as times pass by

Looking at my blog statistics, I just realised that I’ve been here for more than a month now, and that somewhat scared me. I still have the impression of just arriving and starting to look around what I might be doing the next year (I should rather say: ten months, as my course ends on August 5th 2010). And yet, only another two months and the first term is over, which covers half the taught part of my masters. The copenhaguen climate summit is approaching, and for the first time I have the impression that some people in Germany begin to care about it and that our mobilisation efforts haven’t all been in vain.

I realize that I have already learnt a lot about climate change I didn’t know before coming here (nothing new about Chemistry though, but hey, lab practicals will only start next week). My essay on the glacier modelling project is almost ready and I still believe that this might be the area of my dissertation project. By the way, I discovered one single reason why one might prefer studying in one of the traditional universities of the UK rather than here: The libraries of Oxford and Cambridge have the right to claim a copy of everything that is printed within the UK and mostly do so – and UEA does not have the Journal of Glaciology in its library, which can be quite annoying when half the articles you find for your essay are in it…
And for some people it may feel strange to have a controversial debate on hot issues in climate science in class when most of the authors of the discussed papers are your lectureres (on the same module…). But to be honest, I didn’t pass all my weekend on the essay and some pre-lecture reading: We had a house party on Friday evening, and although it didn’t reach the size of those we used to have in Bremen, we had a good time and I only had the Saturday afternoon and evening for my coursework…
Apart from the upcoming general elections next year, a big strike of Royal Mail workers has been announced recently and fills the newspapers. Of course, my sympathies are with the workers and their union and I hate those stupid journalists trying to hold workers accountable for the poor businesses that cannot deliver their dammned products for christmas (or the poor charities for the taz-like newspapers) and yet I believe a reader of the Guardian was right: Like the miners against Thatcher, this is a battle they cannot win. Big customers announced changing from royal mail to private services (privatisation is a step further than in Germany) due to the strike, and just imagine the strike being won: Higher costs that in competing enterprises will just continue to drive privatisation further. That doesn’t mean they should rather accept the planned cuts without struggeling – but I believe Royal Mail workers don’t stand a chance on the middle and long term if privatisation is not stopped and/or unions manage to organize workers in private mail companies properly.
One more comment on the blog statistics: If you too are surprised why I write so many posts, well, it is because I am surprised so many of you keep visiting this page – 560 views in a month, and considerably more in times when I wrote updates than in those I didn’t.

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