Friday 9 February 2007

Dark circles

Two hours' sleep and I crowbar myself out of bed. This morning at 8am is the culmination of the Industry and Competition Analysis project. 6 teams - each a pair of study groups totalling up to 16 distinct nationalities - present their analyses of a wide range of industries.

The night was spent refining presentations, rehearsing and preparing detailed industry reports. Naturally, the burden of the latter task fell principally on native English speakers. It's fortunate there are enough British and North American students to go around.

The skies were clear at 4am and the stars and the half-moon were shining bright. This morning the skies are blue and the sun is beaming into the auditorium. My attentions is divided between Brad's (American) and Dimitris' (Greek) slick slides on the oil and gas industry; the blue skies outside; and the darkness behind my eyelids. Whichever the choice, I feel sick from lack of sleep. I'm short of breath, my muscles are achy and my stomach, fragile.

Some time during Sean's (American) presentation, I inspect the back of my eyelids. A little too long, as I don't recall too much about the fascinating topic of shipping ports. Ming Teck (Malaysian) brings a change of pace in talking about renewables, quoting Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani:
"The Stone Age did not come to an end because we had a lack of stones, and the oil age will not come to an end because we have a lack of oil."

Brazil, it turns out, is the world's lowest cost producer of ethanol biofuel. I wonder what the correlation is with the destruction of the Amazon jungle. Brazilian Francisco chirps up to answer my question: "people have to eat" he tells me! We took a short break in which a Brazilian mob insisted that the world wants to protect the Amazon because Europe and the US destroyed their forests many years ago. And anyway, people have to eat.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]