and Strategies for Sustainability
As part of the global marketing of Hope in a Changing Climate, the award-winning film Halperin executive produced with a team from the Environmental Education Media Project, Halperin authored a series of blog posts from December 2009 to June 2010. The following dispatch is part of this series.
To learn more about the film and ecosystem restoration, see the Hope in a Changing Climate project.
While the demonstrators stole the show earlier this week in Copenhagen — determined that alternative and contrary voices be heard — they also seem to have provided the organizers with a seemingly sound reason to close the Bella Center entirely to non-governmental organizations. Thus a call for greater participation ends with almost total exclusion.
With plans gone awry inside the Bella Center and the Danish Climate Change Minister forced from her post, many of us riding on the Metro to the meeting site in the morning could not hold back smiles as we eavesdropped on two youthful men huddled over a crumpled but quite detailed map. “Well, I will go first to the peaceful one. Then later the other one — here.”
And again in the evening riding home, but this time two young women, demonstrators who were among delegates and observers and local people. But this time they were trading war-stories, both having been arrested and jailed. They recounted the police, the tear-gas, the noise, the lack of vegetarian food served in prison, and their determination to go back to the next demonstration.
As the hours ticked by and the clock on the official COP15 site showed that time was up — 00:00 — we successfully extracted the Rwandan delegation to the negotiations (with the help of a Rwandan student at Copenhagen University who met them at the sometimes open/sometime closed Metro nearest both the negotiations and demonstrations). Accompanied by leaders of global NGOs, delegates from Greece, members of the European Parliament, representatives from Burundi, at least one Ambassador, and heads of multilateral organizations, we held the premiere of “Hope in a Changing Climate” in the elegant yet non-traditional Museum of Geology within the Museum of Natural History.
But for the automatic activation of the Museum alarms system at 11 p.m., animated conversation that flowed from the auditorium into the exhibits of rocks and gems from across the ages would have continued well into the morning. The repeated praise and sustained applause for John D. Liu’s pioneering work at EEMP — bringing the potential of ecosystem restoration to life through the stories of people engaged in repairing our damaged earth — were both energizing and humbling. There is so much more to do to carry this message forward, to drive a new way of thinking, to incubate new restoration projects around the world.
-- Jonathan J. Halperin