Beyond Rules: A Dilettante’s Guide to Personal Sovereignty, Space Travel, and Lots of Ice Cream

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Member countries were supposed to never be expelled once in. Now all bets are off and everything is on the table to keep the zone together including expelling or placing debt ridden members on a leave of absence. Will Greece get bounced? Can the euro survive? The Germans and French will make the new rules. The possibility of national budgets being approved is on the table. How likely will it be all 27 euro nations will agree to losing more sovereignty at the expense of saving the euro?

Nobody thought about this scenario or felt it was even a remote possibility because they saw only upside to the idea of a euro zone. So what will be the unintended consequences for those nations who are members now? I am watching how this plays out very carefully. When things go wrong, the rules get changed by the powerful and the remaining members have to deal with the unintended consequences or else the whole thing collapses. Greece entered the EU on bad faith, lied in its accounting to get in, and abused the priviledges it obtained once in..

The EU is failing due the bad faith of parties to the deal. This coddling of criminal attitudes you do, is it out of pity, or is it just the way you think about all crime? Because Canada wants to exploit a domestic natural resource for their benefit? Do you think that resource is going to just sit in the ground untapped forever? Do you think Germany is looking for a way out of the EU? Is it a criminal act for them to withdraw? Has any country met the committed targets?

Not a criminal act Bart. The same attitudes as soft-on-crime panderers to the worst in human nature still seem to apply, however, in this praise of deceit by Canada. Tar sands almost exclusively Canadian are part of the global fossil fuel resource listed by the latest World Energy Council Report. These are very important additional fossil fuel resources especially the shale, which is estimated to equal Saudi oil and gas equivalent.

There is no question in my mind that both of these resources will be developed and extracted. If not under this US political administration, then under the following administrations. This will help the USA get away from its stranglehold dependence on oil, which is imported from politically unstable or unfriendly regions. The strategic importance of these deposits would become critical in case of a war in the Middle East. One can thank the price-fixing oil cartel OPEC for having driven the price up to the point that these resources are profitably recoverable.

The environment will not be adversely affected, despite all the fear mongering now going on by some environmental lobby groups. I see myself getting ripped off, as the Carbon Cycle is a scarce resource, and few countries in the world have yet begun to wake up to their duty to ensure a fair Market for this scarce resource. I see tarsands and shale gas as more than twice the rip-off, as they consume so much more energy to extract than easy oil once did, and accompanied by so much more fugitive emission.

I want my money.

Will Ice Cream Melt Going To Outer Space!?

I have a stake in the Carbon Cycle. They owe me, and each of us, fair compensation. Even seen a pipeline in person? The difference between what was there before and what it looks like after construction? I have simply concluded based on all the data at hand, that the availability of low-cost energy has been a key factor contributing to the improvement of the living standard and quality of life of billions of people over the past years or so and is continuing to be so for billions more today.

As far as ecological issues are concerned your rhetorical questions , I agree with you that all oil and gas exploration, development and production operations as well as refineries should be environmentally clean, and the EPA in the USA should make sure that all precautions are taken by the operators to ensure this is the case.

Where there are screw-ups by the owners, the service companies as well as the authorities such as the BP Gulf spill the responsible parties should be fined to cover the damages as I believe they were. Where governments subsidize energy on the argument that cheap energy improves anything, the tax drag on the economy typically drives the net prices of everything up on average. By fining the political party that put the elected officials on the ballot?

Whatever happened to the principle of fines that are so punitive that they actually punish wrongdoing, and are a disincentive to continue to carry on irresponsible practices?

Table of Contents

This coddling of corporate crime does nothing to prevent recidivism. Nevertheless, I accept that it is energy intensive and assume that the energy used for extraction is derived from the petroleum products on site. I agree that it is stupid to waste petroleum to extract petroleum where the oil sand deposits are located. My assumption is that the oil sands are a long term project. The source of the energy used today does not need to be the same source 5 to 10 years down the road. Since you brought it up, we need to remember that the worst possible case is that we end up emitting twice as much carbon into the atmosphere as we would for a low energy intensive resource such as crude oil.

So for every barrel of high quality synthetic crude we get out, we may have used a barrel of low quality stuff to crack and process the stuff. The end result is that we generate twice as much carbon to maintain the same supply levels. Half of the energy never gets passed to the real end consumer. If I read you correctly, we could potentially deploy nuclear or some other source to cut back on the wasted energy.

Ideally, we would prefer to use renewables to do the processing — since renewables such as wind or solar are prone to intermittency, industrial processing applications are often a good fit. Process the tar sands when the energy is available, otherwise store it in the big piles. Sure there is the worst case scenario. It involves inefficient recovery, mobilization of mined material and discard tailings and such. Efficiency of extraction seems to be the biggest factor. Considerable improvements have been made in recent decades. That improvement in efficiency also changes the amount of the proven reserve.

GHG emission from oil sands extraction ought to be a non-issue. Contrast the deal Harper was forced into signing with, say, the somewhat balanced Mulroney deal of a generation ago. No, TimG. If Canada had acted with good faith, Kyoto would be one of the few international treaties to work as designed, which would have been remarkable. As an example of how such deals can work, it may have then shamed China and other carbon-emitting Free Riders, like the USA and Turkey, to sign on themselves. Most will concede that Co2 does warm the climate to some extent. The real denial is on the part of the alarmists who continue to ignore the extremely high economic and social cost of mitigation.

