Tag: environment

Why I Must Speak Out About Climate Change

I've been a committed believer of climate change for at least 10 years, but I have to admit that in the last few years I have started to have my doubts. The reading that fixed my mind in the first place (The Weather Makers, Boiling Point, etc) has diminished in my memory, the movement seemed beset by scientific scandal, and there seems to be a fog of FUD obscuring the issue. This video provided a timely reminder of the urgent need for action if we are to avoid destroying ourselves and huge parts of the world around us. It is important to focus on the message provided by the science, and in the strength of the scientific method, which is, after all, one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal.

EAG Camp 2011

Last weekend my wife, a colleague and I took 7 deserving students from our Environmental Action Group (EAG) on a 4-day, 3-night camp to a remote beach in Hong Kong. The idea was to get them out of the classroom and give them a chance to learn more about the environment, whilst taking action to improve it. We camped on Lo Kei Wan beach, on South Lantau, and when we arrived the beach was filthy. Over our time there we cleaned up the majority of the waste, did some experiments, cook, cleaned, swam, fetched water from the village and talked. I felt that a lot of the social constructs and restrains from school fell away, and we started to get to know each other in new, less formal ways. Despite the rain, heat, mosquitoes and garbage, the students had a great time and learned a lot. Hopefully, they have some memories and lessons to last a lifetime, and to prompt them to further environmental action. I would recommend this kind of trip to anyone, but would advise to keep student numbers low and staff numbers high. If you want any advice on this (including my wife's delicious camp cooking menu), let me know. Looking for a way to try and interest more students in the EAG, and to help parents see the multiple educational benefits of such a trip, I produced the video below on return from camp: Interestingly, just as I sat down to produce the video, I received an email from a student with the following video, which I found to be very inspiring. Thanks Lars!

The Majestic Plastic Bag

Despite the fact that sarcasm is often held to be the lowest form of wit, a mockumentary can be a great way to introduce students to a topic.This beautifully crafted video gives plastic bags the full nature documentary treatment, and in doing so provides a humorous way for students to approach a very serious topic. For environmental leaders, this can provide a great jumping-off point for school-based action. From a Media Studies perspective, it also provides a way for students to think critically about the distinction between content and presentation. This can lead to discussions on the production of persuasive, emotive content that is not necessarily grounded in truth (such as propaganda).

Silent Spring

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p009xbbf

Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, is the one publication that is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Carson, a marine biologist, raced against her own advancing breast cancer whilst attempting to publish the book before it was too late. Sadly, although she …

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Stephanie Hamilton

Yesterday morning I attended a breakfast meeting hosted by Apple Hong Kong’s education team. The main event was a presentation by Stephanie Hamilton, one of Apple’s education specialists from Cupertino. It seems her role is mainly to travel the world and advocate the use of …

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Brand New Work Day

After nearly a year of waiting, I have finally been able to visit ICHK, the school where I will begin my teaching career in August. It was not without some trepidation that I made the journey to the Sha Tau Kok campus, uncertain not …

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Stunning High-Speed Photos of Birds

http://discovermagazine.com/photos/12-stunning…

Every so often, someone does something so well, you wonder why its ever been done any other way. In this case, despite having seen a great many photos in my life, I was still taken aback by the quality, depth and detail of Andrew …

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Nature loss ‘to damage economies’

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and…

All too often we are presented with a false choice between the economy and the environment. This situation seems to occur because economics is primarily concerned with the short term, and measures designed to protect the environment are seen to immediately hinder economic growth …

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Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_specter_the_danger…

In an age where we rely so heavily on technology, more and more people are starting to doubt and deny the science that underlies it. In this fascinating¬† talk, Michael Specter discusses the danger of such denial. Examples include the supposed link between autism …

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Ocean debris turning Hawaiian beach ‘into plastic’

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8639769.stm

It is easy to assume that if we make a mess, we can simply clean it up. However, this is not always the case, as shown in this disturbing video, where a Hawaiian beach is slowly turning into plastic. The video introduces us to …

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