Phaedra C. Pezzullo's blog

Phaedra C. Pezzullo's picture

At COP21, there are plenty of presentations from experts in STEM fields focusing on facts: climate scientist reports and mathematical data are shared, while technological and engineering innovations are understood as necessary parts of solutions to transform our energy systems and revitalize global economies. But, the headline news and daily debriefs about people making a difference? They focus on the interdisciplinary arts of how to think critically and to communicate in ways that might move others.

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It is hard to provide or to navigate a COP map. We are gathering in temporary structures in Le Bourget, a suburb of Paris. There are restaurants, restrooms, water bottle refill stations, and lots of meeting spaces. The IECA has a booth in a long building with many other NGOs; there also are great halls for large diplomatic meetings; smaller meeting spaces for spinoff groups; places to recharge your computer through stationary biking; plastic animals that appear to be an artistic statement about the loss of biodiversity; pocket gardens; and much, much more. Plus, there are events throughout the city of Paris during this time.

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Today, I attended a security briefing and helped set up the IECA booth with Prof. Juliet Pinto & Suzanna Norbeck, JD, from Mediators Beyond Borders (with whom we’re sharing the booth). Despite the state of emergency, the security was nothing compared to the airport in Indianapolis. Honestly. (For an excellent book on U.S. security performances from an intersectional cultural studies perspective, see Rachel Hall’s *The Transparent Traveler*.)

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Today, I’m getting on a plane to Paris, France, for the first week of COP21; organized by Gregg Walker, I am one of four delegates for the International Environmental Communication Association Climate Working Group. Our goal is to try to blog/tweet daily during COP21 to try to raise awareness about climate communication. In Paris over the next two weeks—during which climate activists already are being put under house arrest and criminalized for reasons completely unrelated to the impetus of the state of emergency—this simple act of encouraging public attention and debate matters.

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As you may know, the IECA (led by Prof. Gregg Walker, Oregon State University, and Mark Meisner, the IECA Executive Director) has secured four badges for IECA members to serve as delegates at COP21.

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