Letter: Every moment, it is sunrise somewhere
I thought I was going to Chile this December. I’d booked my plane ticket at a surprisingly reasonable price, found lodging for under $30 a day, and secured time off of work. Then, on Oct. 30, barely a month before my scheduled trip, the Chilean government announced it could no longer host the international conference I’d planned to attend because of civil unrest in Santiago. My plans, and the plans of over 20,000 other activists, delegates and world leaders who planned to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, crumbled overnight. A week later, the Trump administration confirmed that it would move forward with plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. For those of us around the world working towards positive and proactive climate action, it was a devastating week.
Yet I am reminded that at every moment, it is sunrise somewhere. Two days after Chile backed down from hosting, Spain announced it would host the UNFCCC in Madrid over the same dates. Many airlines waived change fees for conference participants; the nonprofit I’m representing has already found affordable lodging for our entire group.
As the U.S. begins to withdraw from the Paris climate deal, bipartisan support is growing in Congress for bills like the Energy Innovation Act that will dramatically cut U.S. carbon emissions. On Wednesday, our own Sen. Michael Bennet joined the newly formed Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, the only bipartisan committee focused on climate change.
This was a hard week with times of darkness, confusion, and despair. But I’m going to Madrid with 20,000 other people. Climate solutions are in reach. Right now, it is sunrise somewhere.