UPDATE

An update on where I’ve been.

I would like to thank everyone for their continued support of ‘The Art of Overthinking’. As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted anything in a while – this is because I have been collaborating on a project with a good friend of mine, Robyn. It has taken precedent, as the project in question in a new blog, entirely separate from ‘The Art of Overthinking’.

The new blog, which is independent of this particular blog, is called ‘Bringing Justice‘, and hopes to shed light on issues surrounding Justice, including: Derek Bromley, Aboriginal/ Indigenous Deaths in Custody, the Black Lives Matter movement, and general issues of injustice within Australia and beyond.

I would very much encourage you to take the time to have a look at ‘Bringing Justice‘, and hope it can be a way for you to learn more, start a conversation, or simply see a different perspective. I will be focusing more energy into ‘Bringing Justice‘ for the time being, while also working to re-model ‘The Art of Overthinking’ to still be an active site.

Although I have had a lot of fun with ‘The Art of Overthinking’, I believe that the current issues our society (and world) face are much more pressing than my own musings. People of Colour are suffering and dying everyday at the hands of a system that is racist, suppressive and unfair in the extreme. Injustices are occurring more frequently, rather than less frequently, and I believe that there needs to be a change. And I would like to be a part of that change, in any way that I can.

Much love,

Shayde

DIY: My Second Attempt (Lavender Bath-Soak).

Need a quick gift idea? Or just looking for a simple self-care remedy?
Try this!

DIY/diːʌɪˈwʌɪ/noun

Abbreviation for: do-it-yourself:

The activity of decorating, building, and making repairs at home by oneself rather than employing a professional.

‘DIY avoids the difficult relationship between householder and professional decorator.’

Who’s up for round two?!

Okay, so I know I only just did a DIY post on the planters (see here).

But I really wanted to share another DIY project I did at the same time: Homemade Bath-Soak in cute little jars.

I decided to make Bath-Soak for a couple of reasons:

1. It seemed super easy; &

2. It’s a cliche, but timeless gift idea

And if truth be told, I was running out of ideas on what to get individual people.

I settled on the following sites for inspiration, which I found by roaming around on Google and Pinterest:

MY INSPIRATION CAME FROM:

Source: https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/lavender-bath-salts/

I didn’t really know where to start when I started looking at making Bath Soak, so I just started Googling and roaming around on Pinterest until I found something I liked.

Soap Queen’s Lavender recipe and method seemed relatively straightforward and manageable, which was great for someone like me.

Although everything was in Imperial measurements, Soap Queen’s step-by-step page was a great starting point for me.

Soap Queen also had a similar recipe, but for Rose Bath Salt, which I also sussed out.

I decided to stick with Lavender, because I wanted to use Essential Oils rather than Fragrance Oils (as they’re much better for you), and Rose Essential Oil is quite pricey.

The Spruce Crafts kind of confirmed to me that there are really only a few ingredients needed for Bath Soaks and Salts, and that less is more.

This website recommended using food colouring, but I decided against that for my final recipe, as I didn’t want any of it transferred to my family and friends’ bodies.

I really liked this website in general, as it has so many cute DIY projects – I’ll definitely be visiting again to get some new ideas!

And with that, I got started!

LAVENDER BATH-SOAK RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup of Pure Epsom Bath Salts

1 Cup of Pink Himalayan Rock Salt

1 Tablespoon of Bi-Carbonate Soda

1/2 Cup of Dried Lavender

20 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

10 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

*Simply mix these ingredients into a bowl and you’ll have roughly 630g of Bath Soak.

WHAT?

WHERE?

HOW MUCH?

Much like my Planter Pot project, I wanted to keep the cost of my DIY Bath Soak down as much as possible.

I wanted this Bath Soak to be as luxurious, organic and simple as possible – without costing an arm and a leg.

The best thing about this recipe is that it can be changed to suit your needs – simply adding different essential oils, salt-types and petals can give it a completely new look.

The below gives you an idea of how much individual products are – you may already have some of these at home (like I did), which is great!

WHATWHEREHOW MUCH
Salts&CO. Pure Epsom Bath Salts 1.5kgCostco/ Nocelle Foods$10
SAXA Natural Pink Himalayan Rock Salt 500g (x2)Coles$4 ea
McKenzies Bi-Carbonate Soda 500gColes$2.40
Dried Lavender 500gIshka/ Happy Herbs/ N-Essentials$4 – $6
Lavender Essential Oil*DoTerra/ Ishka$25 – $30
Peppermint Essential Oil*DoTerra/ Ishka$20 – $30
Clip Lid Glass Jar Kmart$1 ea
*I use DoTerra Essential Oil (CPTG: Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) which is pricier, however once bought, a bottle lasts a LONG time.

