Is this what it will take…?

21 08 2014

agacoffeeI love my coffee.  I buy organic fair trade stuff from Aldi, and I brew it on the AGA (in winter), not in one of those wanky coffee making machines that frankly don’t do a better job than my caffetière at any price…….

So why am I posting this today you ask…?  Well my friends, it looks as though Climate Change might kill off our morning caffeine hit.  Is this what it will take to get people off their backsides and do something about the greatest conundrum civilisation is facing?

 





We cannot shop our way out of environmental crisis, ‘green’ or not

20 08 2014

1Guest post by Pete Dolack.  Pete is an activist, writer, poet and photographer. He wishes he could keep all those balls in the air but keeps dropping some of them. He has worked with a variety of groups as an activist, and currently works with Trade Justice New York Metro as part of the effort to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He writes about the economic crisis, and ideas for a better world in his blog Systemic Disorder. He is also the author of the upcoming book, It’s Not Over: Lessons from the Socialist Experiment.

Originally published at Generation Alpha

 

 

There is no alternative to a dramatic change in the organization of the global economy. We cannot make ‘green’ what cannot be green. A powerful 33-page paper by Dr. Richard Smith, Green capitalism: the god that failed, demonstrates this as effectively as anything I have read. Richard, from the Institute for Policy Research & Development in London, argues that:

  • “Green capitalism” is “doomed from the start” because maximizing profit and ecological sustainability are broadly in conflict; the occasional time when they might be in harmony are temporary and rare exceptions. This is because corporations are answerable to private owners and shareholders, not to society. Profit maximization trumps all else under capitalism and thereby sets limits to ecological reform.
  • No capitalist government can impose “green taxes” effective enough to end the coal or other destructive industries because the result would be recession and mass unemployment.
  • Green-capitalism proponents vastly underestimate the speed with which environmental collapse is coming. No amount of tinkering can alter the course of environmental destruction under the present system. Humanity, therefore, must replace capitalism with a post-capitalist ecologically sustainable economy.
  • Resource extraction is inherently polluting but can’t be shut down without chaos. It is not possible to “dematerialize” much of the economy, as green-capitalism proponents believe possible. The only way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions is to “enforce a drastic contraction of production in the industrialized countries.” This is not possible under capitalism because the affected industries would be committing suicide. It could only be carried out through a socialization of industry and a redeployment of labour to sectors that need to be developed for social good.
  • Consumerism and over-consumption are not “cultural” or the result of personal characteristics — they are a natural consequence of capitalism and built into the system. Problems like climate change and other aspects of the world environmental crisis can only be solved on a global level through democratic control of the economy, not by individual consumer choices or national governments.

 

Cap-and-trade equals profits by polluting

European attempts to implement “cap and trade” schemes to limit greenhouse-gas emissions were countered from the start by industry lobbyists asking for exceptions because, they argued, they would lose competitiveness. Some threatened to move elsewhere, taking jobs with them. Governments gave in. Polluters and traders took in windfall profits, with no real effect on emissions. Dr. Smith writes:

“German electricity companies were supposed to receive 3 per cent fewer permits than they needed to cover their total emissions between 2005 and 2007, which would have obliged them to cut emissions by that amount. Instead the companies got 3 percent more than they needed — a windfall worth about $374 billion at that time.”

A proposal to directly tax carbon in France, proposed by the administration of Nicolas Sarkozy, was ruled unconstitutional because most of France’s major polluters would have been let off the hook entirely while households would have assumed the burden. Dr. Smith put the farce of this failed proposal in perspective:

“The court said that more than 1,000 of France’s biggest polluters could have been exempted from the charges, and that 93 percent of industrial emissions would not have been taxed at all. But even if Sarkozy had successfully imposed his carbon tax, this tax would have raised the price of gasoline by just 25 US cents per gallon. Given that the French already pay nearly $9 per gallon for gasoline, it’s hard to see how an additional 25 cents would seriously discourage consumption let alone ‘save the human race.’ ”

Some advocates of cap-and-trade or carbon taxes in the United States try to get around industry pushback by advocating they become “revenue-neutral.” But if “carbon tax offsets are revenue neutral, then they are also ‘impact neutral,’ ” Dr. Smith writes. That brings us back to the reality that imposing drastic cuts would be the only way to effect the significant reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change in coming decades. That, in turn, can’t be done without massive dislocation.