As far as I can tell what you describe is the position of all but the warmistas. Similarly you could go to a far right web site and see discussion that would lend the illusion that right wingers are inherently reactionary despite that site being home to a fringe opinion. This is off topic, but Bishop Hill has a new post on a TED video by Mann which is almost beyond belief in its bias and propagandistic content. You must see it even though its hard to do so without shouting at the computer. Just a couple of points, though ….

First, in the interest of truth-in-posting, this Nov. Second, as an antidote — which, coincidentally, happens to be very appropos to the topic of this thread — may I recommend the following real TED presentation by Dr. Hans Rosling:. All the above is predicated on the observed fact that atmospheric CO2 is driving the temperature of the earth upward. If not, why should we be worried about controlling it? That said, it may be worth while to establish a few boundary conditions that will let us determine what is achievable with our CO2 thermostat.

Since I have no idea how to do so, not being a scientist of any type, never mind the climate variety, I thought it would be worth asking my questions here:.


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There are a couple of practical limits to regulating global temperature via tweaking the atmospheric CO2. The first is the lower limit of CO2 that will support robust plant life. What is that limit in PPM and what would the global temperature be if we could achieve it? The second is the upper limit of CO2, beyond which the atmosphere becomes poisonous to mammals. Us, in other words. What is that limit, what would the temperature be if we allow CO2 to rise to that limit, what are the chances that we will reach that limit if we do nothing, and how long would it take?

The third is the level of CO2 absent human contribution. Empirically, it would appear that we are currently much closer to the lower CO2 limit than to the high limit, as greenhouse operators routinely jack up the CO2 inside the greenhouses to three times or more ambient to stimulate plant growth, implying that plants are already mildly starved for CO2 at the present level, while the human greenhouse workers continue to thrive at the elevated CO2 levels without noticeable inconvenience.

It would seem that before we embark on heroic measures to control CO2 we should at least have some idea where we are, where we want to go, whether our goal is within our range of control, and whether, given what is required to reach our goal, it would be worth the effort. Especially because they could have given you some eminently sensible answers. I will endeavour to make up for their laziness! Your first question — what is the lower limit of Co2 which still leads to robust plant life — has a reasonably uncontentious answer of about ppm. Below that level, some species show markedly less growth.

However it is worth pointing out that in the real world, with present technology, there is no prospect of reaching such levels for millennia or ever.. So it is not a concern. At around 10,ppm many people experience headaches and nausea. However, there is also no prospect of anywhere near this level being reached — not from known sources of fossil fuel. Even I might start talking about catastrophe…. Your third question — what would Co2 levels stabilise at if human contributions ceased — needs a bit of clarifying.

How long do you allow for stabilisation? To give a ballpark estimate, concentrations would begin to decline and would continue to do so less quickly over time heading towards ppm. At ppm and the slightly lesser amounts we would eventually stabilise at temperatures would be pretty much as they are now. Not noticeably different. Your last question is tricky to answer, or at least there may not be a sensible answer.

I will give away my place in the climate debate by pointing out that in our recent geological history temperatures have gone up and down by degrees C and sea levels have risen and fallen by feet — and life has continued happily on regardless. Some human settlements might find a change to warmer climates or higher sea levels problematic. Of course there will be those that benefit too.. As a summation I would make one single point — that we have much less control of Co2 levels than many people would like to suppose.

S I just noticed your last two questions. I think I have given a personal answer to the first — whether our goal is within our control — in the negative. Doomed I say! Luckily, I think humanity will absolutely thrive at ppm — and , and …. Your final question — whether it would be worth it should we have the capability to achieve it — will divide everybody here. Yeah, and when you do the numbers with a climate sensitivity of 1, Omigod, the sky is falling. I think in Britain we could thrive with a climate 5 degrees or more warmer than it is now.

The answers you get will depend on whom you ask, and for that matter, which blog you ask them on. I believe the long comment from Anteros is fairly representative of the perspective of many participants in this blog, although not necessarily elsewhere. I agree almost entirely with Anteros on the physics and biology. I disagree considerably with his last paragraph. In my view, a CO2 rise to ppm would threaten the welfare of millions of people, and a rise beyond would be potentially devastating to tens and probably hundreds of millions.

Unlike Anteros, I believe the answer is that we can avert both — but only partially. We will reduce carbon emissions below the level of a business as usual scenario, CO2 levels will stabilize at lower levels than otherwise, and some fossil fuel carbon that would eventually be burned will remain underground forever. I know Anteros disagrees on the point about consigning fossil fuels to permanent underground status, and many disagree on all of the above points.

To discuss each in adequate detail would require hundreds of pages here, and with little prospect for a resolution — a conclusion you might have already reached from reading the arguments that rage in this blog. Rather that revisit every item, I simply want to leave you with the understanding that nothing said here by me or others represents a universally accepted understanding of reality. You should not hold your breath waiting for that to arrive.

Actually, I think Fred sums up concisely our areas of disagreement, which concerns both what we think should happen as well as what will happen. The first disagreement, I think, comes down to our belief about what the consequences of a Co2 concentration of, say ppm. I think our positions are also reasonably representative of, on one side, the orthodox IPCC consensus view — that more than ppm [as Fred says] would be potentially devastating to tens and probably hundreds of millions , and the moderate sceptic view — that we will be better off as a result of using the fossil fuels to reach ppm than we would leaving them in the ground and that there is little prospect of significant quantities of the fossil fuels being left unused anyway.

Perhaps we should make predictions — What concentration of Co2 will represent the peak? About waiting for a universally agreed understanding, I agree with Fred entirely. As a last sales pitch, I would bring up the known past. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the wealth created by the burning of fossil fuels has been responsible for a significant portion of the doubling of human life expectancy. The 0.

