Saturday, May 12, 2018

We are not the Borg and resistance is NOT futile!

So yesterday and Thursday, I presented some of my geological work at the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists’ Annual Core Conference. I really enjoy putting up some of my ideas and getting feedback. Many geologists are very passionate about what they are doing. Living in Calgary on the rim of the prairie-filled foreland basin in the east and the Rocky Mountain disturbed belt in the West is a geological dream.  The climate in Calgary is great. Here you know when it is winter or summer and everything in between.  Many of us are avid outdoors people – after all, we love to sample, examine and hammer rock outcrops along the highway or actually hike up to some sensational rock formations deeper in the Mountains. Just an hour outside Calgary, in Canmore’s Grasi Lakes there you see ancient reefs with leached-out amphipora fossils – the same stuff that produced the historic LeDuc No.1 well drilled in 1947 at the start of Alberta’s oil era.  Many of us though are skeptics of anthropogenic climate change theories. We know that climate is something that evolves on this and other planets over billions of years. Certainly not something that a puny species barely 3.5 million years in existence can truly upset in less than 50 years.  CO2 is not poison, it is the building block of life!

Yes, when we live in cities, some counting 10 million people, we affect the immediate climate around us. Yes, you can find debris from Japan back on our Pacific coastlines, And locally we have nuclear accidents and other disasters that can do a lot of damage. But this planet will recover and prosper with or without our puny asses. One decent volcanic eruption can spew enormous amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere or a slight warming can release gas hydrates frozen and trapped in sediment along the continental slopes. Those methane escapes affect the climate for 40 years or longer. Yes it scares me when countries like Japan try to tap these volatile gas-hydrates; sources of methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 every will be.  Water vapor is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than both methane and CO2 – so STOP DRINKING and farting. 😊

Yes, it is important to keep our house, our planet, clean.  And once human population declines, which I think is depending now on Africa, we will have to deal with an entirely different economy not based on growth of ever more products but based on services, an economy maybe based on art and community efforts. Maybe we will appreciate philosophy and other sciences more than those disciplines that ensured our immediate survival. We may have a world focused not on manufacturing which is mundane stuff done in ever cheaper operating robotic factories but we  focus on thinking. About traveling the planets like in Gene Roddenberry’s science fiction.  Maybe, one day we will truly fold space. Space-X is not about making money but about creating progress for our human race; it is about opening the horizons of the human mind.  And you and I will be part of that. Capitalism is a living beast – it constantly adjusts to the changing world but it is based on the principle that has always guided our race: rewards for valuable contributions to humanity (of course not all rewards are monetary). Marxism and non-accountability does not work. This new economy will be about where the emphasis of our human activities will be directed. To spirituality? To outer space? 

Whether it wants to or not, our thinking is always aimed at what comes next. What is the next adventure for humanity? If you really think that Mankind is evil and that our planet is killed by humans, think again. Maybe your lifespan hasn’t been long enough, and you don’t appreciate what has been achieved on this planet over the last 150 years.  We are growing and we learn at an exponentially increasing rate!  Yes, you may not see much change in daily life, but just look back 5 or ten years and you see what I am talking about.

That is what investing is about as well. It is a large building block in creating the life you aspire. Money by itself doesn’t make happy, although I prefer to cry in a Rolls Royce rather than on a bicycle. Money is the means to build your life and investing is about accumulating (maybe even about creating) money to help you do that. In this age of fiat currencies, I am not talking about that temporary means of exchange called a dollar bill. Money is owning assets that help you realize your life’s goals.

If I would be one of those humanity hating pipeline obstructionists, I would basically not understand what life is about. We are humanity and we don’t have to load ourselves up with self-incriminating negativities. Mankind is a positive force. Yes, we don’t do things right all the time and I don’t say that it isn’t important to do some soul searching and keep an eye on what our impact is on the world around us. But, you must believe in a future; in a better world not in the dark science fiction of self-destroyed worlds dominated by human-exterminating AI thingies. Maybe that kind of science-fiction will outline some of the dangers that may lie ahead of us if we don’t pay attention. But if we would truly think that we create such a dark future then we would also think that  mankind is not much better than the Borg.  The make-believe species that makes so many of us shudder at the idea of being assimilated. The horrifying concept of the Borg and how it is depicted in that Star Trek show, illustrates already where we definitely don’t want to go.

We should express ourselves in terms of hope and progress not in terms of planet killing machines as so many of those environmental activists, those nimbies and others who apparently don’t want to be part of this world seem to aspire. It is about taking action not about being reactionary!  Investors are about the future, a better future and about self-accountability not about being a planet killing virus.

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