Now I'm back on UK soil and I'm thinking back over the trip and what I have learnt, how I have changed and whether I'm an optimist or a pessimist. Lets see....
Lesson 1: I'm not alone. There are many passionate educated activists from all walks of life who are pushing for change and are willing to get on their bikes and cycle across Denmark in Winter or travel with their own funds to march for Climate justice. Along the route we met many plucky well informed change makers willing to stand up and ask for real deal.
Lesson 2: The best way to communicate is openly and to combine the facts with good storytelling while adding a human element. I certainly feel I have more stories in my catalogue and I'm proud that I made it to Copenhagen. Especially as at times I felt like giving up. Thank goodness for frozen raspberries and the motivating support of Team Carbon Cycle! (I love you Ben, Lorraine and Dougal. It was tough but oh so worth it. Hope you agree!)
Lesson 3: We may never know the total impact of our actions. OK so we raised £2500 for our charities and made a blog - Actions we can easily account for. But hopefully we have change a few hearts and minds or motivated others to reflect on their lifestyles and question where we are going as a race and whether the way we are living is sustainable in the long run.
However we haven't achieved the fair, ambitious legal deal that we had hoped for. This is shameful and I'm grieving for the people that will lose their homes and way of life due to climate change. I'm grieving for the losses to biodiversity from climate change and environmental destruction. It pains me that that our world leaders do not understand how we are intimately linked and dependent on our environment and the services our natural ecosystems provide. And I feel near powerless to do anything about this apart from keep communicating, keep sharing my thoughts and getting out and about in the world I care deeply about. I do still believe we can create a fairly, cleaner more enlightened society. But Rome wasn't built in a day.
I'm quietly optimistic. I do think the tide is turning. We are all interconnected. We live in symbiosis with those around us and we are intimately connected to our environment. Nearly every day I meet someone who lifts my spirit sand encourages me to believe that we are creating a new world free from pollution and based on clean green energy from wind, wave and solar. And if we don't succeed? Well at least I will know I did something.
I intend to celebrate the new and try to keep walking in the light; cheerfully, simply and joyfully.
Further reading: Details of an appropriate sustainable energy mix. David McKay is a professor from Cambridge University and now is a government advisor to DECC. http://www.withouthotair.com/synopsis10.pdf
Powering a green planet: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=powering-a-green-planet