Yet reductions are not only necessary, but will be required by physical limits — the world’s population is using the resources at the rate of 1.5 Earths and the United Nations predicts we’ll be using two Earths by 2030. Moreover, if all the world’s peoples used resources at the rate that the United States does, “we would need 5.3 planets to support all this.” Needless to say, we have only one Earth available.

 

More efficiency leads to more consumption

One of the pillars on which green capitalists rest their advocacy is increased efficiency of energy usage, achieved through technological innovation. But energy usage has been increasing, not decreasing, despite greater efficiencies gained out of a range of products. Gains in efficiency can, and frequently are, used to expand production; given that capitalist incentives reward expansion, that is what is done. Moreover, “green” industries are not necessarily green. The paper points out:

“Even when it’s theoretically possible to shift to greener production, given capitalism, as often as not, ‘green’ industries just replace old problems with new problems: So burning down tracts of the Amazon rainforest in order to plant sugarcane to produce organic sugar for Whole Foods or ethanol to feed cars instead of people, is not so green after all. Neither is burning down Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests to plant palm-oil plantations so Britons can tool around London in their obese Landrovers.”

Making motor vehicles more fuel-efficient, although a goal that should be pursued, nonetheless falls far short of a solution. Fuel usage from the increasing number of vehicles and longer distances travelled are greater than all the savings from fuel efficiency. And focusing on only when the vehicle is being driven leaves untouched most of the pollution caused by them. Dr. Smith writes:

“Most of the pollution any car will ever cause is generated in the production process before the car even arrives at the showroom — in the production of all the steel, aluminium, copper and other metals, glass, rubber, plastic, paint and other raw materials and inputs that go into every automobile, and in the manufacturing process itself. Cars produce 56 percent of all the pollution they will ever produce before they ever hit the road. … [S]o long as [automakers] are free to produce automobiles without limit more cars will just mean more pollution, even if the cars are hybrids or plug-in electric cars.”

Those electric vehicles are only as “clean” as the source of electricity used to power them. Many plug-in electric vehicles are coal-powered vehicles because coal is a common source of electricity. Looking at it holistically, such an electric vehicle would be more polluting than a gasoline-fuelled vehicle; and the majority of the pollution from the manufacturing (for the vehicle itself) would be there just the same. Then there is the pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions of the electric-car battery. Nickel is a primary input; the Russian city that is the site of the world’s largest source of nickel, Norilsk, is one of the world’s most polluted places.

“I would not be surprised if the most ecological cars on the planet today are not those Toyota Priuses or even the Chevy Volts with their estimated [seven- to 10-year] lifespan, but those ancient Fords, Chevrolets, and Oldsmobiles cruising round the streets of Havana. For even if their gas mileage is lower than auto-producer fleet averages today, they were still produced only once, whereas American ‘consumers’ have gone through an average of seven generations of cars since 1960 (when the U.S. embargo ended car imports to Cuba), with all the manufacturing and disposal pollution that entailed.”

 

Consumerism props up capitalist economies

Planned obsolescence is part of the problem, across the spectrum of manufactured products. Capitalist manufacturers don’t want products that last a long time; repeatedly selling new products is far more profitable. But it would be overly simplistic to lay full blame for this on greed, however much greed is rewarded by a capitalist economy. Household consumption — all the things that people buy for personal use from toothbrushes to automobiles — accounts for 60 to 70 percent of gross domestic product in almost all advanced capitalist countries. If people aren’t buying things, the economy struggles.

Proponents of green capitalism fail to grasp the structural causes of over-consumption. However much better for the environment, and the world’s future, drastic reductions in consumerism would be, moral exhortations can’t be effective. Trapped in an idealist mirage that capitalism can be “tamed” or “repurposed,” green capitalists, through seeking individual solutions to structural and systemic problems, not only miss the forest for the trees but leave the economic structure responsible untouched. People in the global North should consume less, but to place the blame on individual behaviour lets the manufacturers of useless products off the hook and is blind to the economic realities should the system be left in place intact.

