The Second Week Opens

Today the Bella Center was bursting at the seems as hordes of observers tried to get into the conference for the first time. This week, things are going to heat up as we try to turn down the heat. Starting tomorrow, presidents and national leaders will begin to arrive, and fewer and fewer youth delegates will be able to get into the conference. On Friday, President Barack Obama will arrive. As the head of the Norwegian Labor Party told me on Friday, “We are skeptical of President Obama after the weak proposal that the United States has put forward, but it is a hopeful sign that he is coming on Friday instead of last week, because that is when there will be the greatest chance of a treaty being forged.”

Today, I caught part of a side event about artists and scientists collaborating together to create climate solutions, and then I ran to a meeting with youth delegates from China and India to try to come up with ways of working together, of collaborating together on events and meetings with our representatives here at COP.

Then, I caught the rail to the Danish Film Institute where Chris and I got tickets for four people to go to the observation room while Al Gore spoke tonight.

Tonight, I went with Will, Nicole, and Jerry to see Al Gore speak about the negotiations. Gore asked, “Is there any message that you’d like me to bring with me to my meeting with the negotiators tomorrow?” This is my chance, I thought to myself. He called on me and time stopped for a second as I realized that I was about to ask Vice President Al Gore a question, but what would I ask? I started out by explaining that I am here in Copenhagen at COP-15 with Expedition Copenhagen and a United States youth delegation of 500, and that he needs to bring up the fact that this is our lives we are talking about, this not just a theory, but something that will impact us and future generations personally.

I hit the train running (again!). This time I had to be back at my apartment in time to do a video conference with my HECUA class back in Minnesota. I swept open the door and flipped on my laptop Skype just in time to get the call from Julia. It was so wonderful to see all of their beautiful faces back in the heartland, doing the important work that needs to be done back at home before we’ve taken our last stand here at the COP15.


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