The United Nations and China have started a program this summer that will employ 1,000 youth to talk about the environment. The youth will teach people how to be more conscious about the environment and what individuals can do to protect it.
Through a new training program called “One Thousand Environment-Friendly Youth Ambassadors Action,” eight Chinese ministries, along with the UNDP, hope to educate 1 million people about the actions they can take to preserve the environment and limit climate change.
The program started last month with training for 1,000 high school and college students in Beijing (north China), Shanghai (east), Xi’an (northwest), Chengdu (southwest) and Guangzhou (south).
Each young ambassador is expected to train another 1,000 people, hence one million people around the nation will be informed of professional environmental knowledge. The program is sponsored by the national Center for Environmental Education and Communication, China Environmental Awareness Program, Ministry of Environmental Protection, UNDP and Johnson Controls.
This is Reality is project that is designed to counter the coal industry’s claim that clean coal is, well clean. Awareness projects like this are badly needed when there are multimillion dollar campaigns trying to convince people that burning a finite resource is good for the environment.
Today, coal power plants emit carbon dioxide (CO2), the pollutant causing the climate crisis. A third of the America’s carbon pollution now comes from about 600 coal-fired power plants. And of the more than 70 proposed new coal power plants, barely a handful have plans to capture and store their CO2 emissions. If these dirty plants are allowed to be built, this will mean an additional 200 million tons of global warming pollution will be emitted in America each year. Until coal power plants no longer release CO2 to the atmosphere, coal will remain a major contributor to the climate crisis.
Scientists indicate that we can avoid the worst climate impacts if we turn CO2 emissions around in the next few years. The Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, in 2007, said, “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.” For coal to maintain a role in America’s energy mix, the industry must act quickly to stop emitting CO2.
Celsias has an interesting piece on how the British royals can serve a good purpose- protecting the environment. And, no this is not an ironic post.
The Prince has also long promoted small, local, organic farming. Leading by example, his own Gloucestershire farm has been organic since 1986 and was among the first to provide organic products in Great Britain long before it was eco-chic. His Duchy Originals brand is made from products grown on his farm in a sustainable manner, with special attention to crop rotation and soil management with the proceeds going to charity, including environmental and alternative health organizations that he has founded. He’s kind of like the Paul Newman of Great Britain!
No More Landmines came up with a creative way to bring awareness to the danger of landmines around the world. The idea was to not touch the ground in London by using parkour, a way to move around using one’s body in the most efficient way possible. The fundraiser is one of the more creative ones that I’v eseen recently, and remember that £1 = 1 square meter of land.
In the ironically sponsored BP SimCity Societies videogame players will be forced to address global warming. They can increase or mitigate the effects of global warming based on their energy choices. We’ve covered this game before.
Now, SimCity Societies isn’t an “educational game”: Carol Battershell, VP of BP’s Alternative Energy division, claimed that, from the outset, the idea was to create “entertainment with a little bit of education.” As in previous versions, players build their own cities, and either succeed or fail based on how their development choices create harmony or chaos within them.
In this version of the game, pollutants created by industry, transportation, and electricity generation play into the equation. A player has to choose the kind of power sources his/her city will rely upon, and receives information about the CO2 emissions and smog-causing pollutants created by each choice. Too much of either affects the city’s environment, and the well-being of its residents: increased instances of smog, for instance, will raise levels of illness among citizens and keep them from work (which costs the player, or “mayor,” money). Increased carbon emissions could result in floods, droughts, powerful storms, etc. As Rachel Bernstein, the game’s producer, noted, “Games are always about managing resources… Players have to make choices that have end-game results, and they come to recognize the costs and trade-offs of those choices.”