Once again, we cannot shop our way out of economic and environmental problems. Even not shopping would bring its own set of problems, Dr. Smith writes:

“[H]ow can we ‘reject consumerism’ when we live in a capitalist economy where, in the case of the United States, more than two-thirds of market sales, and therefore most jobs, depend on direct sales to consumers while most of the rest of the economy, including the infrastructure and not least, the military, is dedicated to propping up this super consumerist ‘American way of life?’ Indeed, most jobs in industrialized countries critically depend not just on consumerism but on ever-increasing over-consumption. We ‘need’ this ever-increasing consumption and waste production because, without growth, capitalist economies collapse and unemployment soars. …

[I]t’s not the culture that drives the economy so much as, overwhelmingly, the economy that drives the culture: It’s the insatiable demands of shareholders that drive corporate producers to maximize sales, therefore to constantly seek out new sales and sources in every corner of the planet, to endlessly invent [new needs]. … ‘[C]onsumerism’ is not just a ‘cultural pattern,’ it’s not just ‘commercial brainwashing’ or an ‘infantile regression.’ … Insatiable consumerism is an everyday requirement of capitalist reproduction, and this drives capitalist invention and imperial expansion. No overconsumption, no growth, no jobs. And no voluntarist ‘cultural transformation’ is going to overcome this fundamental imperative so long as the economic system depends on over-consumption for its day-to-day survival.”

There is no way out other than replacing capitalism with a steady-state economy based on meeting human needs, and that could only be attained through bottom-up, democratic control. No one promises new jobs to those who would be displaced under capitalism; logically, then, those who jobs and ability to earn a living is dependent on polluting or wasteful industries resist environmental initiatives. The wholesale changes that are necessary to prevent a global environmental catastrophe can’t be accomplished under the present economic system; it would require a different system with the flexibility to re-deploy labor in large numbers when industries are reduced or eliminated, and one that would have no need to grow. Inequality would have to be eliminated for any kind of global democratic economy to be able to function.

Dr. Smith pronounces this “a tall order to be sure.” That it is. But with many world cities, and entire countries, at risk of becoming inhabitable due to rising sea levels, more erratic weather and an accelerated timetable to deplete the world’s resources, what choice do we have? Green capitalism is not only not green, it is worse than illusion because of the false hope it dangles in front of our eyes.





I’d be happier if I didn’t write this stuff!

20 08 2014

Kurt Cobb

A guest post from Kurt Cobb who kindly gave me permission to reproduce this piece from his own blog.  In reply to my email, Kurt wrote…:

I think we are already in the crisis. The economy is not growing very much and in some places it is contracting.  For 90 percent of the people on planet Earth, growth has stopped.  Their material well-being is either stagnant or declining.  Many more people are finding it difficult if not impossible to afford the things they used to afford before 2008.  I don’t believe we are facing a definitive one-off event, but a serious of periodic crises which the public and government will respond to with measures designed to get us back to business-as-usual.  Of course, for the vast majority of people, these measures will be insufficient because our objective circumstances have changed.  We now face high energy prices and a wobbly financial system that is stressed because of the high energy prices.
There is a better path forward, but it won’t come from the top.  We must build it ourselves from the bottom up.

Thus happiness depends, as Nature shows,
Less on exterior things than most suppose.

                  –William Cowper

For years my father–who is a really great guy–has been telling me that I’d be a happier person if I didn’t write about all the converging threats bearing down on the human race. Turns out he’s right!

Here’s what a new study said on the matter:

Recent evidence suggests that a state of good mental health is associated with biased processing of information that supports a positively skewed view of the future. Depression, on the other hand, is associated with unbiased processing of such information.

Let me translate: If you fool yourself about what you are really seeing in the world and convince yourself that it will lead to a good future for you and whomever else you care about, you’ll maintain good mental health. If, on the other hand, you look reality squarely in the eye, you are more likely to get depressed. Life, as it turns out, isn’t a bed of roses.

Now, I would put the “positively skewed” person in the same category as turkeys. You may be familiar with philosopher Bertrand Russell’s story of the turkey. A farmer feeds this turkey every morning. Using inductive reasoning, the turkey becomes more and more convinced each day that the morning feedings will extend indefinitely. One day the farmer appears with an ax, demonstrating the weakness of inductive reasoning.

It’s easy to see that the turkey is happier up to the point of slaughter NOT knowing what is coming. (I’m assuming the turkey, in this case, would be powerless even with foreknowledge to prevent his own demise.) Not knowing, he is better adjusted to his surroundings, and he’s not busily writing columns about the impending turkey slaughter that all turkeys should be aware of. This lack of knowledge certainly prevents stress and stress-related diseases, both mental and physical. One has to admit that the turkey has a good life (for a turkey) up to a certain point.

