I love mysterious technical issues; this was supposed to go up Sunday, but Tuesday is also a valid day.
I wasn’t really interested in any of the morning panels, so I decided to sleep in and then maybe wander around the city a little bit. You know, enjoy being in a place and seeing things. These plans got foiled slightly because when I stepped outside it was so windy it was hard to walk upwind and my eyes started watering. There were white caps in the very protected harbor, and so much spume my glasses were covered with salt by the time I got to the convention center. So, indoors it is.
Nothing terribly wild at any of the panels, except for the speech from a top NATO general about their new security policy. Very anti-Russia, pro-Sweden-and-Finland-joining-NATO, nothing terribly unexpected, but when the time for questions came around the moderator picked a Chinese ambassador, and they got into a verbal slap fight about who was the most important to world peace. I was torn between being Very Stressed about being this close to what felt like a minor international diplomatic incident and wanting to grab some popcorn. Luckily the room just seemed amused, which was honestly a surprise. I wandered out of that panel, and spent a while typing up my notes from the conference. We’re going to have to write up a reflection of this experience and while I do have a lot of Thoughts about this, I don’t think they’re quite what the professor is looking for (they all run a little sarcastic).
But then again, maybe not. I talked to a couple of the other kids in the class, and they were all far more offended than I was at the hypocrisy and the posturing of various governments in their speeches, and the ways Indigenous peoples were talked over, or brought in to justify some other agenda. Neither of which really emotionally bothered me? It’s roughly what I expected out of governments and businesses, here, that they would try and promote their own agendas that would not necessarily be congruent with the most moral thing to do. I was annoyed I didn’t have enough background knowledge to know when specially they were lying through their little teeth, but that’s because I didn’t do any prior research before this. And now I’m wondering if I’m being far to cynical about this, or too ambivalent about the needs of marginalized groups just because it’s getting better. One of the kids had been the conference a couple years ago, and she mentioned that Indigenous representation was already much better, and that was two years ago. So long as you’re making progress, some dumb mathematician part of my brain thinks, it doesn’t matter where you are currently, because it’s changing monotonically in the right direction. But then again, I’m often surprised at how many emotions other people have; even when I’m feeling high strung and poorly put together, it’s still usually lower octane than people around me.
Mostly what actually somewhere between confused and annoyed me was that a lot of the sources of climate change (the main specter hanging over this whole conference) are outside the Arctic, and so there’s only so much (aside from mitigation) that can be done here. There’s problems other places we are much better situated to solve. Anyway.
Woke up the next morning, and got packed, bought myself lunch, and checked out of the hotel a full half an hour before the professor was going to show up in his car to pick us up from the hostel (trip fever). It was so windy that a chunk of the coastroad north was closed, so we had to take a small detour so we wouldn’t get blown off the road. Other than that it was a nice drive – good company in the car and pretty reasonable road conditions. I did a bunch of out-the-window geology, and I forgot how pleased people are by small brightly colored origami animals. They’re no longer new to me, but that’s a trick of perspective and they actually new and neat to most people.
Winter comes in mid-October, here, without a real autumn transition season, and rolls down off the mountains. When we went through the mountain passes, there was already snow and ice on the roads which was a little exciting.
Still chewing over some conference thoughts, and weirdly glad making my own food again (it’s so much less stressful to know Exactly what I’m eating, and both because I know I’m not allergic to it, and because I know it will taste the way I like it). Also looking forward to my own bed and my own pillow.
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