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Aneesa Khan was born in India and raised in Muscat, Oman. She graduated from the Mahindra United World College of India in 2013 and is currently a second year Davis Scholar at College of the Atlantic, where she has focused her studies on a range of interests from global environmental politics to sustainable energy and food systems. In Lima, Aneesa is tracking negotiations related to climate finance and carbon market mechanisms under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) through the lens of equity and climate justice.
[Editor's note: A group of 13 College of the Atlantic students is in Lima, Peru, participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP20, the United Nations-sponsored climate talks. Aneesa Khan spoke on Dec. 1 on behalf of the youth constituency before the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice panel. The youth delegation is given two minutes to speak at the opening and closing of negotiations. This time, however, the chair did not leave enough time for the intervention to be read.]
Here is the text of Khan's remarks:
Thank you, chair.
My name is Aneesa and I speak on behalf of those who will live long enough to experience your legacy.
Climate change isn’t my future, it is affecting me now. Weak vows, broken promises, low levels of ambition and high levels of passivity have led to the deplorable state of efforts to control climate change today. It is time for things to be done differently. We, the youth, believe it's possible.
For a real change, we need to shift our focus away from false solutions such as carbon markets. Carbon markets shift responsibility and burden away from developed nations through the offsetting mechanism, which is riddled with fraud and human rights abuses.
It is uncertain whether markets will actually deliver what they promise. Will the UNFCCC be a place for real solutions or for making profits?
Parties are pushing once more for flexibility using a centralized carbon trading platform under the Framework for Various Approaches and the New Market Mechanisms to avoid their historical responsibilities. In one year, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and all parties should agree on a moratorium on failed carbon trading mechanisms and take up real non-market solutions, such as the globally funded feed-in tariff scheme and carbon taxes.
Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD+, lacks effective monitoring and safeguards. Emissions accountability is converted into offsetting and buyouts as opposed to reductions and change. This is yet another false solution.
Interests of nations and transnational corporations are financially involved and invested in land use that demolishes the livelihoods of forest, land-based and indigenous communities.
Acknowledgement of these peoples and proposals for climate-smart approaches are insufficient. It is mandatory that the voices of those working on the ground are at the forefront of a just and equitable approach to land use.
Knowledge and technology will play a key part in future solutions, so it is important to ensure we do it right. We need a platform or mechanism for sharing technology and knowledge. It must allow multidirectional sharing, but also ensure contributions based on equity and common, but differentiated, responsibilities.
Countries and communities need to have access to information and technology in order to find effective solutions for adaptation and mitigation, and existing barriers such as intellectual property rights need to be replaced or refined to ensure this happens.
We demand a fair and just agreement, as well as, bold and immediate action to halt climate change. We will remain vigilant, and we will not hesitate to raise our voices if you do anything different.
We have said what we have to say, it is time for you to do what you must do.
For a clip of College of the Atlantic student Anjali Appadurai delivering an exhortation to UN climate change delegates in Durban, South Africa in 2011, click here. For more on the student group Earth in Brackets, click here.
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Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.
In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.
What is cabin fever?<p>In popular expressions, cabin fever is used to explain feeling bored or listless because you've been stuck inside for a few hours or days. But that's not the reality of the symptoms.</p><p>Instead, cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face if they're isolated or feeling cut off from the world.</p><p>These feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely in times of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/yes-covid-19-cases-are-rising-why-you-still-need-to-practice-social-distancing" target="_blank">social distancing</a>, self-quarantining during a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pandemic" target="_blank">pandemic</a>, or sheltering in place because of severe weather.</p><p>Indeed, cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.</p><p>Cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological disorder, but that doesn't mean the feelings aren't real. The distress is very real. It can make fulfilling the requirements of everyday life difficult.</p>
What are the symptoms?<p>Symptoms of cabin fever go far beyond feeling bored or "stuck" at home. They're rooted in an intense feeling of isolation and may include:</p><ul><li>restlessness</li><li>decreased motivation</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irritability" target="_blank">irritability</a></li><li>hopelessness</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate" target="_blank">difficulty concentrating</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irregular-sleep-wake-syndrome" target="_blank">irregular sleep patterns</a>, including sleepiness or sleeplessness</li><li>difficulty waking up</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/lethargy" target="_blank">lethargy</a></li><li>distrust of people around you</li><li>lack of patience</li><li>persistent <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness" target="_blank">sadness or depression<br></a></li></ul>
What can help you cope with cabin fever?<p>Because cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological condition, there's no standard "treatment." However, mental health professionals do recognize that the symptoms are very real.</p><p>The coping mechanism that works best for you will have a lot to do with your personal situation and the reason you're secluded in the first place.</p><p>Finding meaningful ways to engage your brain and occupy your time can help alleviate the distress and irritability that cabin fever brings.</p><p>The following ideas are a good place to start.</p>
When to get help<p>Cabin fever is often a fleeting feeling. You may feel irritable or frustrated for a few hours, but having a virtual chat with a friend or finding a task to distract your mind may help erase the frustrations you felt earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, however, the feelings may grow stronger, and no coping mechanisms may be able to successfully help you eliminate your feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression.</p><p>What's more, if your time indoors is prolonged by outside forces, like weather or extended shelter-in-place orders from your local government, feelings of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> and fear are valid.</p><p>In fact, anxiety may be at the root of some cabin fever symptoms. This may make symptoms worse.</p><p>If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you're experiencing. Together, you can identify ways to overcome the feelings and anxiety.</p><p>Of course, if you're in isolation or practicing social distancing, you'll need to look for alternative means for seeing a mental health expert.</p><p>Telehealth options may be available to connect you with your therapist if you already have one. If you don't, reach out to your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online.</p><p>If you don't want to talk to a therapist, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps" target="_blank">smartphone apps for depression</a> may provide a complementary option for addressing your cabin fever symptoms.</p>
The bottom line<p>Isolation isn't a natural state for many people. We are, for the most part, social animals. We enjoy each other's company. That's what can make staying at home for extended periods of time difficult.</p><p>However, whether you're sheltering at home to avoid dangerous weather conditions or heeding the guidelines to help minimize the spread of a disease, staying at home is often an important thing we must do for ourselves and our communities.</p><p>If and when it's necessary, finding ways to engage your brain and occupy your time may help bat back cabin fever and the feelings of isolation and restlessness that often accompany it.</p>
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