There are so many things that I can say about what I learned, and what new feelings I now have because of my trip to Poland and the UN-FCCC. Like Astrid, many of these issues were not knew to me, but I too felt a new sense of urgency and energy about climate change and all of the environmental/social issues that go along with it.
Being in the US and having conversations about these issues almost makes them seem fake, or as if they're someone else's problem. Sounds weird to say, I know...
But, at the conference, with people from around the world, I learned an entirely new perspective on these issues. Climate change IS happening, it is occurring at a DRASTIC rate, it WILL affect the entire globe, and we ALL have an extreme duty to act NOW. I knew all of these things, but something in me changed.
So for my two promises...
I promise to remember what I learned and to spread the word. Next week in my ecology class, I am presenting some of the more important issues (in my opinion, very similar to that of an ecologist) to my fellow classmates. This was not the assignment, of course, for the final exam... I asked to do this instead. I am going to prepare a pamphlet to give out as well in hopes of really inspiring people to share what they learn with others. I have also spoken out in some of my other classes during discussion to really drive home that the opinion that many US citizens have about climate change is inappropriate. Expanding on this idea, I promise to continue to educate myself on this issue and share what I learn. I am graduating in a week and plan to get in touch with some of the people who's business cards I got at the conference.
On a more personal level, I'm going to "weatherize" my apartment. It's old and pretty rickety. Windows, cracks around doors, cracks in walls and molding, programmable thermostat, etc. All to be done ASAP. I've had the supplies for a while, and now I'm going to make the time. I'm also going to share this idea with my friends and family- many of whom just turn up the heat.
Poland was great and I'll never forget it. It couldn't have come at a better time for me- being a new grad and all- curious about where I may end up.