Cochrane Ideas – February 2020


with Jerry Osborn
Professor Emeritus of Geoscience

7 p.m., Friday, February 14th, 2020
King Solomon Lodge, Centre Avenue, Cochrane
Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Jerry Osborn’s two grandchildren, Sinclair and Liam, are approximately 2 years old.  There is a good probability they will live through the end of the 21st century.  Meanwhile, the International Panel on Climate Change and a number of independent researchers have made a series of projections of global mean and regional mean temperatures, and sea level for the end of the 21st century.  The IPCC has also made ancillary projections about economy, health, food supply, and biodiversity. Which of the projections are most likely depends on society’s energy decisions in the next several decades.  This talk will consider the world in which Sinclair and Liam will live in the latter part of the century. In order to get to that point, the speaker will consider the likelihood that current warming is anthropogenic, the degree to which large-numerical-climate-model output should be accepted, the right-wing and left-wing social agendas draping climate change that place climate in the heart of current culture wars, current climate politics, influences on belief systems, and the inertia of social change.  His conclusion is that 2 degrees of warming is probably wishful thinking, and the world will be a very different place for Sinclair and Liam.

Jerry Osborn is Professor Emeritus of Geoscience at the University of Calgary, with a research specialty in Holocene (last 11,000 years) glacier and climate history. He is very interested in relations between science and society. On the side, he likes to photograph and hike in the desert and photograph and play with his grandchildren; in the future he would like to photograph and then eat more pumpkin pie.

Some of those who attended our January Ideas mentioned how much they enjoyed the presentation on the discovery of the wreck of the Nova Zembla, a Scottish whaling ship, off the Baffin Island coast. The presenters, Michael Moloney and Matthew Ayre, from the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary, showed themselves to be real adventurers and excellent scientists. They also demonstrated humor and youthful energy in their talk. We thank them for their efforts in coming to Cochrane and sharing their stories and knowledge.


Cochrane Ideas – January 2020


The remarkable story of the discovery in Arctic waters
of a whaling ship from 118 years ago

7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 10, 2020
King Solomon Lodge, Centre Avenue, Cochrane
Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Two Calgary-based researchers from the Arctic Institute of North America will demonstrate the challenges and the societal implications of their exploration of the Scottish whaling vessel that sank off Baffin Island in 1902.

Dr. Michael Moloney. For his doctoral studies in Archeology at the University of Calgary, Michael investigated the application of innovative, computer-based spatial modelling to the examination of shipwrecks and shipboard societies.  An adjunct assistant professor at the U of C, Michael also has a masters degree in maritime archeology from the University of Southampton, England, and a BA in classical studies from the University of Waterloo.  He has worked in remote locations around the world, conducting archaeological excavations on land and under water.  He was made a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2018 for his explorations of Canadian Arctic history.

Dr. Matthew Ayre.  Matthew is a historical climatologist at the Arctic Institute.  After gaining his undergraduate degree in geography at the University of Sunderland, England, he went on to complete his PhD there, specializing in the extant log books from 19th century British Arctic whaling trade, and the climate of Baffin Bay.  He continues to work with these rare and interesting documents at the Institute.  They are not only providing new insights into the changing Arctic climate, but are also identifying much of the undocumented whaling heritage in the Canadian Arctic.

Those who attended December Ideas were treated to a refreshing change to our normal Ideas routine.  Dara Dines inspired creative juices to flow with her session on expressive arts.  We are grateful to Dara for leading participants in the creation of a range of hands-on and artful expressions relevant to the holiday season.  Many thanks to Dara for the thoughtfulness and preparation she put into the presentation.