An interview with Writer Des Pensable About his Divinity Seeds Trilogy


copyright Des Pensable 2017

Since everyone can’t attend the book release here’s what you might expect if you were there.

Interviewer: Des Pensable has just published the third and final book of his Divinity Seeds trilogy, Edge of Chaos. We’re going to find out a little about him and his story.

Interviewer: Is Des Pensable your real name?

Des Pensable: No. I learnt many years ago that people judge others by the origin of their name. I wanted people to judge me only on the quality of what I write. So I chose a pen name.

The word pensable comes from the French meaning thoughtful. The word dispensable generally is taken to mean something that can be discarded. So Des Pensable is a play on thoughts and concepts that can be used or discarded if you don’t like them.

Interviewer: Can you tell us a little about yourself.

Des Pensable: I was born in Sydney Australia and have lived there for most of my life. I was married and have two children and four grandchildren. I went to a public high school; I am a scientist. I’ve worked in a range of science jobs in private enterprise and government; I’ve travelled extensively around the world and spent considerable time camping and walking in wilderness areas.

Interviewer: You write on a wide range of topics. What is your favourite?

Des Pensable: I have written a lot on the issues surrounding Global Warming lately as I see it as the largest and most serious threat that our civilisation has ever faced. I have researched the data thoroughly and believe the science is correct. I’m convinced that if we continue as normal our civilisation will collapse and the survivors will live in a very inhospitable world for centuries to come.

I was pretty fired up on the subject a couple of years ago so I went to Canada and did one of Al Gore’s Climate Change leadership courses. It was a lot of fun and I met some great people. Since then I’ve concentrated on writing short stories, poems and satire about fracking, coal mining, climate change activism, protests and of course global warming politics.

However, my favorite project has been my epic fantasy trilogy Divinity Seeds which has been an epic journey in itself. It’s about half a million words long and was written over several years. The third part of the story has just been published.

Interviewer: What inspired you to write an epic fantasy?

Des Pensable: I got addicted to science fiction stories in high school. I read all the old classics from H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clark, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, John Wyndham etc. Then in 1975, my wife and I visited her grandparents in the UK and we heard about this story called Lord of the Rings. On my return I got a copy of it and The Hobbit and both my wife and I fell in love with that style of epic fantasy.

From then on I think we just about read every epic fantasy that we could get out hands on.  When my kids were old enough we started playing Dungeons and Dragons and built up a group of friends that played each week for years. During that period we often talked about writing stories but of course nobody got around to do it.

A few years ago, I had a bit of spare time and decided to write a novel size story based upon one of my Dungeon and Dragons characters who used psionics, a form of magic derived from the power of the mind. I was inspired here by the fantastic Golden Torque series by Julian May.

I was also interested in my character being able to shape change as it offered a lot of possibilities to discuss philosophical, ethical and moral issues within a fantasy story setting. I was inspired here by Mavin the Many Shaped by Sheri Tepper.

My first effort was a bit of a flop. Being a scientist my writing style was quite technical. I had to relearn how to write in a more interesting fantasy style. For this story, I decided to first write a concept story about the world, the creatures and characters in it and the basic plot line and subplots. That story was about 100 A4 pages long.

I then wrote the story in book 1 which grew larger and went through eight versions. Ideas flowed as I understood my characters better.  Eventually,  the story grew long enough for 3 books.  After book 3, I moved some of the chapters around, chopped out some chapters and wrote some more to flesh out the story to make it flow more naturally. I published the first part two years ago; the second part last year and now the third part of the story is available.

Interviewer: Can you tell us a bit about the characters in the story.

Des Pensable: My main characters are Aquitain, a roughly 20 year old male wizard. He’s a sort of magic technician whose job is the make and fix magic items in his grandfather’s shop in a city called Panmagica.  His world gets torn apart when he starts showing signs of becoming a shape changer. He runs foul of the law and is quickly shipped off to a remote planet called Mudrun to hide for a while.

Not long after arriving on the planet he runs into Miranda, a female druid about his age inflicted with a magic tattoo supposedly to protect her chastity and so starts an incredible journey of chaotic adventures together through three worlds, where they both grow from friends to frustrated lovers and from novices to dangerous masters of their magical art.

Interviewer: Can you tell us a little about the plot.

Des Pensable: The story starts in the city state of Panmagica and quickly moves to Mudrun a wilderness planet recovering from an apocalyptic magic storm called the Great Storm a few hundred years earlier. Aquitain gets a job with the local wizard and not long after, he starts getting drawn into strange happenings. He discovers a prophesy of a Time of Troubles which could create another apocalyptic storm and it seems he is somehow unwittingly involved.

I have discarded the good vs evil plot for the rarer chaos vs order plot. This allows my characters much more freedom when dealing with issues of morality which often vary owing to religious and cultural differences.

Aquitain discovers he is different to others. He is actually half newman / half dragon. He has been created to be an Agent of Chaos. He is told that no rules apply to him. In books 1 and 2 he is bound by his cultural upbringing as a Newman but later in book 3, when he accepts his true nature, he starts making his own rules. That’s when things get really interesting. We also discover that Miranda his partner in chaos has a carefully hidden past redefining her role.

The story ventures into spiritual areas when it explores what might be possible if his soul/ spirit could move out of his body and what sort of possibilities and problems that could cause.

Finally, both Aquitain and Miranda, his lover can shape change. This can create some real problems for a writer that most writers try to avoid. We are moving into a taboo area. People have dirty minds. How did I balance the possibilities that they could get into culturally unacceptable situations. You’ll have to read the story to find out.

I hope that I’ve steered a careful course through this potential minefield. There are, however, some passionate situations in this story that you won’t normally read in the classic epic fantasy story. The story was written for adults not children. I hope you enjoy it.

Sorry you missed out on the free wine and beer.

You can get a FREE ebook copy of the Book 3 Edge of Chaos until 31st December, 2017 here.

You can find out more about the story on the Divinity Seeds website.

Visit Des Pensible’s Graphiti web site for a wide variety of stories.

Join the Des Pensable Facebook site @despensablestories


I’m Just a Scientist Maybe I See Things Different to You


Des Pensable copyright 2017

I’m just a scientist maybe I see things different to you. So I’m going to tell what I see.

When I walk into a forest I don’t just see trees. I see individual living creatures different from us but living none the less.

I see them constructed of leaves that harvest the sunlight, turning it into sugars that they use to grow and form their structure which is their flesh. I understand that they don’t need to move as everything they need it supplied free where they live.

When I see a leaf I think of the complexity of the chemical factories in it producing the sugars. I can take a leaf and break it and smell the aroma that it gives and immediately have an idea of the chemicals it has produced. I think of how the chemicals change between night and day and between seasons and whether it is sunny or wet or cold and whether there are more or less of some important trace mineral in the soil.

If it was a gum leaf I can smell the eucalyptus and it reminds of camping when I was a child.  I remember the characteristic smell of the smoke of burning eucalyptus leaves. It also remind me of bush fires and how the burn very hot with the eucalyptus oils.  I remember that the blue haze we see when we look at the Blue Mountains near my home in Sydney is from the eucalyptus oil vapour above the trees.

