smallHappy New Year.  George Ellis (1753–1815) was a specialist on medieval literature, but took the time to write (in 1778) The Twelve Months under the pseudonym Sir Gregory Gander.  This is what we can expect in 2019 by way of seasonal variation:

Snowy / Flowy / Blowy

Showery / Flowery / Bowery

Hoppy / Croppy / Droppy

Breezy / Sneezy / Freezy

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A set of WMnet climate change resources are now available.  These include the Thinking Through Climate Change materials.  The full set of materials is available here.
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The RFS Excellence in Forestry Awards 2019 are open for entries to celebrate all that is best in woodland management, education and learning.  This year the awards are covering the South East of England.  It’s a simple application and the closing date is the 5th March when your 500 words will be needed.  Full details can be found here.

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Here’s Greta Thunberg (who became famous for going on strike from school every Friday in a protest about the lack of action on climate change) talking about climate justice at the COP24 in Poland last December.

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If young people are to change the world they need the knowledge, the global skills and the belief they can do it says Doug Bourne in a recent London Institute of Education blog.  You can read it here.  And here, you can watch his recent inaugural lecture as well.

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Should climate scientists fly?  asks Sarah E Myhre in a Scientific American in an Observations blog.  Indeed, some ask should anyone fly these days when we know so much about the damage that emissions from aircraft do.  Whether you’ve asked yourself this, or not, this post is a good exploration of the issues.  Myhre is a paleoceanographer at the University of Washington.  For an alternative view, try this from Sweden.

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The Science Geek’s new year post asks where does space begin.  It has the usual nice graphics and useful facts about altitude, density and pressures.  If you’ve never heard of the Karman Line, this is a chance.

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 As you know, photosynthesis enables plants convert sunlight into useful and available energy.  But did you know that this is a very inefficient process and that most crops suffer from a problem in energy transfer that needs an energy-expensive fix called photorespiration.  This suppresses their growth.  The University of Illinois and US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service report in the journal Science that crops genetically engineered with a photorespiratory shortcut are 40% more productive in real-world conditions.  Principal investigators Donald Ort and Robert Emerson are quoted by the Environmental News Network, saying:

We could feed up to 200 million additional people with the calories lost to photorespiration in the Midwestern U.S. each year.  Reclaiming even a portion of these calories across the world would go a long way to meeting the 21st Century’s rapidly expanding food demands – driven by population growth and more affluent high-calorie diets.”

This sounds like it has the potential to be a good thing, unless, of course, you believe that genetic modification is always a bad thing.

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UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report for 2018, Migration, displacement and education, highlights countries’ achievements and shortcomings in ensuring the right of migrant and refugee children to benefit from quality education.  The report finds that although this is increasingly recognised on paper, it’s challenged in some schools and denied outright by a few governments.  In the past two years since the landmark New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in 2016, refugees have missed 1.5 billion days of school.  The 2018 report draws on data provided by the UK’s Department for Education to examine and assess progress on Sustainable Development Goal 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

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Here’s advance notice of the Annual LEEF Retreat on Sat 22nd-Sun 23rd June 2019, on the Thames Venturer, a dutch barge, for an exciting summer solstice weekend adventure with River Thames Boat Project.  This will be a chance to reflect, to share stories, try new activities and explore ideas with other LEEFers, as well as learning more about the river Thames.  The Thames Venturer will take you upriver towards Windsor, through several locks, out of London and into calmer and quieter waters. There may be a chance to swim from the boat, and to go ashore further up in the countryside, where it’s safe to moor.