We should also note that there is no way that examining his past–i.e., previous feedings–would allow the turkey to understand the danger. The slaughter of turkeys is nowhere to be found in the time series of his feedings or his life in general. (The analogy for the human race would be the last 150 years or so in which the notion of perpetual progress has become entrenched in the human psyche.)

We can learn two things from the turkey’s story. First, if you are a turkey, it is better to be ignorant of your own demise if you are be unable to do anything about it (even with foreknowledge). Second, information about the nature and timing of your demise may not be available through an examination of your past–though an examination of the past of many turkeys might shed light on the situation.

Let’s expand on this. Since I am, in fact, not a turkey, or more particularly the turkey in the story above, it is possible that I might be able to do something to avoid my premature demise if I have information about it. But, of course, anyone who writes about our converging environmental and resource-related threats, isn’t really writing about individuals, but about humans as a species.

So, it is possible that one path to relative happiness is to remain ignorant of such challenges so as not to suffer anxiety about them. Then, if society cannot head off these catastrophes, at least you wouldn’t suffer anxiety about them prior to their arrival at your doorstep. And, it’s possible they may never reach your doorstep during your lifetime. This, however, sounds more like a dereliction of one’s civic duty than a path to enlightenment.

That’s because if my efforts and the efforts of millions of others around the globe are able to move the needle of society toward sustainability, those uninvolved and untroubled by our problems would be getting a free ride. We sustainability types do all the work and then have to share the benefits.

But, the more people who join in the work of moving society toward sustainability, the more likely it is that this work will succeed. The failure to achieve a sustainable society might be the direct result of too few participants trying to achieve it. The free ride problem just got a lot more deadly.

There is also the problem of the definition of “good mental health” or more speculatively, the meaning of “happiness,” and whether these ought to be one’s goals in life. Human life, no matter how materially advantaged, is bound to be filled with pain, disappointment and loss. The unpredictability of our lives makes it certain that you cannot plan to have a happy life. You may get what you believe to be a happy existence. But it is likely to be the result of luck more than choice and planning.

And, if the definition of happiness includes all kinds of unhappiness experienced in the pursuit of one’s goals–even if those goals are achieved–I would say that such a definition is drained of all intelligibility. It may have some mystical significance that I don’t understand. The everyday meaning of happiness, so far as I know, does not include excessive suffering, pain and loss.

But back to my father. He also contends that he is very good at dealing with “reality.” And, he is. He’s one of those rare people who, when he looks at what he has to do each day, realizes that the task which seems most disagreeable is probably the most important.

I take this as a clue that he has not pursued happiness as his main goal in life. Rather, he saw his highest calling as his duty to others, to his family, to his friends, to his community, to his country, to the people who worked for him while he was running several companies. There is a certain satisfaction in living this way, some might even say a certain joy in the commitment itself. But it is not a path that leads to a persistent state of happiness.

It really should be no surprise to him that “being happy” is not my highest priority, and that his wish for all his children to “be happy” could easily turn into a curse of ignorance. Admittedly, trying to understand the world around us can end up being burdensome, especially if one concentrates on the human prospect in the face of the emerging multiple threats to the stability of our civilization.

But trying to understand our place in the universe and on the Earth can also be exciting and stimulating. And, trying to move society in a more sustainable direction in concert with others can be both rewarding and fun. It turns out that even people who don’t put their personal happiness first on their list of priorities can have a good time in this world. And, sometimes they can even be happy!

P.S. Doing something which gives our lives a broader meaning can give us a kind of satisfaction that the “pursuit of happiness” can never provide. I am reminded of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s story about a meeting with the religious leader of the Taos pueblo. The leader related the following:

“The Americans should stop meddling with our religion, for when it dies and we can no longer help the sun our Father cross the sky, the Americans and the whole world will learn something in ten years’ time, for then the sun won’t rise any more.”*

The leader and his people were not just doing their ceremonies to the sun for themselves. They were doing them for the whole world.

P.P.S. This excellent cartoon nicely summarizes one of the main points of this piece.

*From The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Volume 9,I of The Collected Works of C.G. Jung. p. 22.