I look at the leaf and see it has a circular piece cut out. I imagine what sort of insect had eaten that piece of leaf. I wonder why it didn’t eat all the leaf. Was it a bird that came along and ate the insect or was it that the eucalyptus oil was toxic to the insect and it fell off to die and be eaten by another creature or did it just lie there dead until a fungus grew over it and it was absorbed into the earth.

I think about all the hundreds of insects that live in and on the tree’s bark. Families of them live their whole lives on the tree. I think of the lizards and spiders that prey on the insects and the birds that prey on the lizards,  spiders and insects.

I think of the tree’s flowers that produce the nectar to attract the birds and insects that help the plant spread its seeds so that other trees may have life and those trees will give life to other insects, and spiders and birds and lizards.

I think of the tree breathing in carbon dioxide, using the carbon to construct its body and breathing out oxygen that all animals need for life. I see an intricate web of nature that forms our life support system on our planet the only home we have. I think of how other animals and man have lived near or passed by that tree and saw just a tree standing there.

I’m just a scientist maybe I see things different to you.

I see a man come to the tree and see its value only in what it can provide him. He can’t see everything else that has a life tied to that tree. He doesn’t care. He can use it to make money an invention he created in his mind. This money has value and all the life that surrounded the tree has none.

He can make objects out of the tree to sell for money or to use it as part of his house or he can simply burn its wood to warm him when it’s cold or throw it in a dump when he has no more value in money to him.

I’m a scientist maybe I see things differently to you.

When I put a microorganism in a dish with all the food it can eat I can watch as it reproduces until it covers all the area of the food and eats and pollutes all the food until every organism dies.

When I see humans chop down every tree to grow more food so that they can multiply I see them killing not only the trees but every other creature that lives on and near the trees. I see that the wonderful web of nature, which produces the oxygen that all life depends upon is being destroyed.

I’m a scientist that has observed the wonders of nature but I’m also a scientist that has observed and measured the effects of humans on the world. I’ve witnessed and measured the deterioration in our life support system that we are causing. I’ve measured the pollution and seen the sickness , death and disease it causes.

I’m a scientist maybe I think different to you.

I don’t know everything but I do know some things for sure. When our population grows so large that it chops down the last tree and pollutes the ocean enough to kill off that last phytoplankton in the oceans that produces the oxygen that all life depends upon, our life support system will fail. Humanity will be the parasite that killed its host.

We’ll all be dust in another failed experiment of evolution of life on Earth. Millions of other species have already preceded us. There is no reason to think we won’t follow them. Every thought that was ever thought, every word that was ever uttered or written, every song, story idea, experience of love and living will be gone forever.

The planet will survive and in a few million years life will be rekindled but without humans because we were so arrogant to believe we had the right to destroy everything living because we were more important than anything else.

I’m just a scientist and maybe I think differently to you.

I do know that the story doesn’t need to turn out this way. I do know we have a problem and the ability to fix it if we try. I also know that fixing the problem will mean changes in people’s lives and how we as a species view our importance in the world. I do know that this is the most important test in our lives.

Can we, like the caterpillar, change to the butterfly? Can we metamorphose into a new beautiful creation of Nature, or do we fail the test of evolution and vanish like so many species before us.

I’m just a scientist and maybe I think different to you.

Des Pensable is a scientist with degrees in microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and neuroscience.

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Should the World Sanction or Boycott the USA for Its Inaction on Global Warming?

By Des Pensable copyright 2017

In 2015, the USA Obama government agreed with the world’s climate scientists about the economic, environmental and possible existential dangers posed by Global Warming. They consequently joined the rest of the world at the Paris Climate Change conference pledging strong action to reduce Global Warming.

This year, the new USA Trump government has suddenly denied all scientific evidence from the world that Global Warming is a problem and stated that it will no longer help the world fight Global Warming.

The Trump government has announced, that it will be pulling out of the Paris Climate Change agreement. It is also trying to abolish the US Environmental Protection Agency and significantly reduce actions and research by US government agencies including NASA and the US military on Global Warming mitigation.

So what happened?

Human caused Global Warming is already being seen to increase the severity of storms, such as hurricanes, floods,  dangerous heat waves and droughts around the world which are causing considerable economic damage.

Without serious action, towards 2050 the Global Warming will make many parts of the world unlivable which will cause riots and civil unrest leading to massive numbers, perhaps hundreds of millions of climate change refugees. It’s not difficult to imagine the world strife if this occurs. Hundreds of millions of people will die.

The USA is currently the world’s second largest source of green house gas pollution and for much of the previous century it was the world’s largest source of these gases. Consequently the USA is one of the main causes of Global Warming.

Around the world it is universally recognized that any person, corporation or even country that willfully acts to cause harm or death of people is criminally liable for their actions. The current USA actions to ignore fixing a global problem that it is largely responsible for causing should then be seen as criminal negligence.

It’s worth asking why the USA has decided to ignore the plight of the world and act so irresponsibly towards Global Warming.  At first, it doesn’t seem to make any sense. However, if we take a closer look at political changes to USA government over the last 20 years then we can get an idea as to why this has happened.

The USA has always claimed to be the world’s best example of democracy, however, over the last two decades this has changed. The USA has been transformed from a democracy run by the people for the people, to a corporate oligarchy run by corporate oligarchs for their own enrichment.  A university study showed the citizens of the USA have virtually no say.  In other words the rich people rule the USA.

The oligarchs literally own the politicians within the USA government. They select most of the politicians, spending large amounts of money in advertising to ensure their chosen people get elected. They then give the politicians guidance though large numbers of corporate lobbyists and electoral donations which are basically bribes to ensure the politicians only enact laws beneficial to the corporate oligarchs.

In recent times, the wealth of corporate USA has largely been built from fossil fuels through the petrodollar.  There is currently about $30 trillion worth of fossil fuels still in the ground which could be extracted and burnt. The scientists have provided considerable evidence that if this were to be burnt the world will be destroyed by catastrophic Global Warming.

The current corporate oligarchs such as the Koch brothers who have taken control of the current USA government have massive investments in fossil fuels. The Paris Climate change agreement, was about reducing the use of fossil fuels to zero as soon as possible. If this were to happen then the fossil fuel oligarchs would lose much of their wealth.

It’s not surprising then that with control of the government they have taken actions to not only do nothing about Global warming but speed it up by undoing all Obama era environmental laws brought in to slow down Global Warming. They have also decided to use government money to subsidize increased use of fossil fuel in the USA which will also speed it up. This is suicidal for not only the USA but the world.

The USA believes itself to be world’s only superpower and with the world’s biggest army it can and does threaten any country in the world that displeases it for any reason. The USA government considerers itself the world leader but its actions on Global Warming are not those of a leader. They are the actions of a selfish group of greedy sociopathic oligarchs threatening the world for their own enrichment.

So how can the people of the world express their displeasure at the current USA Trump government’s arrogant and selfish inaction on Global Warming?

The USA government has been the leading country to put trade and economic sanctions on other countries when those countries displease the USA government.

So why couldn’t the world use trade and economic sanctions on the USA to express its displeasure at the arrogant and selfish actions of the current USA corporate government in not taking action on Global Warming.

Climate change activist and journalist  Naomi Klein has suggested that this should be an option if the Trump government leaves the Paris agreement.

There are many USA based transnational corporations that are vulnerable to world sanctions and boycotts. This will penalize corporate USA where it hurts the most, though their corporate profits.

