December 8, 2009

Walden students check in with global climate change conference; Video: 'Jai Ho; dance for flash mob

Members of Walden's "Green School" log online to visit with Jamie Racine at the
international climate change conference in Copenhagen.

A Racine woman representing the youth perspective at this month's international climate change meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark brought the message back home Tuesday.

Jamie Racine, of Racine, is a Midwest youth delegate at the meeting of world leaders. Officials are negotiating a new international climate change treaty.

Jamie, who left for Copenhagen on Dec. 3, held a video conference Tuesday at Circa Celeste cafe with members of Walden III High School's Green School. About 15 students talked with Jaimie over Skype.

Mayor John Dickert also dropped in. He asked Jamie to talk about Racine's efforts to become an international leader in fresh water research. Dickert said he's working with Milwaukee and Chicago to create a research consortium paid for with federal money. He also said had a meeting with the Chinese last week on clean water.

Racine, led by Dr. Julie Kinzelman, is already recognized as a leader in cleaning up Great Lakes beaches and fast-track water testing.

"Clean water is key to the future of the world," Dickert told Jamie. "We want to be the world leader on this."

Jamie assured the mayor she would bring up Racine's efforts on clean water as part of her efforts in Copenhagen.

The Walden students asked Jamie about the youth delegation's efforts in Copenhagen. She described a highly coordinated campaign. For example, at one speech by US Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson, the 80-member youth delegation had four questions they wanted to ask. Each person in the delegation knew the questions and were prepared to ask them if called on.

Today is also the 29th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. In response, the youth delegation changed Lennon's classic, "Give Peace a Chance," to "Give Youth A Chance" and sang it at the convention.

Walden students responded by sending Jamie a video of their performance of the "Jai Ho" dance from "Slum Dog Millionaire." The song won an Oscar for best original song earlier this year. The title, in Hindi, means "Victory to you." Youth around the world are performing the dance and uploading it to YouTube as part of a global "flash mob."

Here's the video:

Follow Jamie Racine at the Will Steger Foundation's website and on Twitter @jamierexpedcop