Are you frustrated by inaction in the face of total ecological collapse? Are you tired of hearing about the latest school recycling project or being told to switch off the lights when you leave a room? Well so are we! As teachers and concerned citizens, we have created this website to help pupils, parents, teachers (and anyone else) to think about how to educate and inform ourselves and each other, and, crucially, what we can actually do, right now, to contribute to finding effective solutions in this extraordinary and frightening moment that can best be described as an Ecological Emergency.
This project was started in a high school just south of Paris in Oct 2017. After a preliminary year of teachers helping pupils to investigate the scientific reality behind the crisis, this year we are focusing on taking direct action to challenge governments and world leaders as well as state and corporate media. We have also begun contacting other schools around the world in order to build up a network of like-minded students and educators willing to contribute to the growing movement which seeks solutions through solidarity.
The majority of people have not been made aware of the enormity of the problem. Our global economy, driven as it is by overconsumption, continual growth and uncontrollable waste, is wholly incompatible with the common-sense, systemic solutions which could yet limit the damage as the world warms towards and beyond 2C. This is a moment of great moral urgency. It is imperative that we counter the dominant, destructive culture of consumerism and challenge assumptions regarding the supposed sustainability of green capitalism.
The status quo is leading us into calamity. We aim to inspire other schools to investigate the crisis and to act accordingly. We agree with climate scientists, such as Professor James Anderson of Harvard, that unprecedented emergency action must occur now if we are to avoid the unthinkable: runaway global warming and total ecological collapse! It is vital that pupils, parents and teachers make themselves heard and demand of those who wield political, corporate and media power to facilitate a total transformation of how we organise human society.
The planet's fragile ecosystem is collapsing. Climate change is a big factor but the sheer enormity of the crisis — and the urgent need for action — only becomes clear when a range of ecological calamities are considered side by side.
The ocean as we know it is dying. Excess heat caused by greenhouse gas emissions is leading to catastrophic ocean acidification causing the sea bed to disintegrate. All major coral reefs will in all likelihood soon be dead. The ocean food chain is collapsing due to plankton loss, overfishing, anoxia (dead zones), plastic waste, hunting, disturbance of ocean life due to shipping and military exercises, toxic waste from industrial activity including animal agriculture and oil spills.
Permaculture is a sustainable system of agriculture designed to feed the planet. By setting up and then maintaining healthy ecosystems, permaculture makes it possible to harvest without sowing every year, to protect the soil with a permanent cover, and to combine agriculture with forestry allowing self-reliance without resorting to pesticides or chemical fertilizers.Read more
Rewilding is the large-scale restoration of ecosystems and the wildlife and natural processes within them. This may initially involve the introduction of missing species to an area before then leaving nature to take control without any human intervention. Biologist E.O. Wilson proposes to set aside half the Earth for the preservation of biodiversity by restoring natural habitats.Read more
Reducing consumption and transitioning to 100% renewable energy is both technically feasible and economically viable - in fact, it is now imperative for the survival of the human species, some form of continued civilisation and the avoidance of total economic meltdown. The key elements are: solar (also known as solar photovoltaics), wind energy, and hydropower.Read more
The overarching solution is a rapid transition to a postgrowth global economy to tackle the overconsumption, waste, and unequal resource distribution of consumerism with a focus on self-sustaining local economies that reduce overproduction and waste; maintain and protect ecosystems; avoid onerous transportation; and ensure each local community's workforce matches the needs of people and the immediate environment.Read more
Geo-engineering means using technology to modify the environment. The climate emergency means Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and Solar Radiation Management (SRM) are now necessary. CDR refers to a range of techniques including reforestation, afforestation and greening deserts. SRM involves cloud creation and putting sulphur in the stratosphere over the Arctic to cause cooling. These are only useful alongside the immediate slashing of greenhouse gas emissions.Read more
Creating a peaceful Green Revolution as a successor to the Industrial Revolution will require a global ceasefire in order to allow effective international cooperation and to halt the resource wars which are an integral part of the fossil fuel and over-consumption crises. Only then can sustainable human systems be designed.Read more
So there's an ecological emergency, and we need to talk about the emergency response. We need to talk about ecology. All the time. Every single day. Everywhere. And, of course, nowhere could be more important than in the classroom. If there is to be any hope at all of a secure future, we need to teach our young people the principles of political and social ecology. Why not integrate discussion of ecology into your class, whatever your subejct? This is what we have been doing at our school with very positive results.
Teach the Physics of ecology
Teach the Chemistry of ecology
Teach the Biology of ecology
Teach the Geology of ecology
Teach the Technology of ecology
Teach the Economics of ecology
Teach the Politics of ecology
Teach the Philosophy of ecology
Teach the Language of ecology
Teach the History of ecology
Our current major focus is to make links with interested teachers and pupils at other schools. We've been sending the letter below to schools around the world. To provoke a meaningful reaction from governments, we need a critical mass. We'd be delighted to hear from you.
What's the difference between a two-degree temperature rise and a four-degree rise? Human civilisation. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
What is the point in learning facts within the school system when the most important facts given by the finest science of that same school system clearly mean nothing to our politicians and our society? Greta Thunberg
We need to go down to 350ppm which means very big social transformations on a scale that would be considered revolutionary by anybody in society today. John Bellamy Foster