It would also send a loud message to the people of the USA who will be just as badly affected by global Warming as the rest of the world’s people that it is time for them to take their democracy back.

While it might be argued that many cowardly governments would be afraid to put sanctions on the USA fearing spiteful military or economic retaliation. A concerted action by a large group of countries could be accomplished through the United Nations and this would lessen the burden of any USA retaliation on individual countries.

The difference between sanctions and boycotts are that sanctions are carried out by countries but boycotts are carried out by people.  Consequently, a world boycott by the people on USA multinationals might well be an even more potent way for people to show their concern at the USA corporate government’s criminal contempt for OUR lives.

The world boycotts through the BDS program on Israel for its appalling treatment of the Palestinians shows that world boycotts can exert significant pressures on obnoxious governments when other cowardly governments are afraid to speak up.

No government can stop its own people from choosing NOT to buy or use USA services and goods. Each one of us that chooses not to use, buy or support any goods or services from the USA will help to persuade the USA to take action to stop Global Warming instead of making it worse.

The future of all our families and possibly even life on Earth depends on our unified actions to reverse the current USA corporate government madness and greed.

Let’s try to get our governments to sanction the USA but even more important let’s  take individual action. Choose NOT to support any USA corporation and watch what happens.

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Des Pensable is an independent writer and global warming activist receiving no financial support from any organisation.

This is What ECOCIDE Looks Like in 2017

Des Pensable copyright 2017

ecocide    /ˈiːkəˌsaɪd; ˈɛkə-/    noun

  1. total destruction of an area of the natural environment, esp by human agency
  2. the destruction of large areas of the natural environment by such activity as nuclear warfare, over exploitation of resources, or dumping of harmful chemicals.

This is the MASS DEATH list for the first 2 months of 2017.

Repeat TWO MONTHS of 2017

What will the future of your children and theirs be like if this keeps happening month after month after month. Accelerating year after year?

When are you going to fight for your children and grandchildren’s future?


MASS ANIMAL DEATH LIST                                  110 Known MASS Death Events in 43 Countries (or Territory)

28th February 2017 – 9 TONS of dead fish found floating in the sea by fishermen in Zhejiang, China. Link

28th February 2017 – TONS of dead fish found washed up along the beaches of Apetlon, Austria. Link

28th February 2017 – Hundreds of dead fish found along beaches in Huatulco, Mexico. Link

28th February 2017 – 4,200 waterbirds dead due to ‘avian cholera’ in Idaho, America. Link

28th February 2017 – 200 cows found dead, ‘due to heatwave’ in La Pampa, Argentina. Link

28th February 2017 – Mass die off of birds due to avian flu right across Hungary. Link

28th February 2017 – Hundreds of dead fish found in a river in New South Wales, Australia. Link

28th February 2017 – 4 dead whales have washed ashore during the past month in Virginia, America. Link

27th February 2017 – Thousands of fish have died in the Magdalena River in Colombia. Link

27th February 2017 – 42,000 birds killed due to avian flu in Plateau, Nigeria. Link

27th February 2017 – 27,000 ducks killed due to avian flu in Sant Gregori, Spain. Link

25th February 2017 – Hundreds of dead fish wash up on beaches in Montevideo, Uruguay. Link

25th February 2017 – 1,000+ cattle dead due to drought in Tehuantepec, Mexico. Link

23rd February 2017 – Massive die off of fish in a river in Thanh Hoa, Vietnam. Link

22nd February 2017 – 100 dead dolphins washed up during past 8 weeks, ‘IT’s A MASSACRE’, in Cornwall, England. Link

22nd February 2017 – 56 dead whales and dolphins wash up this year, ‘WORST ON RECORD’, in Ireland. Link

22nd February 2017 – 6 TONS of fish die in a lake in South Cotabato, Philippines. Link

22nd February 2017 – 90,000 birds killed due to avian flu in Chungcheong Province, South Korea. Link

22nd February 2017 – Massive die off of fish in lake Eber in Afyon Province, Turkey. Link

21st February 2017 – 600,000 ducks to be killed due to avian flu in Landes, France. Link

21st February 2017 – 6,000 birds killed due to avian flu in Southern Vietnam. Link

21st February 2017 – Dozens of dead sea birds, plus dead sea lions found along the coast in Puerto Natales, Chile. Link

20th February 2017 – 42,000 turkeys killed due to avian flu in Gazzo Veronese, Italy. Link

20th February 2017 – 10,000 freshwater fish found dead in a lake in central Namibia. Link

19th February 2017 – Hundreds of dead fish wash up on a lake in Minnesota, America. Link

19th February 2017 – 1 TON of dead fish found floating in the waters of Saguling, Indonesia. Link

17th February 2017 – Tens of thousands of dead fish wash up along the Cooloola coast in Australia. Link

16th February 2017 – 30 TONS of dead fish washes ashore in Nicoya Gulf, Costa Rica. Link

16th February 2017 – 86 turtles found dead, ‘due to red tide’ in La Paz and Los Cabos, Mexico. Link

16th February 2017 – 100 cattle dead due to drought in Lamu, Kenya. Link

16th February 2017 – 46,000+ livestock dead from ‘extreme cold’ in Northern Mongolia. Link

16th February 2017 – Hundreds of cattle dying due to drought in Bacalar, Mexico. Link

15th February 2017 – 6 dead dolphins found washed ashore in San Felipe, Mexico. Link

15th February 2017 – Masses of dead birds appearing in Magnitogorsk, Russia. Link

15th February 2017 – 17 TONS of dead fish found in a dam in Piaui, Brazil. Link

15th February 2017 – Tens of thousands of fish suddenly die in fish farms in Purwakarta, Indonesia. Link

14th February 2017 – 23,000 chickens killed due to avian flu in Suffolk, England. Link

13th February 2017 – Dozens of dead owls found along a road in Idaho, America. Link

13th February 2017 – Thousands of dead fish turn up in a river in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Link

13th February 2017 – 700+ bats dead ‘due to heat’ in New South Wales, Australia. Link

13th February 2017 – 130,000 birds killed due to avian flu in Taiwan. Link

13th February 2017 – Mass fish die off in a river in Ha Tinh, Vietnam. Link

13th February 2017 – Thousands of dead fish wash ashore in Cienaga, Colombia. Link

12th February 2017 – 350 whales dead after 650 stranded in Farewell Spit, New Zealand. Link

12th February 2017 – Masses of dead fish found washed up on a beach in Cabo Frio, Brazil. Link

10th February 2017 – Hundreds of migratory birds found dead ‘due to pollution’ in Guanajuato, Mexico. Link

8th February 2017 – 2,500 Saiga Antelopes have died due to disease in Mongolia. Link

8th February 2017 – 20,000 ducks killed due to avian flu in southern Czech Republic. Link

8th February 2017 – Hundreds of dead fish found washed up on beach in Piura, Peru. Link

6th February 2017 – Hundreds of dead sea birds found washed up on the coast of Huanchaco, Peru. Link

6th February 2017 – 71,000 chickens killed due to avian flu in Saga, Japan. Link

6th February 2017 – Thousands of ducks dying from disease in Washington, America. Link

3rd February 2017 – Hundreds of baby turtles dying due to heat on a beach in Queensland, Australia. Link

