smallThe latest Beehive newsletter from the Manchester Environmental Education Network MEEN is here.  It includes stories of pupils becoming community educators, details of awards won, and information about opportunities and events to help schools in Greater Manchester become more eco-friendly.

There’s also detail about the next MEEN Green Teach Meet where you are invited to share your practice and learn a little more about becoming an Eco School.  This is on Thursday March 12th (1545 to 1800) and is hosted by Cheetham CoE Community Academy Primary.  To book your place email: coordinator@meen.org.uk   ∫∫∫

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Teach the Future has updated its asks document, and you can see the changes in the version control section at the end of the document.  In particular, Ask 2 now goes into more detail on the teacher standards and calls for a new professional qualification for teachers.

Teach the Future’s parliamentary reception is confirmed for Wed 26 Feb 2020.  It is sponsored by Nadia Whittome MP (aged 24) who will say a few welcoming words, then there will be two student speakers (Scarlett, 15, and Zamzam, 25), and the General Secretary of the NEU will speak.  Gavin Williamson MP and the Prime Minister have been invited to speak, as have Rebecca Pow MP (an environment minister), Clive Betts MP, and Wera Hobhouse MP (Lib Dems environment spokesperson).  The emphasis will be that pupils and students are drafting new education legislation: their Climate Emergency Education Act.

Teach the Future’s tactic will be to be constructive and pragmatic and persuade the Government to want to pass legislation in its own time, ideally making commitments pre-COP26, and then making time for our bill to be discussed, amended and passed early in 2021.  TfT thinks that this gives a much better chance than criticising the Government and tabling it as a private member’s bill or an opposition day motion. ∫∫∫

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Here’s a link to a report by Climate Action on the “enhanced environment bill” currently going through parliament.  Climate Action says that the bill will introduce measures that aim to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution and restore habitats to ensure plants and wildlife can thrive.

“For the first time [there will be] new powers to stop the exports of polluting plastic waste to developing countries, which could prevent harmful waste from being shipped out of sight whilst boosting the UK’s domestic recycling system.”

The Bill will also target air quality by committing to set an ambitious, legally-binding target to reduce fine particulate matter, the pollutant of greatest harm to human health.  In addition, this Bill sets out to ensure that local authorities have a clear framework for tackling air pollution and simple to use powers to address pollution in their areas.   ∫∫∫

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The Environmental News Network reports that the Argentine research base, Esperanza, on the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, set a new record temperature of 18.3°C on 6 February.  This beat the former record of 17.5°C set on 24 March 2015, according to Argentina’s national meteorological service.  The new figure needs to be verified.  If it is, it’s the sort of record we don’t want.   ∫∫∫

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The BBC has published what it ays is a “really simple guide to climate change”.  The are tables, graphs, charts, video, pictures, and information.  It’s here.  Given that there is so much included, it’s not possible to do justice to it and/or comment critically in this update.  We hope to have more to say in the coming weeks.  ∫∫∫

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Stafford Borough Council has a free activity pack for schools and downloadable resources on their website.  There are lesson activities, powerpoint presentations, teachers’ note, cross-cutting links to the curriculum, and a competition for pupils to get involved in.  ∫∫∫

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The BBC reports that “climate chaos” has caused widespread losses of bumblebees across continents, with a new analysis showing that the likelihood of a bee being found in any given place in Europe and North America has declined by a third since the 1970s.  It adds that rising temperatures will increasingly cause declines, which are already more severe than previously thought.   Details here∫∫∫

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The latest Climate Change newsletter from The Econonist is here.   There are features on the Davos summit, the dilemma facing Big Oil in this decade, and the impact of Australia’s bush fires.  There’s lots here for older students to get their teeth into whether for project work or just for general foreground reading. ∫∫∫

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£170m is being provided to buy electric buses.  That (and they) will not go very far.  The Times has the story.   ∫∫∫

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The title of the 2020 TEESNet conference has been announced: Education as a Pedagogy of Hope and Possibility: the role of teacher education in leading narratives of change.  It’s at Liverpool Hope University on September 17th.  The organisers say:

“Calls for educational responses to complex and interrelated global challenges suggest different approaches or narratives.  For some, there is an urgent need to recognise these challenges in terms of crisis and catastrophe, and to prepare for significant uncertainty, change and ‘deep adaptation’.  For others, the emphasis is on cultivating a sense of hope and empowerment, especially amongst young people.  Between these two is growing recognition of the need to shift from individual to collective responses, engage critically with our responsibilities towards each other and the planet, and foster creativity in imagining and adapting to new possibilities for human existence.  The conference seeks to address the pivotal role of teacher education in responding to local and global implications of these narratives.”

The call for papers is here.   ∫∫∫