That is the reason for many skeptics to think that any negative consequences of a further rise of 2 degrees [should it occur] would not be remotely comparable to the billions of lives lived, saved, extended and supported by the utilisation of the energy beneath the ground. Fred believes the reverse, as do many others. My beliefs about what is actually going to happen are based on the evidence of the last 25 years, which are not encouraging if you wish to see movement towards leaving fossil fuels [in vast amounts] unused. It is rare in this polarised debate to find agreement.

And I do agree that at some point the positive influence may turn negative. Thus we have a balancing act — and are beset with unknowns. We have roughly the same information, but see things quite differently. I have a suspicion that this is, and always will be true when we discuss what may or may not be the case in [many] years to come. And that is true even if we avoid all the obvious biases that could influence our views. One can easily envision Snidely Whiplash tweaking his moustache. You see where this is going. I hope you realise that your argument appeals ONLY to those who already regard corporations suspiciously in the first place i.

You should also by now figure out that every third explanation for reluctance of the population to submit is this very argument and we all get to see this on display every single day. The sort of interest given the amount of effort you suppose is being expended is then being done stupidly. Keep the victim dependent. It will be the first tin-foil conspiracy that involves the Chinese, the Russians, OPEC, Canada, United States, Europe, developing world along with the developed world, all sorts of free market economies along with some politically throttled economies.

Welcome to the free-for-all, to the richest go the spoils. The point is that these interests have little to do with public opinion or political will. Moreover, the influence they do have is legitimate because all businesses have an obligation to defend themselves from attacks, in all branches of government. You should let them know. That way, they can avoid wasting the huge amounts of money they pour into political campaigns as well as public relations advertising.

What makes it a conspiracy theory is the implication that they are somehow, secretly, preventing better and more economical technology from emerging. Promoting fossil fuel interests can be expressed in other ways, and has been. Curry is interested in bringing it up. The truth is there is an open and tacit conspiracy among the energy producers.

They want to promote and create scarcity to drive the price of their product up. They also want regulations to create barriers to entry for competitors. AGW does both for the energy producers. Bob Ludwick, These are good questions and I see others have attempted answers. I think its clear that we were near the lower limit of CO2 for robust land plant growth. Grasses in fact are evolved to deal with lower levels of CO2 than trees for example.

Grasses are much less biologically productive than trees. In any case, plants evolved in an environment with a lot more CO2, I seem to recall more than ppm. The existence of fossil fuels is due to the greater plant productivity in a warm world with lots more CO2. I think there is no ideal temperature of the earth. I do believe that warmer temperatures will be better for life than colder temperatures. That is what is so bizarre and surreal about these discussions. They tend to devolve into either elliptical contradictions or else reveal self-consistent and circular truths.

We have low-levels of CO2 now 2.

Fabian Kruse (The Friendly Anarchist)

Levels of CO2 seem to be rising. This will lead to a warmer climate due to the GHG effect 4. Wait a second! That will promote more plant growth 6. It also might explain why we have lots of fossil fuels. Millions of years for plants to get buried by sedimentation and tectonic activity 8. But now we are digging it all up And burning it, releasing CO2 back into the air Go to step 2.

Now we have to believe in the theory of CO2 assisted climate change. The algorithmic or is that AlGoreRythmic? One other thing I would add is that human beings have been around for several hundred thousand years. Civilization only came about during the last 10, years, an unusually long interglacial period of warmth. CO2 may be a long term blessing since it will almost certainly delay for a long time the next ice age which would be an unmitigated disaster for mankind. Warming will have no such disasterous consequences. In fact warming will open up a lot more land to agriculture and human development.

Sea level rise will have impacts, but a lot less so if its very gradual as it is likely will be. They are just cheaper and more efficient than the alternatives. Do we need to burn fossil fuels today to avert an ice age? Those interests spend large sums to resist efforts to curtail fossil fuel use, which was my original point. Your argument is simply incomprehensible. Fred, you said this — Those interests spend large sums to resist efforts to curtail fossil fuel use, which was my original point. Randomengineer — What you quoted from me and what you attributed to me are completely different.

What I said as quoted is correct. I made no claims regarding what you misattributed to me. Use a crayon if you prefer. You missed the point of my post to which you seem to be over reacting. It is a secondary benefit of doing so. Geo-engineering can keep us out of an ice age, just as it can cancel the warming from CO2. You would find support for this view in The New Industrial State, a book that I think no serious economist currently believes.

But really, people like freedom, they like cars, they like travel, they like warm houses in winter and air conditioning in the summer. Perhaps Fred, you should just sell your car and show us by example how the new culture of energy scarcity will work. And you can pay increased taxes too to help the poor pay higher fuel costs. And by the way, you must abandon flying too. Or better yet, perhaps you can get Gore and the other hypocrits to give up their jetting around the world to save the planet. People in the developing world want what we have and that requires cheap energy.

If you have a model of the system, that means you understand it. Web, I take your point. All we could is adjust the gross forcing. It would be like medicine where we can affect gross effects only and then only with a certain probability. However, if high warming was happening, we could probably at least kick the planet into a lower temperature regime. Generally, geo-engineering will never be an exact science, just as medicine will never be an exact science.

The systems are just too complex. But this then points to the first-order effects of climate change. So the last bit of the puzzle is the role of cloud water droplets and ice crystals acting as an aerosol. One can see that the AC fluctuations have no impact. That is why all the analysis by people like Postma are bogus, they mistake second-order effects for the primary. Actually its an assumption that is misleading at best and cited here before. The argument from Crucifix is a nice example of how science can evolve from a well posed problem eg Ghil ,.