3rd February 2017 – Thousands of dead jellyfish, ‘never seen this many before’, wash ashore in Queensland, Australia. Link

3rd February 2017 – 1,300 TONS of fish have died suddenly in lake Sebu, Philippines. Link

3rd February 2017 – Thousands of dead fish wash up in Porthcawl Harbour, Wales. Link

30th January 2017 – 63,000 birds to be killed due to avian flu in Lancashire, England. Link

29th January 2017 – 400 dead monkeys found in the forests of Espirito Santo, Brazil. Link

28th January 2017 – Masses of dead fish washing up again on beaches in Florida, America. Link

28th January 2017 – 10,000+ pheasants to be killed due to avian flu in Lancashire, England. Link

27th January 2017 – 3,700 dead birds found in the waters of Sacramento, America. Link

27th January 2017 – 3 dead whales and a dolphin wash up in Baja California, Mexico. Link

25th January 2017 – MILLIONS of dead sardines wash up on the coast of Quemchi, Chile. Link

25th January 2017 – 400 dead turtles found in a dried up dam in Quixada, Brazil. Link

24th January 2017 – 12 dolphins have stranded and died this month in Asturias, Spain. Link

24th January 2017 – Large die off of fish in a lagoon in Michigan, America. Link

24th January 2017 – 106 dead turtles found along the coasts of Sergipe and Bahain, Brazil. Link

24th January 2017 – Hundreds of crabs and fish have died in Queensland, Australia. Link

23rd January 2017 – Thousands of dead herring found washed up in Bjorndal fjord, Norway. Link

23rd January 2017 – 3,000+ birds killed due to avian flu in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Link

23rd January 2017 – Mass die off of fish in the waters of Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhone, France. Link

21st January 2017 – 50,000 fish died due to pollution in a river in Oswestry, England. Link

21st January 2017 – 9 turtles found dead on a beach in Sao Francisco de Itabapoana, Brazil. Link

20th January 2017 – 600,000 chickens killed due to avian flu in Astrakhan, Russia. Link

20th January 2017 – 800,000 ducks killed due to avian flu in Southwest France. Link

19th January 2017 – Tens of thousands of dead fish wash up on a beach in Kvarnakershamn, Sweden. Link

19th January 2017 – Mass death of wild birds reported around Lake Victoria, Uganda. Link

19th January 2017 – 3 whales have been found dead during past month in Nayarit, Mexico. Link

18th January 2017 – 28,000 hens dead due to avian flu in Southern Greece. Link

18th January 2017 – 10 dead turtles are found every day on the coast of Costa Chica, Mexico. Link

17th January 2017 – 81 dolphins (false killer whales) dead after stranding in Florida’s Everglades, America. Link

17th January 2017 – 6,000 turkeys are to be killed due to avian flu in Lincolnshire, England. Link

17th January 2017 – Hundreds of dead fish wash up on Hindmarsh Island in Australia. Link

17th January 2017 – Dozens of pelicans are dying in Riviera Bay, St. Petersburg, Florida, America. Link

17th January 2017 – Hundreds of dead fish found in a lagoon in Petrolina, Brazil. Link

15th January 2017 – 10 dead dolphins found washed up, ‘experts baffled’, in Cornwall, England. Link

14th January 2017 – 430,000 birds to be killed due to avian flu in Southern Bulgaria. Link

14th January 2017 – Mass die off of fish in the waters of Wilhelmshausen, Germany. Link

13th January 2017 – Thousands of fish die in a lake in St. Petersburg, Florida, America. Link

13th January 2017 – Thousands of dead fish wash up along a lagoon in Patagonia. Link

13th January 2017 – Hundreds of dead fish wash up along a river in Manzhou Taiwan. Link

12th January 2017 – Hundreds of TONS of fish have died in Lake Toba, Indonesia. Link

12th January 2017 – 30+ dead turtles found washed ashore in Chennai, India. Link

12th January 2017 – 10,000 birds dead due to avian flu in Odessa, Ukraine. Link

11th January 2017 – Massive fish kill found washed up on a lake in New South Wales, Australia. Link

10th January 2017 – Thousands of animals/cattle dead due to wildfires in La Pampa, Argentina. Link

10th January 2017 – Thousands of fish die in farms, ‘due to flooding’ in Kelantan, Malaysia. Link

10th January 2017 – 700 fish die in a lake, ‘due to drought’ in Sinigo, Italy. Link

9th January 2017 – Hundreds of dead lobsters, starfish and crabs found washed ashore in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Link

9th January 2017 – 80 swans have died due to avian flu in Dorset, England. Link

9th January 2017 – Hundreds of fish dying in a lake in Pozzuoli, Italy. Link

9th January 2017 – Thousands of dead fish, plus dead birds found in a quarry lake in Basiglio, Italy. Link

8th January 2017 – Thousands of fish die suddenly in a dam in East Java,, Indonesia. Link

5th January 2017 – 350,000 birds to be killed due to avian flu in Quilpue Chile. Link

5th January 2017 – 20,000+ chickens killed due to avian flu in Yunlin, Taiwan. Link

4th January 2017 – Large number of dead sea birds found washed up in the Bay of Gibraltar, Spain. Link

4th January 2017 – Hundreds of dead fish found in a lake in Bundaberg, Australia. Link

3rd January 2017 – Dozens of birds fall dead from sky in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, America. Link

3rd January 2017 – Dozens of dead turtles washing up on beaches in Jagatsinghpur district, India. Link

1st January 2017 – 5 Humpback whales have washed ashore in recent weeks in Hawaii, America. Link

I wish to acknowledge the source of this list even though I do not believe in any biblical interpretations of these mass deaths.


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Other environmental stories by Des Pensable

Global Warming, Over Population and Ecocide – Urgent Problems to Fix

NSW Premier Mike Baird Abandons Sinking Liberal Ship for Lucrative Bank Job

Copy right Des Pensable, 2017.

A couple of weeks ago NSW Premier Mike Baird’s self-righteous short jaunt of blatant authoritarian neoliberalism and corporate cronyism ended, when he finally fell on his sword after mass public protests and  his popularity crashing to a dismal low.  His reckless crusade to privatise everything, together with his vandalism of our culture, our civil structure, social institutions and the environment finally caught up with him.

After he was instrumental in the Nationals losing the Orange bye election by the biggest margin in state history, owing to the Greyhound Industry fiasco, he was seen to be endangering the fragile Liberal / National Party unity. They were scared witless about their future election chances so he had to go.  His willingness to leave has rewarded him with a plum job in the NAB with a million dollar per year salary.

When the party asked for volunteers, to take up the poisoned chalice that he had left behind, only one person was game, Gladys Berejiklian.  You have to give her credit for that, although it’s doubtful that she will be allowed to reverse any of her party’s anti-social, corporate sponsored, shadow government agenda.

We need to remember that the NSW Liberal party was considered the most corrupt government in Australia, after the NSW ICAC found a massive network of corruption within it.  Indeed Mike Baird gained leadership of the party after his predecessor Barry O’Farrel, resigned after being accused of a bribe.

So Gladys Berejiklian is most likely there to try to fool the gullible public that the Liberals and Nationals are not the psychopathic corrupt corporate shills that they plainly still are.

For the record, its worth examining the legacy that this smug banker left, after his wild orgy of sociopathic, neoliberal, ideological, slash and burn policies, during his short two and half years as the leader of the Liberals.

