Will Steger Foundation Expedition Copenhagen 2009

The Expedition Copenhagen team consists of Midwest youth who will travel to the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 5-19, 2009. The expedition will be led in part by internationally renowned polar explorer Will Steger, and designed in collaboration with youth climate partners across the region.

Return to the UNFCCC: COP16

Posted On Tuesday, November 16, 2010 by Reed Aronow | | 0 comments

Tuesday, November 16, 2010: 10 Days Til COP16: In less than two weeks, I will be on the ground in Cancun as a member of the SustainUS U.S. Youth Delegation to COP16 in Cancun, Mexico. I am excited, and ready to be working with youth from around the world to advocate for a fair and equitable international climate treaty. Last year I was honored to have been a part of the Will Steger Foundation's Expedition Copenhagen, a United Nations delegation of 12 Midwest Youth led by polar explorer Will Steger. Through my work with the Expedition Team, I helped organize a 700 mile 350.org Climate Bike through rural Minnesota, learned how to mentor and speak effectively on the issue of climate change, and took part as a youth observer delegate in the COP15 United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen. As a team we worked together, asking tough questions in meetings high level U.S. officials such as U.S. Envoy to the U.N. on Climate Change, Jonathan Pershing and working with youth from around the world to organize events such as the Youth Climate Flash Dance and a rally against tar sands. The result of the conference negotiations, the Copenhagen Accord, was bittersweet. The Accord was an extremely weak compromise where countries could choose to write in whatever amount they elected to reduce their CO2 emissions by without any kind of legally binding protocols. Although this was a disappointment, the process was still moving forward when it could have fallen apart. I chose to not give up hope. Resist Despair. This is a phrase that I emphasize in the speeches that I give at schools, religious institutions and events, and is one of the most important things that we must do if we are to confront the climate crisis. All too often it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of what could happen if we do not confront the climate challenge head on, but it is not too late, and there is so much that is still possible. When I returned to the United States I made the decision to resist the despair that I felt over the results of COP15. I chose to keep going, organizing the Minnesota Clean Energy Forum, and speaking everywhere that I could about the subject of climate change. In 10 days, I will be returning to the UNFCCC process as a SustainUS youth delegate. This time will be different, and I feel older and wiser from my experiences in Copenhagen. I will be working with youth from around the world and the SustainUS delegation to plan creative actions and campaigns, and will give you a blow by blow blog update from on the ground. One of the most important things that you can do to help out with our campaigns from back home is to become a COP15 Rapid Responder. If you sign up, we will call you only 3 or 4 times during the conference and will ask you to talk with U.S. Congresspeople and Department of State officials about specific aspects of the treaty that we are hoping to influence. Please consider becoming a rapid responder by following this link: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDNOVEgwcktCREp1X0haVkVTdVQ1U3c6MQ Peace and Happy Winter Bikin, Reed

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Youth Demand a FAB Treaty in Copenhagen

Posted On Friday, February 19, 2010 by Danielle | | 0 comments

Today wraps up the end of the first week of negotiations in Copenhagen. It's been a great time here, and a lot of good work has been accomplished. The youth have been an impressive positive force throughout the week and we have received a lot of recognition for our efforts, professionalism, energy and creativity. I think it's a great time to take inventory of what has happened, and to reiterate our position as youth on these negotiations. Monday, December 7th: - Opening session of COP15 with IPCC Chairman Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, UN Secretariat Yvo de Boer, COP15 President Connie Hedegaard and others. - First International Youth Climate Movement action- Flash Mob Dance!  Watch the video:


Tuesday, December 8th: - Youth have high-level briefing with Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action Michael Zammit-Cutajar, and John Ashe, Chair of the UN group discussing rich countries’ emissions. - Youth and NGOs meet with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing, and Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs David Sandelow for an off-the-record meeting.  
Wednesday, December 9th: - Rapid Response team is created! The US Youth are calling friends back home to get them to engage their Senators to vote for domestic climate legislation based on science. Tuvalu protests Danish leaked text outside of a plenary session.  

