Thursday, April 8, 2010

10 Lessons from Copenhagen

By Krysta Daniels

The Root carried an article called “10 Lessons from Copenhagen”. This article outlines how the NAACP came up with a 10 lesson list from the Climate Change Conference. The NAACP’s Climate Justice Initiative has been blogging from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. I am so surprised how technology has changed so drastically that even the government is blogging, tweeting, and using social networks to get their point across. In this article there is a very handsome picture of President Obama. I think that drew my attention right away. I wanted to see what this article was about and how it was related to the President. I didn’t even realize the President was in Copenhagen, and I also hadn’t heard of the place before. So this article really opened my eyes to other parts of the world.

At this conference they discussed global climate change and tried to figure out the impacts on the wildlife and faraway places. That caught my eye. I didn’t realize that this topic was really being taken serious in places outside of the US. And that was very foolish of me. I think places other than the United States actually care about this issue more our population. Many still don’t believe in global warming and the effects it is taking on our ozone layer and future climate changes. I believe in it whole heartedly.

What struck me was that this whole conference was more than a group getting together to talk about the climate but in fact it was twofold. The conference was to bring stories of affected communities to the Copenhagen conference, and then to also help bring the lessons of Copenhagen back to these other regions and their communities. They were there to learn from each other, teach one another, and to pass on the new information. That was brilliant and inspiring. Now I wanted to know what the 10 lessons were.

The 10 lessons are as follows:
10. This is NOT what democracy looks like.
9. Two degrees of warming equals suffering and death.
8. The “This is Africa” syndrome prevails.
7. We can all use the same words, but mean very different things.
6. What seems “good” to some isn’t necessarily good for all.
5. Identity is related to level of oppression.
4. Local community action is the key to real and lasting change.
3. President Obama may not be able to do it alone, but WE CAN do it together. And we must!
2. A people, united, will never be defeated.
1. Another world is possible.

It will be hard to summarize all of these lessons in a short length but I will try and touch upon all of them and how they will help us calculate exactly how climate change is affecting us all. The essentials from this list is that we cannot keep carrying on our daily lives thinking that everything around us will sustain us and that we are now affecting our environment in some way by our habits. People are dying in places that are impoverished and poor, while places like the United States are getting by very nicely. In some places good climate means breathable air but in some places good means that they are able to just get by day by day without much of a struggle. I think numbers 1 through 3 are the most important. Even though President Obama is the Head of State of the United States doesn’t mean he will be able to fix the entire world. He needs all of our help, we must be united. He is only a man, he is not a God. We can’t allow him to fail, because his failure is our failure and vice versa. He is not strong enough to make every right decision and if he makes wrong ones we need to help correct them. No one is perfect, he is not the messiah. As a people, not putting race or ethnicity into the mix, we need to stand up for each other. No, we cannot help every situation and ever circumstance but we need to make a conscious effort to. We have to start somewhere and not allow defeat to be in the front of our minds. All we must do is try and we will get somewhere. And most importantly #1 says it all, another world is possible. We if all pitch in, things will get better.

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