  1. Privatisation of Everything.

There are lots of reasons why privatisation doesn’t work. Regardless of the majority of NSW citizens against privatisation of the NSW power network, the dauntless Premier Baird decided to sell it off anyway . First went Transgrid to a foreign consortium for $10 billion. Next went half of Ausgrid to an Aussie consortium for $16 billion.  What were Mr Baird and the Liberals going to do with all this money? Well they’re not sure.  What we can be sure of is that the real estate, property barons and bankers will do well.

The state’s power grid wasn’t the only thing he decided to privatise. He started selling land and buildings all over the state netting another $3 billion. Some sales have attracted considerable controversy such as selling the Power House Museum to developers, causing substantial opposition from Sydneysiders.

Of course no privatisation plan would be complete, without privatisation of five state hospitals even though previous attempts have led to real messes. Of course, sale of Long Bay Prison and more prison privatisation is also on the cards even though private prisons have been found to have serious problems.

The latest plan has been to privatise the NSW Land Titles Department. However, this has run into serious opposition, as it’s been revealed that it is more profitable, even in the shorter term to keep in under government control. We shouldn’t forget Sydney’s  trains. There’s always plans to sell the trains off.

There is no plan yet to sell off the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House although I did suggest that it might happen in a satire before the last election.

  1. Forced Council Amalgamations

In September, 2014 the NSW Government released its Fit for the Future (FFTF) program, following a three-year Independent Review of Local Government. The Greens were highly critical of the terms of reference of the review.

In May 2016 the NSW Government announced the amalgamation of a number of councils across NSW. On the surface this seems to be an attempt to improve efficiencies of local government areas.

The announcement forced dozens of democratically elected mayors and council members out of a job, to be replaced by Baird appointed administrators until new council elections can be held next year.

The people in merged council areas have been very vocal, disrupting councils and claiming a loss of identity and grass roots representation.  They have also been highly critical of government claims of public involvement and some of the appointed administrators.

A Liberal donor who donated $150,000 to Liberal election fund, the “Queensland based software company Technology One Limited, has emerged as the biggest winner so far from Baird’s forced amalgamation agenda, with the company picking up an estimated $10 million worth of directly negotiated contracts from just three newly amalgamated councils.”

After the Nationals lost the Orange bye election, they panicked as there was massive resistance to the council amalgamations in their electorates. Consequently, as soon as Mike Baird resigned, the leader of the Nationals John Barilaro, bravely claimed that they would stop further rural council amalgamations.  The new Premier has stated she is prepared to ‘listen to the community’ and  is considering cancelling many of the mergers.

  1. Westconnex – Dispossessing Sydneysiders of their Homes

WestConnex is a motorway scheme currently in the early stages of construction in Sydney. The scheme proposes to build or upgrade some 33 kilometres, to the Sydney motorway network. The total cost of WestConnex is estimated at $15 billion and has been described as “the biggest transport project in Sydney since the Harbour Bridge”.

It has been criticised by the NSW Auditor General, over failures of proper governance.  The Lord Major of Sydney, Clover Moore, has called for an independent inquiry into it. The Greens strongly oppose it while Labor appears to be in favour of the project. It has been the subject of escalating public protest where residents in affected suburbs, have predicted wide spread non-violent public disobedience.

  1. Lock Out Laws by Wowsers

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin with wowser Premier Baird, for many of the young in Sydney was, the Sydney lock out laws.   These led to a thousands  strong protest in February 2016. The laws dramatically curtailed the revelry in the centre of Sydney, by restricting the hours for purchase of alcohol and closing the numerous pubs, bars, discos, clubs and restaurants at 3 am.

It was also widely criticised by not only the many businesses catering for the revelry but also may in Mike Baird’s own party.  A recent review was carried out where over 1800 submissions were made both for and against the lock out laws.

When Mike Baird departed, organisers of the Keep Sydney Open  group vowed to keep fighting the laws stating.

“Under Premier Baird’s lockout laws Sydneysiders have seen the city’s international reputation tarnished, and its vibrancy, energy and positivity diminished. Inner-city small businesses have been devastated, and crashing gate receipts for music and performance in the state of NSW threaten the future of the cultural life of the state.”

The Lock Out laws were finally relaxed a little in December, 2016

  1. NSW TAFE Wilful Destruction by Education Terrorists

There has been massive growing concern and opposition to the Baird government privatisation of the NSW TAFE and the subsequent loss of thousands of TAFE students.  In a Vote Compass survey in 2015, 70.7% of 36,000 in NSW voted that TAFE should receive more funding while only 3.1 %, that it should receive less funding.

Over the four years up until mid 2016 the number of students enrolled in the NSW TAFE decreased by 126,000 and 5,200 support staff were sacked. The minster then announced another review . This time the despicable idiots dumped carpentry, plumbing and painters trade courses despite a nation wide shortage.

Apprentice numbers in western Sydney, have dropped by 15,000. While the total lost across the country, is 28% of Australia’s workforce of apprentices, from 383,562 to 278,583.  One obvious reason for less students, was humungous course fee rises of up to 7000% increase over a 3 year period.

A report highly critical of the Baird government’s privatisation of TAFE concluded, that it was failing. NSW people are not happy with the destruction of the TAFE by the Baird government and are unhappy with the quality of the private courses, judging by the increasing ‘drop out’ rates.

The reason for the apparent wilful destruction of the NSW TAFE system, has become obvious with the leaking of a secret Turnbull government plan to take over the nation’s TAFE courses and privatise the whole system. Thousands of NSW kids have been robbed of a decent future.

  1. CSG Mining to Pollute the Air , Water and Land

Coal seam gas (GSG) mining has been very controversial in NSW for several years, with considerable opposition to it throughout the state of NSW, especially in the Sydney catchment area and outer Sydney suburbs.

At Bentley in northern NSW there was a real battle to stop it being introduced with hundreds blocking the gas company’s drilling rig. The government threatened to send hundreds of police to break up the protest camp ‘Liberty’, but at the last minute pulled back from the confrontation.

CSG became an election issue with the Baird government promising to buy back the most controversial gas mining leases which it did. However, it refused to ban CSG mining altogether and later decided to offer more leases for sale again. So much for election promises.

More than two thirds of Australians and 85% of  NSW residents polled around the state, are in favour of a total CSG ban, but the government refuses. Consequently, there are anti-CSG protests all over the state.

  1. New Coal Mines to Make Global Warming Worse

Australia has signed to the Paris Global Warming agreement to reduce carbon emissions.  Global warming scientists have called for more than 90% of fossil fuels to be kept in the ground to avoid catastrophic Global Warming. However, the Australian government has decided not to support keeping our coal in the ground but rather the opposite, to sell as much as possible as quickly as possible.

In NSW there has been much controversy and protest over the destruction of the Leard State forest, to build the Whitehaven coal mine and recently, the approval for the Shenhua company to build a large coal mine on fertile farming land in the Liverpool plains. Secret plans have also been leaked, to build as many as 16 more new mines in the Hunter valley.

This has caused large numbers of the usually conservative farming community, to stage noisy protests against both the Baird and federal LNP governments.  The farmers are also unhappy with the Nationals which support CSG and coal mining in NSW.

