The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Friday 21 February 2020

The World of And

The World is beautiful, or, is it ugly?

Is the world full of plenty, or is it a place of scarcity?

Can we look forward to a world of optimistic hope, or is the future one of pessimistic despair?

Are people good or evil?

Many of us do look at the world, and approach life, as if the world was one or the other. 

The world however, is not a world of ors, it is a world of ands.

The world is beautiful, and it is ugly.
The world is a place of plenty, and scarcity.
The future is hopeful, and it is despairing.
People are good, and evil.

When we come to understand the simple truth of and then we come to a fuller, more complete understanding of the world and how every phenomenon in it connect.

Everything is connected.  This is the first lesson Nature teaches us.  There is no either/or.  The world is beautiful, because it is ugly.  It is plentiful, because of scarcity.

This all sounds a little crazy doesn’t it?

A few weeks ago parts of Australia were in the grip of severe drought – a water scarcity.  Today, many of those same regions are suffering with floods – plenty of water.

So the second lesson Nature teaches us is that nothing remains the same.  Everything changes.  This too shall pass, as the sages have told us repeatedly.

When we have learnt these two lessons we can approach the world with compassion, equanimity, and patience.

We can have compassion for those who are suffering scarcity. 

We can listen to political pomposity with equanimity.

We can patiently allow our mood of sadness to pass.

These two lessons (inter-connection and impermanence) also allow us to act now.  We do not have to be trapped in a debate as to whether the future is hopeful or despairing.  Like Schrodinger’s Cat, the future is both optimistic and pessimistic.  Being both, we can act now for the betterment of the present moment.  We do not need to encumber our actions with what we think the outcome will be.

We just need to act with what we have – the Here and the Now. 

Friday 14 February 2020

The Danger Of Not Seeing The Forest For The Trees

Climate change is here.  It has arrived.  Massive bushfires in Australia, the Amazon, and the Taiga.  Floods in Europe and Asia.  Heatwaves across Europe and North America.  Superstorms, tearing across the planet more and more often.

Yes, it’s here.

We are being forced to answer the question, “what do we do?” much sooner than we thought we may have to.

Solutions are being presented to us.  Almost every day I see a “new” or “innovative” fix.  Ways to draw down carbon.  Ways to mitigate the risk.  Ways to create alternative energy.

Exciting isn’t it!  We’ve got this thing beat.  We’ve got the answers.  We know how to solve it.  Simple really.  Here are some of the ways how:
  • We all drive electric cars,
  • We cover acres of land with photo-electric panels,
  • We obtain all the electricity we want from solar, wind, and/or hydro,
  • We inject the earth with tree seed-pellets from the air,
  • We build our houses, factories, and offices from living concrete.
What do you notice about each of these?  Three things come to my mind.

First, they all address the question of supply.  Supplying our energy needs, our building needs, or our need to get rid of the carbon we emit into the atmosphere.

None of them answer our consumption, let alone ask the question.  None of them ask, “are we consuming too much?”

Second, because of the failure to ask the question about consumption, each of them still makes it possible for us to:
  • travel wherever and whenever we like,
  • power our TVs, dishwashers, clothes-dryers, lights and the many other electronic gadgets of daily (consumptive) life.
In fact, some of these may even make it possible for us to do more of it. 

Have you ever noticed that when something becomes more efficient, we don’t just continue at the same rate of use, we often increase our use?  This is known as the Jevons Effect (also known as the Rebound Effect). 

British economist William Jevons described this effect in 1865 when he noticed that an increase in the efficiency of the use of coal led to an increase in consumption of coal.

So too, as the price of solar energy comes down the use of that energy source is also likely to increase. 

The third (and to my mind most potent) thing is that each of these treats the Earth as if she is simply a resource.

We can still mine for lithium to power electric vehicles, in the process damaging environments and disrupting the lifestyles of indigenous communities.

We can still cover tracts of land for solar panels, irrespective of whether those lands are breeding grounds, hunting grounds, or travel routes for various other life forms. 

We can still think that all a tree (and its forest) is good for is to soak up carbon dioxide.  We see the tree, and not the forest.

In short, we look upon the Earth as simply earth, or rocks, or water, or flora and fauna.

We are losing touch with the Soul of the Earth.

Let’s be careful what we advocate for. Let’s ensure that we see the forest, not simply the trees.

Thursday 6 February 2020

Tactical Mistake Made By Change Activists

Following on from last weeks blog post about tactics, there arises the question of what tactic to use with those groups who are directly opposed to your standpoint?

This post discusses one of the common tactics used, and suggests that the tactic is a big mistake.

The tactic?  Re-posting, or sharing a YouTube clip, a Facebook post etc., by your opponent in order to then discredit it.

Before explaining why this is a mistake, I’ll expand upon this tactic a little more so that it is clear what I mean.

Recently I came across an example of this.  A clip of a out-and-out climate denier was posted to a Facebook page.  From there, that clip was shared by other users.  Some of those who shared the clip did so because they disagreed with the climate denier, and made that clear in their re-posting or in their comments.

At first glance this may seem an appropriate tactic, or at least a benign one.  After all, climate denial is a position that is damaging to the planet, so needs to be challenged – doesn’t it?

Well, yes it does, but this particular tactic is a mistake.  Not only does it not change the attitude of the denier, it may intensify the denial, and may even spread the misinformation and lies to more deniers and potential deniers.

How so?

Most of us will have heard that Facebook and YouTube use algorithms for ranking content and that this then informs which posts people will see in their news feed, and in what order.

The Facebook algorithm uses various elements, one of which is the popularity of the post.

Guess how the “popularity” of the post is determined? 

Exactly: by the number of likes, comments, and shares that it gets.

So, each time a Facebook post is shared, its ranking goes up.

What’s more, once a post has been shared, the sharer has no control over who then re-shares that post nor how many times it is re-shared.

Returning to the example given earlier.  I went back to the original post about two weeks after it had been first put up.  The post had over 100 shares, and in the order of 300 likes.

There is no telling how many of those 100+ shares were then re-shared.

Hence, that post by a climate denier now has a higher ranking than when it was first posted.


Re-posting and sharing a post that we wish to criticise may assuage our anger, and may make it look as if we are promoting a different perspective, but tactically it often works to the benefit of the opponent.

Repeating a bad idea, even if to critique it, still shares the bad idea.

What Tactic Is Better?


We all know that silence is death for an idea.  If no-one is discussing an idea, then the idea goes no-where, it gains no traction, it has no chance to add to prejudice, misinformation or ignorance.

Hence, in our example, the best tactic of those who wish to diminish the idea of climate denial would be to completely ignore the climate denier.

The author of a book on building good habits has coined a law that summarises this idea very well.
“The number of people who believe an idea is directly proportional to the number of times it has been repeated during the last year – even if the idea is false.”1
Let me emphasise those final six words – "even if the idea is false.”

In the area of social change tactics, we are far better employed disseminating good ideas rather than repeating bad ones.

1. James Clear, Atomic Habits, RockyHouse Publishing, 2018.  James Clear called this law after himself: Clear’s Law of Recurrence.