School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: January 2010
The Copenhagen climate fever – a personal account

by Agnes Madaras

The  climate fever had already started when Susannah arrived in Copenhagen. Throughout the town people were exhibiting climate friendly projects. In the Red Cross Cafe they priced  food based on the CO2 contents – a beef burger cost 10x the price of a veggie burger, as it takes ten times CO2 more to produce  beef.

Children in kindergarden listened to stories about the last ice bear struggling for survival on his tiny iceberg in the arctic.  Many of the school children had entered a competition with their creative art on how climate affects our earth.  In one picture a child drew the sick earth with a plaster and in another, the dying rain forest.


20 000 + people arrived during those days from all corners of the world.

There was a buzz and a fever around the main focal points – the Bella Center  - where politicians and heads of state met, and the Climate Forum which hosted participants of the civil society; among the many other venues across the country the one in Christiania hosted several of Susannahs revive-and-reconnect sessions. 


Listening to presenters at the Climate Forum I was impresssed about the multitude of issues connected to climate covering biodiversity, banking, food-secuity to gender based violence, just to name a few. A panel discussion with spiritual leaders was particularily moving, it was encouraging to know that the protection of the earth was considered a serious matter for all major world religions. I shared my hunger for more information on opportunities to resolve the climate issue with thousands of people, the temptation to spend all my time in the Climate Forum was enourmous. Yet there was an overwhelming amount of information which needed to settle in our bodies and minds – and this is where Susannahs revival and reconnect sessions made a tremendous difference. They helped  to integrate all the thoughts and ideas and support those who were sitting around the negotiationtables.  One  of the evenings was dedicated to“singtheearth“  during which Susannah lead the group with voice and movement accompanied by a group of drummers. The particular energy of all these beautiful voices dedicated to mother earth must have touched the whole universe.


One of the major highlights was the climate demonstration, a peaceful and meaningful walking meditation.  It was amazing to watch thousands of people walking, singing, dancing and displaying their creative ideas and support of the climate issues. For many hours we carried the 6billionreasons banner proudly on two tree-sticks,  freshly chopped by Susannah´s own hands the same morning, handing out info cards to curious bypassers, answering questions to journalists and TV people. The blister of my foot were quickly forgotten, when we – our 6billion reasons demonstrators group  - decided to close the evening with dancing, shaking our bodies  off in a nearby dance club after an improvised dinner at my home. I felt really priviledged to host all these committed 6billionreasons demonstrators. I was well aware that Desmond Tutu was going to speak next morning so we all gathered on the municipality square to hear his encouraging words and his laughter: yes,  each of us can contribute! The final event  at the Cathedral where Desmond Tutu guided us through an interdenominational ceremony with representatives from the east ( Tuvalu), the south (South Africa), the north (Greenland) and the west (Mexico) highlighted the reality and the seriouness of the earth´s condition.

Those who attended the climate events were drawn into this contagious ambience of global committment and stood together for to the same cause: to protect the earth from further destruction.


No, the climate agreement was not signed this time, a depressing experience for so many people in the world who were hoping to bring an end to the earth´s destruction.


But this conference was a unique and historical event with 160 Heads of States discussing climate issues during several days, their perceptions changed, their minds foucused on the seriousness of the situation – committment to climate change is no longer a matter of if, but a matter of how to tackle the issue in the respective countries. I am convinced that this conference had an impact on both high level politicians as well as the society.


Agnes Madaras, Denmark          Jan 2010

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.