NOTE: The above table has a couple of options for those looking for cheaper alternatives/ similar products. The below breakdown is based on what it cost me personally – this might differ for some.

PRICE COMPARISON

NOTE: For those interested, below is a price break-down of everything I bought – this will obviously change depending on how much you plan on making… I made 12 jars and had roughly enough for 2 jars left over (I kept that separate and used it myself!).

In total, I bought: 12 jars from Kmart ($12), 1 bag of Epsom Salts ($10), 2 bags of Himalayan Salt ($8), 1 box of Bi-Carb Soda ($2.40), 2 packets of Dried Lavender ($8), 1 bottle of Lavender Essential Oil ($25) and 1 bottle of Peppermint Essential Oil ($25).

HOMEMADE BATH SOAKSTORE/ MARKET BOUGHT BATH SOAK
12 Jars = $90.4012 Jars (Average RRP of $15) = $180

This means the total price for each DIY jar came to half the price of store/ market bought bath soak, at $7.50 a jar. Stoked!

Finished Product:

NOTE: I decided to spruce my little jars up a bit – I didn’t really get many photos of them before I wrapped them for Christmas – but stickers, stamps and twine are always a good choice!

Australian Bushfire Crisis & Emergency Information.

Information true at the time of writing (31/01/2019 – 13:00).
*Updated 05/01/2020

Source: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2019/12/photo-of-koala-and-firefighter-surrounded-by-flames-perfectly-captures-the-climate-emergency/

Now I know most people are usually working on New Year’s Resolutions in January – and I’m sure I will post something about this at a later date.

But right now, I want to take some time out to acknowledge the truly horrific bushfire season Australia is currently suffering from.

Fires of this intensity, size and duration are unprecedented, with Australia already seeing multiple fatalities and homes lost – and we’re only one month into summer.

Due to our record-low rainfall, soil moisture at all-time lows, and dry and windy conditions across the country, Australia is not set for relief any time soon.

At the time of writing (updated 05/01/2020), the losses are as follows:

Source: https://www.qbe.com/au/news/bushfire-danger-ratings-explained
STATEDEATHSMISSINGHOMES LOSTHECTARES (h) BURNED
NSW1701,365+ 3,600,000
ACT1000
QLD0045 220,000
SA4075 155,000
TAS001 24,000
VIC26178 825,000
WA001 283,020
TOTAL:24 61,516+6,300,000
See bottom of page for a list of Sources.

Do You Have A Bushfire Survival Plan?

There are a lot of questions surrounding why Australia is currently experiencing such a horrific bushfire season, and what is going to be done to contain this.

But as the country gears up for what is looking to be like an historic bushfire season, my question to you is this:

Do you have a Bushfire Survival Plan?

All states have a Fire Service with available information regarding Survival Plans – and it is worth being prepared.

Bushfire Warnings:

The best way to keep updated is to follow, subscribe and check your state Fire Service – they will usually have the most up-to-date information available.

You can also find out your area’s ABC radio frequency – ABC is the official emergency broadcaster in South Australia and many other states.

This may help if you don’t have access to your phone or internet.

What Is Being Done:

As of December, Australia has declared a ‘State of Emergency’ in New South Wales, granting powers to the NSW RFS Commissioner – meaning they can now allocate government resources and direct agencies to take immediate action regarding the crisis.

In New South Wales, where the country has been hit the hardest, there are over 2,000 firefighters working to gain control of the fires – along with aid from the US, Canada and New Zealand being sent in.

The Australian Defence Force has also been deployed, including Naval vessels, Airforce crafts and Army personnel to help with search-and-rescue, firefighting and clean-up efforts.

Multiple GoFundMe and Facebook Fundraiser pages have been set up to help ordinary people donate (Megastar P!nk even donated $500,000), including Celeste Barber’s fundraiser, which has raised over $16 million at the time of writing (05/01/2020).

Climate Change & The Bushfire Crisis:

Whether or not you believe in Climate Change or not, I think we can all agree that these bushfires aren’t normal. If you don’t believe in Climate Change, feel free to skip this section – but it is still something I want to touch on.

