Archive for the ‘Blog’ category

Storm on Lake Ontario

We had a windstorm the other day, with 80-100kmh wind speeds. I went down to Port Dalhousie to feel the wind in my face and take some pictures. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced winds like that. There are few things better than being by the sea in bad weather.

There was a sandstorm on the beach — not good for the camera. I ran through it, to the edge of the water, and took this picture of the breakwater.

Geoengineering under a climate emergency

Geoengineering under a climate emergency:
Exploring governance pathways and pitfalls

Master research paper. Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo, 2010.

After receiving feedback for my master research paper (MRP) in January, 2010, I wrapped up my Master of Arts degree in Global Governance. The only thing left is to actually receive it, which will happen on 17 June.

Here is my MRP, then, finally. The MRP was the major accomplishment of the master, and though it is shorter than a thesis, it still ended up at 70 pages (of text — 92 pages altogether). I wrote about what I was planning to cover in my MRP a year ago, and the final paper isn’t far off the mark, though I chose to de-emphasise securitisation and write more about governance.

I will blog about this topic shortly–give a condensed version of the MRP–but here is the abstract. The paper is available for download in its entirety on the right.


Geoengineering has been advanced as a possible emergency option to sudden and disruptive climate change—a climate emergency. This paper advances the nascent geoengineering governance discourse, looking specifically on issues and challenges relating to how geoengineering can be used as a remedial option in case of a climate emergency.

The main contribution of this paper is the examination of six potential governance alternatives for geoengineering, assessed according to three fundamental characteristics that the paper argues any geoengineering regime must evince, to wit, holism, adaptability and legitimacy. Using path-dependency theory, it further explores how the current parochialism and fragmentation in global governance could affect the long-term development of the geoengineering discourse, before finally looking at how unilateral geoengineering could result from a global discourse on catastrophic climate change gone astray.

High levels of complexity, risk and uncertainty are inherent in both climate change and geoengineering and present substantial obstacles in the development of geoengineering governance. The fundamental question of this paper is how we can foster robust and resilient governance and responses for climate change and other environmental problems.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in 2006. I should have posted more of my pictures from DC before. The ceiling in the vestibule of the LoC is one of the most stunning I have ever seen. Here’s a great tip: beat the crowds and go early, early in the morning. You won’t regret it, the tranquility and beauty of the place is fantastic.

Prairie weather

Leaving Riding Mountain National Park, looking back at the weather we left behind.

Wish I had a graduated ND filter there or at least a tripod so I could capture the dynamic range of the scene in two pictures. I wanted to capture the dramatic sky, which necessarily meant I had to underexpose the rest of the picture quite severely.

Riding Mountain

Scene from Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. I travelled there with a colleague at IISD to go hiking over a weekend when I was in Winnipeg last summer. It rained virtually the entire time! We had the worst luck with the weather; I did not actually bring my camera on the hike, it was too wet. In the afternoon the following day it stopped raining and we stopped to see buffalo and take in the scenery.

Happy New Year!

With this custom bokeh experiment — which turned out pretty well — I wish you Happy 2010, may it be better than 2009!

The lights in the picture are on the Christmas tree, but the picture has not been manipulated — the stars were achieved using a home made filter.

Olympic torch relay

The torch relay for the Vancouver Olympics went through St Catharines a few days before Christmas. Jenna and I walked a few blocks down the street to watch just to say we’d seen it. Now we have. Of course, we wouldn’t have been able to see it if the Norway trip hadn’t been cancelled, but then again, nothing providential happened.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone I know a Merry Christmas! (or just a Happy Holiday if you’re not upholding this neopagan, hedonistic and consumeristic tradition ;)

God Jul alle sammen!

The picture is of a little street in St Catharines famous for it’s Christmas light display (but you find Christmas displays all over the place…).

The Christmas holiday in Norway went down the drain when our flight was cancelled by a snowstorm last weekend. When they couldn’t offer us an alternative until Christmas Eve (and it woulnd’t have gotten us to Norway until Christmas Day morning…), we opted to cancel, spend Christmas is Kalamazoo, and delay our Norway trip until the summer. It was disappointing though, Christmas is a very special time.

Now we’re relaxing in Kalamazoo. The last couple of weeks were stressful, I’ve been working furiously on finising my master research paper. It’s now finished! I turned it in last night, at 9PM on Christmas Eve — writing and editing, that’s how I spent Christmas Eve. It’s a tremendous relief to be done. The last leg of my master’s degree is now over, so now all I can do is wait and see how it went. If it went well, I’ll post it in January.

Anyway, I’m now not going to think anymore about it, just relax.

Have a good holiday!

Parliament through the fog

This is the fifth post in a series. Jenna and I went to Ottawa for a weekend in the middle of October, finally–neither of us had yet been there, even after several years in Canada, and considering that Ottawa isn’t really that far away from Niagara. Jenna wanted to go to a conference on global health so it was a good excuse to go.

Jenna requested that I post this picture, of the central block and the Peace Tower of the Canadian Parliament through the fog.

Ottawa River

This is the fourth post in a series. Jenna and I went to Ottawa for a weekend in the middle of October, finally–neither of us had yet been there, even after several years in Canada, and considering that Ottawa isn’t really that far away from Niagara. Jenna wanted to go to a conference on global health so it was a good excuse to go.

This picture shows the Ottawa River, as seen from underneath the monument of Queen Victoria outside the main building of Parliament. The large building to the left in the picture, on the edge of the bluff, is the supreme court. The right side of the river is Gatineau, Quebec.