smallChildren from the Robert Ferguson primary school in Carlisle have produced a video explaining climate change and challenging adults to do more about it.  You can see it here on YouTube.

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A recent report in Nature Geoscience shows that most water cycle diagrams used in schools are completely out of date.  In an analysis of over 450 water cycle diagrams in textbooks, the scientific literature and online, 85% showed no human interaction, and only 2% made any attempt to connect the cycle with climate change or pollution.  Additionally, the vast majority showed verdant landscapes, mild climates and abundant freshwater.

The researchers commented that leaving humans out of the picture “contributes to a basic lack of awareness of how humans relate to water on Earth – and a false sense of security about future availability of this essential and scarce resource”, and they have created new realistic diagrams including glacier meltwater, flood damage caused by land use changes, pollution and sea level rises.

For more detail, including the new diagram, see the recent TES article by Will Hazell.

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Last Friday’s Guardian carried the results of YouGov polling (commissioned by Oxfam) undertaken on behalf of the UK Student Climate Network UKSCN ].  When asked whether there should be more or less teaching in UK schools about climate change, its implications for environments and societies around the world, and how these implications can be addressed, 69% of school teachers surveyed said that there needed to be an increase.  70% of those responding felt that education legislation needs radical change in order to make the education system fit for the 21st century.

The Department for Education says pupils were already taught about climate change as part of the national curriculum in science and geography in both primary and secondary school.

Fuller details of the survey outcomes are here.

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A recent Economist Technology feature on synthetic biology will be of interest to all biology A level students and teachers even though most of its contents will not map well onto the syllabuses.  This is how it begins:

Biology is a way of structuring matter at a molecular scale by slotting each atom into its needful place.  It is a way of controlling flows of energy on every scale from that of the smallest living cell to that of the whole living planet.  It is a way of growing order and surprise in a universe that in all other respects tends towards entropic stagnation.  And it is a thicket of limits on how long lives can last and how much life can accomplish. …”

Read on, we think you will be amazed at what might be in store for us.

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The Wildlife Trusts are supporting ‘The Time Is Now – a mass lobby of MPs at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster on Wednesday [ 26 June ], calling on them to commit to taking the strongest action to introduce legislation, which will reverse the current catastrophic declines of habitat and species in the UK, and put nature back into recovery.  Thousands of supporters of environmental organisations will come from all over the UK to be present, to meet with their MPs and raise the profile of this critical issue with the media.

The organisers say that this is important because in 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [ IPCC ] gave the world 12 years to take urgent, radical action to avoid irreversible climate change, and change is not happening quickly enough.  The time is now for all of us to stand up for what we hold dear.

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Click here for an update from the Learning for Sustainability Scotland Steering Group, and for details of forthcoming events, courses, workshops, and resources.

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The International Children in Permaculture Conference is in London on July 8th [ 0930 to 1730 ].  It will explore solutions to the world’s problems through positive actions which we can do with children.   The ground-breaking book ‘Earth care, People care and Fair Share in Education’ written by members of the Children in Permaculture project, will be given to participants.  Expert contributors include:  Matt Willer, RHS School Gardener of the Year, and Jon Cree, the co-founder of the Forest School Association.  You can book your place here.

Lusi Alderslowe, Children in Permaculture Coordinator, reminds us that there are some 800 activities on their website which you can freely download.  These are organised in relation to the sub-topic of the Children in Permaculture curriculum and searchable by age group,

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Click here for details of the EarthEcho Expedition: What’s the Catch?  [ August 27-31st, 2019 ].

The expedition will explore the technological advances and policy solutions that have allowed the initial recovery of fisheries. It will work with fisheries biologists, ecologists, fishermen, policy-makers, and young people who are taking the lead in making sure that the UK’s beloved fish & chips are sustainable.  Philippe Cousteau and the EarthEcho International team will set out to explore the history of fisheries and discover what solutions are on the horizon.

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In case you missed it here‘s BBOUT’s Wind in the Willows video that launched its #WilderFuture campaign.   It paints a sad picture for our wildlife.  But the message of the campaign is that all is not lost.

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It’s not too late to take part in SEEd’s three surveys; for childrenyoung people; and for adults.  The anonymised data will go towards evidence for SEED’s campaign to change the 2002 Education Act, as well as helping it to design better and more informed programmes for adults and young people. More details here.