Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I never thought I'd be blogging about how excited I am about which academic stream I chose.

Right now I'm live-blogging from the MSE meet the profs.

Nigel Roulet is telling the stroy of how he got to where he was. I've got a class, environmental hydrology.

But that isn't the interesting bit- the most interesting bit is that Nigel used to be a ski bum....he had trouble studying, getting interested in things.

It is very strang for me to hear the story of someone who spent time fucking around, not really doing academics, with a very broad range of interests...who got hooked into academics.

How did he get hooked into academics- he was a canoer, and ended up in a geography stream, and started doing field-work outside.

I'm fully willing to spend the next couple of years doing half-decent at the rather pedantic parts of academia if I get to go on field trips and play about with water. Studying snowfall, checking gauges, going to the far, obscure, cold hard parts of Canada.

A life where you depend on the radio. Sometimes the radio breaks down.

By the way, this blog is a mix of "what I'm hearing Nigel talk about"....and "what I'd like to do."

Wetlands, awfully important, we gotta save em. Nigel started some of his interesting research on brand new hydrology research of valley bottom Arctic. The research resulted in a moratorium on mining.

Nigel had no respect for most of the profs "not in touch with the real world." Kinda daft. When doing his P.H.D. his supervisor got him into a mindframe where he conisered it.

I don't think i would want to be a prof full time (though maybe?). I guess I better get decent marks eh?

Collabarative project, peatlands, methane gas exchange, Nigel doing the hydroogy. Ended up coming to McGill, because of above project. Started climate change center, Gov't contacted, started asking questions.

Small changes in climate, feedback loops with ocean-----really fucking dangerous. When you're dealing with policy though, it is difficult to deal with these complex things.
Media are finally interested now.

Fundamental sea changes!
society, our view of it.

First time Nigel's reporter, were asking "very likely" "unequivical" meanings of.
"Verly Likely" is 95% chance!
The IPCC meeting discussed 97% chance. That is why press said they were too conservative.
IPCC just synthesizes, cutoff on June 2006.

In August and Sept, two or three papers in Science and Nature, indicating that sea change would actually be much larger than IPCC report (40cm-80cm).

We're all worried. McGill isn't leading. But there has been a sea-change

Nigel just said: I would like the MSE to be abolished in ten years.

He can't think of anything better than Environment being integrated into EVERY faculty, everywhere. Not just an interesting subject for 1% going to University. Should be a core requirement.

3 things
1. mitigation
2. adaptation
3. social justice

Pierre Elliot Trudeau raised North-South dialog.

Those three things will be the defining issues of the 21st century.

Next up is Brian.

A second prof who talked about failing science, never felt like he was going to go to Universtiy.
Started hiking- took ecology (worst mark in High School).

Environmental Movement had not idea what they were talking about. Often don't really know what is going on.

Going through undergraduate- wanted to make a difference, but thought that peers weren't critically examining things. Frustrated by lack of knowledge "We Don't Know Anything!"
Hated course- thought it was facinating, to hear about the things they don't know instead of clear proscriptions. Lots of failed options. Yeah Adaptive management.

Ready to leave academia at end of career. Know nothing, no effect. Acedemia big waste of time. Still wanted to go hiking, not think anymore.
Ended up as a foresty engineer, doing manual labour, with hard-working high school dropouts. Not happy at all---it was a good experience, missed Uni disagreements.

applied to grad school in a chaotic manner, but it ended up working out. A small dynamic group, drinking with prof 3 times a week. Got his professor thrown out of the bar. Getting publicized.

THE BIG BLACKNESS! What am I doing here? Where is the future in this? The money isn't that great....lower pay rate, despite higher education, would have to move etc.
Barely scraping by.

Allergic to where he was living--they closed the pubs at 11!

Weighing of risks, sometimes you have to bet the farm.

Too tired of blogging.

I'm in a happy place. Good community these envirokids (even if some of them are old and grey and our profs). Connect between science and society....and relavent.

Why is environment important- how do weigh risk? How do we value the environment? These things are important.

Funny, both Brian and Nigel ended up at McGill....because of Montreal.

Baby this city is the best on this continent.

If my friends from back home are reading this- come visit me!


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Life is moving fast

So fast, I don't have time to open my voice now.
I've got to run out the door,
things to do, people to see.

Feeling overwhelmed from multiple directions.
Body about to go through a forced recovery, but
shoulder should eventually be good for spin hoists

Rate of change of pretty much all aspects of life...
was quick last term.
so quick this term, quantitification is meaningless.

Life is a mess.
Sometimes messes are beautiful.

So hort, so short,
but something is better than nothing.

I love writing.
I do miss the feel of pen on paper though.


P.S. "C'est la vie"