Inspiring future environmental leaders: kids teaching kids

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Kids Teaching Kids is a great idea. It aims to inspire future environmental leaders by connecting and challenging students with real world issues, inspiring them to want to know more.

This is how it works: First give school students the opportunity to present a workshop to others during a Kids Teaching Kids Week or at a Kids Conference. In this way the students get to see that they can have a positive impact on the world, starting in their own communities. They learn to become confident, caring and informed citizen ready to take on new challenges.

In half a years time, a Kids Teaching Kids event will be taking place in the Geelong region. Would more schools and students in the region like to join? This is our topic in the 70th Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 29 April 2015 where we talk with Program Manager Michelle Sanders from Kids Teaching Kids about the 16-year-long history of the project, and about how it has come to the present level where around 17,000 Australian children and youths are involved.

We also talk with Dan Cowdell, the President of Geelong Sustainability, about a new Community Owned Renewable Energy project which is starting up in Geelong.



Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 70:

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Excerpts from the hour


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Michelle Sanders: Kids teaching kids


» Rightclick here to download the mp3-file

More information:
» www.facebook.com/KidsTeachingKids
» www.kidsteachingkids.com.au



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Dan Cowdell: Community Owned Renewable Energy

» Rightclick here to download the mp3-file

More information:
» www.geelongsustainability.org.au/energise



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Help South Geelong Primary School go solar

» Donate online at www.thepeoplessolar.com/sgps


» More video clips with interviews

You can also donate with cast at the school’s reception.

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What should Australia’s post 2020 emissions target be?

Please take a few minutes to make a short submission on Australia’s post 2020 emissions target to the federal government.
Anyone can do this. It is easy to do. You sust need to answer four questions in an online form. Submission deadline has been extended to 1st of May.

Recommend for instance:
• increasing the Renewable Energy Target – adopt the recommended targets of the Climate Change Authority (or aim higher that those! They are still on the conservative side…), and
• restrict coal mining (Australia needs to leave 90% of our coal in the ground, unburnt according to research) with reference to the global agreement signed by Australia in Cancun in 2010 to keep global temperature rise limited to 2°C degrees.

This is an excellent opportunity to highlight the huge health and environmental gains that can be made by reducing emissions as soon as practical.

» Submissions are open until 1st of May 2015 – go to: www.dpmc.gov.au/forms/unfccc-submissions

 

“Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. The Australian Government has committed to review Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and settings this year. This review is in the context of negotiations for a new global climate agreement to be concluded at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Paris in late 2015 (30 November to 11 December).

All countries have agreed to propose a post-2020 emissions reduction target well in advance of the Paris conference. Australia will announce a post-2020 emissions reduction target in mid‑2015.”


How should Australia’s post-2020 target be expressed?
In responding to this question you could consider the base year (e.g. 1990/2000/2005), the end year (e.g. 2025/2030), the type of target and why the suggested target is preferred.
50% reduction on 1990 figures by 2025 (because this is when we knew where we were heading)
100% reduction on 1990 figures by 2040. (If we get onto it now, we could get that reduction before 2040)

What would the impact of that target be on Australia?
In responding to this question you could, for example, consider the impact on our economy, jobs, business and on the environment.

Renewable energy generation, retrofitting existing poorly insulated housing and getting more trains for moving people and freight will create many more jobs and prevent much more expenditure in the future if we leave it all until catastrophe time. Also as we divest from 19th Century fossil fuel energy generation we will know doubt invent/find even better ways to do things that prevent the destruction of our atmosphere and oceans. (We don’t know what we don’t know….)

Which further policies complementary to the Australian Government’s direct action approach should be considered to achieve Australia’s post-2020 target and why?

What sort of thinking believes digging up carbon that has been buried for millions of years and putting it back into the atmosphere is the future? Why? Because the species of the planet, of which we are but one, will not survive if humans continue behaving as we are now.

“In reality, 2°C is the boundary between dangerous and very dangerous climate change and 1°C warmer than human civilisation has ever experienced.”

