Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's about people too, not just the polar bears.

Since I have procrastinated writing this for so long, I am going to go back to Sunday so I actually have something to write about in later posts. I guess this is where procrastination gets me…

On Sunday we attended part of the COY (Conference of the Youth) gathering. COY had started on Saturday and we arrived in the midst of the Sunday session, so we missed quite a bit of it. However, it still offered an awesome insight to what youth around the world are doing (which is a lot!). While is was daunting to be talking to people who have already done so much for the movement, it was also inspiring and energizing- talk about charisma!

A lot of us attended the media workshop that they held. It addressed issues of the most effective ways to talk to the media and how to respond to difficult questions. They also asked us to tell them why we were there. A seemingly easy question… but I actually had to stop and think about it. To save the world of course! I figured that was too broad though. There were a lot of cool responses, however. One stuck with me more so than the others: “because it’s not just about the polar bears.” I guess that’s why I’m here too. To make people aware that the same force that is causing polar bears to suffer, is at work on our lives too.

I’m really excited about the amount of stuff that I have been learning here. I think I will be much more confident when talking about these issues in the future and will be more equipped to spread the word about global warming and climate change. I’ll certainly have plenty of information to share after collecting my body weight in pamphlets and such (a very poor decision while wearing heels).

On Monday, one of the side events I attended was about gender justice in the environmental movement. It was quite interesting as it was an issue I had never given thought too. The most interesting part was the discussion that followed after where members of the audience could ask the panelists questions. A man there brought up some new kinds of nuclear technology that are supposed to make it safer. He asked the woman there who had spoken about nuclear power if she had heard of these. Apparently he had read something that James Hansen, a climate scientist (who was actually the first person to address Congress about climate change issues) had written saying the he supported nuclear because it was safe with these new technologies. The panelist looked it up while we were there and found a letter that Hansen had written to Obama asking him not to listen to “hardened environmentalists” about the dangers of nuclear and not to appoint any in his administration who are opposed to nuclear power.

I went to the nuclear exhibit to ask about it but the man had no idea what I was talking about (I guess new technology thing lacked clarity). He gave me some material to look through but I haven’t found anything yet. We’ll see though. I haven’t found the ambition to look it up on-line yet. Just a bit of procrastinating I guess…

Peace, love, etc,

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