Kurt Cobb is an author, speaker, and columnist focusing on energy and the environment. He is a regular contributor to the Energy Voices section of The Christian Science Monitor and author of the peak-oil-themed novel Prelude. In addition, he has written columns for the Paris-based science news site Scitizen, and his work has been featured on Energy Bulletin (now Resilience.org), The Oil Drum, OilPrice.com, Econ Matters, Peak Oil Review, 321energy, Common Dreams, Le Monde Diplomatique and many other sites. He maintains a blog called Resource Insights and can be contacted at kurtcobb2001@yahoo.com.





Sustainability explained

19 08 2014

A great set of illustrated videos.  Share widely…….

And there are more!

 

 





Scraping the bottom of the barrel

18 08 2014

Amazing how the media manipulates an ignorant readership…….  this from finance.ninemsn:

Australia’s largest oil discovery in decades has been found off the coast of Western Australia.

The discovery was made by US company Apache, in the offshore part of WA’s Canning Basin.

While the results are said to be in the early stages of evaluation, Apache said the find could potentially yield up to 300 million barrels of oil.

Stocks in Carnarvon Petroleum, an Australian-owned junior partner in the venture, instantly rocketed to 20 cents a share, after closing at 8 cents on Friday.

Carnarvon managing director Adrian Cook said the discovery was “one of the most significant development in Australian oil and gas in recent times”.

“[It is] the most significant new oil play in the North West Shelf since the Enfield discovery opened up the Exmouth basis almost 20 years ago,” Mr Cook said.

“The implications on the rest of our acreage are still be assessed but the potential is extraordinary. “

Source: Fairfax Media

REALLY……..  “extraordinary”?  NINE MONTHS worth of Australian consumption……..  “extraordinary”?   Isn’t the fact that “[It is] the most significant new oil play in the North West Shelf since the Enfield discovery opened up the Exmouth basis almost 20 years ago,” significant in itself?  The fact that the biggest find in 20 years is nine months worth of consumption…?

Sorry folks, Australia is still on target to run out of oil by 2020.  Move right along, nothing to see here….





I have been to the Mountaintop, and I have seen the Promised Land….

18 08 2014

Nic Marks

The title of this post is a Martin Luther King quote from a speech he made on the eve of his assassination.  I picked it up from an amazing Ted talk I discovered on FB….

The speaker, Nic Marks, starts off by accusing ‘environmentalists’ of spreading fear about the future.  Guilty as charged.  He claims that people simply ‘freeze’ when faced with news of apocalypse, and they end up clamming up and doing nothing….. the deer in the headlights syndrome.  Personally, it was precisely discovering that the future would be apocalyptic if nothing was done that spurred me to change our lifestyle.  And campaign on the issue for decades now..  I thought, maybe stupidly, that if it worked for, surely it would work for everyone…  I now realise I made the same mistake politicians make all the time by assuming others would be like them…. in their case, hungry and ambitious to consume the planet to death!  The populace obviously aren’t like at all, they’re still out there driving SUVs and shopping ’til they drop.  People who work on Wall Street, for example, would never consider a lifestyle like ours.  But will they have any choice, if/when the apocalyptic future arrives?  Because of their choices no less….

Many times, I have enjoyed replying to people on various internet forums discussing sustainability by telling them I did not live in a cave, but rather an award winning house.  Nor do I wear a hair shirt!  (WHAT on Earth is a hair shirt anyway?)  But still, I have had little impact on society.  Even members of my own family who have been here, seen how we live, think I’m just a layabout because I don’t ‘work’.  I don’t know what you’d call keeping this place going, except ‘work’, but there you go.  They’re not like me…. and I have to accept that I guess.

Perhaps the real problem in the end is that we are in fact so different….. some of us ‘get it’, some won’t, and some will fight for their right to consume to the death…  And frankly, I see so little movement at the station regarding change that it’s going to take some momentous event to remove the apocalyptic outcome from my field of view.  Yes, I have been to the Mountaintop, and I have seen the Promised Land…. but when I turn around, I still see the apocalypse.

So all you nutters who think it’s me who’s the nutter……  wake up to yourselves.

Here is Nic’s Ted talk.  Keep the comments rolling in folks…. you are keeping me sane!