I thought I would simply share some of the key findings of the Climate Council’s briefing paper, titled ‘This is Not Normal‘ – and you can all do what you like with that information.

NUMBER ONE:

The catastrophic, unprecedented fire conditions currently affecting New South Wales and Queensland have been aggravated by climate change.

Bushfire risk was exacerbated by record breaking drought, very dry fuels and soils, and record breaking heat.

NUMBER TWO:

Bushfire conditions are now more dangerous than in the past.

The risks to people and property have increased and fire seasons have lengthened. It is becoming more dangerous to fight fires in Australia.

NUMBER THREE:

The fire season has lengthened so substantially that it has already reduced opportunities for fuel reduction burning.

This means it is harder to prepare for worsening conditions.

NUMBER FOUR:

The costs of fighting fires are increasing.

Australia relies on resource sharing arrangements between countries and states and territories within Australia.

As seasons overlap and fires become more destructive, governments will be increasingly constrained in their ability to share resources ad the costs of tackling fires will increase.

NUMBER FIVE:

The government must develop an urgent plan to:

(1) prepare Australian communities, health and emergency services for escalating fire danger; and

(2) rapidly phase out the burning of coal and gas which is driving more dangerous fires.

But most importantly:

Please stay safe. Have a plan. Talk to your loved ones about it. Keep your property clear of anything that can fuel a bushfire. Check the warnings and know when to leave, before it’s too late.

Nothing is more important than the lives of you and your family.

Sources For Above Table:

Miscarriages of Justice on Adelaide’s Doorstep.

While high-profile cases that are printed in the media are crucial in highlighting and educating the public on issues such as false confessions, misleading evidence, wrongful convictions and malicious prosecution, it would be incorrect to assume these particular cases are exceptional or uncommon.

When we think of ‘Miscarriages of Justice’, our minds immediately float to cases like the ‘Central Park 5’ or Brendan Dassey and Stephen Avery from Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’ documentary.

Thanks to platforms like Netflix, Social Media and Innocence Project initiatives, the public is more informed than ever when it comes to Miscarriages of Justice.

In the last few years, there has been a growing interest in such cases – Netflix has an ever-expanding library on the topic, with titles such as:

Source: https://www.netflix.com/au/title/80200549
‘When They See Us’ – A Netflix Documentary Series based on The Central Park 5
Source: https://www.netflix.com/au/title/80000770
‘Making a Murderer’ – A Netflix Documentary Series based on Stephen Avery and Brendan Dassey

And while high-profile cases that are printed in the media are crucial in highlighting and educating the public on issues such as false confessions, misleading evidence, wrongful convictions and malicious prosecution, it would be incorrect to assume these particular cases are exceptional or uncommon.

In fact, Miscarriages of Justice are more common than you might think.

There have been a number of cases across Australia in recent years which have amounted to Miscarriages of Justice, including: Lindsay and Michael Chamberlain, whose baby went missing at Uluru; Gordon Wood, whose partner was found at the bottom of a notorious suicide spot in Sydney; and closer to home, Henry Keogh from Adelaide, whose partner was found dead in the bathtub.

All of these cases were found to have amounted to a Miscarriage of Justice, and although the total number of innocent people convicted of crimes can never be fully known, Civil Liberties Australia estimate 7% of all people convicted of crimes are innocent.

Now 7% may shock you, or it may not.

But if we’re talking about 10,000 prisoners, that means 700 of them are serving time for a crime they did not commit.

That’s a lot of cases, a lot of people, a lot of suffering families, and a big problem for the Australian Legal System. The University of Cincinnati Law Review published an article written by Lynne Weathered in 2012, which outlines the fascinating way in which Australia’s (generally modern) Legal System seems to fall drastically behind in regards to wrongful convictions.

Weathered is co-founder and Director of the Griffith University Innocence Project, and believes that although there are many reasons why a Miscarriage of Justice may occur – acknowledging flaws in the Justice System does not necessarily undermine it, but opens up opportunities for reform.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-09/calls-for-royal-commission-in-wake-of-high-court-ruling/9131598
Dr Colin Manock (ABC News)

This is a view backed by other experts in the field, such as Dr Bob Moles, who has been heavily involved in Miscarriages of Justice cases all over the world, including Adelaide, Australia.

He and Associate Professor, Bibi Sangha from Flinders University are especially interested in the State of South Australia’s several failings in regards to their former Chief Forensic Pathologist, Dr Colin Manock.

