Category Archives: Copenhagen: A Community Perspective

Day 7

Now back in Findhorn, I am letting all the sights and insights and new connections and friendships settle within me. I am left – not for the first time – to wonder at the capacity of our species to tell stories. Over the last week in Copenhagen, I have listened into countless versions of what this moment in history means and how we might navigate our way through it. (read more…)

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Day 6

I had intended to spend my last morning in Copenhagen at the outdoor rally to be addressed by, among others, Desmond Tutu and Rowan Williams. However, I got sidetracked at the ClimaForum building into a dialogue involving Naresh and Sophy from the Transition movement, May East, a colleague from Findhorn and a Mexican ecologist and activist called Miguel. The dialogue, on the potential value of the transition model for communities in the global South, was televised by the ClimaForum TV crew that is to make the vast footage it is accumulating during the talks available for streaming on the Internet. (read more…)

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Day 5

How many days does one get to spend time in the company of Wangari Mathai, Vandana Shiva, Yann Arthus-Bertrand (the creator of the book The Earth from the Sky and the movie Home) and 100,000 drumming, dancing, singing, placard-waving visionaries? Long after midnight, the images of the day continue to dance in my head, making sleep a far distant prospect. (read more…)

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Day 4

A major scientific report just out reports that the oceans are acidifying much faster than previously anticipated, threatening the species at the bottom of the marine food chains with extinction. This builds on a report launched earlier in the week saying that even if all the commitments already pledged at Copenhagen were to be met, temperature would rise by at least three degrees this century – way beyond what scientists advise is likely to be safe. Despite this, the newspaper boards on the walk to the metro station feature only a picture of a grimacing Tiger Woods next to a photo of a scantily dressed woman. (read more…)

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Day 3

I spent the day at the main hub for civil society events, KlimaForum. A word of explanation for those of you not up to speed with how these events work. The three main stakeholder groups involved in international negotiations such as these are government, business and civil society, the last being made up of non governmental organisations and other popular citizens’ movements. For sure, the final decisions here in Copenhagen will be made by governments, but it is by virtue of GEN’s (the Global Ecovillage Network) status as a civil society organisation with consultative status at the UN that I am able to gain access to the main talks in the Bella Centre. (read more…)

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Day 2

Welcome to Hopenhagen! The slogan leaps off a thousand publicity boards across the city. It is being used to engender optimism among the conference participants, to highlight the achievements of the Danish Government and to sell Coke. There it is again at the entry to the Bella Centre, where the UN climate change talks are being held. Once in, the halls and corridors spread out before you, with row upon row of exhibition stands representing causes, NGOs and governments. (read more…)

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Day 1

In Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the ultimate punishment for serious miscreants was the Total Perspective Vortex. Within this chamber the victim’s brain was exposed for a split second to all the possible permutations between all people and other beings in the universe. In response to this their ego explodes in a puff of its own significance. This is a fairly good metaphor for the Copenhagen I find myself in during the International Climate Change Summit. (read more…)

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