Tutu + Robinson @ Copenhagen

Yes, the corner of College and Chapel may be called Bishop Tutu Corner. But I’ve just met the guy. He loves to laugh and has a great smile. When I told him that there was a street near my college named after him, former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and Irish President Mary Robinson joked that it must be an alley.

Both are here for Oxfam international climate hearing at Copenhagen (“Oxfam organized hundreds of climate hearings. The COP hearing will be the culmination of this effort. The hearing will include climate witnesses from around the world and moral voices.”)

Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu Meeting

Taking pictures of a dignitary

Me, Robinson, Tutu, and two friendly people

Some notable quotes:

“We forget there is a great deal of good and you represent that. Fantastic human beings who care, who want to see our earth home, the only one we have, to be hospitable to all of its inhabitants. I want to clap you, because you are just fantastic human beings.”

“All have one super-goal. Persuading others to listen.”

“It’s the difference between survival and doom. We’re in this together. There are all kinds of competing voices. The 1.5 million people that have attended Climate Hearing in 36 countries, that’s not the whole story, they represent hundreds of millions more people who may not have attended a hearing but are suffering from climate change. The future is becoming a source of fear and uncertainty. People suffer with nothing to eat during the dry months and then lose everything when the rains fall with such ferocity that everything is washed away.

All of these changes, we know, are not just incidental. These stories testify to a disaster already in progress. But you know that we have it in our power.

Leaders from more than 60 countries are in Copenhagen today. We are here to tell the leaders of the world we have one Earth home, if it is destroyed there is nothing else. And we are in it together. We are going to swim or drown together. We are interconnected; we are bound together. If the one slips down, she or he brings down the whole lot. We are here to call for action.”


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