Wednesday, December 3, 2008

There is a sun in Poland!

So we woke up this morning, and the sun was coming through the window. It was a very exciting event, as we've been here for about four days now, and it's the first time we've seen the sun. Small miracles, I suppose.

Anyways, the conference has been quite tiring so far. Even though most of the sessions are very interesting, it is very draining to sit through several of them every day. I started off the day yesterday in a session that talked about global greenhouse gases and air pollutants. It's a good thing I've worked on IC's GHG emissions, and I knew some of the terminology. I can see how all of the acronyms and other phrases could get confusing to someone who doesn't have any sort of background in the area. This session discussed global emissions from 1970-2005, and it was interesting to see how they went about calculating and compiling the information into usable and understandable data. Some of their conclusions said that power generation was increasing global CO2 emissions, that methane and N2O emissions are proportionately larger in non-Annex 1 countries (basically developing countries), and in general there is a significant upward trend of emissions in the world.

Later, I went to a session called UNFCCC Event on the LEG/NAPA. (Can you see a problem with this one yet?) This is definitely one of those sessions that required some background knowledge. I understood the general gist, but there were several times where acronyms were used that completely passed me by. I'm sure it was very useful to people who knew what they were talking about though... Finally, we went to a side event discussing biodiversity and climate change. There were some interesting ideas brought up in this session, but for me at least, I understand the concept of biodiversity and the problem is incorporating the values into a climate change conversation, to make sure that addressing climate change also maintains (or improves) biodiversity.

I've gone to a few side events today as well, but the most interesting was "The New [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook." This is where I found my new bible (as David referred to it as), a very large report about the outlook of global energy. I can't wait to read it!

I am so happy to be surrounded by so many people who are actively working toward creating a better and more sustainable environment. Thus far, all I have done is talk about how I want to do similar things, and I have pretended to work on important global issues in Model UN. When these diplomats, activists, scientists, and other various leaders discuss issues, it's real, and they are creating something that can create a binding global change. I read that there are about 10,600 people attending this conference. It's amazing the passion of many of these people, and I'm encouraged that the diplomats and country representatives will also see the importance of creating change.

One last thought, since we do get to have fun here in Poland. I tried to buy peanut butter the other day to go along with my Nutella and bread, and I couldn't find any. Apparently they're not very fond of peanuts here, because they don't have any chocolate and peanut butter either--nor do they have raspberry in chocolate. They do, however, have some delicious strawberry-filled chocolate. I think I'm going to have to load up on chocolate before I return home...

Til next time--peace, sun, and chocolate (preferrably the dark variety)!!

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