Millions Gather to Protest COP15

(Photo from

The world’s cutest and  most vulnerable gather to protest the lack of action at COP15.  Our own Christine Ryan from Vermont Law sent this to us.  A moment of brevity is needed in these dark hours. Let’s hope these snowpeople survive.  Let’s hope we all do.

Powerful Statements from the Plenary

I am not one of the three in our group in the plenary today, but I have been watching the live streaming for the past 4 hours.  Various heads of states are now giving their 5-10 minutes statements.  I just listened to the Prime Minister of Mali, Modibo Sidibe and the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.  Below are my hastily taken notes from their speeches (both through UN translators so these texts not the specific words of these leaders):

Photo source: Wikipedia

Mr. Sidibe  – “I want to tell you a story about my relationship for the past 50 years with a river – the Niger river – I was born in the central delta on the banks of this river.  I was 5 years old when my grandma warned me of swimming in this river b/c it was turbulent and deep.  She said a city of water spirits lived down in the depths. 




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Goodbye COP15, Hello Klimaforum ’09

So much for the transparency of the negotiations and the participation of civil society.  The Bella Center, where COP15 has been taking place, is being shut down to NGOs in limited numbers.  The center itself holds 15,000.  Through a 3rd party I heard that on Wed. the # of NGO participants was being restricted to 7,000, then 1,000 on Thur. and finally only 90 on Fri.  90 out of around 20,000 registered.  That’s .0045%.  A strong voice that is not.  On top of that, a secondary badge system has already been instituted and the odds of getting in tomorrow are slim as well (our group of 9 received 4 badges – not bad really). Continue reading

Our Own Tracy Bach Presenting at COP15!

Tracy Bach, professor of law at our own Vermont Law School, is currently completing a Fulbright Scholarship in Senegal.  This afternoon she spoke at the Intergenerational Equity panel sponsored by the European Youth Forum, the Federation of Young European Greens, and the Comite Pour Les Relations Internationales de Jeunese.  Tracy focused her presentation on what she believes each generation owes to the next.  The core legacy obligations  are: 1) Options, 2) Quality, and 3) Access.  Other panel members included representatives of these youth organizations and they spoke on what actions their groups take to try and influence governments and delegates throughout the year and at relevant conferences such as COP15.

What’s the deal with Tuvalu?

As mentioned in other posts, negotiations were suspended today when the island nation of Tuvalu asked for serious and binding committments from developed nations to help stem the tide (both figuratively and literally) of damage wreaked by climate change.   A protest ensued by supporters of Tuvalu outside the plenary room with hundreds of people lining the hallway and spilling into the main Great Room of the conference center.  Here is one picture I got.  For further info. on Tuvalu and what the nation faces, read the post from Wikipedia here ( “At its highest, Tuvalu is only 4.5 m above sea level, and could be one of the first nations to experience the effects of sea level rise caused by climate change. Not only could parts of the island be flooded, the rising saltwater table could destroy deep rooted food crops such as coconut and taro. Continue reading

Thoughts on expectations

A reporter from the Rutland Herald called me yesterday to talk about the conference.  He didn’t have any specific questions for me at first but rather just wanted me to talk.  I started with a basic breakdown of what the conference was about, who would be there, what would be going on daily and other generic, overview-type information.  After rambling for a bit, he asked me a few simple questions and then concluded by asking, is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like to tell people?  Ah, little did he know that he opened a can of worms on that one!   Continue reading