The Skywriter

Guest blog: A Colorado CPC's take on Copenhagen

17
Dec

Guest blog: A Colorado CPC's take on Copenhagen

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By Colorado Climate Precinct Captain Amy Guinan.

Hello!

The international unity and shared purpose in Copenhagen has inspired me profoundly. From my conversations, the marches and rallies in the streets, and the discussions and presentations at the People's Summit, I have seen that a powerful unifying theme is emerging in the climate discussion – and that is Climate Justice. The rallying cry is for, and from, the people who will most suffer from climate change -- not for business or economic safeguards, but for justice ("lesser" developed countries are not the ones primarily dumping carbon in the air, yet climate change will hit them the hardest). This is refreshingly different from what I expected in the climate discussion.

Today, like all other days, was jam-packed with opportunities for engagement. From the lectures and presentations in the People's Summit to the daily marches and protests (Saturday's march drew 100,000 people), from the art exhibits around town to the open air discussions in the city square, Copenhagen is buzzing with activity and discussion. I pinch myself in astonishment when I recall that my day was spent listening to speeches by Bill McKibben of 350.org, Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, and Naomi Klein (under a circus tent in the squatter community of Christiana!).

There is discontent brewing about the lack progress in the Bella Center, and if a binding treaty is not agreed upon in Copenhagen it will merely add more fuel to a fire that is already burning hot. Bill McKibben commented that MIT students are in the Bella Center making parts per million projections based on carbon reduction compromises being negotiated. Today, as the current agreements stand (the U.S. cutting 17% by 2020, EU 40% by 2050, etc.), the carbon in parts per million in the atmosphere in 2100 will be 770 PPM!!! 350 ppm, as we all recall, is the uppermost limit for a life-sustaining planet.

I conclude that the power will have to come from the people to the leaders. Our voices must grow louder and our numbers stronger as we continue to pressure our leaders. On Wednesday, we marched to the Bella Center with the goal of making those inside come outside to meet us, the people they represent, for a REAL discussion. If the march on Saturday is any indicator of the power we can expect, the people united will not be divided.

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