Dr Manock performed thousands of autopsies and testified in hundreds of court cases in South Australia – after the state declared that he wasn’t competent to certify the cause of death.

Ms Sangha and Dr Moles said:

‘…question marks now hang over a substantial number of criminal cases in which Manock appeared as a scientific expert, as well as casting doubt on the findings of the thousands of autopsies he conducted.’

Dr Bob Moles is calling for a Royal Commission into the matter, after Henry Keogh’s conviction was overturned in 2014, after spending 20 years in prison after being convicted of drowning his fiancee in the bathtub.

The Court of Criminal Appeal found there had been a Miscarriage of Justice due to flawed evidence provided by discredited forensic pathologist Dr Colin Manock. Two new experts, Professor Derrick John Pounder and Dr Matthew Joseph Lynch found that Dr Manock’s evidence was flawed.

In the judgment, it was found that:

‘…Both [experts] agree that there is nothing in the autopsy findings to exclude the probability that Ms Cheney’s death was a drowning in the bath following a fall and a head injury which rendered her unconscious…’

Twenty years is a long time to sit in prison for a crime you didn’t commit – which begs the question: are there more innocent people sitting in prison because of the evidence of Dr Colin Manock?

The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. One such case, which is currently before the courts, is that of Mr Derek Bromley.

Derek Bromley, an Indigenous Adelaide man, was convicted of the murder of Stephen Docoza in 1984, based on the evidence of Dr Colin Manock, much the same as Henry Keogh.

http://netk.net.au/BromleyHome.asp
Derek Bromley (Networked Knowledge)

As stated on Dr Bob Moles’ website, ‘Networked Knowledge‘, Bromley completed his non-parole period in 2008, but has not been released, as he maintains his innocence.

For a prisoner to be released, they must admit their wrongdoings and display their remorse, proving their rehabilitation – something someone who is innocent cannot do.

Derek Bromley has been in prison for 35 years – making him one of Australia’s longest serving prisoners.

Bromley’s case is due back before the courts in the coming months, with supporters keen to see his conviction thrown out:

Some may still question whether or not there is a possibility that Bromley may have committed the crime for which he was convicted, despite the botched evidence from Dr Manock. Regardless, Bromley has served more time than people convicted of much more horrendous crimes, who have long-since been released because they have admitted to what they have done.

But for an innocent man who refuses to admit to a crime he did not commit, he must stay in prison.

Some might also question why Bromley would not just admit to the crime, and therefore potentially be released on parole?

So let me ask you:

Would you admit to a crime that you did not commit?

If you would like to learn more about Derek Bromley’s case, or find out more about Miscarriages of Justice, head to:

*There is also a link at the bottom of my blog to Networked Knowledge, a page (and the people behind it) that I am proud to support in the continual search for justice, not only locally, but world-wide.

Book Review: Boy Swallows Universe.

A review of: Boy Swallows Universe – By Trent Dalton.

Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37558445-boy-swallows-universe

TITLE:

Boy Swallows Universe

AUTHOR:

Trent Dalton

PUBLISHED:

2018

PAGES:

464

GET IT HERE:

amazon.com.au

Overview:

‘Boy Swallows Universe’ is a raw, coming-of-age debut novel by Australian journalist, Trent Dalton. The novel follows the main character, Eli Bell, as he grapples with finding ‘the answers to the questions’.

It’s 1985 in the suburb of Darra, Queensland, just south of Brisbane. Eli is 13 and juggling his junkie mum, a brother who doesn’t speak, a heroin dealer for a step-dad and a notorious criminal for a babysitter – and he has a lot of questions. Like whether or not ‘Slim’ Halliday, his notorious babysitter, really killed that taxi driver in 1952. Or whether his older brother, August, will ever speak, instead of writing cryptic sentences in the sky with his forefinger:

‘Your end is a dead blue wren.’

And Eli’s questions only get bigger and more complicated as time goes by. And as his questions get bigger, so do his problems.

Eli will have to come face to face with a psychopathic drug dealer and his cronies, meet the girl of his dreams, break into the Boggo Road Gaol to rescue his mum and meet the Dad he doesn’t even remember, all in search of ‘the answers to the questions’.

My Thoughts:

The only regret I have about this book is that I didn’t read it sooner. If truth be told, I picked it up more than once in the store, and, after reading it was an Australian novel, put it back on the shelf in favour of something more gritty.

