This morning I woke before the crack of dawn and hit the streets with Will Steger Foundation’s pro videographer Jerry to meet with Mikael Colville-Anderson, Denmark’s official ambassador of all things biking. The fog was thick in the air as we met by the bridge with the most bike traffic in all of Europe. There is actually a bicycle rush hour here in Copenhagen and bike riders have their own lane and always get the right of way. When it snows in the winter, the bike trails are plowed before the streets or the sidewalks. “If they didn’t plow them first,” explained Mikael, “everyone would take the transit system and it would be swamped because SO many people rely on biking to get around.”
This afternoon, I met Erick, a lead negotiator from Tanzania while picking up schedules. “Is the United States going to bring real solutions, or is it going to bring problems?” he asked me and then said, “there is a lot that you can do as youth to influence your president and your negotiators. I’m counting on you.” As youth who will be living in the results of climate change, this not just a theory, this is reality, this is our future, and we can influence it, and there is a lot of weight riding on our decisions.
This afternoon, the international youth held our first event inside the conference, a “flash dance” where immediately after the opening ceremony, hundreds of youth broke into a song that started with the phrase, “ooooh, it’s hot in here. There’s too much carbon in the atmosphere.” Here is the link if you would like to check it out.