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Happy Holidays and Copenhagen Wrap Up from SURGE and The Princeton Climate Dispatch


-by Derek Gideon

I wish you all a holiday season that is both joyous and reflective. We’ll be posting sporadically over the break, to return in February with expanded coverage on the Dispatch and more action from Princeton SURGE. (to submit a post, email

When I decided to post this video as our farewell for the holidays, I planned to write that you could subsitute “war” in the lyrics with “climate change.” But as of yesterday, the United States added a magic third to its list of current wars, entering a global alliance with other major carbon emitters against the world’s most vulnerable nations.

By some alignment of the stars, the last day of fall semester classes here at Princeton neatly coincided with the end of the COP15 UN climate talks in Copenhagen. I hope all of our on-campus readers remembered to turn off  and unplug electronic appliances in their rooms before leaving as part of our Pull the Plug Campaign. As many of you know, as we were packing up and leaving, President Obama flew into Copenhagen, sat down with other major emitters (China, India, South Africa, Brazil, and several European countries) to sign a weak climate agreement that shut those countries most impacted by climate change out of the discussion. The Copenhagen Accord sets its goal as limiting temperature rise to a disastrous 2 degrees Celsius. Most frighteningly, the agreement does not commit countries to coming up with a legally binding treaty at the talks in Mexico City next year. These “leaders” can postpone action indefinitely.

When you hear news reports of drought in East Africa you can think of them the same way as though the F-16’s flew in and bombed entire swaths of farmland. When, in your lifetime if you are a student like us,  you witness entire  nations sink into the ocean, think of it as the Hiroshima of the 21st century.

What I’ve been hearing coming out of Copenhagen is a level of outrage from my fellow youth activists that is comparable to the 60’s era outrage against the Vietnam War. We need to bring that outrage home. The governments of the United States, China, India, and South Africa are fighting World War III, and they are on the wrong side.

For more detailed coverage, I recommend:

Of course, our Vice President’s coverage of Copenhagen for the Princeton Climate Dispatch. Climate scientists underwhelmed by Copenhagen Accord– A response to the agreement from some top researchers on climate change.

It’s Getting Hot In Here- The End of COP15, and the end of the Fast. So how do we all feel?– Copenhagen climate activists vent, and look to the future.

Dot Earth- Climate Talks Make Way for Design Show– A Copenhagen retrospective an analysis from Andy Revkin, blogger for the New York Times

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