fossil fuel pollutionWhat a mess to leave you kids!

Burning fossil fuels is stupid and will seriously mess with your future. Top climate scientists from around the world warn that "continued high fossil fuel emissions today place a burden on young people to undertake massive technological CO2 extraction if they are to limit climate change and its consequences". They calculate that the costs to your generation will be around $500 trillion!!! Aaugh! So is there nothing you can do? Well yes there are (at least) 12 ways of getting active on climate change. You need to get started because its YOUR FUTURE! (July 2017)

This is the source: Hansen, J., Sato, M., Kharecha, P., von Schuckmann, K., Beerling, D. J., Cao, J., Marcott, S., Masson-Delmotte, V., Prather, M. J., Rohling, E. J., Shakun, J., Smith, P., Lacis, A., Russell, G., and Ruedy, R.: Young people's burden: requirement of negative CO2 emissions, Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 577-616, https://www.earth-syst-dynam.net/8/577/2017>https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-8-577-2017, 2017. The lead author, James Hansen, is probably the world's best known and honoured climate scientist.
What does this mean?
If global warming is to be slowed and stopped (as it has to be), vast systems will have to be built to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. One way is bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Trees and plants — which remove CO2 from the air — will be grown for burning to produce heat energy to make electricity. The CO2 which comes from the burning of this biomass then gets collected (carbon capture) and pumped deep underground (carbon storage) where it can no longer contribute to the greenhouse effect. More on this
That's YOU!

Kids v Trump

Just as the USA pulls out of the world's climate change deal, a US court has said that 21 children have a right to a safe climate. Now, a Federal court is hearing their case against President Trump in weeks. If they win, the President will have to stop supporting the fossil fuel industry! This case could change everything. More on this (June 2017)

USA pulls out of world's climate change deal

At the United Nations climate conference (COP 21) in Paris on 12 December 2015, the world's nations made history. At long last, they had reached a fair deal to limit climate change. Things were looking good, at last. But now (June 2017), the USA — the world's second biggest polluter — pulled out of the deal. Other world leaders were horrified but now, led by China and the European Union, they seem more than ever determined to stick to the 2015 deal. It looks like the USA, under President Donald Trump's leadership, will lurch backwards by supporting polluting fossil fuels for short -term gain. Sadly, this not only makes the future look more difficult for today's kids. It also means that the USA will likely lose its lead in renewable energy technologies. These are the future.

The USA spews out about 18 per cent of the world's carbon pollution, second only to China, which emits about 20 per cent, but is home to around three times as many people.
These are ways of making, mostly, electric energy using the sun's power directly (as in solar panels, also called PV or photovoltaic panels) or indirectly using wind power. There are other methods for making and storing energy too and they are all renewable – which means they can be used for ever without the global warming-causing pollution you get from fossil fuels. What are fossil fuels? These are coal, oil and natural gas, all of which will run out... but not before the pollution they create fries the planet if humans are stupid enough to continue using them!
Today's kids — you! – will be tomorrow's adults. It is you who will have to sort out the terrible mess left to you by your parents' and grandparents' generations.

May 2017: Climate change troubles

A lot of things have happened since the 2015 climate change summit in Paris.

There's none so blind as those that will not see and none so deaf as those that will not hear

This seems to be the approach to climate change of the new American president, Donald Trump and his government. They don't believe that climate change is happening and that it is caused by the pollution people create when they burn fossil fuels like coal and oil. This is the message that the vast majority of scientists from all around the world want governments to take seriously as more and more evidence pours in. Science says quite clearly that the world is getting hotter, faster than it has done for well over 50 million years. Because of the overwhelming scientific evidence that global warming is occurring and is caused by human pollution of the atmosphere, almost all countries in the world — including the USA — agreed at an important summit in Paris 2015 to do something to slash pollution from burning fossil fuel. At last, it 'Let's ignore the science and pretend it's not happening!'seemed people were coming to their senses and were ready to do something serious to combat global warming. Things were looking good until the election of Donald Trump who, true to his campaign promises, has set about reversing all America's plans to reduce pollution. This would not matter so much if America was a small country. But it isn't. It's a huge country which uses more fossil fuel than any other except China. But China is doing something about global warming. It is now the biggest producer of renewable energy technologies in the world and is actively moving away from fossil fuels. So while America goes back to polluting fossil fuels, ignoring the advice of its own scientists , China and many other countries are forging ahead to a world powered by renewable energy. There is no alternative if today's 6.5 billion humans are to survive and prosper. Mr Trump and his administration are going to leave a terrible mess for today's kids to cope with because they chose to look away.

Generally accepted to be around 97 out of every hundred scientists.
Scientists call this the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which occurred around 56 million years ago. For a time, the planet was even hotter than it is now. But there was one big difference: the heating that is going on now is much faster than it has been in the past, even in the PETM. Humans are pushing the planet into unknown territory.
Shooting the messenger
Climate scientists in the United States are having a hard time under the new administration. Many are losing their jobs; others prevented from making known work they have done supporting the overwhelming evidence for global warming. Many people see the politicians in charge as anti-science. As a result, there have already been demonstrations and marches all around the world in support of science and, in particular, climate scientists.

 

Earth Day NetworkToday’s students are tomorrow’s leaders.
So please join the Earth Day Network and download the 2017 Climate Education Week Toolkit


Whale Image: Isaac Kohane You can help in this project to understand whales

Spoon-billed sandpiper. Image: kenSaving Spoonie!

The tiny spoon-billed sandpiper is critically endangered because of what people are doing along its migration route between Russia, via China to Bangladesh. But 500 children from schools along the little birds' flyway got together and did something rather wonderful to help 'spoonie'. Click the bird image to find out more..

 

Paraguay's famous slum orchestra. Image: US Embassy in Paraguay
The Recycled Orchestra

These amazing kids make music from trash. They live in a slum in Paraguay (South America) next to a huge garbage dump, the source of the trash they use to make musical instruments. As they learn to play their instruments, they join their own orchestra. They are so good that they now give concerts in many different countries. Click here for video So could you make music from trash?