Thursday, December 10th: - Young and Future Generations Day: 1,000 youth wore bright orange t-shirts that read "How Old Will You Be in 2050?" and "Don't Bracket Our Future" bringing light to the issue that youth will bare the brunt of climate change. - Indian Youth Representative gives amazing speech at meeting with Yvo de Boer - watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/willsteger1#p/search/0/4XTr2VEhIBY

 US and Chinese youth meet to discuss commonalities between our countries and develop strategic positions and actions for the negotiations. Watch the resulting press conference: http://www.youtube.com/willsteger1#p/search/0/4lLvpC4Ky9M

Friday, December 11th: Saturday, December 12th: - Biggest march around climate change ever. The streets of Copenhagen were a sea of lights when over 100,000 people joined together in a march for international awareness of climate change issues and calling for a legally binding treaty at the end of this week based on science. Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/willsteger1#p/search/0/jsSreaR3O0Y

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UN Climate Change Summit Take 15 And....Action

Posted On Friday, February 19, 2010 by Aurora C | | 0 comments

So many things are happening at the U.N. Climate Change Summit - it will make your head spin! Bringing awareness and attention to an issue or group can be done in many ways. "Actions" are a large part of the Climate Change Summit and in making statements worldwide. Particular planned actions with different organizations and groups must be planned, requested and approved by U.N. with certain regulations and guidelines for all. I just wanted to share some amazing action photos with you here.
These are just some of the incredibly inspiring youth actions that took place at the U.N. Climate Summit. There were many actions throughout the Bella Center, with different groups and organizations taking part. Expedition Copenhagen team members took part in many of these actions, myself included. I thought the rainstorm action was awesome, I also loved being a part of the Indigenous actions too, we sang songs, chanted and stood strong together and represented well. Sometimes you might wonder, honestly wonder if what you do as one person will make a difference....believe that it does. As these actions set examples and framed messages, one by one we stand together, and together we make a difference.

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We want YOU for strong US climate legislation

Posted On Sunday, February 07, 2010 by Jamie | | 0 comments

The negotiations were intense, the stakes were high, and the resulting Copenhagen Accord left people worldwide wondering when countries would agree to a binding treaty. After attending the Copenhagen Climate Conference, I've been thinking a lot about the outcome and what the future holds for the US as climate legislation will soon be voted on in the Senate. I do know this: climate change is not going to stop on its own and certainly will continue to threaten ecosystems and humans worldwide unless countries take responsibility to decrease their pollution by moving to renewable energy sources. One of the main phrases used at the United Nations Climate Change Conference was the notion of "common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities." There is recognition that countries are not evenly distributed in the amount of pollution they emit, and countries that are the largest polluters have a responsibility to dramatically reduce their emissions as is within their capacity. This also means that emerging economies have a responsibility to move to renewable energy sources when building new energy plants, and developing countries suffering the most from climate change must also do what is in their ability to reduce their carbon footprint. But developing countries need help adapting to the environmental changes that are occurring which affect the lives and livelihoods of their people. The Copenhagen Accord states that developed countries should provide financial assistance to these countries, so that people have the resources to rebuild.
The next climate conference is just around the corner, and its purpose will be to use the Copenhagen Accord as a framework for a legally-binding treaty. With only a few months to go, the US has a lot of domestic work to do before being able to make any international contributions to this collective effort. The US will have to pass climate legislation in the Senate, and the outcome of the vote depends largely on the Midwest votes. It's an exciting time for states in the Midwest, because they are not only the breadbasket of the nation and parts of the world, but they are now prime candidates for the global economic market that is transitioning to renewable energy technology. As more countries utilize their renewable energy resources and start manufacturing businesses for that technology, the global market is shifting to one centered around environmental technology. If the US is quick to take the opportunity, we will continue to be the global economic leader. However, countries like China, India, France and Germany are already establishing strong economies in technology, and the US could soon fall behind. The Senate passing climate legislation will enable the US to create more opportunities for domestic job opportunities centered around renewable energy, and the Midwest could benefit from making use of its wind energy potential along with solar and hydropower options.
I've heard from people around the world during my time at the Copenhagen conference, and I've learned that a driving force behind creating a healthier planet is in youth, who stand united on their persistence and dedication to this issue. Youth from the Midwest have already raised their voices in the form of notes that were delivered to President Obama, and it is actions like that which will form the support needed for legislative votes. In South Dakota, I'll continue to visit schools and talk to youth about the ability we all have to be concerned citizens who take initiative to make the world a better place. Solutions are best achieved from a collaboration of individuals, and each note or phone call to a senator really means a lot in helping senators know what their constituents want!
Our senators will be the ones voting on climate change legislation, but their decision to vote in favor or against depends on the voice they hear from the people they represent. That means YOU! So, for now, there are some very important steps each of us can take to work for more clean energy jobs, making use of our RENEWABLE resources, and working to help the billions of people who are sharing this earth with us:
1. Speak up! Contact your congresspeople and tell them what you think about the future of our states and our world. It's easy- just check http://www.congress.org/ to find the phone number or address of the elected official you want to talk to. Let them know you want them to support strong climate legislation.
2. Get involved. Take little measures every day that will decrease your own carbon footprint. Go for a walk rather than driving and enjoy the outdoors! Teach someone how to garden; recycle-- the possibilities are endless.
3. Learn the issue. There are great scientific sites to learn all about climate change, and you can read the Copenhagen Accord here.
There is so much that each of us can do to make a difference, and it doesn't take going to an international conference to achieve it.

