This will be my last blog from Copenhagen before I catch the train back to London tonight. What can I say? It has been an experience. Not always enjoyable, but definitely instructive. 

President Anote Tong of Kiribati
President Anote Tong of Kiribati

One of my abiding memories will be of the dinner I had on Friday night with the President of Kiribati and his delegation. The mood was bittersweet, poignant in its defiant optimism in the face of enormous disappointment – if “disappointment” can be a word adequate to describe a country’s reaction to its own death sentence.

The woman who had danced at the Kiribati side-event made a speech in which she declared, “We still still be here, we will not go down.” The irony was almost too much to bear. The President was open about his feelings, “We are trying to maintain our composure, but I am very sad… We were naive and vulnerable… I wish I was so much more ruthless.”

He acknowledged that he would face criticism at home for not having achieved more, but really, what more could they have done? They came. They presented their case to the assembly. They gave a side event demonstrating the scientists’ projections for their future – or lack of it. But they were ignored. Their voices were not heard, drowned out by the booming baritone of Big Money.

In a veiled criticism of the process that had let them down by excluding them and most of the world’s smaller and still developing nations, the President commented, “There is no exclusion in our society.” And he issued me a personal invitation to spend time with him and his family on one of the outer islands, to witness firsthand the multiple layers of their culture, to its deepest spiritual core.

After the President’s speech, the assembled delegation spontaneously burst into song. It was a beautiful sound. The President translated for the non I-Kiribati speakers. The general gist of the words was that no matter how lovely any other islands may be, there is no place so special to them as the islands of Kiribati. Yet those islands seem unlikely to survive the century, if the scientists are right.

Linda Anderson, the filmmaker who with her husband created the short movie “Kiribati – A Call To The World” (available on YouTube) -summed it up. “They play dirty, don’t they?”

They do. We have all learned a lot about the REAL rules of the game during these formative days in Denmark. And next time we will arrive better prepared. The fight for justice does not end here.

Other Notes:

Another video about Kiribati, the President, and climate change on YouTube

Hard-hitting advice from someone who understand the rules of the game: No one is going to save you fools

NGOs combine forces going forward – We’re not done yet

And a final note – Tweet posted by me yesterday, adapted and updated: Post-COPulation syndrome: a feeling of anticlimax, disillusionment, cynicism. Leading to increased fire in the belly.

19 Comments

  • Breaking news:

    First, the good news. A woman in Copenhagen contacted me via my website to say she has found some of my things – my journal, my notebook, and my credit cards (although of course these last have already been cancelled). Amazing! Especially delighted to have my personal journal back.

    Then, the bad news. Eurostar services cancelled. All utter chaos, as far as I can tell. Not sure how I’m going to get home. Dammit, would have been cheaper, quicker and easier to fly, but I was determined to do the right thing!!!

  • Roz,the link still doesn’t work. Maybe it takes some time to be distributed across the web servers. Anyway, a good article, something I agree with. Along the same lines, corporations will have people planted in stores to chat with each other about some item. They will do this in an effort to influence shoppers to purchase the item. No doubt American politics are owned by corporations and corporations own the media.

  • Unusually low temperatures caused trains to break down in the Chunnel. Unusually heavy snow brings eastern US to a halt. Global warming strikes.

  • Eurostar has just announced there will be no services on Monday, so Roz will be stuck in Brussels.

    I will pick her up at the railway platform tomorrow morning.

  • Roz,
    Well your rt tour continues…the weather does often have a final say!…a fitting way to end your Copenhagen events with the Kiribati folks…I don’t think the world has heard the end from all who were ignored…the next round, I suspect, sooner than later as “PCS” sets in…safe travels…and warmer(than W.Europe) wishes (from Oregon, USA) for your birthday, Christmas and, no doubt, a New Year with a keener focus!

  • Real power is what is getting your personal belongings back to you Roz.

    Without going into ugly detail if I was to write an obituary about myself I would sum up my life as one big fight; and lost. It took me my entire life to learn that you can’t fight fire with fire. I know it appears that fighting fire with fire is the way to win but it is a facade. The focus should be on the solutions.

    I sure wish I knew this 30 years ago; but better late then never.

  • While we are on the subject of Kiribati people, I wish to thank them. It was through Roz that I learned the health benefits of coconut oil and coconut water. I am drinking a box of it as I write. I have been drinking it just about every d

  • whoops…….I have been drinking it just about every day for almost 3 months. I have been experiencing improvements in my health. Not only that but I have told my daughter-in-law who is breast feeding about it. It is helping her and my granddaughter. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

  • Roz,
    Thanks so much for your COP15 trails and trials. You have provided valuable insight into what was happening and what was not taking place. The urgency and struggle has become acknowledged by many more people and changes will emerge in new found ways. More soon,
    Currin

  • That’s too bad the COP15 turned a little sour at the end. I was wondering if the backpack theft was done by those who want to thwart the meetings by distracting the activists and destroying their data, photos and videos to boot. It has happened before. Just a thought.

  • Being scared of CO2 is not environmentalism. You have to look at the evidence (BOTH SIDES) for yourself.

    Your absolute conviction that CO2 will extinguish all life on earth is very strange. As is your conviction that the economics and politics of climate change is too difficult to understand.

    1) When you hear someone say that there is an anti global warming industry or that big oil companies have all the power and the UN is the little underdog they are not telling you the truth. The CRU was funded by big oil to protect their massive investment in renewable (peak oil is real).

    2) Many scientist are corrupted by the hunt for funding.

    3) The Mann ‘hockey stick’ has been 100% discredited.

    4) When ever you hear the term ‘computer model’ be very sceptical. I know it sounds hi tech but it isn’t science.

    5) Al Gore and the head of the IPCC stand to make a fortune from carbon trading. The sceptics do not.

    6) Ask yourself why Mrs Thatcher pushed the CRU into high gear ?

    7) Ask yourself why the BBC shows pictures of icebergs breaking off Antarctica when there are record amounts of ice in Antarctica ?

    8) Why do sceptical conferences get zero media coverage (even though they have many respected scientists) while non sceptical conferences get wall to wall coverage ?

    http://thebubblegoesbang.blogspot.com/2009/12/climate-bubble-goes-bang.html

  • AC, you misunderstand, or misrepresent, my views. I haven’t heard from you before, so if you are a newcomer to my blog, welcome. I hope that you will continue to read it, and that all will become clearer.

  • Refined coconut oil is not a “health” or “awesome” food, it is a highly processed item. The only healthful eating plan for people is as nature herself intended ripe raw non-chemical fresh fruit and green vegitables, irregular fatty fruit and seeds, or fresh nuts off the tree and shelled (or else they rancid). Learn more about coconut oil at well-informed-sources dot com

Leave a Reply to Julian Love Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.