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Climate Change (Global warming)

Global warming; a phrase that could divide a room.

Global warming is something that a lot of people know about but some not to a deep understanding. I would say I was one of these people until exploring this topic. Global warming can open up a multitude of controversial conversations and debates as it encompasses many factors. A large factor that has contributed to earth’s temperature warming is the damage we are doing as humans, this allegation is one that some people do not believe.

Global warming and Climate change facts:

  • Climate is the term given to the average weather at a given point and time of year.
  • We expect weather to change each day, but expect the climate to remain relatively constant.
  • If our climate does not hold consistency, we then call this climate change.
  • Earth’s temperature has risen by 1 degree in the past century.
  • Burning fossil fuels, deforestation and farming are huge contributors to climate change.
  • Evidence of climate change can be collected by: weather recordings, ice cores, rocks and fossils and Analysis of pollen and trees.

Effects of Climate change

Agriculture

Farming communities, more so in developing countries, are being faced with extreme weather conditions that make farming more difficult. (e.g increased rainfall, drought or higher temperatures.)

Desertification is causing agricultural land close to deserts to become unsuitable for farming.

Flooding is causing crops to be wiped out that are growing in low-lying areas.

Sea level changes

Due to the ice cap melting, we can now see the sea levels increasing. Coastal land is at risk of flooding, more so land on deltas. Also we can see that sea defences are under increased stress. Global sea level is expected to rise between 3.5 and 34.6 inches in the next 100 years.

From this image, it is clear that the ice cap has decreased in size dramatically in the space of 32 years. After seeing this photo and similar ones, I felt shocked and almost guilty that we have allowed it to get this far, knowing that our actions as  humans are having this impact. This decrease in the ice cap is pushing animals like polar bears that live there to take other means to survive or live in different conditions, or even for some not to survive.

Sceptics / Counter argument

  • Most climate change sceptics dispute the research finding of the intergovernmental panel on climate change.
  • Many sceptics believe that as the earth has went through many climate changes before (eg ice age), then this is the climate changing again and it’s not our fault.
  • They say that the CO2 that we believe is causing global warming would be reabsorbed by trees and the sea.
  • However, scientists who have researched climate change have gathered lots of evidence to support global warming and it is only a small amount of scientists who disagree with these findings.

What can we do?

https://www.gov.scot/policies/climate-change/

In Scotland, we are fortunate to have a supportive government with a vision of a cleaner Scotland.  Some actions they have taken include: 5p bag charge to decrease plastic use, using renewable energy eg wind and promoting low carbon living. This motivation from the Scottish government has rippled into Scottish schools, meaning healthier and cleaner lifestyles are promoted to children. In doing so, we can create a better living and learning environment for children, as well as providing them with perspective and awareness of how they live by educating them on the impact of climate change.

https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/?_ga=1.176985891.745195644.1442412124#/

After taking the WWF ‘ footprint calculator’ questionnaire, I felt quite guilty for the carbon footprint I am creating. I think that this tool would be useful in a class to give perspective to the children of their own impact on the earth.

If we all make minor changes in our life for the sake of our planet, we could together have a major impact.

References

  • https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/?_ga=1.176985891.745195644.1442412124#/
  • https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/climate-change/
  • https://www.gov.scot/policies/climate-change/

 

Diversity

Through the past couple of sessions, my knowledge and understanding of Diversity has grown. We can see Diversity all around us, whether that be biodiversity, cultural diversity or diversity in science.  We were able to recognise biodiversity by conducting different tasks, we went outside and took tree rubbings, dissected a flower and observed how a snail reacts when given different materials to move on. Through doing tree rubbings we were able to understand how plants can differ in so many ways including shape, size, texture, patterns and many more aspects. This task is something I would definitely use when teaching, as it bring teaching outside and closer to nature, where we can closely see how diverse it is. Dissecting flowers provided a similar outlook on biodiversity, we could clearly see all the components that make up one flower, these can differ between plants, meaning we have many different flowers in nature.

(Picture of us letting the snail move on a leaf)

(Picture of dissected flower illustrated in a diagram)

(picture of a rubbing of a leaf)

In this session we also had the opportunity to interact with snails and trail different texture and materials for them to move on, some materials we noticeably preferred to others as our snail would move faster compared to others. I enjoyed having such an interactive session and I think that carrying out tasks similar to these in a classroom would have a positive response.

In reflection upon our sessions on biodiversity and diversity in science, I feel like I have become more knowledgeable on these topics, I was research-minded and I used creativity when carrying out these tasks. I believe that these skills are key for teaching, and having these skills would enrich the teaching of this topic.

Diversity can have either a positive or negative effect on any given situation in which diversity is present. Diversity can bring many positives to situations, for example having a diverse culture can enrich a country by introducing new ways of doing things and providing understanding of what is going on around the world. However, cultural diversity could negatively have an impact, there could be a chance of possible belief and religious conflict or it could lead to cultural traditions dying out eg Languages.

 

I watched a Ted talk video called ‘Why Cultural diversity matters’ with Michael Gavin as the speaker, he tells a story about a man who passes away in a highly diverse island, and this old man was one of three people who could still speak a certain language. Due to cultural diversity, the need for using this language has faded out. Gavin tells us that this is a global picture and that in 25 years the number of languages spoken in the world will have halved. He goes on to talk about how everyone experiences and sees things differently, cultural diversity means there are “thousands of different ways of seeing the world and our place in it”.

 

“These thousands of world views, they are the foundation of thousands of unique sets of knowledge” Michael Gavin

 

From Gavin’s talk, I came to the realisation that we can use our diverse culture to better ourselves. Having so many views and cultures can be the basis of changing our world for the better and coming together to realise how we can make the world a better place. The UN have come together and formed a plan to do just that, the ‘Global goals’ were set out by the UN in 2015 with the hope of them to be met by 2030. These goals contain human rights eg. Zero hunger and No poverty to better our global living standards with goals like peace, justice and strong institutions. I believe these goals are reachable and are so essential to making sure countries work together to allow for the world to be a better place for all.

Beforehand, I was not aware of the goals but not that I understand their importance I think they should be given great focus in our schools so that children are aware that as United nations, we can work together to ensure these 17 goals are achieved. I feel more socially responsible after learning more about cultural diversity, as teachers we can play our part in promoting the benefits and positive outcomes of having a diverse culture.

Cultural diversity is of great teaching importance, especially with schools becoming more diverse themselves, so there should be an emphasis upon educating how it can impact us. I believe that Cultural diversity provides enrichment to society in many ways and think that we can use our differing cultures and views to work together to better the world we live in together.

References

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48RoRi0ddRU

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/what-are-the-global-goals