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Just like the Movies

June 1, 2009

Taylor and I have been sitting in the main hall listening to open statements from the countries all day. When I realized it was 4:30 am in the U.S. I started feeling very sleepy and had a rough time staying awake the first hour. At lunch we got to talk to a man from the delegation of South Africa. He was very nice to us and talked about his work with water conservation issues around the world. When he began asking us questions about the United States, I thought how funny it was that he would assume our views would be very similar to our governments. Until I realized I had done the same thing to citizens from other countries I’ve met. Photo 122

About 2/3 of the speeches are made in English, but for the other 1/3 we are given translators to listen to the speeches. Getting to use one of them made me feel like I was in “The Interpreter” or any other movie where UN delegates are intently listening to their translators. Getting an official badge would have had that same feeling too, if they hadn’t spelled my name “Barratta.”

Speaking of the movies, the Climate Action Network presented their first “Fossil Awards” today, in Oscar fashion. The Fossil of the Day award is given to “three countries judged to have done their ‘best’ to block progress in the negotiations in the last days talks.” First place was given to Australia, second to Canada, and third to Iceland. “Australia was awarded first place, for announcing its target that puts unreasonable conditions on other countries.” We’ll see who receives the honor tomorrow. Photo 123

Time to move to a new hostel and find some food.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim Martin permalink
    June 3, 2009 2:05 am

    Hey guys, great blog. Thanks for keeping the rest of us in the States updated.

    Taylor, the Marx quote is pretty apt. I’ll be 62 in 2050. Shit! I could still live decades after that.

    So, wait, were the fossil oscars for the people who did the most to ‘block’ discussions, as in make things worse?

    • abaratta permalink
      June 3, 2009 9:10 am

      Hey Tim,

      Haha thanks for your great comment. Yes, the fossil oscars is a shameful award. I’ll change the post to make that more clear.

    • tcantril permalink*
      June 3, 2009 2:09 pm

      If you think that dialogue and progress are good things, then yes, the fossils go to those who make things worse. Fossils are supposed to be awarded to dead, antiquated, mineralized, frozen or otherwise stubborn delegations.

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