Day 12: The City has put together a photography exhibit in one of the plazas off of the Stroget. In a small tent Mark Edwards has a dazzling sequence of photos that capture one of the theme songs of the conference, Bob Dylan’s Hard Rain.
Last evening, as we left Christiania, we could not help but notice the crowds had increased, not just there, but everywhere in the city. Riding the metro and standing listening to conversations at crosswalks we noticed these newcomers were predominantly young — 15 to 20 — and spoke German, Polish, French, Italian, Norwegian. Wow. We’re at Copenstock, we thought. And have you heard? they just closed the New York Thruway, man.
Kids all over Europe are dropping their classes, leaving their jobs, and hoping trains, buses and rides to Denmark. Word is, this is where humanity’s fate will be decided.
We were not to be disappointed, at least as yet.
In this space we have sometimes been dismissive of politicians, and with justification. Meetings like the COP are filled with them, and so one cannot expect a great deal from the process. Given the seriousness of the threat being discussed here, that is especially tragic. Existentially so.
However, tonight, we felt proud to be homo sapien.
“I must warn you, we can fail.”
“Climate has moved to the top of the international agenda. Now is the time to take big steps.”
Canada, which finished the first week with a commanding lead in the Fossil of the Day medal count, surprised everyone by issuing a press release saying it had agreed to 40% reductions from 1990 levels by 2020 and was committing 1% of its GDP for mitigation and adaptation in the 2/3 World. Although the news made it to the Wall Street Journal, it turned out to be a Yes Men prank which was self-righteously rebuked by no less than the Prime Minister of Canada, Alberta R. Sands.