But ‘Boy Swallows Universe’ was eventually in my hands, and before I knew it, I couldn’t put it down. The detail with which this novel was written is a colossal success. I have never read anything like it – and probably won’t for quite some time.

‘Boy Swallows Universe’ sent shivers down my spine, put tears in my eyes and made me look back on the raw truth of my own childhood – filled with drugs and thugs and alcoholics for family members. And although from the outset, we know Eli Bell has it tough, his story is one of finding himself, finding love and finding meaning in the mess.

This novel certainly sets the bar high for future Australian novelists, and has restored my faith in story-telling. ‘Boy Swallows Universe’ is a true masterpiece – a stroke of genius – and a testament to the author, Trent Dalton.

If you do anything before 2019 ends, read this book.

My Rating: 5/5

If you enjoyed this, check out more below, at:

10 Holiday Gift Ideas For Dragon Boaters

Here are 10 great gift ideas for the paddlers in your life!

It’s that time of year again…!

… And if it’s that time of year again, that means: PRESENTS!

You’re probably already aware that some of us are decidedly more difficult to buy for… AKA the Dragon Boaters among us.

You know the ones… The ones that don’t seem to have anything else to talk about besides paddling, paddling and more paddling.

So if you’re stumped for things to buy your Dragon Boating loved ones this holiday season, stress no more! Here are 10 great gift ideas for the paddlers in your life:

Number One:

Source: https://www.hornetwatersports.com/products/dragon-boat-bag

A PADDLE BAG.

Help your loved ones keep their paddles safe, while also carrying them around in style.

This paddle bag from Hornet Watersports is tried and tested – I personally bought one for a paddling friend, and they loved it.

It fits most standard paddles, has a stitched logo and a front padded pocket to keep your stuff safe.

What: Dragon Boat Paddle Bag (Black)

Price: $50

Where: Hornet Watersports

Number Two:

WATER SHOES.

Sick of stinky sneakers and damp socks lying around the house? Aqua shoes are the perfect alternative – plus they’re comfy and quick drying!

I have a pair myself, and they have lasted me over a year now. After training I simply give them a rinse or throw them through the washing machine and voila! Done.

What: Men’s Prologue 1.0 Round Toe Aqua Shoes Black 5

Price: $23.99

Where: BCF Australia

Source: https://www.bcf.com.au/p/mens-prologue-1.0-round-toe-aqua-shoes/M55996801.html?dwvar_M55996801_color=Black&cgid=BCF061015#sz=12&start=14

Number Three:

Source: https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/dragon-boat-race-80103

LEGO DRAGON BOAT MODEL.

If you’re after something more novelty, this is certainly a fun idea! LEGO released a limited edition Dragon Boat Set, and they’ve been incredibly popular!

What: Chinese Dragon Boat Race 2019 Asia Exclusive

Price: $70 (varies depending on availability)

Where: Amazon

Number Four:

SHAKTI MAT LIGHT.

This is always a popular gift!

Promoting blood circulation, relaxation and restoration, this is the perfect gift for those suffering from sore, stiff or aching muscles.

What: Shakti Mat Light

Price: $69

Where: Shakti Mats Australia

Source: https://www.shaktimats.com.au/collections/all/products/shakti-mat-light-yellow

Number Five:

Source: https://www.underarmour.com.au/en-au/ua-undeniable-duffel-4.0-medium-duffle-bag/192810227774.html?dwvar_192810227774_size=OSFA&dwvar_192810227774_color=290&&cid=PLA%7cau%7call%7cggl%7call%7call%7call%7csmartshopping%7call%7call%7cPR&gclid=CjwKCAjw0vTtBRBREiwA3URt7haoTo1gcPYHX7N-Sp19fvGsf2lvlZgEowGOmPkncb1vJk2tfKqcRRoC6o8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

WATERPROOF GYM BAG.

There’s nothing worse than carting around a damp, stinky bag filled with damp, stinky training gear.

This 100% Polyester, waterproof bag has sections for dirty laundry and shoes, as well as internal organisation slips.

What: UA Undeniable Duffel 4.0 Medium Duffle Bag

Price: $65

Where: Under Armour

Number Six:

LONG SLEEVE COMPRESSION SHIRT.

2XU is one of the leading brands for compression-wear. Compression wear promotes posture, performance and recovery – while also providing a light-weight, breathable training top.

