Florence Reynolds: Hunger speaks a Thousand Words

Today I fasted.

The fast made me slow. Unable to concentrate, I moved around the convention centre on fossilised legs. The slowmotion state of blood pumping insufficient sugar throughout my circulation felt like a form of death. But death itself was moving too slowly to be lethal. When I stood to give a speech it felt hollow, a cliché reflection of my stomach.

If there is no food, nothing else matters.
Hunger is all consuming.

My stomach may have been empty, but my heart was overflowing. Through the difficulties of fasting, I reconnected with the physicality of climate change, and the reasons I moved into environmental work in the first place, transitioning from time combating poverty. My single day of fast is the potential existence facing my children, your children, and children of other people's mothers. Though my brain worked only slowly, today I remembered what climate change really means.

It is not just a series of numbers in an IPCC report. It is not just some solid dihydrogen monoxide transitioning into a liquid state, casting polar bears and low-lying islands alike into the depth of the oceans. It is our food security, our water, our future.

It is an oncoming storm of failed crops, of pests, of drought, and of war.

It is hunger. It is pain.

If there is no food, nothing else matters. Hunger is all consuming.

It is today. And it is tomorrow.
If we don't stop it now, it will be the next day until our days run out.

Will you also take a stand and #FastForTheClimate?

After you fast, the best thing to do is feast. And we feasted.

 French cheeeeese

French cheeeeese

 India's relief at food

India's relief at food

 Michelin starred soup

Michelin starred soup

Before and after my day became dominated by hunger, it was amazing in a different way.

I spent the morning doing what I do best – multitasking and overcommitting. Stretched between writing a document for a press conference, preparing a presentation for a side event, writing an article, keeping up to play with what's happening at COP via emails and Facebook, helping to initiate and organise a YOUNGO Zero Waste working group. Oh, and of course tweeting – the dominant form of communication at COP. Here's a summary of my day from twitter. Because twitter speaks best.

All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.

Posted on December 2, 2015 and filed under UN Climate Talks 2015.