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Adapting to a Changing World

Posted On Sunday, February 07, 2010 by Maia | | 1 comments

The Copenhagen climate conference taught me we will have to adapt to the effects of climate change. If this had not been clear in my mind beforehand, the stories I heard from global young people awoke me to reality. I heard about droughts in Kenya and floods in Bangladesh. Youth from my local area shared stories of environmental illnesses and inequities. In addition, Pershing, the head United States negotiator at the conference, explained to us in a hearing that while we do not know the exact amount of funding that will be needed for climate change adaptation in the coming decades, the numbers will be high and the need is urgent. Change has begun. I know that I cannot sit idly by as climate change accelerates.

What's next?

As I continue to reflect on my intense team experience of the negotiations, I ask myself how I can help a changing world transition into a healthier place where we will continue to face climate change. The most important lesson I learned in Copenhagen was how critical it is for me to work within my own community to create solutions to climate change. The Midwest will be a critically important region as we work for national climate legislation, and I have political power as a voter and organizer in a swing state. This legislation could help our Midwest states thrive as we shift to a new clean energy economy.

This fall, riding my bike around Minnesota with Reed, I saw many examples of climate solutions. This trip inspired me to find ways to engage my community through gardening, alternative transportation, and other measures for adapting to a changing world. The Midwest contains vast stretches of agricultural land and a large portion of the earth’s fresh water. We have many opportunities to lead the globe through local initiatives.

Through the Copenhagen conference, I also realized that my work to study past adaptations to climate change and vulnerable ecosystems has real value for us today. I fell in love with archaeology in high school and decided to focus on ancient food production in college. More sustainable, healthier agricultural systems are possible, and past farming techniques can provide examples for how to innovate and move forward without fossil fuels. Every area of study, and every student, can help us face the future as responsible citizens of the globe through local action. What will you do?

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New Bike Adventure Video Blog!

Posted On Sunday, February 07, 2010 by Reed Aronow | | 0 comments

Check out the first episode of my new video blog on biking and promoting clean energy and transit! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyhEb729h8U

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Life After Copenhagen

Posted On Sunday, January 24, 2010 by Megan | | 0 comments

Upon arriving back in the United States, I was flooded with relief to be back on familiar territory. My trip to Copenhagen was undoubtedly a long one, but successful at that. Feelings were fixed upon the closing of the climate conference. An international treaty was not established but officials had enough sense to lay the groundwork for the next Conference of Parties (COP) in Mexico, 2011. I was relieved that the issue of climate change was finally being taken seriously but I felt that people weren't moving fast enough! Slow and steady seems to be the motto that officials around the world use; regardless of whether swift action was called for or not. A lesson to be learned for all those eager for change out there; progress takes time. In the meantime, until the issue of climate change is solved, I will continue to work fruitfully in my own backyard to ensure that the seeds of change begin to grow. Actively pursuing climate legislation, my home environmental group is revamping our efforts to engage students with the issues that face the Senate this spring. With the health care bill coming to a close, the Senate will now begin to vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES Bill). It is of the utmost importance that a climate bill is passed in order for the U.S. to participate in future COP negotiations. My own personal understand is this; our government will never agree to an internationally binding treaty unless we have passed climate legislation first in our homeland. This is why we must all join together and continue to pressure legislators to vote green. Throughout this semester I will be working directly with NDSU's student body government to coordinate events focused around climate legislation. I will also be giving talks and lectures to the local community on topics such as biofuel, oil-dependency and sustainability. I hope to continue working with grades K-12 in new partnership recently formed with university faculty as well as Repower America, the National Wildlife Federation and the Prairie Stewardship Network. This will be an active time for everyone!