Both Ruddiman and Berger judge that it is possible to predict climate thousands of years ahead but is it a realistic expectation after all? Michael Ghil wondered what can we predict beyond one week, for how long and by what methods? This is the fundamental motiviation behind the present article. The conclusion was there was a temporal horizon of 50ky.

The arguments in the model were however both naive and primitive read consenus based and fundamentally constrained by dynamical theory read geometry eg Arnold Ghil When a number of observers suggested that another approach was needed there was a subsequent paper Crucifix eg. Throughout this study appeared a tension between the theory—concepts and theorems are valid at the asymptotic limit and the practical needs of palaeoclimate theory. Indeed, it does not make much sense to consider prediction horizons much beyond 1, ka in this context because the system can no longer be assumed to be stationary.

This approach is a better example of unfolding the physics albeit the arguments are still limiting eg birucation parameters within a well bounded temporal limit,. It would be correct to state that the principles attributed to Milankovitch still have some kinks in them, but these mainly relate to the puzzle as to why the ellipticity, obligquity, and precession characteristics interact in the quantitative fashion that has changed over time, while the main points remain rather strong. In any case, this is a vast topic that would require a post of its own, preferably launched by an expert in the area.

It would be a good reason to start hoarding them. The point is that a variety of corporate and national interests spend large sums of money for political and advertising purposes designed to resist efforts to curtail fossil fuel use. That is pretty much self evident to me.

Fred, I believe we could use a number of things to avert warming, such as aerosols, albedo changes, even space sun screens. For an ice age, greenhouse gases are the most effective countermeasure as I believe you pointed out in a previous post. This is actually an interesting point from a philosophical point of view. At some point, mankind will be able to create designer organisms and even people. This stretches our notions of personhood and morality. I am conservative on this and think we need to be very cautious.

Geo-engineering is a similar thing. It has all kinds of potential uses for both good and evil and will strain our notions of government and self determination. To me, this is a much bigger challenge for mankind than climate. The issue is the morality of the limits of power and the potential for abuse of increasing human power to change the very nature of man. A random walk can easily spoof the long term cycles that Milankovitch attributed to orbital and celestial mechanics. All it takes is for a coincidental alignment and you can go off on a goose chase. The ice core data also shows lots of excursions that are abortive, large but mot maximal, and this seems to support the extreme sensitivity to likely all sorts of factors.

This is essentially the driving force for a metastable random walk. Milankovitch could certainly be one of the factors, but just about anything could set off the CO2 positive feedback movements … including our anthropogenic contribution. Rob — I thought my point was so self-evident that it hardly needed defending, particularly since it was only peripheral to the theme of my earlier comment.

However, if you want an example, here is just one of many. I expect I could easily come up with dozens if I wanted to waste an hour of my time on it. I do think, though, that the presence of this money influx runs counter to the notion that there would be no need to exert political and public pressure to preserve a business as usual approach to fossil fuel consumption. This relates to a misinterpetation of my comment above by Randomengineer. My error in not considering coal companies. I see no evidence that oil companies are worried about a reduction in demand due to cAGW fears.

Imo their advertising is no different that that done by a company like Boeing, who advertises to improve the public perception and not to improve sales. Regarding coal companies contributing to a politician to try to avoid the implementation of regulations that would make their product less marketable—I guess that makes sense. I would agrue it is not againest fossil fuel use in total, but actually anti coal use.

The advertising is not to try to get the public to use more or less fossil fuel, it is to try to influence policy makers on the topic. Again this is utterly incomprehensible. What any company anywhere should be doing is what all companies that are successful do, which is pay attention to idiot politicians wanting to impose unfair tax or otherwise infringe on the right to do business.

Rob and Fred, I think that even though coal companies spend money on lobbying, perhaps less than the ethanol lobby, that coal is still so cheap that it needs little marketing. The issue you raise is surrounding secondary issues like sulphur emissions, etc. I think Muller makes this point too and even Hansen now says that the problem is that coal is too cheap, not that marketing is getting people to ignore its problems. Hansen of course now favors nuclear power. Muller I guess is more realistic. I just think its not being very realistic to just think that people will willingly accept a doubling or quadrupling of their electric bills.

That would be enough to swing any election in the US anyway and I think in the UK people may get a rude awakening this winter. And then, there are the 2 billion people whose only source of energy is wood or dung. That seems clearly what the money and lobbying were about in the example I linked to. We have been doing so since the Industrial Revolution started, in order to improve our standard of living and enhance our quality of life.

China, India and the other developing nations are doing precisely what we did years ago, and it is working for their economies and populations, as it did for ours. Max: China, India and the other developing nations are doing precisely what we did years ago, and it is working for their economies and populations, as it did for ours.

What they are actually doing is building a more diverse energy industry than we did: coal, oil, nuclear, biofuels development all we did was chop down trees , wind and solar. There are villages in India where the chief sources of electricity are solar; as solar becomes cheaper and the grid becomes more expensive, solar will continue to dominate. People power their sewing machines by solar, for one example, and tvs, cell phones, and cell phone towers. Companies lobby for their interests, but natural gas, gasoline, diesel fuel and coal pretty much sell themselves.

The segment of the population that is most resistant to curtailing fossil fuel use are energy consumers, including those who consume products and transportation that depend on the fossil fuel. One small example is all those fossil fuel users who are assembled in Durban to deplore fossil fuel use. Coincidentally, greenhouse growers know if CO2 falls below ppmv, then an effect known as CO2 starvation occurs in plants.

