Wednesday, December 3, 2008

nuclear attacks and career paths

wow wow much has happened, its really surprising how much one can jam into their day. so i guess ill start with some observations. in the convention i have been noticing more and more that the attitude of many of the people here is not what i would have expected. it seems that a really decent amount of people are here to further their own agenda's rather then focus on the issues that they pretend to be about. perhaps I'm becoming cynical because of lag of sleep (still haven't caught up since that plane ride and 7 hour bus ride) but it seems that their is this wastefulness attitude that people get caught up in. yesterday after the Green Cross International Talk on their call for a Global Solar Fund, i sat eating some free food chatting with some other youth. we met two girls who were here with a youth organization and we agreed that our younger generation is keeping in mind the issues that matter and the idea that now is the time to act, no longer the time to talk. we were concerned about the older generation that is in charge now, they seem to have gotten so involved in the politics and business side of it all that the human side has been diminished. Later last night i attended a discussion about nuclear energy where they primarily discussed France's nuclear energy and the future of nuclear. after the presentation, the discussion got viscous. some of the members of the audience seemed to be making comments just to further their own agenda rather then have constructive conversation. the whole thing should be about finding the cleanest, most sustainable sources of energy that produce the net energy needed, not about ones morals or business goals. and i feel that this allows one to observe that the older generation has become jaded and focuses on the wrong things some of the time. this isn't meant as any sort of attack but its more of a disheartening observation.

During the nuclear talk though, it was quite interesting to see how heated it got. At one point someone in the back raised up and just shouted that 2030 was yesterday for the environment which was meant by clapping from the rest of the audience. the 2030 was a reference to the time period that a new type of nuclear plant will be done that allows the waste from the nuclear reactions to return to its natural state within a persons lifetime rather then within 10,000 years as current technology allows. the panels response was " yeah well, ok". The questions that the audience asked were in many cases just to further their own point and were aggressive and not too constructive. however, the answers that the panel gave in many cases were very dismissive, without really answering the questions asked. The panel members tried to stick to just the scientific facts but how can they do that when the politics and the economics are such a part of any alternative energy decision? The lack of respect for another human equal was definitely evident in the talk and reinforced what i had been observing a bit. Apologies if this is more ranting then constructive observation but it sums up whats been going through my mind the last 12 hours.

I don't want anyone thinking I'm being negative about the conference at all because overall it has been amazing, and their are so many great minds here together. so now for something more positive..

On Monday i had walked around and picked up hundreds of pamphlets from the hundreds of booths and upon reviewing them i found one discussing combining humanitarian work with climate change issues. so yesterday i went and visited the booth and chatted with the Red Cross/Red Crescent representatives. This was a combination of interest that i was hoping to find a way to pursue in my career later in life so seeing this made me quite interested. so i talked to the man working the booth for a half hour all about what they do, how i can work for them, and what they can do for me. the cliff notes of that chat are that he told me he can place me in many different countries as long as i have some skill that can assist the people there in their efforts to either prevent or save victims of environmental disasters. i met a girl working through the organization now whose graduate studies at Columbia are helping implement a new program for helping awareness of local peoples in a country across the world in the area of weather pattern disasters. they are putting on a side event tonight that I'm really excited about, just to get more of an idea and perspective about what they are doing.

so pretty much the worst thing about the conference and the best thing about it so far from my perspective. but the week is young and the days are most definitely full and long. until next time,

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