Students from Teach the Future are meeting Secretary of State Gavin Williamson at 0830 this morning to press their case for a government-commissioned inquiry into how the whole of the English formal education system is preparing students for the climate emergency and ecological crisis.  We’ll bring you updates when possible.  ∫∫∫

Tuesday update: The meeting was cancelled owing to a meeting of the COBR-A committee on the CORVID-19 outbreak.  You can read what Joe Brindle says about this, and about  meeting the President of NUS and SOS-UK had with another DfE minister – just click here.

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Meanwhile, our chair of trustees reports on his own encounter with a DfE minister to talk about what Teach the Future was asking for, and why the DfE and government should take them seriously.  It’s fair to say that he’s not optimistic. ∫∫∫

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Here’s a link to pictures of a few of the many posters that were on show in Bristol last week when Greta Thunberg dropped by.  We’re not sure if anyone is collecting the wide range of messages, slogans and statements (some inventive; others clichéd) on display, but perhaps someone should. ∫∫∫

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A survey commissioned by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that only 26% of 18-24 year-olds believe that nuclear is low carbon source of electricity compared with 61% of 65-74-year-olds.  This might help explain why the level of support for nuclear power rises with age, from 22% of 18-24 year olds to 58% for those between 65 and 74.  The Institution says that the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power are broadly equivalent to wind, and recommends that the government should include nuclear power in all communications about low carbon electricity.

What people think won’t much matter very soon, as, if no new nuclear power stations are build and commissioned in the UK, no electricity will be produced by this method.  We will, however, probably still be importing if from France via the Interconnector. ∫∫∫

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This year, seven reasonably young people (aged 18 to 30), will be selected from every global region to be UN Young Champions of the Earth.  They will receive seed funding and tailored mentorship to bring their big environmental ideas to life, and might include artists, scientists, economists, communicators and entrepreneurs.  They need to have “big, bold ideas — for our planet, for humanity, for a greener future”. Are you one of them the UN says.  Or do you know someone who could be?  You can apply here.  The closing date is April 10th.  ∫∫∫

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You can read the latest edition of the Soil Care Network here.  It includes:

 – a discussion of the differences between different types of soil carbon.

 – an article on dirt and soil (often seen as contrasting concepts) which focuses on the history of education in the UK and how these concepts were both used and contested by child educators.  ∫∫∫

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The John Muir Day celebrations are from 18 to 26 April this year to mark Muir’s birthday on April 21st 1838.  Ideas for activities can be found on the website.  ∫∫∫

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Slightly greener petrol will be available to motorists across the UK sometime next year under government plans to cut emissions.  The Department for Transport proposes to introduce petrol blended with 10% bioethanol content: E10 fuel. The  ethanol will be made from crops; currently all fuel contains 5% bioethanol [E5 fuel].  The DfT says that this could lead to a cut in CO2 emissions from road transport of around 750,000 tonnes a year.  The DfT says that this is equivalent to taking around 350,000 cars off the road, although that will not actually be happening.  ∫∫∫

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WWF says that in the time it takes to say “deforestation”, another football pitch chunk of forest has been destroyed and that this is likely to be the habitat of endangered species such as the orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino.  WWF says that unsustainable food production is the main reason for this destruction.  There’s more detail here.  ∫∫∫

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Earth Hour 2020 will this year take place on the 28th of March and WWF is calling on people across the world to get involved by switching off the lights for one hour at 8pm.  Earth Hour aims to spark global conversations on protecting nature not only to combat the climate crisis, but to ensure our own health, happiness, and prosperity.  ∫∫∫