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What now?

Posted On Tuesday, January 19, 2010 by Chalie | | 0 comments

It has been a month since Copenhagen, and since I have had some time to reflect and think of ways in which we need to move forward in order to get ready for COP16 in Mexico and to help mitigate and adapt to the problem of Climate Change. After all, if there is one thing that I have learned is that we have the power to drive change. International negotiations, although critical to drive a cohesive change and hold accountability from different parties, are not the only solution that we have. We need to continue moving forward and take action on an individual level in order to make an impact that in turn demands results from our government. I have come to summarize what I personally need to do in 3 main categories, hopefully you will find these ideas helpful and will use them to guide in making a change….

1. Track and reduce my carbon footprint. I know that I am not perfect and that there are always more things that I can do to reduce my carbon footprint. Also as an engineer, I know that step one to make any sort of reduction is to keep account of your carbon footprint. It is easy and there are many small things you can do to reduce your emissions. Lead by example and make sure that others see the benefits of your actions, they might choose to join. Here is a link to a calculator that I have used. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html

2. Educate! Since being back from Copenhagen I have encountered many people that are not necessarily involved in the climate movement. I have met several people who are still skeptics or that just don’t have enough information in order to care. This is why education is key, it opens opportunities for others to learn about the subject and decide if they want to make a difference. Education does not have to be formal, it could be over a cup of coffee, with family and friends or coworkers! Stay up to date with the news and the science and share your knowledge with others. Facts speak for themselves and they do cause people to see things in a different light. I always find this link helpful when looking for accurate data on climate change. http://www.ipcc.ch/

3. Let your representatives know. If there was one message that I heard through Copenhagen from the different politicians and negotiators that were at the conference it was this… they all encouraged the youth to continue pressuring our politicians, let them know that we want a sustainable future and that we are the ones carrying the burden of the decisions made today. We need to understand that although we are a strong and impactful group, there are still many powerful people that for some reason or another choose to not believe in the facts and are putting pressure on government to not pass climate legislation or to not be capped by carbon emissions. We need to ensure that we have a louder voice, that we carry a message and that we ensure this message reaches the highest levels of government. We need to continue working hard and make sure that our message makes a difference.

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Local Stories Make Global Impacts

Posted On Monday, January 18, 2010 by Danielle | | 0 comments

In Grand Rapids the organization Local First has helped spur a movement in the city to think and buy local. The popular phrase, Think Globally, Act Locally has been an inspiration to citizens, students, and children alike and it has especially had a meaningful impact on me. This simple phrase is what has driven me to do the work that I do in my community, and it was only reinforced during the negotiations in Copenhagen.

Storytelling, one of the main ways that I connect with my community and with what’s happening around the world also proved to be very important. First, to make sense of the labyrinth that was the Bella Center I found it was best for me to choose one or two stories to follow and watch unfold until I could share it with others. For example, I decided to pay close attention to the actions of the U.S. Youth Delegation so that I could tell the media and our decision makers about what we were doing at the negotiations. With 500+ U.S. youth participating in the talks it’s easy to imagine the wealth of stories to share.

Secondly, telling the narrative of Expedition Copenhagen and highlighting the Midwest to everyone I met enabled me to make connections with people from around the world that had similar experiences. Listening to other stories demonstrated the broad implications of climate change and helped me generate new ideas for solutions based thinking. The simple act of sharing my story was the best way for me to act locally on a global scale.

What I already knew, but what was made even clearer during the negotiations was that our local stories connect us to people from around the world. We are all interconnected, and our stories are powerful enough to cross every barrier. There are billions of people around the world that have similar struggles and victories as you and me. Circumstances may be different, but we can usually find a place where our stories cross paths. In Copenhagen I heard and followed hundreds of these accounts and shared the story of the Midwest with everyone I met. Ultimately, we have to remember that all of these stories go back to our roots.

The work that I have been doing in Grand Rapids, and what each delegate on the Expedition Copenhagen team has been engaged in, is what made it critical that we took part in these talks. Global climate change is a huge issue to tackle with thousands of angles to look at. The only way to remain grounded and in touch with reality is to hear about the effects of climate change on communities by people from those communities. That is why thousands of civil society members registered to participate in these negotiations – they wanted, rather needed, to share their narrative to remind decision makers why they must take significant action on climate change now.