But I see you know that, or ought to. And yes, ppmv is associated with ice ages. But then, we were in no danger of falling to ppmv within the next few dozen millennia. Keeping in mind from the outset, that these speculations are just to humor some very, very silly questions that entirely miss the point. I hope. Wet, hot CO2 is much deadlier than dry cold CO2, for instance, and CO2 in enclosed spaces grows toxic more rapidly, too.

Generally, the smaller the mammal, the more rapidly CO2 death occurs. Concentrations in the true immediately toxic range of CO2 are likely impossible for us to attain in open air. How big were you when you were born? At least, under current conditions. Runaway CO2 emission of some sort could get us there. Not really a credible scenario. Why are you asking about this far-fetched thing again? For instance, if we underestimate the methane frozen in clathrates by an order of magnitude, and they ran away spontaneously warming in some unlikely scenario. Which would count as a hot, wet CO2 condition.

No one can really say, I expect. If by do nothing, you mean continue to do the same things at the trends we currently are tracking, and there is no runaway tipping point? Oh, yeah. The Malthusians. Odd cult that. But I digress. I model human contribution to CO2 like the contribution of compounded interest to a debt. If you pay exactly the amount of interest on a loan, the debt never changes. Grossly simplifying, and not a little wrong on my figures.

If we drop our CO2 emissions entirely effectively doable, with some technical innovation, arguably with a net increase in global standard of living and at no increase in costs other than breathing, then we can expect hundreds or thousands of years of CO2 levels remaining high, before they eventually return to ppmv. Temperatures would remain.. Who can guess? Empirically, it would appear that we are currently much closer to the lower CO2 limit than to the high limit,. Actually, there are two issues with this.

By suppression of various plant hormone responses, the normal mechanisms that divert nutrients from growing mass to growing quality are turned off. Plants grow faster, but age more rapidly; their reproductive organs deform; they store fewer nutrients; their roots condition the soil less. You get into a greenhouse, with plenty of Nitrogen and phosphate and excess water and high, even temperatures, and no bugs or fungi or diseases, then you do alright as a plant sucking up CO Indeed, none of the C4 species of plants ever experienced CO2 above ppmv, before greenhouses.

Generally, greenhouse growers limit exposure to ppmv for their workers for extended periods, and the workers can get fresh outside air frequently. Opinions vary. I commend reading the work of the BEST team for considerations that go into the answer to such a question. Me, I think the Market ought decide, now that humans can influence the temperature. It ought be priced, and people who want to change it ought pay the ones happy to have it as it was before we began changing it.

Is it some communist politburo-determined figure, or do you just figure whatever you can get away with is fine? Did they meet in secret? Yeah, so it is communistic committee planning you want, at least while the Free Riders are profiting at my expense. All the optimistically inferred fossil fuels on our planet WEC would bring us to around 1, ppmv or 0. For that, you need a strong central government to decide how much of the atmosphere each person has title to, and to enforce all the resultant contracts.

Your anti-central planning comment seems to rule that out. They just have to go from a paternalistic government-set price to a price fixed by the Law of Supply and Demand, and no committee, no politburo, no individual sets the price. Bob L, Since your primary assumption, that CO2 is driving cliamte catastrophically, is one that is not based in reality, perhaps you would like to take a deep breath, count to ten, and try another post on this? IPCC was a huge part of Kyoto at the time to push the global warming scare to new heights.

Bad technology to produce power was heavily subsidized as the future. Now economic ruin is on the horizon for many countries that jumped heavily into this trap. The economy predictors were blindsided by heavy profit taking and greed with very little new research and development as they were too expensive to profit taking. You are largely without any of the knowledge or expertise in the relevant fields that would make your opinion on the matter worth one tin nickel. But just remind us of your own knowledge or expertise that allows you to make such a judgement?

Return to Book Page. Preview — Beyond Rules by Fabian Kruse. In , the average employed American spent 8. We work more than we sleep. We work more than we eat. We work more than we cook, talk with friends, have sex, take walks, paint pictures, eat ice-cream, write books, play with children, pursue hobbies, make sports, drink in shabby bars, and think about our lives. But is it? Often enough, I highly doubt it. Often enough, work is boring, stressful, or meaningless.

Is this really what we should be doing? Is this the way to spend our lives? Entering Rules As kids, we have a great time playing and having fun with pretty much everything we do. But as we grow up, we are taught to be more and more serious. After finally having learned how to walk and talk, the next big lesson is to sit down and shut up.

We are taught to be silent when the grown-ups are talking, we are taught not to disturb our school teachers — and suddenly, time starts to run faster and faster: We are taught how to clean our teeth, how to tie our shoes, how to behave at the dinner table. We are taught how to do our homework, how to prepare for exams, how to make good use of our time. Where did we take the wrong turn? We were domesticated. We were put into a game without ever agreeing on the rules. We were taught to play it safe, in order to fit in.

Our society teaches us to prefer consumption over real leisure, so in order to be able to consume a lot, we work a lot — no matter what, as long as it pays the bills. Rules and Dependencies We live in a world of unprecedented freedom — or so we think. All of these rules come with some advantages — and with many strings attached. Instead of simply accepting them unquestioned, I propose to become a personal sovereign and look behind them: Become your personal king, your personal queen — a micro-monarch, if you want — and transcend the rules that are keeping you back.

This kind of sovereignty is about expansion — but only on a personal level: Instead of subjugating others to your will, you become a leader only of yourself. The idea behind that is that it will be easier to fix the world, if we fix our own lives first.

