by Geena Berry
Similar to how Taj started his post, I am sitting. More specifically, I am sitting on very uncomfortable blue carpet in the overflow plenary room of the working group on long-term cooperative action, writing on a small legal pad (my computer, which holds the first blog I had started to write, has died, all out of juice.) So, I shall begin again, with more information from today than I had before.
Long-term cooperative action refers to actions dealing with the climate crisis that will have long-term, lasting effects up to and beyond 2012. The year 2012 is when the Kyoto Protocol moves into its second phase. Anyway, we are thinking loooonnnnnnnnnggggg term. GOOD. Looking into the future is why our delegation is here. We are youth, and we don’t want any “adults” to mess up our future world.
One of the slogans or rallying points that have surfaced at these negotiations from youth have been “How old will you be in 2050?” Well, I will be 62. Not too far from retiring age… maybe. Point being, the negotiators will not be able to see the mess they have left by their inaction. The only problem with this question that we pose is that children of today will really be in charge, not the twenty-somethings. By all means I am not saying we are doing nothing while we are here. It is good that we are here, voicing our opinions, giving alternatives, showing how small local initiatives have an effect. But are we saying enough, are we being effective by playing the rules? We have our suits, fancy shoes, we know the science and policy, have our computers (unless we forget our plug adapters!), the newest iPhones, we write our own declarations and policy points. We even have our youthful age. Yet this morning in the opening ceremony, we were not the focus of a beautiful film that was screened calling our leaders to action. It was children.
I admit that perhaps I found it more powerful than some other people. Kids are a soft spot of mine and even recently I have had conversations about how children are much smarter than we give them credit for. In Copenhagen, I have marveled at the children roaming the streets by themselves and the small babies completely bundled up as their parents push them in a stroller or have them somehow attached to a bike. It was these youngest members of society, our children, that reminded all the governments and observers what is at stake:
Our world is at stake, we are at stake.
Yes, we are watching you and we want real change to happen.
Children’s voices saying, “Please help.” We need that help, we need it now in a big way.