Arriving back in Ithaca there seems to be a lot to do. Armed with new found knowledge and an increased awareness of the state of the globe I have the sense that I must be very cognizant of my own actions as well as spread the word. These issues (climate change, environmental crises, social equity, etc.) are not exactly new to me, but there is a new found sense of urgency kindled by the energy created at the conference - both the serious and dry energy of the negotiations and the rich and creative energy of the side session panelists and the youth delegations.
With not much time on my hands to elaborate, I would like to at least put forth the two commitments (out of more that I can think of) that I would like to pledge to myself, as suggested by the delegate from Costa Rica. So, here goes... drum roll please... Number ONE: Finally put up the darn clothes line that I have told myself I'd get for the last couple of years. By May 1st when the sun has once again begun to shine, I will have that clothes line up. Number TWO: I think it is important that IC sends a racially diverse group of students to the UNFCCC conference next year. I would like to work to make this happen by connecting with some of the student clubs that may not necessarily see the conference, with its emphasis on the environment, as relevant to their immediate concerns. Yet social justice pervades the conversation and it is essential that a diverse group of people, from all nations, will be present at all future conferences.
While the conference was full of depressing news and we can easily get overwhelmed we absolutely must continue to be inspired by the actions of others and to take the small but achievable steps that we can as we walk into the coming decades together.
As my new friend Eduardo from Chile said "Que les luchen." ... roughly translated: "May they continue the fight..."
So, keep the hope alive, thanks to all the students who participated and long live your energy and commitment!