Day one wrap-up, or, “That’s what the butt-pads are for.”

[photopress:seating.jpg,thumb,floatleft] I have to credit Sean with the succinct and insightful titular statement. I observed the Norse predilection for quintessentially-Modern bentwood-and-steel furniture and Sean suggested that’s why they included a fold-up sitting pad in our conference packets. (They also included mittens, an aluminum water bottle, and a rain poncho — go figure.)

I regret how much coffee I drank today to get through all the talks. The plenary sessions were surprisingly bland for a conference with a fairly narrow focus (carbon capture and storage). However, I liked the opening talk where the lead organizer showed a graph of conference-attendees by country (950 conferees from 42 countries) and calculated the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the conference (1000 tons CO2). Considering the emissions, he facetiously(?) suggested that next year’s be web-based.

Fun fact for the day: the earth’s oceans are acting as a giant heat-sink, adding inertia to the climate system. So even if all human-emitted greenhouse gases were suddenly removed from the atmosphere (I’m imagining the spaceship-vacuum-cleaner from Spaceballs), the planet would continue warming another 0.6o C, equal to the warming we’ve so far experienced since pre-industrial times.

[photopress:Archibishops_Palace_interior.jpg,thumb,floatleft] [photopress:marching_troops.jpg,thumb,floatright] I don’t know if an academic conference coming to town is a big deal in Trondheim or what, but the mayor invited us for a reception at the Archbishop’s Palace (“the oldest secular building in Norway”), complete with an old-timey soldier troupe marching about and periodically firing muskets into the air. A city-councilwomen addressed us from on high to sing the praises of Trondheim and its history and encouraged us to see the sights and, perhaps, do some shopping while we’re here.

[photopress:Josh_in_front_of_old_gothic_cathedral.jpg,thumb,floatright] And here’s a picture of me in front of a very old, famous, gothic cathedral. It’s silly, but I guess I should do a picture with me in it once in a while.

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