During the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, there were over two thousand registered NGO organizations. Since that time the number of civil society members participating in climate talks has increased significantly. Copenhagen was the largest convergence of people on the issue of climate change with over 45,000 registered people plus thousands more staying in the city to help organize outside events, marches and protests.

Reflected in this number is the amount of attention currently being paid to the climate crisis. Over 110 heads of state took part in these negotiations, and we are now closer than ever to signing an international treaty. Thus, it is easy to assume that the thousands of stories shared by these people are impossible for the decision makers to miss. Without these narratives we would not be this close to taking the bold action that is necessary because they are the driving force behind the positive changes taking place.

We cannot have a sustainable world without first starting in our homes, schools, cities and governments. After we start to strengthen our roots can we begin to grow the movement internationally. The fact that in Copenhagen we were on the cusp of signing an international legally binding treaty to stop global climate change demonstrates how important these local actions are to securing a safe and just future. The purpose that civil society and Expedition Copenhagen delegates served was to act as visible representations of the effects of and solutions to climate change.

The stories from my community keep me grounded, and they are the reason why I went to Copenhagen. The lessons I learned from the stories I heard and followed during the negotiations are why I came back more empowered, more inspired, and more ready to work locally and help transition our global society to be more just and sustainable. We have to focus local to impact global and we have to remember that we are not insignificant. What we do in our local communities is not insignificant. It’s the most important work that can be done.

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Beyond Copenhagen: The Trail Tale Continues

Posted On Monday, January 18, 2010 by Reed Aronow | | 0 comments

As the COP 15 Climate Summit came to a close in Copenhagen, my hopes for the future were tempered with a healthy dose of reality. The challenges ahead of us may not be easy, but we can still choose our better future. Some proclaim that Copenhagen was a success, some that it was a complete failure, but I think that it was a little of both. The three page “Copenhagen Accord” that we left with was not the culmination that we had hoped for, but it paves the trail for a future agreement, perhaps in Mexico City, where the 16th UN Conference of Parties will be held. As the conference began, there was a sense of hope permeating everything. “This is possible, Copenhagen will be the place where an effective, fair, and legally binding treaty will be wrought.” Before the conference, I had the opportunity to meet young people from across the world at the Conference of Youth. Throughout the summit we worked tirelessly to make sure that the negotiators listened to youth calls for a strong treaty. “How old will you be in 2050?” we called out on the Youth Day of Action. Climate change is not just a theory, but a legacy that we and our descendents will have to live with. The choices that we make in the next couple of years will influence our ability to lessen the impacts of climate changes and prepare ourselves. United States Youth Delegates met with legislators and with our country’s representatives at the conference. We gave EPA director Lisa Jackson and standing ovation for her work in the new EPA rule that designates C02 emissions an atmospheric pollutant. We attended meetings with high level officials from President Obama’s Cabinet, including Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. The question that we asked, and the question that I asked former Vice President Al Gore, was always preceded by the phrase, “I am here today with 500 youth from across the United States,” and then we would all wave. This showed our United States representatives that we had an organized presence at the conference, and a right to take part in the process that would determine our future. Even if it may be difficult to tell how our presence at the conference may have influenced the result, our actions and organizing sent shock waves back to the many people we were representing in the United States, which I would argue was even more important. Through video conference calls with classrooms and students back home in Minnesota and in Washington D.C., I had the opportunity to send news back home about the negotiations process in Copenhagen, and discuss what the ephemeral next step should be. The more that I think about my role at the climate summit, the more I think that many of the decisions made there were determined before it even began. The United States arrived with the climate bill still mired in the Senate, crippling our ability to fight for a strong agreement. On the other hand, thanks to the 350 Day of Action, the number “350,” representing the 350 parts per million of CO2 that is the safe cap in the atmosphere (right now we’re at 387) actually made it into the proposed treaty text. So what is the next step? What is the best, most effective thing that you or I or anyone living in the United States can do about climate change? Well, although Copenhagen was propped up as the be-all-end-all-or-else-we-all-die-and-the-world-ends event, it doesn’t “be all” because it is only one step in a process that needs to take many forms, and it doesn’t “end all” but instead offers the opportunity for countries to go back home and come back in a year to create a real treaty together. Yes, that’s right “accord” is code for “let’s come back and figure it out later.” Not ideal, but here in the United States it gives us the opportunity to come back home and work for the passage of a strong CJAPA Senate Climate Bill. Then, we can have the framework for clean energy climate solutions here in the United States, and we can have an ambitious argument that we can bring to the next COP for a fair and legally binding treaty next December in Mexico City. Copenhagen was not an end, but a beginning, and I am excited to be back home and to be part of the solution. If you want to do something right now that will take only a minute, call your Senator and ask them to not let the Murkowski ammendment to become part of the final bill. This ammendment would strip away the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gasses and the coal industry, which could potentially lead to an increase in greenhouse gasses. Another thing that you can do is jump on your bike and take it for a ride. It's actually a lot easier to do in the wintertime than you'd expect. If you don't think that the roads are safe enough to bike on where you live, then do something about it. Did you know that the Minnesota legislature is considering a bill called the "Complete Streets" act that would integrate bike paths into street designs? You have the ability to influence the world around you: you just have to get off your duff and do it, and doesn't hurt if you can find some friends to take with you too.

