Day 2 at the Conference of Youth
Day 2 of #COY13 was amazing. We took a group picture! Here we are spelling out the word COY. Can you find us?
Here’s a summary of the workshops we attended:
Oceans in the Face of Climate Change
Yutian- This workshop explored the connection between ocean systems and climate change. One thing I found particularly interesting is how climate change is affecting the thermohaline circulation in the ocean, which is basically the phenomenon of ocean currents. It is alarming to see how parts of the world such as Fiji, Bangladesh and even Florida are experiencing worsening floods and hurricanes and how closely this is linked to rising ocean temperature.
Lilia – We were introduced to how environmental campaigns work with politics. Marketing skills were addressed. We split into groups and discussed how we would market a problem. My group took on the challenge of transport. The price of public transportation is rising and we discussed ways to develop a campaign to address that problem.
Lena – In this 3 hour workshop we simulated a UN Climate Conference between 8 parties (EU, USA, China, Russia, OPEC, AOSIS, African Union and Brazil). The simulation allowed each party to invest points either into stopping climate change or into the economy in order to determine how effective we were in reducing climate impacts. The simulation gave insight into the role of the UN Conferences, the importance of acting now, and he importance of international cooperation.
Making Inflatables for Direct Action
Yutian- I was introduced to the invention of a huge inflatable cube that can be used to make protest demonstrations more peaceful and avoid confrontations with the police. It was excellent to see how such a device could destress conflict situations and help to make climate change demonstrations safer.
Young Feminists for Climate Justice Storytelling
Annabella – We shared our stories about environmental and feminism experiences and tried to find a common link. It was interesting to see how people of different ages had different ways of coping with problems. I reflected on how I could better improve and try to stay calm in certain situations.
Gas: The Forgotten Fossil Fuel
Yutian – We discussed the negative impacts of natural gas extraction and how it’s not an ideal energy solution despite how it’s advertised by natural gas companies. We took on the roles of three different communities affected – the government, the companies, and the communities where gas pipes were to be built. It was heartbreaking to see how the communities most negatively affected have so little what ultimately happens in their community.
Climate and Health
Lilia – The speaker correlated health and climate change issues. I didn’t realize these two were so connected. It was interesting to learn that most countries realize this is a major issues and something that needs to be worked on.
A Virtual Journey to Deserts, Plant for the Planet
Lea and Lilia – A scientist discussed the creation of a point-to-point electric grid connecting solar panels in the deserts of Africa with major cities in Europe. We participated in an activity that demonstrated the value of point-to-point grids over just expanding the existing network. The fragile bonds and difficult historical relationship between African countries and European countries was discussed as a possible point of conflict.
Campus Climate Corps
Annabella and Yutian- They introduced the idea of virtual poster sessions, this meant having a poster on a computer/TV and then using Skype communicating through it. This meant that people could communicate using this and reduce the carbon foot print by 95% as it would save sending a real person to talk. The poster compared the carbon footprints of sending people verses sending electronic devises. We found this to be a very innovative.
Deeper than Science
Yutian- We saw how religion and beliefs can influence our ideas about nature and climate change and how important religious figures can make a great impact on the fight against climate change.
Eat Art and Learn
Lea – Trying to build a connection between food and art as a way to raise awareness. I helped make a sign for the march taking place in Bonn tomorrow. It’s a positive sign, so instead of a negative protest sign, it was a happy group of fruit signs for people to wear to show others how important healthy eating is and how you can reduce your carbon footprint by eating local produce.
Lena – Talanoa is he Fijian word for open dialogue in a safe space. For this session, a group of diverse people from all over the world sat together to discuss how climate change impacts them and what they believe are the biggest problems and the best solutions.
Insights into the UN & Climate Change
Lena – Throughout this session, one got a lot of insight into the inner workings of a UN Climate Conference, and the actions that have or will be taken by the UN or their parties in order to stop climate change. Additionally, Nicole Wilke, the Lead Negotiator for Germany, and a EU Negotiator at the UN told us about an average day at a UN conference.