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Chief of the world, UN Secretary General, at the University of Copenhagen
Student 1: »I’m going to see Ban Ki-moon.«
Student 2: »Okay! What kind of band is that?«
Few people are aware of who Ban Ki-moon is, and in a way that is strange. His name matches the job perfectly.
UN secretary-generals have always had names that sound as if they were plucked from Scientology scripture. Ban Ki-moon joins a list with names as colourful as U Thant, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Kofi Annan, Dag Hammarskjöld and Trygve Lie.
The U of C’s hard work to be a voice in the climate debate had been honoured with an impressive scalp to hang on its guest belt. The Big Cheese, the chief of the world, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was at the university to talk climate.
»Ever since I became Secretary-General, Copenhagen has always been on my mind,« he says and sets the agenda: »I have uttered the word climate change thousands and thousands of times, and I will repeat it maybe a hundred times today.«
From then on, the usual climate points ensue.
1. Science is essential for human progress; science is key in solving the climate crisis.
2. »Let’s change the name of this city from Copenhagen to Hopenhagen.«
3. Leaders of the world are finally warming to the idea of doing something about climate change, etc., etc.
Nothing new for the environmentally conscious students, but the atmosphere seems to be good. Ears are still piqued with interest.
What else can Ban Ki-moon actually do? Isn’t it necessary to preach the message again, and then once more after that?
Because even though the hall is full, we apparently don’t really care about what the leader of the UN is saying yet. Denmark has already used more CO2 this year than the planet can handle, and radiators are keeping coll October at bay in flats and offices around the country.
The entire speech is delivered in the warming tones of a kindly grandfather reading a goodnight story, and Ban Ki-moon looks incredibly friendly.
But maybe it is unfair to review this kindly man like a rock band, even if his name sounds a bit like one.
Ban Ki-moon is after all a billion times better than a Secretary-General who does not believe, that mankind has to crank it up a notch and solve a huge problem that concerns all of us.
And people here like him. A lot. He leaves to standing ovation and clapping. Good luck, Ban.
Make up your own mind: The entire speech can be seen and heard here.