I know trips always fly by, but this one has been ridiculous! I really haven't slept much at all; between going to the conference for an average of 8 or so hours a day and trying to see the city and going out at night, there just wasn't time to sleep. I am very sad to be leaving the conference, especailly because there is another week of events and debates that we will be missing. Not to mention that we only have a week until finals when we get back and I have A LOT of stuff to get done.
I went to a side event this morning that was an intergenerational panel to discuss the conference and the importance of including every age. I guess I never thought about it until this week but the big decision to be made in Copenhagen for creating emissions reducation targets for 2050 will affect me AND my children. Its amazing that the people debating these issues and making these decisions won't even be alive to see if we can reach our goal. As for the youth involved now, by 2050, we'll be sitting in rocking chairs knitting. To me, that highlights the youth movement even more. Youth around the world are involved in organizations pushing for something to be done about climate change- its truly amazing what some of them have accomplished. It will be interesting to see if those people will feel as passionate when they're old enough to have real power.
But anyways, one of the panelists said something really profound; his opening statement was "I've been told that there are two important days in life, the day you are born and the day you realize why you are born" Since climate change is happening and will continue to happen and affect people around the world, I know this is something that I will be involved in on some level for the rest of my life.
Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the UNFCCC (another famous guy) was also in attendance. He was very cool and seemed very supportive of the youth movement. He also said something that I will remember from this experience. In response to a question about how slow the decision making process is he said,"ëveryone here is working towards a solution, but everyone here is also working based on their own country's interests"
Based Yvo's honest answer I would only say "Be the change you want to see" Corny, but true. The things that seem small can certainly add up and become important enough to be in the interest of those in power.