Cop26 activists travel to Glasgow over land, sea and in a giant metal ball | Policeman26


Arnd Drossel has been rolling around in a 160 kg steel ball for the past three months.

The German environmental activist left his home in Paderborn on July 30th in the giant hamster ball-like device that he made with his son.

Now he is finally approaching Glasgow on time for the UN climate summit Cop26 with a collection of environmental promises that he has collected from passers-by on the way.

“I wanted to show that we are all connected around the world by the promises we make to the environment,” he said while waiting for a ferry in Belfast.

“When I walk on a flat surface, it feels like I’m going up a mountain because of the weight of the ball,” said Drossel. “Sometimes when I go uphill I have to ask people to help me push the ball up, but it also symbolizes that people are growing and working together.”

Drossel is one of many activists who have decided to make a sustainable trip to the summit and at the same time to draw attention to the climate emergency. While walking and biking are the most popular options, Glasgow can also expect travelers who have chosen other alternatives.

Agis Emmanouil: ‘The trip changed me.’

“I don’t know what I’ll do when I get to Glasgow. I don’t have a pass for the summit, I haven’t even booked accommodation. I was improvising the whole time, ”said Agis Emmanouil, a Greek ultra-marathon runner who left Athens in August. On the way he visits schools and speaks to students about the climate emergency.

“The trip changed me,” said Emmanouil. “Yesterday in Manchester teenagers on the street asked me what I was doing. I invited her to run a little with me, we talked about the climate. I wouldn’t have done that before. “

Another activist, Dave Erasmus, who is sailing from Bristol to Glasgow with five colleagues, taking sound samples from whales and other marine life, said: “We didn’t just want to engage in rebellious activism. We didn’t just want to ask.

“We really wanted to do something that was transformative for ourselves.”

Neither Erasmus nor the rest of the crew had much sailing experience before the start. “Neither of us had really gone with the wind before, but that’s all part of the change we need to make,” he said. “We have to go back to a world in which we are completely in tune with what the biosphere has to offer.”

Dave Erasmus and colleagues on board their boat.
Dave Erasmus and colleagues on board their boat

At the summit, Erasmus plans to play the audio samples in the corridors of the conference center. “We’re trying to bring the true voice of nature to the summit,” he said. “Because if you don’t hear something, you can’t connect to it.”

He hopes this will encourage conference officials to devote more time to discussing the ocean. “The ocean is the last frontier of our planet and we don’t know much about it,” said Erasmus. “It’s our greatest friend in the fight against climate change, but it’s not even on the cop’s main agenda.”

For many who travel to Cop26 with a minimal carbon footprint, the journey is more important than the destination.

“My main goal is to inspire people,” said Drossel, who hopes to be able to present the promises that have been made to the summit officials. “I want to show that many small changes that are brought together can trigger a wave.”

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