This particular shirt comes in male and female configurations and is a great gift idea – or if you’re unsure on sizing, get them a 2XU gift card!

What: 2XU Long Sleeve Compression Top

Price: $120

Where: 2XU

Source: https://www.2xu.com/dw/image/v2/AAXS_PRD/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-txu-master-catalog/default/dw241432a1/images/MA2308a/MA2308a_BLK-SIL.jpg?sw=296&sh=368&sm=fit

Number Seven:

Source: https://cdn10.bigcommerce.com/s-kvxitxv8/products/130/images/550/97110_4_grip_tape_on_paddle__68361.1485696592.1280.1280.png?c=2

GRIP TAPE.

Grip tape is often overlooked, but vitally important when it comes to paddling.

Burnwater Grip Tape has microscopic gas bubbles in the tape that activate the rubber so that it permanently sticks only to itself – and it comes in nine different colours, so your loved one can match their paddle to their team colour!

What: Fusion Paddle Grip Tape

Price: $17

Where: Burnwater

Number Eight:

Source: https://jpx2.com.au/collections/dragon-boat-accessories?page=2

PADDLING GLOVES.

Paddling gloves provide protection from blisters, and help paddlers keep a firm grip while training and racing.

These neoprene gloves are a perfect gift idea, and are easy to wash. Bonus!

What: Gloves – NRS Fingerless

Price: $40

Where: JPX2

Number Nine:

WATER SPORT SUNGLASSES.

A friend of mine recently bought a (very) expensive pair of sunglasses, only to lose them a week later in the lake while he was paddling.

These sunglasses are water-sport specific, polarized and designed to float. They can also be converted to prescription if needed. Problem solved!

What: Classic Jet Specs

Price: $49.95 (more for prescription)

Where: SeaSpecs

Source: https://www.seaspecs.com/classic-jet-specs-p-30

Number Ten:

NECK PROTECTION.

This neck buff can be used to keep the sun off your neck, keep the bugs out of your mouth, or to provide a wind-block in winter.

On hot days, you can soak it in water to keep you cool instead!

What: Hornet Buffs

Price: $15

Where: JPX2

Source: https://jpx2.com.au/collections/dragon-boat-accessories/products/hornet-buff-blue

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Book Review: The Nowhere Child.

A review of: The Nowhere Child – By Christian White.

TITLE:

The Nowhere Child

AUTHOR:

Christian White

GENRE:

Mystery/Crime, Fiction

PUBLISHED:

2018

PAGES:

374

GET IT HERE:

eBooks.com

Overview:

Kim Leamy lives a quiet life – teaching photography in Melbourne, Australia, and keeping to herself. That is, until an accountant from America approaches Kim one day before class, convinced she is not who she thinks she is at all. The accountant believes Kim is actually Sammy Went, a child who went missing from Kentucky 26 years earlier.

Kim brushes the accountant off, unable to see how her (now deceased) mother – a caring, loving social worker – could ever have had a role in an international kidnapping. But Kim can’t seem to shake the encounter from her mind, and decides to meet with the American again, if only to prove him wrong.

As Kim delves deeper into the mystery that is Sammy Went, based on information from the accountant, she decides to travel to America to unravel what could, after all, be hers (or Sammy’s) mysterious past.

My Thoughts:

This story was a unique twist on a ‘cliche’ story line, telling the tale of little Sammy Went and her family of secrets. For a debut novel, this was quite a good read! The author, Christian White, manages to find a way to keep you guessing about Sammy’s past, filled with kidnapping, secrets and religious conspiracies.

I really enjoyed reading this novel. Funny story – I bought it at the airport when I had a few hours to spare, and read about three quarters of it during that time. But I LOST IT! But I enjoyed what I had read so much, that as soon as I had a chance, I went out and bought the book for a second time, just so I could finish it.

I would definitely recommend this book!

My Rating: 4/5

Climate Change Is Changing The Way Young People See Their Future.

If you are a young person, the future is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate.

 

 

In case you’ve been living under a rock…

Climate Change is a very real, defining issue of our time. Regardless of whether you live in a place like the United States, where the President denies Climate Change (along with pulling out of the Paris Agreement to curb Carbon Emissions), or somewhere more advanced in its leadership on Climate Change, like France, who’s Prime Minister ended an address on the subject with: ‘Make our planet great again.’ … Boom.

