Tuesday, December 15, 2009

From Inside the Bella Center (one of the lucky few)

Given that access to the Bella Center seems to become more restricted by the hour, I thought it was particularly important to post some updates today. The Center is much less crowded than the past few days and the NGO booths are starting to be taken down (I believe they all must be down tonight or tomorrow night). In contrast to the increasing calm around the center, my excitement has risen as the the prestige of the U.S. presence continues to rise. Today alone, Former Vice President Al Gore, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and New York City Major Michael Bloomberg, to name a few, have participated in sessions.

Perhaps not as "famous" as those I just previously mentioned, I have had the opportunity to hear some top cabinet members speak on climate change and sustainability as it relates to the United States. I am glad to report that each of these talks have left me feeling very inspired and hopeful for the environmental future of our country. I will write more about this later.

One other positive thing I have noticed in these "less than famous" talks I have attended is that our friends from other countries are starting to applaud the U.S. on our effort. Although certainly the news back home is highlighting the poor federal presence and effort here in Copenhagen, it's important to know that the "on the ground" efforts being made back home are being heard here in Copenhagen.

Even before arriving in Copenhagen I was extremely excited about one talk on the agenda - Beyond Cap and Trade: Subnational leadership - sooner. Stronger. I am a strong believer that any federal policy must accompany strong local, regional and state action. To my surprise, this event has become limited to the 140 few ticketholders because Gov. Schwarzenegger also will be speaking at this session. Hopefully it will be broadcast via television / screen so I can hear what's going on inside.

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