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OnDitmagazine ― Features

I'm at Copenhagen as part of the Australian Youth Delegation (AYD), a group of 20 young people representing a broad cross-section of Australians as part of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. Having had no idea what my involvement would involve, since my selection I had been engulfed in a slowly accelerating snowball of conferences, strategy weekends, international networking, media work, fundraising, and information gathering. The process could be compared to what Neo undergoes when he is released from The Matrix. That is to say, I came to know climate kung-fu. In the weeks leading up to my departure, friends filled me with words of support. Some were long-time climate advocates, who had spent considerable time working on this issue. Others were closer to spectators regarding the climate crisis, but who trusted me in what I was doing. Less than a week before I flew out, a friend of mine who had attended the Montreal negotiations shared the contents of her notebook from that trip. I soaked it in and thought about the notebook that I would soon be crafting, the people I'd meet, the actions I'd undertake, the victories and the defeats that I would face. I had no idea. December 7th, 2009: the conference begins and I'm looking around in wonder. Inside the massive Bella Center, delegates line up for their passes and I humbly accept a security pat-down as I enter. As it's the first day, it’s not too frantic yet, but it's still a whirlwind around me. I glance at badges as people pass, seeing reporters, party negotiators, and heads of international NGO's. It's all a bit much. On this day I lead a 'flash dance', a staple of the youth climate advocate. Gathered outside the plenary hall, just as the delegates are leaving, hundreds of youths from around the world move in glorious sync. “Ooh, it's hot in here.” As I pivot and thrust atop a chair, struggling to maintain my balance, I’m surrounded by a bat-

tery of video cameras. “There's too much carbon in the atmosphere.” A horde of bodies copy my recently-learnt dance moves. “Take action, take action, and get some satisfaction.” I'm in an absurd, surreal sea of people – media, profes-

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Lord Monckton, "probably the most refuted disinformer there is."

sionals and negotiators from all over the world. “Take action, take action, and get some satisfaction.” Damn right, us young people are making our presence felt. Over the next ten days, I take part in a bedin on the anniversary of Lennon's death, and a picture of two American girls and me preparing signs ends up on Reuters. We meet Louise Hand, Australia's chief negotiator, and later Penny Wong, whom I neglect to tell about the time I took part in a sit-in in her Adelaide office. We do, however, show her our Abbott spoof video, and she laughs appreciatively. When Tuvalu, facing rising sea levels, walks out of the negotiations in objection to the lack of transparency, a swarm of us takes part in an unpermitted protest supporting them. I am filmed putting a '350' sticker on the back of Lord Monckton, probably the most

On Dit Magazine: Volume 78, Issue 1  

On Dit Magazine is a fortnightly Australian student magazine with an emphasis on exceptional writing, photography, and illustration.

On Dit Magazine: Volume 78, Issue 1  

On Dit Magazine is a fortnightly Australian student magazine with an emphasis on exceptional writing, photography, and illustration.