Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 5 – The Zoo and Toolbox Workshops

Once again, our student hosts from the Guldenberg School showed us a little bit more of Copenhagen and their work with climate. We went to the Copenhagen Zoo, which receives all its energy from renewable sources, to learn about conservation and sustainable living. As we wandered around the zoo, we went to different exhibits and work stations to see concrete examples of adaptation and resource use. Along the way, we were dangerously close to some animals! There was a reindeer with massive horns licking the fence that separated it from the walkway, and it was quite terrifying to try and sneak up for a photo right next to it. Additionally, we were able to partner up with some of the Danish students.  Ahmed and I, for example, examined the role of authorities in controlling the bushmeat industry.

The weather was absolutely freezing (below 0º Celsius!) but we ended up having a great time at the zoo. Our visit ended with a somewhat amusing demonstration of how the zoo uses animal manure to heat the facilities. The organic matter ferments in a large vat to produce biogas (methane) that an excellent combustible and great for ensuring, for example, the tropical rainforest exhibit stays a full 25º Celsius above typical Danish winter temperatures. As our docent said, it’s really efficient but extremely smelly.

When we got back, we each headed off to our own workshops, intended to help us in our work as Climate Ambassadors when we return home. The Online Media session helped us understand how to better utilize Unite for Climate, which you should all check out! []. Political Advocacy was also a great session in which we were taught ways to petition our officials to better heed our voices.


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