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  • Diana Littlejohns

Renewable Energy with Infants

Explaining the science of climate change, and how it adversely affects our beautiful planet to six and seven-year-old children, is not so easy. However, the kids at Liphook Infant School were engaged and received the information willingly, which was then translated very well through their art.


Considering that the Arctic is warming two to three times faster than the rest of the globe, it’s only natural to think that glaciers and ice caps are melting at more rapid rates too (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190125112310.htm). The knock-on effect is that the surrounding fauna and flora suffer and species are becoming endangered, sea levels are rising, and we’re at greater risk of unpredictable weather changes.


Did you know that there are currently 26,000 Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears, that have declined by forty percent in the last decade (https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/polar-bear-population-decline-a-wake-up-call-for-climate-change-action) and that the worldwide population is projected to decrease by a third by 2050 (https://globalnews.ca/news/3112257/polar-bear-population-to-decline-by-a-third-by-2050-study/)? I know. So sad, right? But it’s not too late; we can help, and that’s the good part.


After much discussion, I asked the children what we could do - within reason, and of course, within socio-economic capabilities - to make things better, and two girls simultaneously shouted out excitedly, ‘use renewable energies.’ I followed this up by questioning what sustainable energies are and again, the two girls along with the rest of the group exclaimed, ‘wind, water and sun’. Brilliant, I thought. We’ll continue to work on the correct terminology as time goes on, but I figured that if they could remember these three words, for now, that’s a great start. I reminded them that conserving energy - switching lights and taps off when not in use - would be very helpful too.


As we packed up for the end of the club, I asked one little boy to put his coat on, and he looked at me and said, ‘I don’t want to go home, I want to stay here and colour wind and sun with you’. Wow. My goodness. So sweet. Perhaps he’ll go home and show his pictures to his siblings, I wondered. That would be a lovely way to pass on his new knowledge to future generations, where over the next few years, hopefully, sustainable energy use will be commonplace anyway.


For more positive news on this subject, you might like to read The Guardian piece here;

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/02/uk-government-lifts-block-on-new-onshore-windfarm-subsidies


The World Economic Forum has also produced an article about how countries are faring with clean energy, and it’s interesting to see how Germany, Scandinavia and the UK are doing along with the rest of the globe;

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/02/these-countries-are-leading-the-charge-to-clean-energy/








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