Risk versus reward

Conde Nast Portfolio hit newsstands this month. No, seriously, it creamed the newssstands. The thing weighs about 40 pounds, and is jammed full of heavy-lidded CEO porn from cover to cover. I felt rich just brushing up next to it.

The column that caught my attention was "Learning to love global warming" by John Cassidy, in which the author analyzes proposed solutions to climate change from a purist, economist perspective. You can't spell "analyze" without "anal."

Cassidy's take is so calm, so logical, so ....so CEO .... that i got about as giddy as Mean Bob in the press box at a Chiefs game. In the world of numbers, it's all about cost-benefit, about the money we spend now, and about the results we get later.

Thing is, cost-benefit is how cityfolk think. It's transaction based thinking. It's insular. It's short term. I pay you. You do this. I get this.

Up here in the sticks, there's a different philosophy. It's risk versus reward, and it's how backcountry skiers, whitewater paddlers, and just about everybody else that's ever strapped on a harness approaches the world. It's solution-based thinking. It's route finding. It's holistic. This is a problem. This is how we're going to solve it.

Without an open acknowledgment of risk ... it's nothing more than a cocktail party conversation.

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