In Costa Rica, we found a private room tucked away from the noise of the house and lay down on the floor with our feet up on the couch. Donna put her hand on my stomach and showed me where to focus my attention. She helped me find the depths of my belly, deeper than my lungs. Her voice shared the wisdom that only comes with experience, the wisdom of meaning it. It was light and sprightly, like a young girl sharing her imaginary world. It was a voice that had found a sister, that knew she was teaching someone who wanted to listen.

Someone who shared her pain and also wanted to find her joy. For I too have lived. In this third phase of our sisterhood, I can sit down on my yoga block and meditate and feel deeply within my heart the resonance of a kindred spirit. For I too am not yet a mother, so I now understand how meaningful it can be to have a younger sister to love and know and care for. Constant, unconditional, yet growing and changing as we grow through our own experiences.

She in Arizona, me in Toronto. The constancy of our relationship provides a miraculous perspective on what has changed and what remains the same. Like breath. Unnoticed, until we realize it is a gift. Encounter 1: I improvise my story. I expose the hurt to give them strength and show how life stories switchback from failure to success, and back again. That struggle apexing atop a mesa of ease is a parched mirage copied, facsimile, from Roman Epics and Saints Lives. They smile; they applaud; they approach. And then Lauren comes. There was something in her eyes, in her voice.

So sorry I was just finishing up some writing when I heard you knock! Encounter 4: I rush into the inky WeWork at Yonge and Bloor only to notice stilton, cheddar, triple-cream brie, cranberries, walnuts, honey, all delicately aligned. My colleagues say it was a gift from a woman I know who works here. From Lauren. How lovely. How perfect. Encounter 7: I show her what my heart creates. We eat shrimp and arugula, and drink Marsannay. She helps me understand who the words are for. It complements the haze. It deepens it.

The lighthouse repetition in the background, the delicacy of the violin like cormorant staccato in the milk-washed sea sky. For how could it not be the subject, its fate sealed under barn owl wax in the damp Sunday, as mermen brandished ping pong paddles on silk sleeves? Your precision poaching oatmeal into the winter light, capturing its hue like cupped hands handle butterflies, keeping the wings intact, unharmed, this being so different from you, while you take pictures of white oak on black, on leather, creating your space, your home, your eye creating beauty in its wake, leaving the traces of you, if only I take the time to watch?

Encounter N: She comes to dinner with my mother, my aunts, with Will. We sample the pizza and wood brick chicken. But she is a deeper part of me now. A forever friend. I sleep in her old bed downstairs, the house bleating kindness in its wake. We sit crosslegged and discuss how minds thwart intimacy. We hike the Montreal mountain. We talk about Carl Sagan on soggy cushions and slice Montreal bagels in time for the party. There is no judgment. I cherish our differences.

I see Lauren for who she is. She is not a reflection of me. She is not something I want her to be. It is her way that has cracked the opening. I love her for who she is because of who I am when I am in her presence. She permits a space for honesty. She is fertile like the ground. She brings forth life. The virtues he expressed were not extreme ones of daring or courage but quiet ones of amiability, modesty, generosity of spirit, hospitality.

Lest this sound like little, consider how difficult it is to live our lives consistently expressing such virtues. Allen is like Hume: he is more fully human than most, nothing more, nothing less. He needs no acolyte. He craves no connection to heal or help. He is far too ironic and cynical to slip into demagoguery. What he does is listen. Without judgment. With generosity of spirit. And he is there, consistently, when a friend is needed.

And he celebrates the journey with its freckled growth. As he has done with his wife and his sons. He was working at Cooley at the time, had helped the firm transition from paper-based records management to the brave new world of digital squalor. We had dinner recently in San Francisco and he reminded me that the seed of our friendship was his making ironic jabs at my self-righteous pseudo-Marxist idealism.

What I remembered was that, for Allen, work was primary about people. He cared less about the what and cared more about the how, about the dynamics that make or break teams. That work is a means to stay busy and create value with others. And then it passes, fluid like time or the winding fragility of an Andy Goldsworthy installation.

One milestone was a dinner we had in the Castro in San Francisco. Classic diner-like American fare. Been around for years. I was embarrassed. But Allen was flattered: he thanked me for falling asleep because it showed I was completely comfortable with him. Later, in late , Allen taught me how to love. I had to learn that if it all fell apart, it was ok, I would be ok. It was only a few phone calls, but they changed me.

Now, each time I make a conscious effort to give space to another to be and feel and live and hurt and experience, Allen is present. These lessons Allen shared had been lived and grown through his partnership with his wife. They seemed like an idyllic pair, exemplars of giving and openness and wisdom. Julie showed me a few photos from her popular Instagram feed featuring doorways in San Francisco. Her Renaissance was birthed by curiosity and charity.

By walks in the city. Today others join. They seem extraordinary. Allen and I spoke yesterday. He recently retired and is looking forward to his own Renaissance. It will emerge from spontaneity, in the spacetime crevices that widen when the hustle subsides. When we allow the sub-optimal. When there are no next steps. When we can err and wander, noticing the concentric circles that widen in rain puddles. His voice was joy. He now has time unbound. The featured image is of my uncle Anthony, my brother, and me. You can see how self-conscious I was at having my picture taken, even when I was 5 or 6 years old.

The first is that my time with the AV crew before going on stage is priceless. They are always my talk angels, the perfect outlet for self-deprecation and humor and energy release before having to perform. The second is that having the AV break down may be the best theatrical device to deliver a great talk.

