Zachary Snier: The Global Spirit
Before arriving in Germany, I expected to experience a lot of questions as to why I am here as an American, especially considering our country's intent to withdraw, but I soon found out that this was a false expectation.
The conference opened with Fiji's Prime Minister and COP President Frank Bainimarama. He expressed the need for a global action that connects all global citizens and began with a story of Fiji's first settlers thousands of years ago and how the drua, a Fijian ocean-going canoe, became a symbol of safe passage. Housed in the main entrance of the conference is a drua. The President said that its presence is "to remind us of our duty to fuel its sail with a collective determination to achieve our mission."
This is our moment of truth when all of us in this room will be tested. We must not be found wanting. We are all in the same canoe. which is why we have duha, a Fijian ocean-going canoe, in the foyer to remind us of our duty to fuel its sail with a collective determination to achieve our mission. So let's make the hard decisions that have to made for the sake of ourselves and the generations to come. Let's use the next two weeks to get the job done.
The COP President set a tone of unification. I soon saw first hand that despite the US not being committed, participants from all countries shared this belief and did not hold our federal government's stance against us. As an American citizen, I was welcomed in all discussions and interactions.
One morning, I aquatinted myself with the delegation of Niger and got to know two members. They welcomed me into their group as they went to a session on West Africa Development. Later, they gave me an invitation to another West African session the next day. Only once during our talks did they jokingly mention President Trump.
Another time, I had the opportunity to talk with a representative of an NGO based out of Bangladesh. She was happy to see an American citizen present at the conference.
I could mention multiple instances where I was greeted with open arms for being an American. While I had been welcomed as an American, there were also multiple instances in which our government was brought up. Some of these instances included comments that although we have withdrawn, the rest of the world can still make progress. Other instances included comments that criticized President Trump and pleaded that the US enter back into negotiations. It is recognized that progress will be made no matter what, but US participation would allow for more and faster progress.
Through my experiences, I belief the global spirit to be characterized as devoted to climate action and embracing to all groups (indigenous people, industries, NGOs) . I see how all the countries present have a strong will to take action. I see how other governments are making climate action a priority and how the world views our government and our citizens. With all that, I see that the US needs be a part of this global spirit.
Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Contact Zach through the following:
12/11/2017 05:55:05 pm
This was an interesting piece. Its comforting to hear that other countries are taking an initiative to help the stop this climate change. I sure hope in the future that our US government will realize the effect the United States has on climate change and look to join with other countries to help put a stop to it.
12/11/2017 05:55:35 pm
The United States should be involved in preventing climate change because our country has major impact on the climate. The people of the United States would be very willingly to take part in making a difference, but the government does not want to get involved due to the possible effects on the economy
12/11/2017 05:59:05 pm
I'm very curious as to what plans all the countries involved have to stop or slow down this climate change.
12/11/2017 06:04:30 pm
It is disappointing to know that the United States will not be helping to save the world while other countries will be making a difference and doing as much as they can since the United States will not be involved. The United States is known for taking initiative, but they are not taking initiative to save the planet.
13/11/2017 04:46:58 pm
It is sad to know that the United States do not want to be apart of something that will change the world forever. There is no reason in this world that could explain why we do not want to be apart of this Global movement. It comes off as selfish we all live on this Earth and we all do things that can be considered negative why can't we come together to improve the climate.
13/11/2017 05:01:47 pm
It's a shame that the United States isn't putting in a lot of more work than the other countries are, considering the fact that we are number three in the top five countries with the worst climates in the world. And also, it should be expected of us because we are thought of so negatively. I really enjoy hearing about all of the countries coming together for making a plan to make our world a better place. It's important that we all share ideas because showing leaders and willing to speak on this issue, with ideas to improve, our leaders will follow.
14/11/2017 02:28:48 pm
It is a shame that the United States is backing out of the Paris Agreement. As one of the most influential political powers in the world, it puts us in a bad position. The events of global warming are a real and serious matter and is something that needs every country in order to work. Luckily it seems that the other countries understand that it is our government that is against this and not the American people. By standing against the Paris Agreement, the United States is only hurting itself and the world. Not only will continually working in the coal industry hurt the Earth more, but once as everyone turns to electrical and solar powered, the United States economy will take a serious blow.
15/11/2017 03:24:27 pm
I am curious on the steps that are going to be taken by countries from the Middle East. While I know the majority of countries have signed on to the Paris Agreement, it would be hard to imagine these countries actually leaving fossil fuels behind. Having an economy that is almost entirely based on a fossil fuel has to present numerous challenges on attempting to reduce carbon emissions.
15/11/2017 10:13:43 pm
I am really interested as in why the United States will not be participating in something that can really help change the world. Its really sad considering the resources and technology that we have. We are a top producer/consumer in pretty much energy category yet we don't want to fix the problem.
16/11/2017 06:10:03 am
it is unfortunate that the industrial world has developed so heavily towards burning fossil fuels. The US has invested a lot into these industrial fields as well as almost every other nation. In my opinion thats why its so hard to get nations to fully back this green movement. somehow we need to find ways to approach the problem of greenhouse gasses that makes it a viable option economically. then the US can back it, especially with out current presidents mentality.
16/11/2017 06:31:13 am
It is great that despite the foolishness by some of the leaders in the United States government, nations around the world aren't putting that against American citizens. Instead they are putting that aside in order to fight climate change and help save the world!
Leave a Reply.