Friday, December 12, 2008
BREAKING: International Youth Gather in the Main Hall and Chant "YES WE CAN" & "SURVIVAL IS NOT NEGOTIABLE" as delegates & others leave Gore's Speech
By the time you all read this you are waking up in America, we will be wrapping things up here in Poznan. These two weeks have really flown by, and trust me, a conference like this is the only thing that could make anything fly by during Polish winters. We've had 4 sunny days, lots of fog, drizzle, and rain...sunset at 4PM.
Gore spoke today around 1PM. He was optimistic, but serious in tone. Recognized China as a new leader in the efforts to combat climate change. Particularly referring to China's 600 Billion dollar climate package and the largest reforestation/tree planting efforts in the history of mankind. I honestly can't say how I felt about Gore's speech today. I guess I've just heard so many voices in this movement that need to be heard (many are youth voices). He did mention successful efforts in stopping the construction of new coal plants in the US, and the 800 or so local communities that had independently signed Kyoto. The coal comment in particularly got US youth fired up, particularly after the huge victory against the financing of mountain-top coal mining we saw earlier this week.
Right after Gore's speech the youth created a flash mob of about 100 youth delegates. Unfurling banners with our messages and allowing some of our most gifted speakers say a few words. Tons of press, chanted those things that were mentioned in the title of the post.
The only thing left today is a meeting with the US State Dept.'s #2 negotiator Daniel Reifsnyder. He's the one that chewed SustainUS out last year in Bali. He's known for getting emotional. Earlier this week someone innocently asked all the state dept folks during a briefing which ones of them would want a job in the Obama administration. Reifsnyder responded by saying something like, "sorry to be emotional about this, but some of us have been here a long time (career people), and we are just hear to serve the administrations that are elected by the people." The interesting part about the meeting is that Mr. Reifsnyder is definitely in the running for top negotiator in the Obama administration. When I asked the state dept officials the other night, I started by thanking them for their service to our country (even though some of them are all Bush). Anyway, it should be an interesting meeting tonight...
Look for some HUGE wrap up posts, with some special commentary and thank you's!!!