  1. New State Land Clearing Laws to Decimate the Wildlife

In May, the Government released a draft package of biodiversity and land management reforms. It included scrapping the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Native Vegetation Act 2003. The package also detailed amendments to the Local Land Services Act 2013 in relation to native vegetation land management in rural areas, as well as the animal and plant provisions of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

The Government received more than 7,000 submissions in total, with over 5,000 from the Stand Up for Nature alliance of conservation groups, which oppose the changes. The basis of the objections are twofold.

Clearing more land will release lots of carbon to the atmosphere making it harder for Australia to fulfill its carbon emissions target, set in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The second is that it will destroy a wide range of habitat, leading to native species extinction.  The new laws have led to protests by conservationists and has left farmers divided.

  1. Repressive Anti-Social Police State Laws

In March 2016 the Baird government bought in a law banning protests. Needless to say, there were immediate protests about the law changes, from the public, opposition party politicians and concerned lawyers worried about the trends in Australia to curtail citizen’s rights.

It sounds crazy to any sane person, but it will be illegal for ordinary citizens to non- violently and peacefully protest about fossil fuel companies poisoning their air and water. A poll found that 61.4% of NSW citizens are opposed to the new laws.

Actions as simple as locking a gate or blocking a driveway can be illegal. They are liable to $5500 fines for obstructing any company going about its business poisoning the environment and 7 years in gaol for their civic moral duty to take care of their neighbours and families.

The anti-Protest laws are only some a several new laws by the Liberal government to turn NSW into an authoritarian police state environment, restricting personal freedom and destroying our hard won democracy. The Greens believe police powers have become excessive. So much for a ‘fair go’ from our sociopathic government.

  1. Attack on ICAC to Weaken Its Power to Stop Political Corruption

ICAC is the NSW independent statutory body which has investigated public officials and politicians from all sides of politics since 1989, including disgraced Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid, a rat’s nest of corruption in the Liberal party where 11 members of parliament had to step down in 9 months and Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell, was forced to resign over a “massive memory fail”.

More recently ICAC’s Operation Spicer investigated dodgy Liberal party fundraising ahead of the 2011 state election and found massive irregularities leading to the withholding of government election funding and charges against some Liberals.

Premier Mike Baird before he resigned led an attack on ICAC to have its powers reduced which has been seen as payback by the Liberal Party over ICAC finding so many of the Liberal party to be corrupt. This would undoubtedly make him a hero among all the corrupt politicians, business conmen and crooks that lurk in the shadows of political life in NSW. The people of NSW will remember this act of bastardry Mr Baird.


Mike Baird the banker, saw an opportunity to move up in the world by joining the most corrupt government in Australian history.  He has excelled in the latest political hit and run tactics of the liberal Party by bailing out before an election so as to not have to face the public in the next elections.

His excellent record of reckless destruction of the state’s culture, society, infrastructure and environment has been noticed and applauded by the more psychopathic members of our plutocratic hidden shadow government. Consequently he has been promoted by the banking sector to a high paying job where he can continue to inflict neoliberal ideological madness upon the unsuspecting public.

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Could a Tweet From an Unstable US President Send Australia to War With China?

Copyright Des Pensible 2017

This week in the Australian parliament Senator Ludlum of the Greens raised the question of whether a tweet from president Trump could send us into war with our biggest trading partner China.  While the question seems at first absurd and possibly even a satire, it’s not. It’s a very serious question that deserves debate within Australia as it could have very severe consequences to not only our Australian economy but every Australian’s future.

The USA is in a very politically unstable position at the moment with many US citizens unhappy with some of the new president’s seemingly impulsive executive orders.  One such order is the banning Muslims from seven countries from entering the USA without asking advice from his government departments as to what sort of problems this might cause to US citizen’s traveling abroad or anyone travelling to the USA for  business or even a holiday.

This presidential order and tweets caused chaos at international airports and led to thousands of protesters at airports all over the USA. Even some of the international governments friendly to the USA criticised this action and some of the Muslim majority governments whose citizens were banned have reciprocated by banning US citizens. Fortunately for all the travelers affected, a US Federal Judge blocked the Presidents order until it could be examined in a court of law.

President Trump has also been condemned by environmentalists and scientists all around the world for his Global Warming denier stance stating that he will withdraw the USA from the Paris Climate Agreement. Most governments are cautiously waiting to see what happens before he is condemned. However, the Pope has criticised his decision and Irish ex-PM and UN delegate Mary Robinson stated that if he goes ahead with plans to withdraw, the USA will become a rogue state. China has also criticized his decision.

Since the USA is the second largest greenhouse gas emitter, this will make it extremely difficult if not impossible for the world to contain Global Warming below the 2C agreed by over 190 countries at the Paris Climate Agreement.

He has also taken action to eliminate the US Environmental Protection Agency, allowing USA corporations unrestricted ability to pollute US land, water and air. This would reverse 50 years of US environmental protection on an ideological whim.

These dangerously impulsive actions alone, broadcast to the people of the world by tweet, bypassing government, media and public scrutiny or debate, give the very strong impression that the USA has elected a very unstable President,  one that cares nothing about the fact that his actions will have a large impact on the people of rest of the world.

There are also reports that President Trump might suffer from mental health problems. (here and here)

But those actions alone, while worrying to Australia are not the key problem. President Trump in both his election campaign and since his inauguration, has shown great antagonism towards both our biggest trading partner China and Iran, even threatening war with Iran and war with China.

Australia is considered one of the USA’s strongest allies and we have a treaty with them called the ANZUS treaty, that is supposed  call on the USA to protect us from any threat emanating from Asia although there is much doubt about whether it would.

That treaty was drawn up 1951 over post WW2 fears of Japan becoming aggressive again, but our relationship with Asia has changed dramatically over the period since then. The Asian countries in our region are considered good friends and among our biggest trading partners. This is not surprising as we live in the Asia geographical part of the world.

Successive Australian governments have automatically followed the USA into every war since WW2 without question. In his book “Dangerous Allies”, Malcolm Fraser questioned whether we should become more independent and critically question whether it is in our best interest to follow US into every war.

He cited the war with Iraq that many people in the USA and UK now admit was an serious mistake or even a crime. Since then Australia has followed the USA into an undeclared war in Syria without asking questions that has threatened war with Russia.

The problem the Greens have highlighted is that Australia is unusual compared with most democratic countries, in that the Prime Minister can commit Australia to a war without ANY debate in the Australian parliament itself. This has been confirmed by fact checking.  It is essentially undemocratic.  Even the UK, the origin of the Australian parliamentary tradition, and the USA congress must debate whether to go to war before doing so.

So we are in the situation of having a very weak willed PM in Australia that can’t even control the right wing pro war members of his own Liberal Party having the ability to send Australia to war on a US command or even a tweet from an unstable impulsive USA President pushing for war with Iran and China.

Australians are in deep trouble. As things stand we could be at war with China, our biggest trading partner NEXT WEEK. I hope not as it will likely lead to WW3.

The Greens have suggested that we adopt a law that forces a parliamentary debate into whether following the USA into a war with China is in Australia’s best interest, BEFORE the Prime Minister can send us to war.

This same suggestion has been made in the parliament several times over the last two decades, but in the current situation with an unstable US President and a spineless Australian PM, it is now more critical than ever before.

