It's Patrick. We are here at the Conference, it is 11:30am here (5:30am Monday in NY). Opening statements have been going on and they are amazing! Presidents/Prime Ministers of Bali (last year's Conf.), Poland, and Denmark (next year's Conf.) have all spoken. Also the Chief of the IPCC (the group of top world-scientists who research climate change).
It is incredibly high-tech here... all the best. I just left my earphones and personal, handheld translator downstairs (available in 16 languages/channels), and am now upstairs on the computer. There is a TV behind me... currently a movie clip.
Obama has had some MAJOR shout-outs already! Many of us back home do not know the magnitude of what is happening, or how important it is. The Bush admin. has done a really great job of staying out of UN conversations for the past 8 years, and we therefore don't receive much word.
The world is incredibly excited for Obama to be the next President. His quotes are already everywhere! The first pmaphlet I received when walking up the path to the conference is from the WWF (World Wildlife Fund).
They quote from Obama, "'...a special word to the delegates from around the world who will gather at Poland next month: your work is vital to the planet... Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all. Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high. The consequences, too serious."'
Eloquent as always. Next year's conference in Copenhagen, Denmark (I want to go!) is incredibly important. It is the deadline for the new idea for a plan post-2012 (the Kyoto Proctocol expires at that time and new agreements will be necessary). The world is calling for strict negotiations here in Poznan, ultimately ending in absolute texts.
I grabbed a Daily Program this morning, it's 16 pages! Meetings going as late as 10pm! They give great descriptions of each making it much easier to choose where to go. There are about 10 buildings involved... this place is huge. Here's a link to the Program:
A few words on Poznan: wow, cold, crazy dog, fashion, architecture, huh???
Haha. In all seriousness, the language barrier has been tremendous! I know two things; dzien dobry (hello) and dzien couya (thank you). That's it. My guess is that even people who graduate with PhDs in Polish could be fingered by a native...! Our group is starting to sound really weird! All of us trying to pronounce these consanant-filled words is hilarious. The only English we've been hearing is our own. And now this crazy pronunciation has made its way into our words. We're speaking some kind of Pol-Eng-lish...
Gotta run! Hope the States are treating you all well!