smallTeach the Future has done an analysis of the election manifestos published so far.  Although there are few surprises, it would be an interesting exercise for older students to compare TTF’s analysis with their own readings of the huge number of promises being made.  ∫∫∫

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Meanwhile the European Parliament has declared a climate emergency and called on all EU countries to phase out all direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.  MEPs called on EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to include a 55% reduction target of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in the European Green Deal. ∫∫∫

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Are you willing to talk with an American musicologist about your experiences of environmental education during the early 1990s?  Dr Karen Olson is researching Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s composition, The Turn of the Tide, created as part of a music education programme coordinated by the Association of British Orchestras in 1993.  The theme of the music was environmentalism: plants and animals flourish, then nearly die from pollution, but are rescued at the eleventh hour when humanity decides to stop abusing the natural world.  You need not have been involved with The Turn of the Tide as Karen is just  trying to establish a broad context for the very anthropocentric, very optimistic kind of environmentalism demonstrated in Davies’s music.  Please contact Karen at: kjolson@wustl.edu ∫∫∫ 

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The Global Search for Sustainable Schools is a new project where nine countries across the world (Brazil, Cambodia, Kyrgyz Republic, Namibia, Philippines, South Africa, Suriname, Vietnam, and Uganda) are coming together to run national competitions that will ask students to submit plans for making their schools sustainable.

The winning 40 schools will be given grants to implement their ideas from the beginning of 2020, turning their dreams into reality with the support of experts from their country and around the world.  Schools are responding enthusiastically, with over 250 applications being received by Brazil!  In addition, South Africa is playing host to Namibia and Uganda for a weeklong study tour in order to swap knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences.

There are details here and social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram∫∫∫

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The Climate Issue is The Economist’s new newsletter on climate change. It is curated by Catherine Brahic, environment editor, and highlights the best climate-related content that has been in the magazine in the previous two weeks.  You can sign up here to receive the first edition. ∫∫∫

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Geographers for Life are running a flash poll to find out what young people across the UK think about the climate and nature emergencies.  Questions such as:
– What do you know about the climate and nature emergencies?
– How do you feel about them?
– What are your hopes and expectations?
– Are we doing enough to take action?The organisers say that knowing the answers to these questions will help us build a picture of what young people like you are thinking and want to happen in the future. ∫∫∫
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The SEEd Sustainability Attitudes research project is in its second year and SEEd would like you to complete it.  The survey

  • Asks Young People how they are feeling about Sustainability
  • Asks Adults how they are feeling about Sustainability
  • is totally anonymous
  • Takes 10 minutes to complete
  • Will help SEEd design better projects for Teachers and Young People
  • Will form part of our Campaign to Change the Education Act
  • is part of a 5 year longitudinal study on Sustainability Attitudes
  • Can be used by teachers as audit for their school or class (we can send you your school or class results)
  • Can be repeated year on year to show change

There are two surveys:  Youth Survey (12 – 24)  and Adult Survey (25+). ∫∫∫

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Are you between 11 and 18?  Do you want to make a real positive difference in your local community?  if so, why not put yourself forward to be a Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP) for 2020.  The Parliament provides opportunities for young people to use their elected voice to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning.  Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs) serve a one-year term and champion young people’s issues locally and nationally.

The registration process is now open until 16 December 2019. Elections take place from 3-14 February 2020 for our MYPs, who will take their seats from 1 March 2020.  What better way to raise green issues.  You can find out more here∫∫∫

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The GA has partnered with Encounter Edu to create Ocean Plastics Geography 11-14.  This set of free resources includes lessons addressing the issue of marine plastic pollution, the harm caused by plastics to the environment and communities, and how we deal with all the waste, and ends with a debate on approaches to reducing ocean plastic pollution. Fieldwork templates for investigating plastics in the local area are also included as well as a wealth of case studies exploring both the human and physical elements of plastic pollution.  You can take a closer look here∫∫∫

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The NASA Earth Observatory has a worrying feature on permafrost that might no longer be so permanent.  This is how it begins:

“Winter carbon emissions from Arctic regions appear to be adding more carbon to Earth’s atmosphere each year than is being taken up by Arctic plants and trees. It is a stark reversal for a region that has captured and stored carbon for tens of thousands of years.  In a study published in Nature Climate Change, scientists estimated that 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon were lost from Arctic permafrost regions during each winter from 2003 to 2017. Over the same span, an average of 1 billion metric tons of carbon were taken up by vegetation during summer growing seasons. This changes the region from being a net “sink” of carbon dioxide—where it is captured from the atmosphere and stored—into being a net source of emissions.  …” ∫∫∫