More on Depression

16 08 2014

It’s a miserable day today.  Cold, rainy, and worst of all…….  the AGA’s flue looks like it’s blocked up, and getting up on the roof to clean it out in this weather is simply out of the question!  My fault, I had scrap pine left over, and I decided to put it through the stove to get rid of it, and now I pay the price……. at least, all things being equal, we might end up with full tanks again by the time this deluge ends, we do need the rain.

thornton

Nicole Thornton

The passing of Robin Williams by his own hand has caused much gnashing of teeth on the internet, and a rebound in posts about depression and suicide.  So this is what I’m writing about on this rainy afternoon.  The post I put up about ‘everyone I know is heartbroken’ attracted a lot of attention; then the other day this very interesting article turned up in my intray… it’s from the Sydney Morning Herald, and is titled “A climate of despair”, written by

Nicole Thornton remembers the exact moment her curious case of depression became too real to ignore. It was five years ago and the environmental scientist – a trained biologist and ecologist – was writing a rather dry PhD on responsible household water use.

After a two-decade career in green awareness and eco-tourism, Thornton was happy to finally be researching her pet project at the University of Technology in Sydney – but she was also on edge.
Thornton had always been easily upset by apathy towards, and denial of, environmental issues. But now she began to notice an oddly powerful personal reaction to “the small stuff” – like people littering, or neighbours chopping down an old tree.
She found herself suddenly and strongly enveloped by unfamiliar feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anger and anxiety.

“It’s strange. Sometimes you just don’t feel you’re making headway in the time you’ve got, before it’s too late for the planet,” Thornton says. “All these little things weigh you down, and then the big stuff breaks you.”

I don’t know about you, but this really resonates with me……  At my age, I have way less time than Nicole Thornton does, and if she feels like she’s running out of time, imagine how it feels from behind this nearly white beard.

If the term “climate depression” is new to you, it should be. No such condition is recognised by the world of psychiatry. There is no formalised syndrome. If there is a disorder of this kind, it has not been acknowledged by the medical community. Thornton herself wonders whether the moniker is misleading – whether “despair and disempowerment” might be better.

 

From what I’ve read about Robin Williams, he too felt a bit like that.  Depression  is thought to be caused by an  imbalance in brain chemistry in many cases, or an extreme traumatic experience…. but I have my own theory; when you live in a depressing world, how else can you feel?  Depression is now so widespread, it’s become ‘normal’.  Someone recently told me half of New Zealanders are on anti depressants…  how depressing is THAT?

From Think Progress..:

Williams took global warming seriously in the way only a great comic can. Back in 2002, he did this riff:

… And they say there is no global warming, but right now the North Pole is a pool. There’s things just floating away….
It is beyond global warming at this point. It is cooking.
It is 105 in the middle of the country and people come up going “Is it hot enough for you?”
“No I like sweat to be rolling down the crack of my ass like Niagara. I like my old man titties to lactate.”
And you see people in shorts and you’re going, “Please don’t wear those…. Oh please don’t put those on.”

In the “Happy Feet” movies, penguins deal with the effects of global warming. In “FernGully,” the “magical inhabitants of a rain-forest fight to save their home, which is threatened by logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus,” as Think Progress explains in their piece, “7 Social Issues Robin Williams Brought To The Screen.”

Williams provides colourful comic relief in the story, though not without a message against deforestation and unchecked development: “First thing, all these trees go,” he says, “Then come your highways, then come your shopping malls, and your parking lots, and your convenience stores…” The film was shown at the U.N. General Assembly on Earth Day, 1992.

So I ask, might not Robin have been affected by the state of the environment too?  Pure speculation, I agree, but all the things in his life added up to unhappiness.  At least I have a plan for the future to keep me going….  but I worry about all those who don’t, and form the majority of the people I know who all think I’m nuts.  When in fact it’s they who are nuts!

“Doomer depression” and “apocalypse fatigue”), despondency over a what many, myself included, believe is societal failure to adequately acknowledge or address environmental issues has, become a line of psychological inquiry. Susie Burke, a senior psychologist with the Australian Psychological Society, has done extensive work on the mental impact of climate change.  Only last month, she made a presentation on mental health and the environment, as part of the Climate Reality Project, hosted by former US vice-president Al Gore at Rod Laver Arena and attended by hundreds of committed weary campaigners.  Don’t know if Clive Palmer attended….  Several experts suggest that the overall intersection of mental health and climate change is one we ignore at our peril.

To finish, here is a really lovely epitaph to Robin Williams.  It really touched me.  Enjoy.








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