Today I was baptized into the world of COP 15.
I stood amongst the many activists - flyers in hand - attempting to deliver our message. It was exciting to see so many groups with so many different approaches to make their message known to the world. In spite of the diversity of groups all were agreed – we must take action NOW. And if not – many seemed to ask -- what will become of the world for future generations?
Immediately, my colleague Sasha and I observed that many in the crowds of people were young. It seemed every other person passing by, giggling as we stood next to our cardboard cut out of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, (I’ll get to that in a moment) was under the age of 30. Most were wearing t-shirts or passing out flyers that essentially pleaded for the world leaders to do the right thing – to stop the talking and compromise and really do something about this crisis or they will have no future.
In the meantime there we stood with a life size cut out of our Governor – a leader on climate change and larger than life figure he drew attention to us and our message. Our strategy was a success – we were interviewed by the BBC, the Danish News Service and filmed by a crew from Fiji national television (somewhere on the FIJI nightly news I’m doing the world’s worst imitation of Arh-nold).
After a few hours we decided to pack Arnold up in his box so we could take a lunch break. As we were doing so a group of men and woman from India began to unravel a banner – a banner that had notes, drawings and messages from hundreds of children. It wasn’t more than a moment that passersbys swirled around to snap photos of the moving display. I too was drawn in. In the tiny drawings you saw the vulnerability, the hope and the despair. It made me think – what a tragedy it would be if we can’t come to agreement -- how profoundly terrible it would be for humanity.
These children have a voice but it is often drowned out by the rhetoric of our leaders. The youth of the world are looking to us to save their home. Then it donned on me -- what they need, what we need, is a super hero. One that can swoop in and rescue us. . . Arnold. . .? Time to get you out of that box and get back to work! Quite frankly it's time for all of us to be super heroes and do what we can however large or small to end this crisis.