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There and back again

Posted On Monday, January 18, 2010 by Jamie R., WI | | 0 comments

Many voices sounded in the streets across Copenhagen this past December, and they came together late in the evening on the 18th of December as COP15 came to a close.

On that night, I sat in a small Danish apartment with a few of my fellow delegates and listened to President Obama give his final words on the accord. For the first time in near two and a half weeks, the world seemed quiet. Shock, exhaustion, disappointment, confusion... his seemingly empty words hung in the air. All I could hear was the breathing of my comrades and his political statement. Not a statement of conviction, of passion, of progression, of change... a statement of politics.

I felt deceived, brokenhearted, emotional and worn out. What had we worked so hard for? What does this mean for us? For humanity? What does this mean? I felt blindsided by the auditory wrecking ball delivered by my President that thrust a gaping hole into my relentless hope for the impossible.

The world was quiet and still.

I took some time to talk with my friends and put this new reality to the back of my head. Just for a few hours, then I returned to the quiet. The quiet that had settled over Copenhagen and over the youth movement. For the first time in two weeks, I did not have 350 emails to check by the end of the day. The world slowed back down. My psyche reverted to the corner of my mind with the over-sized sofa and low-light lamp where I go to reflect when I don't know what to think. This is where I stayed for the next few days and my long travels home.

A few weeks later and back at home, a renewed passion has reignited in my heart. I have returned home to the thought and aspiration that initially inspired me to apply for Expedition Copenhagen: local, sustainable communities.

I met hundreds of young people and thousands of people of all ages from all over the world; each of their home communities has different ways to meet the same goal as communities all over the world: local and sustainable. We need to take care of each other here, at home. We can address this global issue of climate change through local solutions. The Midwest specifically has phenomenal opportunity to become a leader domestically and internationally through clean energy development.

2010 must be a year of action. We must continue to hold our leaders at the top to the promises they campaign on, but we cannot go to the top alone. Our action, as we know, needs to happen at all levels of government and in the home of our community members.

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SD Messages Arrive Safely to President Obama

Posted On Thursday, January 14, 2010 by Jamie | | 0 comments

To all those who wrote messages for the Copenhagen book, congratulations! A successful delivery of these Midwest messages, along with the messages of Kenyan youth and a joint cover letter, went to President Obama. To see the final book that these messages were placed in, and to hear comments from some of the youth that joined our WSF delegation in working on the letter and compiling the messages, click here.
Your messages are posted on the White House Blog! Look closely at the images from the above link--of the 6 that were scanned onto the post, at least 3 of them are ones that were written by youth in Sioux Falls! Those messages are being seen not only by the President and his staff but anyone who visits the White House Blog. Each of those notes made a BIG voice for the Midwest--and think of how easy they were to write!
The momentum doesn't end with this project--in fact, this is only the beginning. Every goal starts with little steps toward success, and there are many more little steps that need to be taken to achieve strong climate solutions before the next UN climate conference. United, inspiring voices of youth are needed to show our support for a healthy and sustainable future, for SD and the world. The compilation of messages that are being shared worldwide are just a small testament to the impact one voice can have. That voice can start with YOU.

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