Either way, we all live on the same planet, and it is our individual and collective responsibility to take action on Climate Change if this planet is going to survive even the next 40 years. NASA says the evidence for rapid Climate Change is compelling, noting key indicators, including:

Global Temperature Rises;

Warming Oceans;

Shrinking Ice Sheets;

Glacial Retreats;

Decreased Snow Cover;

Sea Level Rises;

Declining Arctic Sea Ice;

Extreme Weather Events and

Ocean Acidification

Climate Change is affecting the planet in significant, detrimental and soon-to-be irreversible ways. Without drastic action, the planet we know today will be gone, replaced with a landscape characterized catastrophic natural disasters, mass-extinction, global food shortages and increased exposure to conflict.

It’s for this reason that the younger generations are gearing up for a rough ride, and changing the way they see the world, in order to survive the damage our ancestors have inflicted on the planet.

 

 

Young People Don’t Want To Raise Children On A Damaged Planet.

More and more Millenials are becoming concerned with what the future may look like in 10, 20 or even 50 years from now. The phrase ‘I don’t want to bring children into this world’ is something you wouldn’t often have heard someone say 50 years ago. But in this day and age, there is a real, tangible fear of what the future may hold.

Global birth rates are declining, with more people becoming aware of the planet’s situation. The fear of bringing children into a world of uncertainty is a very real issue facing the young people of today. Even as recently as February this year, United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) asked the question ‘Is it still OK to have children?’ on her Instagram Story.

AOC argues that although the answer is not clear-cut, there is a scientific consensus that the lives of future generations will be difficult. And they know it. More and more young people are taking part in Global Climate Change Protests, like those started by Greta Thunberg who recently stated:

‘You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes… We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis…if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then… we should change the system itself.’

– Greta Thunberg

Younger generations are increasingly opting not to have children, with worries of food and water shortages, global unrest, natural disasters and political unrest present themselves as very real threats.

 

 

Young People Have Little Faith In Their Government.

A lot of Millenials are written off as out-of-touch with politics.

But the truth is, Millenials simply have no faith in the people representing them. Evidence of this is in the record number of Australians enrolled to vote this election – 96.8% of the total eligible voting population. This includes a record number of 18-24 year olds.

The world’s leaders have a responsibility to fight against Climate Change. We can only hope that as the older generations die out, they will be replaced with more switched-on individuals, who are dedicated to helping the planet and the people living on it, rather than continuing to be more preoccupied with the 1%:

“That future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money. It was stolen from us every time you said that the sky was the limit, and that you only live once. You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to.”

– Greta Thunberg

A survey carried out by Triple J found that 89% of young Australians believe the politicians in power aren’t working in the best interests of the planet. And guess what? Those same young people voted Environmental Policy and Climate Change as the most important issues to them, come election time.

That’s pretty damning.

 

 

Younger Generations Are Experiencing Higher Rates Of Mental Illnesses Dubbed ‘Eco-Anxiety’ or ‘Ecological Grief’.

The negative impact Climate Change is having on the physical environment poses real risks when it comes to the Mental Health of young people. A sense of doom where the future contains things like poverty, unemployment, natural disasters and resource shortages are very real issues that young people are having to face.

Even as far back as 2012, the National Wildlife Federation reported that over 200 million Americans would be exposed to serious psychological distress from climate related incidents. Of a study done by Millennium Kids Inc., 94.6% of the target demographic felt that Climate Change would be a problem in the future.

In the face of a changing climate, Eco-Anxiety is only going to become more and more apparent, with Mental Health organisations starting to get on board, such as ReachOut, who have a page dedicated to: How to cope with anxiety about climate change.

The page in question lists a variety of reasons young people might feel strained, stressed or anxious about Climate Change, including:

Feeling like planning for the future is pointless and/or hopeless;

Angry that the people around them aren’t doing anything to help;

Frustration at a lack of action they can take to help;

Worrying about whether it’s responsible to have children (see above) and

Feeling like their future is out of their control.

All very valid points. Climate Change is a hugely relevant issue in the world today, and one that deserves to be treated with urgency.

 


HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?

If you are a young person, the future is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. There are lots of ways you can help the environment in meaningful ways, including:

 

Taking part in conversations with others about Climate Change

Joining the Australian Youth Climate Change Coalition

Taking part in School Strike 4 Climate

Joining the Australian Student Environment Network

Finding articles about ways to help the environment at home

Being active on Social Media Platforms

Joining clean up efforts, such as Sea Shepherd’s Marine Debris Campaign

 

 

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