So here I am after sort of following the Edgeryder community for many months and I will participate at #lote so I’d like to tell you a bit about what I’ve gone through the past year. There are so many threads and I’m not sure I’ll be able to unwind them all.
For once I’m going to try to write things out in public and not caring what other people may think. Although it sometimes feels like you put yourself on the line when there are search engines that makes sure you’re indexable for eternity. I guess there is a beauty to that too. Everyone can be immortal now.
I’m now sitting on a train heading towards an internship. But I’ll start from the beginning. Something like three years ago.
Being a part of the climate movement
That was the time I got involved in the climate movement, it was the year of 2009. I had been studying Japanese for about three years with one of the years in Japan. After I got home from Japan in 2008 I had been studying some single courses like international relations and human ecology. After the course in international relations I had decided that I wanted to pursue political science.
At that time I was still thinking that I wanted to become a diplomat for a Swedish ambassador. My role model was and still is Dag Hammarskjöld who was general secretary for UN some 50 years ago. But over time my perception of him has changed from something I’d like to become professionally to someone I admire. Which also reminds me of his wonderful book waymarks.
But as I was saying, the year is 2009 and I’m pursuing political science. Firs term passed I started to get more involved in a student organization called Hållbart Universitet (in english: students for a sustainable university). I remember that I at one time was sitting in the countryside at a party, I think it was March or April. My now former girlfriend was there. We were enjoying ourselves. There was a person who had been involved in the climate movement for a long time. He was russian and had come here to study.
We talked and I thought it sounded really exciting, because it was. I guess I have a lot to thank him for in some ways. For being an enabler at that time. He invited us to go to Bonn, because the year 2009 there was going to be the big climate summit in Copenhagen when things were going to be solved. It was the big COP15.
We were organizing to be a part of the meeting in Bonn which was one of the many meetings that was a part of the whole procedure of UNFCCC (United nations framework on climate change).
And I got the opportunity to be a part of a project called Adopt a Negotiator. It was and still is, although it has morphed slightly, a project designed as citizen journalism around the UNFCCC process. At the end of 2009 there were 14 young people covering UNFCCC from their country’s perspective. They adopted their lead negotiator. Thus I had adopted my country’s lead negotiator, the lead negotiator of Sweden.
Looking backward, it felt like I was too small to fill the role. I had to grow fast to fill in the role. Perhaps it was around that time I started to feel that I wasn’t able to do enough or the right things. It was the most stressful time of my life participating during those meetings. So much going on all the time, but at the same time, nothing. It was moving at a snail’s pace.
People were talking. But nothing was happening. As you may know it’s still going on, with little movement forward. The behemoth called UNFCCC with the jokingly slogan (UNFC the world).
During second part of 2009 I attended two meetings in Bonn, one in Bangkok and then COP15 in Copenhagen. I learnt a lot. I got to see political science up front, in real life and at the end I wasn’t very impressed. I whole-heartedly admire the people trying to put up with it, trying with all their might to influence the process and they do, but the results make me sigh and despair.
COP15 started and ended. The results: it was proclaimed as a failure. It all depends on what kind of perspective you see it. It wasn’t the meeting that brought a treaty that could save the climate and bring us down to a safe level, a failure. But on the other hand, the meeting was also on the verge of collapse, so in that sense it was a success. The process could continue. Objectively though, it was and still is a failure. But political realities doesn’t account for planetary boundaries.
To be honest, something died within me at the end of COP15. A dream. I had just completed my first semester of Political Science at the end of Copenhagen. I still decided that I would continue to study Political Science to get a bachelor’s degree. But what was I pursuing?
And the quest for paid work was just about to begin. Somewhat lost and with a faint sense of direction where I was heading.