The WAVE http://www.the-wave.org.uk/ , the biggest ever UK climate rally, will provide an opportunity to show people’s view before the Copenhagen Summit.
11am – Ecumenical Service at Central Hall, Westminster, lead by Archbishop Rowan Williams.
3pm – encircle Parliament Square
MY VIEW: Copenhagen, say ‘those in the know’, must be seen as a step and not a conclusion. The conference but, however, in my opinion be a key stepping stone towards changing the way we live and work and play. Without each and every one of us doing our bit and goverments setting decisive targets – and then reaching them – we will not only NOT achieve the outcome of living sustainably. We will instead continue down the slippery slope towards damaging our chances of looking after our very home, Planet Earth!
The WAVE … Will you be there?
- Reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations to around 350 ppmv CO2(e)
- Global emissions peak and decline by 2015
- UK & EU reduce emissions by 40% by 2020 with the vast majority of these reductions (preferably all of them) achieved within the UK & EU i.e. without offsets
- Protecting forests be additional to, not instead of, these cuts
- Industrialised countries transfer at least $160 billion annually to developing countries to fund adaptation and low-carbon development
- UK bring in an emissions performance standard for new electricity plants that is strict enough to rule out coal power stations unless they have 100% Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) fitted from the outset
- Test CCS on existing power plants only
- The UK invest in a transition to a low carbon economy thus creating hundreds of thousands of green jobs
- The UK support the renewable energy sector and investing in energy efficiency and demand reduction, in order to meet our EU renewable energy target for 2020 and decarbonise our energy sector by 2030
- Ensure a just transition for the workforce
We end the programme with a reflection from Climate Justice hunger striker, Anna Keenan, on the state of the Climate Justice movement as Copenhagen approaches. Listen to this programme now at: www.climateradio.org
Copenhagen: the people’s summit
There is another gathering taking place in Copenhagen, running in parallel with the main conference, and that is the coming together of environmental activists from all over the world, who are flocking to Denmark to cheer the conference on, as it were, and also to give it a few sharp prods – to remind the presidents and the prime ministers doing the deciding that the situation is serious and needs an adequate response.
Alexander Report highly critical of education as it stands
A ‘play-based’ approach, both in and outside of the classroom and natural areas of the schoolgrounds, is beneficial for children that have these opportunities. I have seen this with my own eyes. We should also be starting formal education much later – aged 5 or 6!
Education made the front pages this week, with the 4-year report by Prof Robin Alexander, of Cambridge University on the state of education giving the Government a ‘poor’ in many areas…
The Government response, in a nutshell was: ‘we’ve had the Rose Review’ (sponsored by Government) which says we need to focus on ICT, Numeracy and Literacy … and science and the environment will happen by absorption! Note that the Government DOES NOT have to implement the Cambridge Review!
Some key points of Cambridge Report:
* ‘Primary education should amount to much more than basic literacy and
My view: I agree! Children need a balanced curriculum including learning about the world about them – about, in and for the environment. Children can then use their environment – natural and built – using a source of inspiration for their writing and numeracy! This is also the view of the National Association for Environmental Education.
* Alexander praised the role of existing classroom “generalists” who are expected to teach all subjects. But it said there were concerns that some failed to provide the “expertise which a modern primary education requires”.
My view: Science is a key area in which schools that have a single or specialist teacher that undertakes this subject – as part of teachers ‘PPA’ time – children are better engaged in this area and the subject is often better resourced. I taught Science and Design and Technology and consider my specific focus on this subject and better collection of resources, than class teachers would easily be able to assemble, were an advantage.
* Children responded better to a “play-based” curriculum at a young age and insisted it would not hold them back in later life. Dame Gillian Pugh, the review’s chairman, said:
“If you introduce a child too formal a curriculum before they are ready for it then you are not taking into account where children are in terms of their learning and their capacity to develop. There is no research evidence that shows that early access to formal learning does children any good and quite a lot of good evidence to show that it actually can do some harm,” she said. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/6338700/Primary-review-start-formal-lessons-at-six.html
My view: Play-based approach using the resources both in and outside of the classroom/in the playground and natural areas of the schoolgrounds/local parks, has proved highly beneficial for children that have these opportunities. School grounds and Forest schools movements, and more specialist approaches such as Steiner and Montessori, are proof of children learning being effective here. My short time as a Nursery teacher and cover teaching at Foundation Stage verifies this.
Some useful links:
The Independent Traveller yesterday featured New Zealand – my home (see below) – with its unique wildlife as see on Last Chance to See http://www.bbc.co.uk/lastchancetosee/ where two British presenters enjoy other countries and we watch.
The Guardian included a special promotion on Spain’s World Heritage cities. http://www.guardian.co.uk/spanish-tourist-board/spanish-heritage-rome-renaissance-spain.
The Independent Traveller a promoted a competition for Stonehenge http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/uk/best-of-the-stones-the-ancient-structures-at-stonehenge-are-truly-rocks-of-ages-1796727.htmlTnhe
My wife (Aussie) and I (NZer) arguably came to the UK from NZ as a result of wildlife safaring/travelling across East Africa and Western Europe, and we plan to visit Asia in the future. For a number of reasons, we did not travel overseas (from the UK) for more than a year, and then recently visited Athens, renowned for its World Heritage Sites including the Pathenon.
Wishing to be ‘patriotic’ and see more of the UK, we have undertaken some camping breaks in a couple of British and Welsh national parks and hoped to do so again this year, but the cost of rail travel and other things have got in the way…
Should we concentrate on local holidays and breaks, or travel abroad to experience the nature and culture everywhere..and book with companies with green credentials and offset our carbon emissions? Or should we stay in our country and get to know it … and save the environment?
http://whc.unesco.org/ World Heritage Sites
http://www.jpmorganclimatecare.com/ Carbon offsetting
http://www.responsibletravel.com/ Travel with a green edge
http://edu-tourism.blogspot.com/ Green tourism blog
http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/ausandpacific/feather-report-nature-and-nurture-in-new-zealand-1796725.html A rare flightless parrot, ancient reptiles and some of the world’s largest trees are among the wonders to be found in New Zealand’s spectacular landscapes