Hey folks,

As some of you know last year I traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark with the SIERRA STUDENT COALITION to take part in the UNFCCC COP15 climate change negotiations.  In Copenhagen I met amazing and passionate youth from around the world, a few of which I am still very close friends with, I participated in protests, I met with U.S. Cabinet Members and world leaders, but most strikingly I saw the negotiation process fail with the result being a non-binding document titled the COPENHAGEN ACCORD. I was asked to return to the UNFCCC negotiations this year in Cancun, Mexico for COP16 but after a few weeks I stepped down from this years delegation.  I give my whole hearted support to all the youth in attendance and I do think that the resources and time dedicated to having youth present is crucial to the youth climate movement but I have lost all faith in the current international process for combating and adapting to the consequences of climate change.

I do not think the ineffective “efforts’ of our political leaders are reason to become demoralized or feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the tasks ahead.  Instead I find them as fuel for our fire.  Their failures underline our efforts at home.  It provides us with more urgency and reason to fight environmental injustice in our own backyard while  creating a solidarity with youth in nations abroad and cultures of vast difference through our shared futures peril.

A friend from Oregon I met while in Copenhagen just passed on an e-mail to me and I’d like to share it with you all.

Hello, 

I know everyone is busy but I highly encourage you to read this blog posted by a friend of mine who is in Amsterdam. It is a really interesting look into the ultimate failure of the European emission reductions and subsequently the disaster of the Kyoto Protocol.

“Talks in Cancun can’t be anything other than canned. There is no chance there will be a treaty or even a workable framework.

Yet European policymakers hold out hope. “There is no alternative,” German Chancellor Merkel stated, “to the UN process” — and European greens insist that “there are still reasons for optimism.”
Europeans hang on to the dead treaty process because letting go requires acknowledging an uncomfortable reality. Europe has not reduced its emissions and is in no position to lecture the world. Fed up, the world’s largest developing powers — China, India, Brazil, and South Africa — broke away from Europe in Copenhagen. That the U.S., not Europe, mediated the divide, stung all the more.” 

See the full post:
http://breakthrougheurope.org/blog/2010/11/a_long_road_to_ruin_from_kyoto.shtml

Not a day later another friend of mine passed along another link.  It appears in the most current WIKILEAKS release it was revealed that the United States pressured nations to support the United State’s weak stance on climate change by using monetary aid from the United States as leverage.  It’s a sad time in our lives when our world leaders force nations in need to compromise their ideals in order to gain aid they rely on.

http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/12/wikileaks-us-manipulated-copenhagen

http://breakthrougheurope.org/blog/2010/12/wikileaks_cables_detail_us_cli.shtml

In ECO we’ve all experienced that the issues that draw our members to take action vary from energy and climate change, to food safety or the conservation of little brown bats.  What we must also understand is the complexity of the environmental movement and how it reaches from our daily decisions to recycle all the way up to international policy and CIA espionage.  I think it’s something we should all be aware of and truly understand.

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