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In early October a new campaign – “Teach the Future” – will be launched by SOS-UK, UKSCN and XR-educators.  

The plan is to bring pressure to bear on the new government that will emerge from the forthcoming election, and, more importantly, perhaps, influence the manifestos of the political parties going into the election.  The campaign aims to be inclusive of all those interested in shifting the curriculum to one that takes the climate and ecological emergencies seriously, and like-minded established groups will be invited to join.  Currently, a webpage and campaign identity are being established, and a range of policy ideas is being refined.  NB it has nothing to do with teachthefuture.org ∫∫∫
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World leaders will gather at UN Headquarters in New York from 24-25 September for the SDG Summit to review progress and identify measures to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals.  The 2019 Sustainable Development Goals Report highlighted that resource extraction is outpacing both GDP and population growth.  It commented that sustainable consumption and production are key to helping break this negative cycle. ∫∫∫

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The youth climate action is truly an international activity, with groups in different countries making demands that fit their own circumstances.  Here, for example are the demands of the Polish Youth Strikers for Climate

1. climate policy based on the current position of science expressed in the latest reports of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to be implemented immediately

2. Polish government to officially recognize the climate disaster by announcing the existence of the climate crisis

3. comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge about the climate crisis be included in the core curriculum at all levels of education, teaching staff receive compulsory training in this field

4. media take responsibility for making society aware of the immediate dangers of the climate crisis in a language that reflects the importance of the problem.

5. a law establishing an expert and independent Climate Council, whose task will be to develop a strategy to achieve Poland’s climate neutrality by 2040

6. immediate steps to lead to a fair transformation of the economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while respecting the needs of everyone affected by the effects of the transformation, especially those employed in the energy, agriculture, industry and transport sectors. ∫∫∫

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This Youtube link shows the impact of a young Dutch activist, Bohan Slat.  While in school, he started a project to remove plastic from the oceans that has now led to him to achieve world-wide fame as CEO of a crowd-sourced company that is tackling the challenge of removing plastic from the ocean gyres where they circulate. ∫∫∫

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The Royal College of Physicians, says that polluted air cuts short 40,000 lives in the UK each year and costs £20 billion in healthcare and other impacts.  The legal limit for  NO2 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air (mcg/m3).  As we know this is regularly exceeded in urban areas because of traffic and congestion.  If you live in London there’s a new website that allows you to see what the air pollution is like where you are.  Just put your postcode into here.

The website gives homes air pollution ratings of one to five, ranging from “low” to “very high”, which is 50 per cent above the legal limitIt’s said that this facility will be extended to other UK cities soon.  The Clean Air for All campaign launched by The Times last May calls for a live pollution monitor in every postcode.  ∫∫∫

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Yesterday (September 22nd) was World Rivers Day, and there were thousands of events in more than 70 countries.  If you want to share photos and thoughts about the weekend, you can use the hashtags #worldriversday and #riversday – as well as tag us using @oneriverworld – or @riverworld on Facebook. As well, below are our Twitter and Facebook links. ∫∫∫

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Butterfly Conservation says that more than a million butterflies were logged in the Big Butterfly Count this summer. The full results show which species were seen.  The mass migration of Painted Ladies meant that this was the most seen species. The iconic Peacock butterfly also had a good year, and was in second place.  But it wasn’t good news for blue butterflies, with sightings of the Common and Holly Blue both down on last year.  You can read the full results here.  And here are some tips for butterfly-friendly school gardens and grounds. ∫∫∫

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Last week, New Zealand celebrated the first 50 years of Conservation Week.  The activities were very varied, and the logo is terrific. ∫∫∫

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A report produced by the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) says that global actions to slow climate change are “promising but insufficient”, adding that “we must invest in a massive effort to adapt to conditions that are now inevitable”, as well as continuing to act to slow down future climate change.   The commission is convened by 20 nations including the UK.  It also argues that such adaptation can deliver high rates of return, bringing multiple benefits to people and the economy. ∫∫∫

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The Economist had an informative article on how the insurance and re-insurance industries are facing up to global heating and the problems it brings.  This is a key paragraph:

Tens of millions of businesses buy policies every year to protect themselves from risks. As a result the industry is vast—last year the premiums paid for property and casualty insurance worldwide reached $2.4trn, according to Swiss Re, one of the big reinsurance firms on to which consumer-facing insurers pass the risk of mega-losses. Insurance companies spent $180bn on reinsurance premiums.  Extreme events becoming the norm could force insurers to fork out ever greater payouts to policyholders, as well as lower the value of the assets they hold. The best case is that insurers reinvent themselves, helping the world cope—risk is, after all, how they make their money. The worst is that some fail and, more worryingly, that swathes of the global economy become uninsurable.”  ∫∫∫