Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shared visions

"Are we worthy of being on this planet? Are we worthy of this planet? This planet is burning. We are watching it burn."

This statement from a delgate from Gabon absolutely blew me away. This morning I attended a meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group for Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), the meetings that discuss what will happen after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 (what the delegates seem to be referring to as their 'shared vision'). I'm finding that a lot of these plenary sessions are very technical (I also attended a SBSTA [Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice] meeting yesterday, which was a lot of 'Thank you, Madame Chair, for granting me the floor' and such) but I arrived for the last 45 minutes of the AWG-LCA meeting, which was right in the discussion portion of the meeting. A lot of the delegates had really interesting things to say, and I'm looking forward to attending a continuation of the meeting in a little while.

I actually ended up going to the AWG-LCA meeting in the first place because of a series of interesting events. After feeling a bit separated from the youth movement in which so many of us were excited to take part, Doug and I decided we were going to go to the meeting this morning to see what it was all about. For me, it confirmed my feelings that the youth movement is really great and really exciting and really powerful - but for us as IC students who were expecting to come to the conference, see the exhibits, go to workshops, and see Poland, definitely not a place where we belong. However, one of the youth delegates from (a youth organization pushing to reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million) announced that anyone who would be willing to wear one of their tshirts to a couple of specific meetings today could keep the shirt. One of the meetings was going on right then, so I threw on the bright red tshirt (which I'm sure you will all see when we get back to the States!) and ran down to the AWG-LCA meeting, which turned out to be the highlight of my day so far.

Tonight, some of us are goiing to a Red Cross/Red Crescent side event about humanitarian response to climate change, which looks pretty interesting. After that I will have been at this conference center for 11 hours and 30 minutes, and will be looking forward to eating some Polish czekolada and maybe some chleb and ser. Oh, and definitely some sok - I think right now in our 6 person house, we have 8 cartons of juice. We've all noticed that the Polish people LOVE juice! My favorite so far is peach, a kind I have definitely never seen in the States before. (PS - those foods I just mentioned were chocolate, bread, cheese, and juice, respectively)

Well, I think I'm off to go check the Fossil of the Day award recipient (an 'award' given to the country who has been the most difficult that day in the plenary sessions and negotiations). Yesterday the award went to the EU, and the first day it went to Poland! That was a big deal, since Poland is hosting the conference and all.

Peace out (I couldn't figure out how to say that in Polish :-( )

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