I realized today that i had not yet blogged about a few of the panels i attended as well as updates from the "outside" - since i can no longer get into the Bella. My diligence to my blog will reign once more - but for now i am enjoying my role as a Denmark tourist.
Last night we went to the Rundetaarn (Roundtower) http://rundetaarn.dk/engelsk/index.html It was pretty amazing. Built in the 1600's, the tower now sits in the middle of shops, restaurants and the busy streets of Norrebro district in Copenhagen. To get to the top of the tower, you spiral up along a brick walkway. Halfway up is the library which is now an open gallery and area where concerts and other events are held. There was an exhibit called the Soul of Greenland which featured some amazingly beautiful photographs of Greenland. Up further are some of the original beams in the bell tower. At the top is an observatory built in the 1920's. The domed roof is wooden and weighs 4 tons, but is rigged on a pulley system so you can turn it and then open the roof to observe different parts of the night sky through a huge telescope. Sadly with the snow and rain we could not open the roof to look at any stars - but i get to move the roof which was pretty exciting! The man who conducts the celestial viewings was just the type of person you would expect to see at the top of a 17th century tower. :) i;m kidding - he was pretty great - a cute little old man who you can tell is very science-y and loves sharing the stars with visitors. we talked for a bit about light pollution and how that impacts the viewing from the observatory. He said his favorite thing to see out of the telescope are planets - especially Saturn with the moons! From the observatory you can also step outside onto a platform and walk along the outside of the tower and look out at all of Copenhagen! it was amazing - even in the rain/snow.
From there we headed over to Hopenhagen for the Gogol Bordello show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLkFLtaOtIQ there were a lot of people despite the weather - the power of music - especially good music! They were a really entertaining band.
Most of the day today i worked on a paper for class but this evening we had a press conference with some Montana media. I think it went really well. Yaicha read a statement on behalf of her, Zach and me (which is posted on her blog, i believe) and then KC, Keegan and Payton were also on the call in Copenhagen as well Dr. Steve Running and Beth Berlin from back in the States. I think it was a great call and it will be interesting to see how the media covers it - so be on the lookout and let me know if you see or hear anything!
It has been snowing all day today and has now begun to stick. The lit tree in the courtyard of my flat is now covered with the perfect amount of white snow that brings with it the reminder how the simple things in life can be so beautiful. In the waning days of this conference i can only hope that the simple things like the calm quiet of heavy white snow on pine trees serves as a reminder of just how beautiful our world is and how snow is just one of the millions of reasons to do everything we can to "save" this place we call our home. Speaking of, the snow also reminds me of my home and the friends and family i have there. Though i love Copenhagen, i miss my friends and family and look forward to being back home - hopefully with the triumph of a fair, ambitious and binding climate treaty!!!
To ensure that i can come home - head held high - PLEASE take just a few moments tomorrow and Friday to call the White House and urge Obama to action!! The number for the White House switchboard – 1-202-456-1111. - and simply say: “President Obama, please show real leadership on the climate issue, not just a greenwash deal. Deepen our cuts, put long-term funding on the table and stop waiting for other countries to go first. Prove that America is the world leader we always claim.” - or whatever you want to prompt climate action!
Then working off of the adrenaline rush you now gained from dialing the White House, use that energy to call up (and call out) your Senators and Reps. - piece of cake after conversing with the President! :)
these final days are so important and will make or break Friday's outcome. One of the questions in our press conference today and one that the media has been covering a lot is the notion that a treaty is hopeless. - that with the US, China and India playing the "no, you first" game of emission reductions and Africa, small island nations and other LDCs walking out in frustration at the lack of aggressive action, nothing is going to be accomplished.
My response is that you must expect obstacles - great obstacles - in this process, but that you have to believe that our world leaders care about the fate of the forests, glaciers, water, sky, people... I talked about the potential power of belief in an earlier post and i think we must. We must believe AND act. The sheer energy and momentum both from the gathering of activists to the gathering of world leaders at this conference is unprecedented and is cause for a type of hope that could not be found in negotiations past. So, fuel that momentum from wherever you are on this beautiful planet and tell those representing you that you want a FAB - fair, ambitious and binding - deal come Friday!!
well, it is way past my copenhagen bedtime - so until tomorrow!
god nat (goodnight)