The first thing to strike a Canadian en route to COP15 is the dominance of the climate talks in billboards and public spaces well before you reach Copenhagen. Starting in London at Heathrow, billboards call for climate action and companies -- from the evil empire of Exxon Mobile (evil not because they trade in oil, evil because they have thrown millions into anti-science propaganda campaigns) to "Hopenhagen" ads to sign on for climate action, are everywhere evident. Once in Copenhagen, the climate message dominates at the airport with the most offensive being COKE- the "bottle of hope" and the best being tck tck tck- ads of greyer and older world leaders speaking in 2020 "we had a chance and we didn't act..."
As soon as people hear I am from Canada, everyone says "oh, are you upset Canada keeps being the fossil? It must be embarrassing for you.". The only positive buzz about Canada is the level of awareness that Toronto Mayor David Miller accepted one of the two fossil awards Canada received yesterday. He is, apparently, the first government official to be present to accept his nation's fossil. People are stunned our chief negotiator said our targets are "science-based.". "What science?" I am asked. "Does your government know any science?"
The demonstrations were huge. Over 100,000 people!
At our assembly point in front of the Danish Parliament, a series of speakers including Vandana Shiva, gave us a rousing send off for our march.
As far as I could see the march was peaceful and celebratory. All along the line of march, local people were leaning out their windows to cheer us on. Our favourite banner , hanging from a fourth floor window; "we are taking the hobbits to Isengard"
Following the march I attended an evening service at Trinity church led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many who read this blog won't know -- nor why would you? -- that Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the head of the Anglican Church for the world. Meeting him was a huge honour for me and he seemed pleased an Anglican is leader of the Green Party of Canada. His homily was inspiring and called on humanity to recognize our place in creation.