I will be leaving tomorrow for Denmark at 7am. I have been really excited and busy getting ready for this trip, which is unlike any other I have taken or any I will take in the future. Never in the history of international negotiations have so many people come together to debate and discuss climate change. To learn more about the negotiations I recommend going to the GOOD guide to Cop15, it gives a nice overview. The official site can be found here. As I started to examine my role in the negotiations, I started to examine my generation's role in climate change advocacy.
Last March, I attended the Powershift Conference, which was a youth climate conference to address climate change. One of the keynote speakers was Congressman Ed Markey and he said, "we cannot accomplish the change we need to accomplish, for our world, for our country, for our communities unless we have the young people of our world involved." I believe it is time for our generation to shine. In 2050, many climate models predict that many of the direst effects will start to happen such as drought, water shortages, rising sea levels, loss of biodiversity, massive extinctions, and other environmental effects. When these environmental effects are combined, they create many different problems which could cause millions (maybe billions) of people to become environmental refugees and political instability around the world. How old will you be in 2050? This question will be brought up many times to negotiators in Copenhagen. Since many of our current negotiators and policy makers will be very old or dead, our generation needs to stand up and make our voices heard. Our future is being determined by the decisions being made in Congress, in the Senate and in Copenhagen right now!!!! While I have a unique position to make my voice heard on the world stage, it is up to every one of us to make our generation's voices heard.
With the Obama administration, our generation is starting to be heard. This Wed President Obama hosted a Youth Clean Energy Forum at the White House, Jessy Tolken with the Energy Action Coalition give a good overview of the forum here. To watch the full forum go to the New York Times here Our generation is the one that can and will turn the tides both in Copenhagen and in the United States.