I know my way around Copenhagen after only a few days here – which I consider an accomplishment for someone who is directionally challenged.
Today was the launch of our “side events,” or briefings, that are conducted to inform COP15 attendees of our message.
Our message being that though it may seem that the last 8 years the U.S. has been absent in terms of climate change action – the truth is that at the state level bold action is being taken.
I love cold weather. I feel good in cold weather. But not too cold. So as I prepared to go to Copenhagen in December I was warned.
My wife’s grandmother, Sadie, will turn 103 next month.
Of all the things that might concern or interest her, she lay awake the other night worried that world leaders won’t solve the climate crisis before it’s too late.
I have never been to a global event in my life. I’m not really sure what makes something count as a global event – the Olympics? But from my few initial moments arriving in Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 15) it was clear that I was dragging my bags through the airport to be a part of something unprecedented, something that could positively alter the course of our lives and our planet. And yet in spite of that idea, a familiar knot of cynicism and defeat was beginning to creep into my stomach.
It is seventeen hundred hours (or as we say in the states – five in the evening) at the Bella Center and the sun has already set so it is as dark as night, the air is brisk and there is still a long line of people waiting to register for COP 15 and receive their credentials.
Strolling the streets of Copenhagen on Sunday, December 6th feels very similar to the last time I was in Copenhagen, some years ago.
Tens of thousands of modern-day crusaders, charlatans, Nobel laureates, CEOs, quick-buck artists, earnest politicians, and assorted movie extras of every conceivable socio-political-ethnic-economic background will descend on Copenhagen for the next three weeks to participate in an orgy of carbon-bashing and flag-waving.
Last week Jon Stewart interviewed Al Gore on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart about Gore’s new book,Our Choice. (Our Choice is the follow up to An Inconvenient Truth and lays out solutions instead of simply explaining the problem, but please note I have not yet read this book.)
As the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee began hearings on carbon regulation, debate ran along traditional battle lines, but with a new script.