Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Taking part back in the office...

It has been a busy start to Copenhagen back in the ECI and today I breathe a sigh of relief that the USB sticks, which we have been frantically trying to get out to the Oxford stand, have now all been removed from my office and are on their way to the exhibition centre. While a number of ECI affiliates are making their way to Copenhagen over the next week or so (we know of at least 60 Alumni, 16 current students from our MSc programme, and 25 ECI staff/DPhil candidates due to attend) many of us are staying put in Oxford to support and watch things progressing from afar.

While many of us have been thinking about COP for months and months (I should probably even say years?), we kick started our direct action a few weeks ago when the ECI knitting group began sewing a banner for the London Climate March last weekend: the Wave. Over 20 of us went along dressed in blue to proudly wave the banner (I must admit I was not one of them). From what I hear the day was very peaceful and enjoyed by all, with estimates of somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 taking part in London alone. It was good to have an ECI representation.

We have also been really busy trying to pull together a selection of research material from across Oxford University for a USB stick which is being disseminated in Copenhagen. For those of you not able to get your own USB, the material is also available online

You can keep up with all our other related news as it happens on the ECI website. I’m hoping to post updates throughout the two weeks, so do keep looking.

Deborah Strickland


  1. OK... as a fellow ECI scientist and COP "virgin", I'm happy to comment on Deb's post. Especially since she was kind enough to post a photo of me holding the ECI banner at the WAVE march. As one of the main instigators behind making that banner and rallying ECI SCIENTISTS to march and make a statement, I must say that it was really gratifying to have about 20 of us meet up in Grosvenor Square and march together for almost the whole way. Hooray for the ECM students who came along, even though the term had only just ended! A special guest appearance from ECI former staff Emma Thompkins was also a treat, as she got us organized to chant "1.5 to stay alive.. we hit 2 and we're all screwed"... Trust scientist to come up with a chant that needs a footnote to explain that 1.5 is "1.5 degrees celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels"!!

    hmmm.. so what do I feel I'm missing back here in Oxford.... hard to say, as there is pretty good media coverage and I'm a member of the Climate-l listserve so I am totally up to speed on the different side-events. As a food and agriculture person, I'm a bit sad to miss out on the FIRST ever "Agriculture and Development Day" at a COP. And as half US citizen, I'm a bit sad to miss out on the high level delgation that is (finally) showing up this year. However, I do appreciate the distraction from regular work that the multiple Copenhagen blogs are providing.... has started one from the point of view of developing countries, so they were pretty pissed off about the mysterious Danish text. The CGIAR also has a good agriculture blog... even FAO has jumped in with a food and climate blog...

    guess I'd better get back to my reading...

    Polly Ericksen

  2. Hi Polly and Debs
    I just put my rather depressed views under the latest posting on this blog.
    In Melbourne we had a 'walk against warming' march last Saturday with rousing speeches, by David Karoly (IPPC) and others. You can see us standing on the main bridge (my son is in the "T".

    But it looks, by today, as if it was all in vain.
    We will have to hope that action on global warming behaves like the swine flu epidemic. Mass panic has now given way to more measured responses (and a solution).
    Right now I am in 'mass panic on whether action ever will happen' mode. No vaccine on the horizon.
    Simon B

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