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Earth from space

Oxford University Museum of Natural History is launching an ambitious program of workshops aimed at examining the science of climate change with the youth of Oxford and surrounding area. The cross-disciplinary project, co-led by Dr. Ken Amor (Earth Sciences) involves researchers from across the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division of the University as well as the School of Geography and the Environment.

Commencing on Saturday 14th September and continuing each Saturday for six weeks the Let’s Talk About Climate workshops will engage young people in the 15 – 19 year old age range with a series of expert talks and activities about what climate change is, how society and the environment is affected, and their personal responsibility to bring about change. We will explain the science behind the IPCC report and give young people the confidence to talk about climate change with their friends, families and local politicians. The initial sessions will focus on climate change science, while the later meetings will examine possible technological and natural solutions.

The school climate strikes have been strongly supported in Oxford. The students hold regular demonstrations on Friday lunchtimes during term time. However, they admit to knowing little about the science behind climate change or the options available to government.

Each workshop session will be self-contained and cover the following topics:

Session 1: That’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into

In a world where climate is changing rapidly we ask “How did we get here?” Fossil fuels – what are they? How did they form? How did we all become so reliant on hydrocarbons?

Session 2: Have we reached the point of no return?

Delve into the evidence that human activity is changing climate and the far reaching effects it is having on people and places, both close to home and further afield.

Session 3: Let’s science the s*** out of this!

How can technology solve climate change? In this session we explain both existing and potential technologies to remove and store excess carbon from the atmosphere. Can we just pump CO2 into the ground? How much carbon does a forest store?

Session 4:  If I ruled the world

Reduce our emissions? Store carbon dioxide? Or maybe just let the world burn? What’s the solution to the climate change conundrum? See whether we can chart a course to a zero-emissions world whilst other factors are at play – debate, calculate and see if you can help the experts solve this puzzle.

Session 5: Biodiversity is key

Biodiversity and healthy ecosystems provide key services to humans, including mitigation (storing carbon) and protection from climate change impacts (e.g. protect from flooding). Evidence shows that biodiverse ecosystems are the most resilient to climate change.

Session 6: Blame game or game changer? Spreading the CC word

You were born into a world where climate is changing rapidly, but it’s not your fault. And even if you wanted to do something, how can one person’s action change the course of climate? Learn about communicating climate change, come up with your own message, and work out how to pitch it, who might listen and where to spread it.

 

The programme will finish with an event in the Museum on Saturday 2nd November 2019, where students present their own message addressing the challenges of climate change to local press and politicians.

There’s still time to get involved! If you are interested in joining the scheme, please contact sarah.lloyd@oum.ox.ac.uk

Or visit the website for more information.

https://www.oumnh.ox.ac.uk/lets-talk-about-climate

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