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Observations at the World Climate Change Conference09.12.2008

Tags: Poland       Comments: 1

Picture of the day

Of course the tour is not finished yet and I continue blogging, till we are back in Switzerland Thursday next week! I have just checked the weather forecast and they have predicted some snow for Switzerland, but hopefully till we get there it is gone and melted. I trust in global warming :)

Yes, it is a crazy feeling to have it all finished. Driving down to Switzerland looks like peanuts, after all.  And yes, I am exhausted, I need lots of sleep and rest, after all these restless weeks across Europe in fog, rain and snow. And in the cold.

The good News: I am happy that the News abot th solartaxi went around the world. I have heard of News reports form South Africa to Korea, between Alaska and Rio de Janeiro. While the delegations here inside the conference are battling to reduce pollution by 10 to 20 %, the solartaxi has shown that it is possible to reduce it by 100 %. That's what we need for the future. See a collection of the press reports on this website, on the right side.

Today, Thomas has organised Dr. Pachauri, head of the IPPC and Peace Nobel Price Winner for the IPCC, for an interview for our documentary. After New Delhi and Bali this is the third meeting with him on this world tour. We never met anyone else 3 times! In Bali he had said: "Awareness for Global Warming is now probably on an all time high!" But today he has some more serious words: "Unfortunately, the awareness for global warming is not as high as it should be. Look at how much money is being spent to rescue the economy, and just consider what we could do just with the fraction of that money to save our future!" And then, he admitted: "Yes, sometimes I am angry, if I see some leaders who simply dont want to understand the importance of global warming! They just think of the next election. But what kind of leaders are they? They are able to explain their people the necessity to go to war, but they are unable to explain their people the necessity to preserve our planet for the future!"

At the end Thomas asked him if he still believes if the planet can be saved. He laughed: "Certainly! By nature I am an optimist! Otherwise I wouldn't engage myself, I wouldn't travel around the world, sleep little and rush through life under such difficult circumstances."

Then I met a journalist from a big German New Channel who I had met in Bali, too. He said: "You know, the awareness for Global Warminng was at an all times high in Bali. Today, not even the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) has sent someone to Poznan. They must save money, and poeple can't hear about global warming any more."

It is cold outside. And the conference does not have the same charme than the one in Bali had.There is only a few press people around, and I ask myself where Greenpeace and the WWF is, with all their spectacular demonstrations? Only a few agency reports have made it into the worldwide news wires, compared to Bali. Nevertheless, I see a lot of engagement, especially from countries like Brazil or South Africa. Many new proposals have been made, I was told. But still the US are blocking everything, and as long as they are blocking any progress, the other countries will hide and not come out with great proposals. Everything is waiting for a clear sign from the USA. On Friday Al Gore is being expected to have a speech. If he can motivate the delegates? That's exactly what we need now! I hope he can bring good News! The conference needs it.

Tomorrow early morning I am going to pick up Mr. Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme). In Bali he meant: "Human beings are not lemmings! Of course I believe human beings are going to do something to stop global warming!" I wonder what he is going to say tomorrow?

The next day I picked him up at his hotel and drove him to the conference. "Well, I am slightly optimistic", he said. Later the day had to pick up Dr. Pachauri at the Nautus hotel. As he was meeting us already the third time, I told him: "If someone sits in the solartaxi more than once, he must drive!" Of course I was just joking, I never thought he would ever want to drive the car across Poznan. But he did! So I explained him how to drive and every 10 meters I watechd the GPS and told him "left" or "right". That's how I was driven back to the conference by the Peace Nobel Price Winner!

The next day I went to listen to a speech of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon: "We must repeat and repeat our messages again and again! Our message must be simple, but strong!"

Then I wanted to say something myself, a short message to the ministers. So I stood behind the same speakers desk and I imagined I would talk to the world leaders. UN-fortunately noone was actually there to listen to me, as this was only possible when the hall was empty:)

Finally we got admission to Al Gore's speech. He is the kind of hero the world needs, the welcome he received was so much emotional that I have never seen something like this before, except exactly one year ago, on the 12.12. too, when he had his speech in Bali. "There is more cause for hope than for fear", he said. He ended his speech with "I have a slogan for you which the people of the United States have chosen this year: Yes, we can!"

He got tremendous applaus, and I started to believe that the world will be changed tomorrow: No more CO2 emissions, no more poverty, no more crsis in the renewable energy businesses. Everyone will save the planet NOW! BUT: If everyone agrees and gets so much emotional, why will everything continue the same way tomorrow?????

 When I left the all, there was a big demonstration outside. All the people shouting: Survival is not negotiable! 

And behind the Greenpeace desk two polar bears sleeping. "Tired of no progress". I am not tired. I will simply not give up, despite of allcontradictions in this world. I will now drive back home. In 6 days from now, next Thursday, I should be back home again.

I just checked the roads. Switzerland has received the biggest snow fall in decades. The winter skiing resorts are all under 1 - 2 meters of snow. But down in the valleys, in the flatland? Nothing! It is too warm! It seems like Global Warming is paving my way back home :)



by: Patrick

11.12.2008 09:12

After following your reports for such a long time I am already afraid how quiet it will be when not reading about your tour anymore. Where will the taxi go to then? What will you personnally? And, after a certain time out for you, why not continue blogging about your idea?

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