I don’t think anyone in Australia would agree that a US  initiated war with China or Iran would be in Australia’s best interests. It would destroy our economy and our friendship with our neighbours and undoubtedly start WW3.

Australia will LOSE LOSE LOSE in any US sponsored war in our Asian backyard.

Consequently, I think we should lobby the Australian government to agree to a law, that makes it mandatory to discuss all future military engagements in parliament, before the Prime Minister can simply announce we’re going to war with anyone. It seems like common sense and dare I say it, real democracy.

What do you think?

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A Global Warming Denier US President – How Did It Get To This?

Mainstream Media Cynically Attacks Social Media Over Fake News

Des Pensable copyright 2017

Recently, since the election of Donald Trump as the next US president, stories of “fake news” in the social media has been widely reported in the main stream news media accusing it of altering the election results. Similar stories occurred in Australia during the last election.  However, targeting social media by the main stream news is a little like the pot calling the kettle black. Fake news is widely spread throughout the news media throughout the world whether it is the social media or the main stream TV, newspapers and magazines.

The difference is that people on social media can quickly spread stories that they like, feel important or believe to be true to their friends on the social media and this concerns politicians especially during the run up to elections as they fear it may alter peoples’ perception of political parties and their voting intentions.

The truth of course is that fake news been used for decades in the USA, UK and Australia by the Murdoch media empire to distribute political propaganda aimed at directing public discussion and thought in a direction desired by the government of the day and blocking thought in a direction that might be opposite or inconvenient to the government of the day. Some call this mind control and it’s common in every country.

Let’s be quite honest for a moment, fake news are lies spread by malevolent people to deceive and confuse you and your friends into having false beliefs and making poor or incorrect decisions that may cost you money or endanger your health or even your life.  The real problem is that many people choose to believe the fake news over the real news.

When a car salesman lies to you, then you can bet it will cost you money.  When a gas mining company lies to you about the dangers of a CSG mine they are endangering your family’s health. When a climate change denier spreads lies about climate change they are endangering not only you and your family but the whole world’s future.

In politics it is no different. When a politician lies to you they are treating you and your family with contempt. When a government lies to you about privatisation, health care, state of the budget, global warming, reasons for war and a myriad of other things it appears to be corrupt and you start to think about a change of government.

This is what governments fear.  They fear social media because it gives power to people. It gives instant communication of the truth as well as the lies. The truth is much more dangerous to authoritarian western governments such as those in Australia, Canada, UK and USA than the lies.

These governments like to give the illusion that they are benevolent democracies whereas their actions indicate they are psychopathic corporate controlled oligarchies. Actions speak louder than words.  Elections are little more than fake reality shows to convince gullible people that they have some type of say in their government.  Unless you have a LOT of money, you have no say.

People are not silly. They have recognised that a lot of the news on main stream media is false. Polls show that in the USA the trust in main stream media and the governments are both low and dropping. Trust is the government is not necessarily related to trust in the media as people lose trust in government for many reasons but it’s likely to be a factor.  It’s a similar story in Australia.

A significant proportion of people are ignoring the main stream media and getting their news from the social media.  Perhaps this is why governments around the world are afraid of social media and consequently already blocking  it, censoring it, or are moving in that direction. The people in power in any government can’t control the minds of the people if the people know about all the dirty secrets and corruption within the government.

In the recent US presidential election Wikileaks released a series of emails about Hillary Clinton and the DNC staffers revealing all sorts of lies and political corruption. It led to the head of the DNC  resigning. The Wikileaks information was widely disseminated by the social media but largely ignored by the Democrat aligned mainstream media. It wasn’t “fake news” it was “true news” but very inconvenient for the Democrats during election times and consequently falsely claimed to be fake.

Following the election the Democratic aligned main stream news has been running what seems to be a fake news campaign blaming the Russians for interfering with the US elections by hacking Hillary Clinton’s email server and passing the information onto Wikileaks. They are probably suspicious because the USA has been interfering with elections around the world for decades.

The fake news campaign blaming the Russians has had some surprising consequences.  In a twitter poll of 84,000 votes which asked who did people believe Wikileaks or US intelligence 83% believed Wikileaks.   President Putin is now more popular among Republicans than Democrats as he is perceived to have helped Donald Trump win.

The ad Hominem attack on Russia has had another more insidious consequence.  President Obama has introduced and had approved by Congress a new government department, a George Orwell style Ministry of Truth to decide what the government wants the people of the USA to be told is the truth. The old joke about the TV announcer saying

‘Good evening America. This is what we want you to believe’ may soon be true.

It will filter ALL foreign news (read Wikileaks and alternate news) and decide whether they should be censored but will do nothing about fake US main stream media news such as Fox news which has been found to make false statements 58% of the time. Here’s an example. This should help conspiracy stories in the USA thrive but blind the US sheeple to the fact that they are on the door step of totalitarianism. RIP democracy in the USA.

With so much fake news you might expect fact checkers to be important to any government.  However, not in Australia as the main Australian fact checker was closed by the conservative Australian Liberal government as it continually highlighted broken promises and false statements made by their senior Australian politicians such as Tony Abbot , Joe Hockey and others. This has allowed Australian politicians to claim any statements that disagree with their point of view is fake news.

On a positive note, there are plenty of fact checking and other sites that can give assistance as to whether news is real or fake and Australia still has an independent fact checking service supplied by the Conversation  (see list below).

This story isn’t over by any means.  Who knows what the future will bring. Hopefully a new found honesty within the main stream media, possibly a massive growth in social media blog sites spreading the truth about their oligarchies or perhaps a massive censorship to hide the oligarchy’s lies and corruption. Stay tuned.

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Fact checking

Snopes – 6 Quick Ways to Spot Fake News

Fact Check – How to Spot Fake News

Facebook Will Use Snopes and Other Fact-Checkers to Combat Fake News

A Scientific Approach To Distinguishing Real From Fake News

Wiki list of Fake Internet news sites

Corporate Media Invented The Term ‘Fake News’ 3 Months Ago, Now Cries When It’s Used On Them

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Another Great Year of Indespensable Blog stories 2016

copyright Des Pensable 2016.

Hi to all my blog friends. Season’s Greetings !

This time last year there were 863 subscribers; this week there are 2056 subscribers. That’s a wonderful growth of over 238% over the year and I’d like to thank you all for reading and sharing the blog around. Keep it up and let’s keep growing.

There’s been 21 blogs this year including this one and of course my 486 page book 2 of my Fantasy trilogy story – Agents of Chaos. You’ve all helped to make this a special year. You can see my blogs shown in the various areas on my Des Pensable Graphiti web site.

A couple of hundred  of you accepted the offer to the free copy of the ebook. I hope you enjoyed it. Expect book 3 mid next year.  With luck you might also see the trilogy available by a major book retailer next year as a boxed set. I will also be doing a lot more book promotion next year.

I’ve also continued with the performance poetry in Sydney venues with several new poems and thank those of you who have come along to one of the poetry sessions and said a few kind words.

The blogs this year reflected the feeling of many people that the two most serious threats to Australia and many other countries was the TPP and of course Global Warming which we’ve all seen get worse while action to stop it has at best been mediocre.

We’ve been plagued with bad sociopathic politicians this year in Australia, our democracy has become more consolidated as a corporate oligarch, with more authoritarian laws and more privatization. Even worse, what has happened in the UK and USA is simply frightening.

