Friday, December 5, 2008

Preparing for Jet Lag: Round 2

The fact that our trip is coming to a close is quite depressing. I still feel like we just got here and that there is still so much I would love to see and do. Fortunately I did get to experience quite a bit in the short time we had.

Lack of fresh air was making me feel a bit under the weather so this afternoon I left the conference for awhile to go for a walk. I ended up in a large park where I saw a number of Polish bird species. Anyone who knows me will understand how exciting this was. It was nice to spend some time by myself relaxing and getting to know the city.

Yesterday I spent some time experiencing the technology exhibition. It was very interesting and entertaining. My favorite part was an exhibit of large black balls that showed the carbon emissions of various countries relative to eachother by size. Obviously the US was the largest by far. I also enjoyed seeing the various vehicles, all running on different fuel sources, and the sustainable dance club.

Today I went to a session about cities in least developed countries adapting to climate change. It was a depressing, but eye opening presentation. Representatives from four cities including Harare, Zimbabwe, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, Khulna City, Bangladesh, and Diourbel, Senegal gave presentations about how climate change is and will be affecting their cities. It was amazing to see how much these cities were already feeling the wrath of climate change. Some had had significant increases in malaria and cholera, while others were experiencing sea level rise and extreme weather events in unprecedented force and frequency.

Next I am going to attend a session about how the US and Canada can reduce their emissions. This should be interesting!

I wish that we had more time here but I am thankful for the experience I have had and what I have gotten out of it. This conference certainly has opened my eyes to aspects of climate change that I never before considered and leaves me wanted to learn more and be more proactive in my own life.



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