It seems best when the slides stop working two-thirds of the way in. It elicits their compassion and, therethrough, their rapt attention. And it creates a virtuous feedback cycle. They become actors in my story, part of the talk. Not just a passive audience. Both of these lessons are about people being people. People connecting as people. Our identity as ruthlessly social beings.

We abstract ourselves from our sociality in situations of performance, envisioning ourselves as brains in a vat who act on one plane only. My delight in the absurd details surrounding the performance shows me otherwise. AlphaGo has a lot to say about that too stay tuned…. The featured image is of the Fillmore Miami. I gave this talk there, addressing an audience of industrial control systems security professionals.

The lights glared in my face and I had no idea what people thought. I only had my own reflection in my mind, so I thought they hated it. After, many people told me it was the best talk of the conference. I started a project. It has three goals:.

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Here are my first five portraits. Dear World, I offer you my sketch book. We are hiring a head of people at my company, integrate. Why she was without a doubt a partner to the business, flying around god knows where and working alongside the C-Suite until 3 am to get deals done. How she navigated the tricky, delicate work of assimilating one culture into another post acquisition. How she dealt with the conflict, tension, anxiety of different business units growing awkwardly into adults.

How she was thoughtful about creating company-wide performance management programs that could scale with growth, but did their best not to suffocate individuals under the strange, stifling weight of metrics and boxes and numbers. And most importantly and meaningfully, for me, how she was a personal coach. A glutton for mentorship, I like to work through things in dialogue with someone I trust. Someone to whom I can expose all the thoughts, all the doubts, and know he or she will leave loving me more, not less.

Intimacy evaporating awareness from the dim fog of emotion like a slot canyon squeezing light. I was amused they thought I was upset. Sanita and I set up a cadence where we met once every three weeks to go over something that I wanted work on. Most of the time, we discussed local emotional nadirs, not goals or aspirations admittedly the two are hard to parse, in particular when goals are inchoate, not SMART.

It was a mutual arrangement: I benefitted from her presence and advice, from the confidence she gave me in shaping what I could trust was my horizon of possibility in the company ambitious as hell, I felt perennially short changed, stuck, wanting to be VP of ANYTHING yesterday. She benefitted from putting her aspirations into action, getting early experience in the art of helping one person grow, rather than putting out fires, resolving conflicts, bringing on new hires, doing things at a system level, etc.

I still struggle to communicate. I still seek recognition. But the satisfaction is dim in comparison to the immense pride in being the sounding board to help younger colleagues grow. And Sanita will always be my coach. How precious, how rare, to feel so connected to and so similar to another that writing his portrait is like writing a self-portrait, only refracted in a convex mirror. A mere 7 months ago. We were friends in this virtual world once removed before we were friends in the real world post-modernists be damned! Heart-thoughts and grand ambition.

Jaxson and I went into our first conversation believing what connected us was our common role at work. I started my career as a Marketing Content Specialist at Intapp in and skipped and hopped around the professional jungle gym, from Principal Consultant at a security firm to Director of Sales and Marketing at an AI research consultancy, to end up nominally leading product and strategy for integrate. Jaxson is 10 years younger than I, but somehow already has the wisdom and maturity to confidently assess where he stands today and where he wants to go next. He, too, started in marketing but absolutely must test the waters of product management, if only to experiment and shape his path.

To view each step in his career as data-gathering exercise to know himself, to grow not only his skills but his values and virtue as he explores. Life as a testing ground. A job as the sandbox to grow roots and shape the soul. But we learned we shared more than just marketing roles: we were both actively engaged in shaping policy around AI, doing our best to ground discussions around ethics in our daily hustle building products that used machine learning models.

Yes, Jaxson, yes, it was the first shimmer along the rim of the mirror, the hint of similarity and recognition. As the sun rose the shimmer expanded into a blinding glare. Almost too much, sometimes. The soul establishes itself. After our first time coffee, Jaxson took the subway back to his home in the Annex to meet his girlfriend, the woman he was confident would be his bride. Less than two months later she left for Australia, and decided not to come back. I am fortunate it did. We would be friends, but it would have taken longer to probe the depths of our connection. To be startled by the recognition.

I have watched him learn through his pain. He is extraordinary. He allows his emotions to have their place, gives them space to work and hurt as he mourns the loss of his love and gradually recovers the ability to love anew. That he too has felt alone. I have watched him thrive in his job, no one suspecting what lie beneath.

I will be godmother to his children right Jax? If not in name, in spirit. I will care for them if anything happens to him. They will sleep well at night, and be ok. Know this. It must move As little as possible. This is what the portrait says. Dodie and I had just had the kids and we wanted to make sure they were safe with all the flowers around. And efficiency. Which law firms sorely lack. I consider myself to have had a front-row seat in the amphitheater of human psychology. Where skeuomorphisms are an absolute must to get them to adopt anything.

Where identities fizzle as the stolid edifice of white-collar prosperity quickly crumbles under cartoon anvils of outside counsel guidelines and alternative fee arrangements and Latent Dirichlet Allocation finally making it just about possible to go beyond expert systems and use machine learning for legal research, not only technology assisted review.

OMG imagine how much traction we could make against access to justice issues by baking the commitment landlords have to their tenants, the commitment they have to provide a suitable, humane place to live, in this standing-on-the-precipice-of-third-world-despair of a ramshackle country we find ourselves in these days?

Always drags them down the slippery slope of services and mangled customizations and tech debt. Go build it. I still have much to learn before I can do this myself. But not fair! Are you kidding me? You are starting to exemplify servant leadership. I love watching you explore it, tepidly, with the growing pains and braces of a stunning teenager. Probing the delicate balance between strength and vulnerability, finding it, making it your own, and by doing so, opening the space for expression, acceptance, healing, and growth for those around you.