Next year my partner Joanne and I will be doing more travelling, more activism and you can expect more stories about how people are reacting to Global warming, about their fears and hopes for their families.  There will be more stories about our global warming denier politicians and the mining lobby.

All of my stories are researched and come with links to current literature so that you can follow my arguments and read what others think about the same issues. NONE of my stories have been sponsored in any way by commercial, financial, political or government interests.

Share the articles with others and suggest they join the blog so they too can join the discussion. Join me on Facebook.

Above all send comments on the articles so that I can gauge your reaction to the stories. I’ve had many people tell they liked various stories when they talked to me personally but too few respond in writing so others can benefit from their thoughts.

Thanks to all of you out there in blog land. I hope you’ve enjoyed my stories and you can expect even more next year.

Season’s greetings- have a nice Christmas season and an exciting new year. Above all become more active in fighting for our future.

Best wishes,

Des Pensable

Does Social Media Increase Our Ignorance in the Current Post Truth World?

By Des Pensable copyright 2016

Social media is driven by maths algorithms designed to mainly send information and news that people find interesting.  Hence if you love a sport such as tennis or football it will predominantly send you information about sports. If you write comments about the sports and your friends like them they will get elevated in your contact group. After a while you will find that the people reading  and responding to your comments generally agree with what you think. You have just created your own media echo chamber. This could be bad for you.

The problem here is that each person only has a limited amount of time to take in new knowledge and if it is mainly spent on taking in knowledge in your favourite area with people that agree with you and think the same way as you do then you start becoming ignorant about other things around you that might be important such as political decisions that might affect you and your family or perhaps information about the severity of Global Warming. So how did it get like this?

Typically the main stream commercial newspapers used to distribute news in a specific way. The front page told you the big news of the day and as you worked your way into the paper it told you dribs and drabs of other things that were happening both locally and elsewhere.

It was here that you became aware of a wide range of issues that may not have seemed important or even interesting at the time. However, it informed you of other things happening around you. TV news was originally formatted to do the same. Social media doesn’t generally do this.

Newspaper editors knew how people read their papers decades ago. If they were aligned with the government or the opposition and they always have been, then they could present information favourable to that political party on the front page with back up stories to compliment that front page story on the next couple of pages.

They often gave alternate points of view either no coverage or buried them deep within the paper.  The TV news became the same. If you only read the first few pages or watched main stream TV then you were most likely being politically manipulated.

Worldwide there has been a massive decline in newspaper readers and  people have stopped buying the newspaper and more importantly stopped placing advertisements in the classifieds in newspapers causing a rapid decline in profit.

The growth of Internet news and social media also caused  massive changes in the news industry in Australia. As the Internet became more popular for adverts and ebay and similar sites stole much of the content from the newspaper classified sections.

The newspapers responded by laying off reporters and journalists, merging with other newspapers until there are only a couple left owned by wealthy conservative plutocrats with strong political party affiliations. They began producing more outrageous front page stories to attract readers back. They became much more blatantly partisan and full of more extreme viewpoints that were often factually false.

The TV channels followed suit presenting politically biased comment and often totally false stories such as on Fox news in the USA. Fox News can be considered a main stream mass media conservative propaganda site.

Mass media outlets in the USA are classified these days by political affiliation and what percentage of their stories are true or false.  As a consequence fact checking sites began to appear as people realised that many of the stories and statements from politicians are biased, erroneous or just plain lies.

Australia’s level of media ownership concentration is one of the highest in the world with a majority of distribution controlled by a pro-conservative government aligned  Rupert Murdoch .

Murdoch publications such as the Australian, the Telegraph and Courier Mail excel in publishing misinformation from the right wing shock jocks like Andrew Bolt and compulsive liars like Tony Abbot, without challenging the factual accuracy of them, allowing misinformation and confusion to reign.  They only rarely publish any alternative viewpoints.  This can’t be good for us.

It seems that we are living in a post truth world where we must be truly sceptical of anything we read as we are being swamped by everything from sneaky, spin-doctored viewpoints to blatantly false stories. A good example is the misinformation industry around climate change which has grown huge from support by large energy companies like Exxon,  wealthy fossil fuel barons and mining oligarchs.

Most people are not stupid but many may be ignorant and it isn’t bliss. It’s simply the lack of valid truthful knowledge on a particular subject or area.  If your mind is filled with reliable factual information then you can make more reliable decisions on how it might affect you and your family. On the other hand if you are influenced by false information then you are more likely to make less reliable decisions.

Polls show that trust in the main stream media whether it is newspapers or TV news has dropped substantially.   Many are seeking to get most of their news from the Internet but this leads to the media echo chamber problem.  So how do we tell the factually correct news from the false news?

The solution is to be sceptical and critical.  Cultivate a circle of friends and special interest groups with divergent points of view. Fact Check ALL political statements using a reliable independent fact checking site preferably NOT one funded by any political think tank, government or commercial organisation.

Check all scientific statements with a reputable scientific association.  Use the Wikipedia to expand your science knowledge.  Don’t trust information from political think tanks, it’s generally politically biased.  Use Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detector Kit.

You don’t have to agree with everyone but the diversity of points of view, a little research and a good dose of scepticism should give you a reasonably good chance to sort the truth from bullshit and make life a little easier in the post truth world.

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This is worth reading

Post-truth politics: a short look at a long history

Why Didn’t Our Politicians Gruntle Us This Year?

Des Pensable copyright 2016

I’ve had a sad and unhappy time this year

When I should have been all gruntled with cheer

You see it all started quite well

Our politicians had decided to gruntle us, that’s fine

They had signed the climate agreement in Paris

Then returned and approved the Adani coal mine.

I wasn’t gruntled at all,  in fact I was angry

Disappointed, annoyed, cross and irate.


Next the government  kicked out their leader

As his approval polls had dropped too low

Abbot wasn’t gruntling many people so

They chose another idiot, a banker to the core

The one that ruined our Internet who

wants to tax the pensioners and the poor.

I wasn’t gruntled at all, in fact I was displeased

Exasperated, Irked, piqued and dissatisfied


Then we had new elections and promises galore

They promised jobs to gruntle the unemployed

and  gruntle  the corporations that paid no tax at all

They promised a gruntling budget and warned us

Not to vote for Independents, Labor or the  Greens

I tried to vote them out but failed.

I wasn’t gruntled at all, In fact I was displeased

Fed up, vexed, miffed, riled and pissed off.


Finally we had the gruntling spectacle

of the US empire elections in all their glory

We were not gruntled when misinformation,

Media lies and election fraud was the main story

A pathetic choice between Clinton the war hawk

Or Trump the heroic climate change denier.

I wasn’t gruntled at all when Trump won, in fact

I was thoroughly disgruntled with all politics this year.



The verb disgruntle, which has been around since 1682, means “to make ill-humored or discontented.”  .” In the 1920s, a writer humorously used gruntle to mean “to make happy”—in other words, as an antonym of disgruntle. The use caught on although it isn’t used very often.

This poem refers to the elections in the year 2016. Australia’s most unpopular prime minister Abbot was kicked out and replaced by Turnbull who was marginally more popular.  The US elections were a dark carnival of farce where the choice was between two psychopaths both intent on world destruction.

see also A Global Warming Denier US President – How Did It Get To This?

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