Continue reading on:

» www.climatecodered.org



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More information

About the the topics we talked about in this Sustainable Hour


 RELIGION 

Wake-up call for 1.2 billion Catholics

Pope Francis is expected to deliver an encyclical letter — the most important form of teaching by a Catholic pontiff — in June 2015, that will urge the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to consider the risks of climate change.

“Since taking the helm of the church in 2013, Pope Francis has stated repeatedly that Christians have a moral obligation to lower carbon emissions. He has spoken frankly about how global warming hits poor, marginalized communities hardest. And he’s announced his intentions to issue, as early as June, a teaching document known as an encyclical which is set to merge the science and theology of climate change. He’s done these things in spite of angry rhetoric from conservative-leaning Catholics.”

» Grist – 24 April 2015:
Pope Francis forces the issue on climate change


» US News – 22 April 2015:
The Moral Issue of Our Time
Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical will be a hugely important step for the church.

“Climate change is the most pressing moral issue in our world”
Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Rev Nick Holtam


 DIVESTMENT 

Church of England blacklists coal and tar sands investments

The Church announced on Thursday that it would sell £12 million of its holdings in thermal coal and tar sands companies, two of the most polluting fossil fuels.

Companies that focus on coal mining, such as Peabody in the US, will now be excluded.

Read more:

» Financial Times:
www.ft.com

» Reuters:
www.uk.reuters.com


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 CLEAN ENERGY 

Audi is making fuel from air and water

Audi has begun production of a synthetic diesel fuel made from water, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. Unlike fossil fuels, which release additional carbon into the atmosphere, Audi’s “e-diesel,” which is being produced at a plant in Dresden in conjunction with the German alternative energy company Sunfire, has a net-zero carbon footprint because it is made with carbon dioxide taken from the air.

It’s not the first carbon-neutral fuel, but it’s being hailed by the German government, which provided support for the plant, as an important milestone in the movement for cleaner energy.

Though the prospect of cars being powered by air and water is exciting, it remains little more than a prospect for now. The Dresden plant will produce a mere 3,000 liters (794 gallons) of the carbon-neutral fuel over the next few months—a tiny drop in a huge ocean.

The challenge for Audi will be ramping up its fuel from a science project to a commercial success. It seems to have ambitions to do so: it has been pursuing carbon-neutral fuels since 2009, and its partnership with Sunfire is just one of several collaborations with energy companies.

» Read more on www.qz.com




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“Why would anyone fly to Paris, like PM Abbott has done this week, with a briefcase full of notes on how to frustrate action on global warming, on the premise that action is not in the national interest? Why indeed.
The answer is simple. Whereas it is not in the national interest of people or nations to undermine action, it is in the interests of vested corporates who are making billions in the short term from spewing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.”
Christine Milne

» www.grns.mp/power-back




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“We would never consider this level of risk in any other walk of life, yet we seem prepared to take this risk with our planet. Conversely, the scientific evidence shows that we can create a positive future, but only with bold action now.”
Johan Rockström, chair of the Earth League, an international group of scientists from leading research institutions working on issues caused by climate change, natural resource depletion, land degradation and water scarcity.
www.climatenewsnetwork.net

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“Australia should be a lifter not a leaner on climate. The ultra rich 1% do not necessarily have our best interests at heart. Sharing can work better than owning. The carbon bubble will burst, and humanity doesn’t need Australia’s dirty coal and gas.”
Jane Morton, Victoria Climate Action Network




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The signatories to today’s “Earth Statement” say:

“This trajectory is not one of economic pain, but of economic opportunity, progress and inclusiveness. It is a chance too good to be missed.

The latest science indicates that there are critical thresholds in the Earth system. Transgressing them may lead to dramatic and irreversible environmental changes.

We are probably edging very close to such thresholds, and may already have crossed one with regard to melting of parts of Antarctica. Sea-level rise of more than one metre due to this event alone may be inevitable.”

» www.earthstatement.org



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» You can listen to all of The Sustainable Hour radio shows in full length and in selected excerpts:
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