Monday, 7 December 2009

Greeting Copenhagen

The long-awaited Copenhagen Summit has now started. Here’s the film with which they opened the conference:

I find this rather cheesy and evasive (the impacts are portrayed as a child’s nightmare), but it’s interesting to see how our world leaders see themselves. As reassurers of children?

Eran and I greeted the summit in different cities at the London and Paris demonstrations. I was only able to join the start of the London rally and march before catching the Eurostar home but the event looked vocal and well attended. About 50,000 people marched, making it the biggest climate protest in the UK so far, but the number is still short of a mass movement. Seeing everyone dressed in blue gave a sense of togetherness and lifted the gathering out of the ordinary. Thank you to Emma and others reading this who marched – it’s a beautiful thing to act at this moment. My walk back to King’s Cross took me down Oxford Street, which was closed to traffic I presume for the march route. The street was utterly packed with Christmas shoppers and outside Selfridges machines puffed polystyrene ‘snow’ over passers by. The pure strangeness of walking from a crowd of climate change protesters into hoards of consumers and being greeted by fake snow almost makes me forget how sad this is. Earlier that day in Hyde Park I watched a small boy very seriously reading his handmade sign, ‘No more toys from China’. Presumably he wrote the words but his face did not show it at that moment.

In Paris the demonstration was more modest. About a thousand met for a flash mob, clattering saucepans and other noisy objects; you can see a few in Eran’s photo. Parisians were also encouraged to wear colours, but given the choice of orange, white and black, guess what most of the crowd chose...

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