find the 10th word on the 10th line. That will be your title. Use it no matter how difficult, even if you have to look up its meaning, even if it is THE. Write for 10 minutes.

Whilst THE sounded challening enough, I thought it was just my luck to end up with BY. So here goes…

By. What does that word suggest? Immediate response is that it means ownership. Something may be written by me (like this) or it may be owned by me, like the laptop I’m using to write on, or the desk that I sit at or the rather snazzy art deco style chair I sit on when using the desk.

If “by” suggests ownership, it also means the responsibility that comes with it. I have to own and use my possessions in a way that doesn’t harm others; if I write something and get it published with my byline saying it has been written by me, I have to own the views and opinions that I’ve included in the article or blog post or tweet. I can’t wriggle out of something I’ve written or said and pretend it’s not been said by me; to do so would be dishonest and inauthentic.

So “by”, in the contexts mentioned relates to ownwership.

Other verbal or written expressions of the word “by” might be spelled differently and have different meanings – “Bye!” as in goodbye; a “bye” in cricket is a run scored from a ball that passes the batsman without being hit; “buy” is commercial, in the sense of buying goods or buying into an idea or scheme. And if we stand or sit near something or someone, we say we’re by them or beside them.

That’s my ten minutes on “by”. By me, naturally!

Kindness is key to health and happiness, and it’s free!

I’m sharing this blog post by Jane Fritz, who writes from Canada – and she writes a lot of sense too. This post about kindness, and how it can benefit everyone, is something to consider, embrace and act upon. Be kind. It costs nothing but the gains are temendous. Give it a go… smile…and be kind….

Robby Robin's Journey

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. and, just as with Thanksgiving in Canada (which is a little earlier, when travel is more predictable), it’s a time for many people to consider all that they have to be thankful for and to be reminded that gratitude is good for our health. In fact it’s very good for our health. Just google “gratitude and health” and you’ll find out.

As it turns out, being kind to others is also good for your health, maybe even more so. You can google that as well! Engaging in kindness has all kinds of positive physical effects. Ongoing research shows that kindness can actually extend your life. It lowers your blood pressure, reduces anxiety and depression, and helps the immune system. Research shows that kindness can help you live longer and better, both in the giving of kindness and in being the recipient of kindness. And…

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Reflections on our climate emergency #1

A powerful, personal story of a wake up call which resonates strongly with me. I hope it will do so with you. Time is getting short and we all have to do something, however small, to combat the disastrous effects of our cushy and sometimes uncaring/unawake lifestyles. Change startes here, with each and every one of us, is we want a future for our planet and the precious web of life upon it.

Abigail Hopewell

Whoever we are, whatever we do, and wherever we live, every single one of us will be increasingly affected by anthropogenic climate change and the world’s unfolding sixth mass extinction.

My wake-up call

I remember being concerned about the health and wellbeing of planet earth from a relatively young age. My first proper wake-up call occurred in the late 1980s; as a pre-teen I learned about the escalating worries about the effects of CFC gases on the ozone layer, I cared deeply about the plight of endangered animals, I felt upset by humanity’s cruel and destructive actions on the planet and her inhabitants. Resolute that I had to do something, I joined Friends of the Earth, became a vegetarian, and got into politics. So began an interest and passion for the environment and natural world that has never really gone away, albeit has ebbed and flowed over the years.

Fast…

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Truth: what’s in a word?

I wrote this post back in 2017, when post-truth became a buzz word and it was wise to question or doubt what was reported in the media, and necessary to take what prominent politicians said to us with a pinch of salt.

I’m reblogging it now because of the lack of trust in the words, claims and promises of  many of our politicians is in doubt. Trusting the words and truth from of our prime minister – the highest office of public service in the land – is currently not easy. Truth seems to be out of fashion and making things up on the hoof appears to be the modus operandi of our PM.

As we in the UK enter this ever-crazier phase of the Brexit fiasco by having a general election 2 weeks before Christmas, it might seems that the pantomime season has started a little earlier this year. In which case, it’s upon us all as voters to examine the qualities of truth and trust alongside what is being said and how it is being said and presented in our media.

Eyes in the back of my Head

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As we entered the uncertainties of 2017, The Oxford Dictionary announced that the word of 2016 was “post-truth”. This word travelled from the old to the new year and from all observations and experiences to date, will probably be around for quite some time to come.

Now, over half way through the year, the word is well-established, used and understood, often in media reports but also in everyday speech. It has entered the language. But what does post-truth actually mean? And do the journalists who use it acknowledge what it means? Do they spell it out for us, or are we left to wallow in this buzz word of the times?

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