None more so than youth have the moral authority, power or obligation to demand bold action to curb climate change. They are, after all, the ones who will have to live with the destruction if the dire predictions come to pass.
That's the message of local activist Ashley Anderson who's raising funds to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, (or #COP15 as twitter-folk call it), where he hopes the youth of the world can influence the powerful and mighty--who are also mostly old and wrinkly, or relatively so--to change the way we humans live and pollute.
"No matter what comes out of Copenhagen, it will be a failure. It won't be enough," Anderson says of the potential new policies the UN may dictate. "But we need to highlight the failures and correct them quickly."
To do that, Anderson hopes to bear witness to the Copenhagen sham, to better inform the world of the current global power structure's failures in regards to the environment.
Anderson is a member of Peaceful Uprising, a direct-action activist network fixated climate change, which also counts BLM auction-disrupter Tim DeChristopher as a member. Formed this year, Peaceful Uprising has called for a boycott of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort due to the resort's owner's hopes and plans to rip up Alaska wild lands for a coal strip mine, orchestrated a flash-mob die-in at a Twilight Concert this summer and has raised funds for DeChristopher's legal defense. If I forgot something else significant, I hope someone will remind me in comments.
Anderson, an Utah native studying political science at University of Utah, says he'll be meeting with the world's youth who will be holding their own conference just prior to the opening of the UN conference on Dec. 7. But he says he'll also be hob-nobbing with the powerful and mighty within the real conference. "We'll be trying to influence things on the inside ... to chew their ear off."
While in Copenhagen, Anderson says he'll also be meeting with the gonzo activists and master impostors The Yes Men, who, for example, have alerted the media to fake news conferences in which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has suddenly had a change of heart on climate legislation. He wouldn't say if they were planning any hijinks. "We'll be working on some different projects, but of course I can't tell you about them."
Anderson and hundreds of others also shut-down a coal-fire power plant in Washington D.C. in March while Congress was debating the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, which passed the house but has not been considered by the Senate. It was shut-down for only a day, but I bet they made their point (i.e. coal is bad).
"The main point of [the trip to Copenhagen] is we don't want an incremental, super-gradual approach. We may be out of time.We're reaching tipping points. If we don't reach a politically binding climate treaty and if Obama doesn't step up to the plate and show the Senate what they need to do [regarding domestic climate-change legislation], then we're in real serious trouble. Real lives are on the line."