The Benetton advert with a heart and soul!!
The last few days have been quite unbelievably intense. Copenhagen is full on. The energy is high, the conversations 100000 a minute, the stories pouring from every wall, person, mouth, leaflet, and speaker, and the hope is high, for the politicians at the COP15 to come up with a legally binding, fair and robust treaty- yes- but not counting on it. High from the remarkable gathering of people from around the world whose integrity and resilience is so strong and where you real feel alliances are being made and cross cultural communication is really happening. I sometimes walk into meeting and even if I tried I would never have been able to draw the rainbow of costumes, faces, and languages that are here.
The KlimaForum is basically the middle ground- maybe a bit leftfield but a huge conference centre where there are 100’s of forums/talks and workshops going on all day and into the night. It is here that I have put up my little display. The UN COP15 is at the Bella Centre on the other side of town and then dotted around the city but particularly in the famous squatted quarters of Christiania amongst the 300 types of hashish openly sold on the street you find many of the grassroots’ and activist gatherings and meetings.
There is so much to write about, however I will keep it brief. I have spoken to many many people about Tuvalu and about Climate Friend- the response has been great and the comments inspiring. A huge concern for me before going to Tuvalu was the lack of communication between campaigners and those suffering from climate change- well there are many ways here that are presenting models to rectify this situation. There have been lots and lots of film/tv makers and I have done a few interviews which have been a bit funny- but hopefully Tuvalu will come across well even if I sound like a loon.
The areas of discussion and debate that I have been focusing on have been; the inter-faith panels on Religion, how religions are going to have to play key roles in running forward with the baton of change. Radical economist’s explaining with tempting conviction that the only feasible way to rectify and move forward in this changing climate is to re-structure our entire economic system – that there are limits to growth and that we can prosper with out increasing our GDP. (look up Tim Jackson and Mathis Wachemagel). Finally the vital question of Climate Change refugees or the new term the Climate Induced Migration- There have been many discussions on what the world going to do with the millions of people who will be displaced in the very near future.
(The answers to all this will be in the next update…. only kidding..!)
We march on the streets tomorrow which I am happy about. Kumi Naidoo (key activist in South Africa apartied and now recently made head of Greenpeace International) today gave the most incredible call for decent men and women to rise and take action in the many forms this word conjures up… he left me with goose pimples
– infact I have been moved so many times over the last few days- I am quite in awe of the work so many people are doing around the world, especially people in facing adverse social and political positions….. Yesterday in the big activist kitchen I was sitting next to two tribal menfrom Bolivia dressed in thier multi-coloured finery, other than being my height, I wondered how similar our lives were….for me Copenhagen is not a big step from my own existence and culture, for these two men that I smiled to while gulping down my soup, Copenhagen is not only a strange world- it has got to be the beginning of their new world.
These talks have got to be the genesis of real change.