The notion there is that when things seem most desperate, we experience the greatest opportunity to exert a kind of compassionate curiosity about our inner workings. All of this difficulty, all of this uncertainty can be on the path. Rather, it certainly IS on the path; we just have the chance to see it as such. It was a condition of everyday existence. It still creeps in now and then to remind me. Sometimes, I think we choose broken individuals as companions as a means of exercising the compassion we are so desperate for ourselves.

We give THEM our hearts instead of opening up to our own humanity. What we need for our own account is the kind of love a mother, or an aunt, would offer: unqualified, nonjudgmental, open and accepting. Why, Pema Chodron asks, is it so hard for us to give ourselves that? What do you remember most from your year on the boat? I rise earlier and earlier to get that…try to see the sun come up down on the waterfront every morning, and be quiet enough to hear the noise it makes.

The best I can do with my writing friends is co-springboard. Brings tears to my eyes. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for being one of my most cherished mentors, for being a beacon so clearly showing what freedom and joy can arise from having the courage to just be me. For you are so grounded in yourself. John, you are Odysseus. Bare of religion as I am, I translate that as the love of the universe, and immediately come up against the utter brutality of the physical realms that surround us. Temperatures near absolute zero, profound vacuums, nuclear ovens…none of them in any way motherly or fatherly, nurturing or, in any human sense, loving.

And then of course there is the brutality of our own tiny world, where the horrible and endless death of innocents is so ordinary as to be unremarkable. Where is the love in any of that? Is it love that inheres in the multiverse, that drives the eternal engine spawning new universes, that fertilizes forming worlds with the life-giving dust of exploded stars and thereby makes possible beings who speak of love? Is all love simply a derivative of that vast life-creating process? Is it really just a taxonomy of the vital forces that inhabit us all? When we say we love each other, are we simply connecting with that most fundamental imperative—the imperative to be?

In some ways, I find that the most romantic love of all. Imagine the laundry list of details I could include in his portrait. Facts unraveled into kaleidoscope fractals, so difficult to calibrate, even though our ring size is only 4. My mom had just turned This was my birthday present to her. It is a talisman. No matter what comes. In the music I hear what patience and unconditional acceptance sound like. I hear the work that goes into creating a lifelong partnership, to sustaining it, to outlasting the hurdles that came so close to shattering the old-world vase, a relic of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that fights, Darwinian, to preserve its chromosomes with the pierogi dough.

My mom suffered when I was a child. She tried to protect me and my brother from the pain. Her will is of iron. When her parents died, memories she had repressed for years bubbled up. They bit at her rugged ambition with the persistence of horseflies.

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She swatted them back and went to the meeting in stilettos and big silk bows. Only dad saw what her face looked like when she dreamed on the swing set, saw how far away she seemed under the cheerful dominants of Paul McCartney. Her unravelling strained their relationship. It came perilously close to ending. I envision myself carrying silver polish around with my black bob, but that home video was from much earlier. My hair must have started to curl, just a little, when they reached the nadir. Mom came home. I envision a cold winter night. Cold in the way that only exists in upstate New York, where I grew up, and Canada.

Grey that cloaks the sky for months, starving our happiness of vitamin D. She came home from work, torn. He had realized that he loved her unconditionally. He was ready to communicate that. They must be powerful. I go back to 27 Highland Drive. I am grateful that he loves her the way he does. I have this friend Michael. He and his wife Colleen just got back from a 14,kilometre drive around god-knows-where in Canada. They told me that hotel rooms in Tuktoyaktuk follow a peculiar supply and demand curve: as there are only 3 beds for rent in the city—not 3 hotels, 3 beds—they can be relatively pricey.

During his trip, Michael populated his Facebook feed with stillness. Lakes and lines of bread and bears and prairies and hummingbirds and bison and mountains. All still. All gleaming.


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  • I met Michael on July 28, I had just recently moved to Canada. Being welcomed by Michael and Colleen, therefore, was extra special. I had somewhere to go on a Friday night. He is a lover and creator of beauty. He rolls his beet petals into roses, pickles them mildly so they are sweet without turning acrid. He serves the sorpotel, spiked with Feni, a Goan cashew liquor, in elegant Korean pottery, basks it in matte grey. He puts capers in the mashed potatoes and shapes them into leaves baked brown. He and Colleen prefer not to eat out. They have too much to create at home. He is a lover of and fighter for people.

    When I say fight, I mean fight. Michael spent his career working at the CBC. He has seen all the people. He regularly corrects my cultural faux-pas, my maladroit misspellings of languages and religions, my imprecision in attempting to write about others. Michael pays attention to cultures with surgical precision. He titrates myths and stories. He is a lover of deadlines. He keeps me on track, perhaps unaware. He seems to read everything I write. He seems to appreciate it. I cannot express how meaningful it is to me to have a reader who cares, who takes the time, who engages and corrects me.

    He is a lover of grace. The dapper elegance of someone who always wears a tie. His demeanor carries with it his long history, the childhood in Pakistan and Goa. But when he is at home, comfortable, free, he laughs out loud. Shrills in joy. The kind of laugh that emerges from a clear conscience. July 28 is a Saturday, and unfortunately though very fortunately! I have dinner plans at Actinolite that evening.

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    I had just come back from a conference in Paris. We were about to eat oysters with my brother and his girlfriend. This is the third post in a series about different kinds of love. The first is an incomplete taxonomy and the second is an indefinite taxonomy. More taxonomies will follow.



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