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Day 5 – COP23 in Bonn – Would you like a banana for breakfast or a melting permafrost for dinner?

18 marraskuun, 2017

Day 5 started with an early wake-up. We packed our stuff and called a taxi to get to the conference center (Bonn Zone) before others arrived there. In the trunk of the taxi, we had about 250 bananas, each with a sticker saying:

Radiation facts: This normal, every-day banana is more radioactive (0.1 microsieverts) than living near a nuclear plant for a year (0.09 microsieverts). Don’t let fear hurt our climate – we need all tools to stop climate change. Learn more at our booth or visit

A banana.

We then distributed those bananas, 2 to each booth, at the area. The bananas proved to be a splendid way to start a conversation, and we used them throughout the day until we ran out. The most hilarious moment was in the morning when I was still handing out bananas I heard someone nearby saying:

What! I nuclear Banana!? I don’t think so!

To which I shouted out:

It’s just a normal banana. Enjoy your breakfast!

Then there was a stream of embarrassed apologies, as he realized that the ”banana-man” was still around and had heard his comment. Sometimes it’s good to give a human face on these matters, even if it’s through handing out bananas.

Me and Eric also filled in a COP questionaire, asking us many kinds of questions. Strangely (or perhaps it’s just the zeitgeist) there was one very important option missing, so we filled it it:

What? Climate leadership does not include actual emissions reductions? 

In the afternoon, James Hansen gave another presentation, this time more about the responsibility of scientists to speak up. We also heard about the absolutely horrific bomb that is waiting us in the permafrost, and some alarming facts and findings on the situation with the glaciers. I will post up the video at some point, for now, you can check out the threshold on the picture below (sorry for the quality, I took it while also recording video).

As warming increases, so does the risk of further positive feedbacks and sea-level rise.

Hansen also had a short interview with us after the press conference, basically condemning the actions of UNEP to ban World Nuclear Association from the sponsorship and presence in Sustainability Innovations Forum. We will have big stuff coming out later on this, so stay tuned.

Eric getting that interview with Jim. Reminds me of the Finnish Army service: first a lot of waiting and then everything happens in a hurry real fast 🙂

In the evening we had to move to another Airbnb (and after that, yet to another) so it was finally well after midnight when we got to bed. It was my last night in Bonn.

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