We are busy preparing for the next COP meeting from Seattle instead of from Copenhagen. While we had originally planned in taking part in the conference, we are at home instead. We are working hard on raising money for The Three Degrees Project, a multidisciplinary climate justice institute, building our new website (to launch in January, 2010), taking law school exams, and trying to keep up with the news from Denmark. We have heard from many of our Three Degrees friends who are in attendance, many of whom are working hard to keep human rights and climate ethics part of the ongoing conversation. Not surprised to learn that the focus of the meeting is on climate finance, with the haves and the have nots fighting over how the world can finance the shift toward a warmer world. In fact, we find Todd Stern’s position that the US owes no “climate debt” to the most climate vulnerable nations repulsive and irreconcilable. We are eager to get to work to ensure that any climate adaptation funds agreed upon go into the hands of the people who need it the most instead of to the people who need it the least.
Here is a photograph from last night’s Seattle candlelight vigil. While in many ways I wish I was in the streets in Copenhagen, lighting a candle in the place where I live felt just as meaningful of an expression of my intentions to be working hard–from any place that I can–on the next generation of climate solutions. The photograph shows the words to holiday songs rewritten by the 350.org climate carolers. After singing (botching) a few tunes, some friends, family, and I took a stroll around Greenlake–the path lit by hundreds of luminaries encircling the lake. People were out in 30 degree weather pushing baby strollers sprinkling with Christmas lights, carrying “tck tck tck” signs, and drinking free hot chocolate while gathering in the cold with their neighbors. If climate change can bring Seattle out walking on a cold winter night, there is a bright light of hope shining right here at home. Go Seattle!