Direct from Copenhagen, Denmark - 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference - (8 – 18 December '09)

Acting as the official High Tide COP15 envoy, distinguished ecological artist Aviva Rahmani will be immersing herself in the burgeoning eco-political activism in the city and sharing her experiences with us via this daily blog.

Why not get involved and join in dialogue with her? Log-on to share your views! This is the gathering storm…

Produced in association with FACT

Friday, 18 December 2009

Leaving Copenhagen: Last Words On Making History Here

I am packed, ready to go and thinking about what happened here and my opportunity to track it all with you. Thank you. It was an honor and a privilege. I met many wonderful people because of this blog.

May we all find ways to cool this planet in the times ahead. May you all have found something of value to take away from what I've shared here. As the holidays are upon us, may we all find ways to share the best of what has emerged from our experiences in the year ahead.

We sure made history here this month. It wasn't all a cheery kind of history.

Yes, I was disappointed last night to hear Obama's words and know the outcome was no deal at all. For the first time in a long time, I don't think the "failure" is the fault of the USA. If there are intransigent parties, some stand-outs include Canada, Brazil, India & China. Whom to blame there? China & India each have huge, desperate populations. And California is the primary consumer of tar sand oil. In the end, Saudi Arabia's outrageous claims were just the comic relief.

But Africa also has a desperate population and is making progress. The Maldives will be carbon neutral.

Arguably and more importantly, what I saw was still a close race between forces holding back progress on climate change and forces determined to see a good outcome for everyone, especially the Least Developed Countries (LDC).

Many of us expected this outcome from the heads of state of the developed countries. Financial reparations by 2050 are a relatively meaningless goal for the hundreds of millions of people who will be imminently displaced by global warming or the 50% of species that will be going extinct.

But as many pointed out to me also, thruout this process, from Kelly Blyne of and Jim White, my collaboator from INSTAAR, to the EU negotiator on the train up from Germany, it isn't the end of the story. It just makes for a more painful and complex narrative.

For the long term, I am actually vastly encouraged by the many wonderful projects I learned about around the world, mostly at the Side Events in the Bella Center, many of which I tried to share here. I wish the whole world knew about them. An enormous amount of networking occurred and I'm sure the grounds for further policy negotiations were laid.

In the short term, I think every sane person who was here and a lot of the rest of the world, is speechlessly bowed down by grief for every species, every nation which, every child who, will bear the consequences of COP15's failures. And in the end, nothing and no one will escape the scary consequences of failure to act on the causes of climate change in a timely manner.

So where to go from here? It's in the hands of those who care. Many of you are under thirty. And there are a LOT of you to work with, educate and help.

Finally Getting my Press Conference

Copenhagen Being Peaceful and Picturesque

Brad Pitt visits Copenhagen for Climate Change

Art at Poulsen

I asked Larkon of the Yes Men, if it was possible to make good activist art that was neat? She thought a moment & then said , "No. But I've been thinking about that a lot." "I have too. It seems that the messiness is part of the aesthetic," I replied. "I agree," she said.

Modeling the Survival Ball at the Poulsen Gallery in Copenhagen on my last day

Viewing Obama's non-content speech at the Poulsen Gallery with Angelika (left) Yes Men & Avaaz folks