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Kids Explain to Adults Why We Should Repower Our Schools With 100% Renewable Energy
As families across the country gear up to head back to school, kids in North Carolina want to start off the school year on the right foot. That's why parents, teachers and students with the help of education and environmental organizations have developed the "Repower our Schools" initiative to transition Charlotte and Durham schools to 100 percent renewable electricity.
The project, which was initially launched in January, is made up of a coalition of groups, including the Charlotte branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Alliance for Climate Education, Medical Advocates for Healthy Air, Action NC, Greenpeace and more than 15 others. The groups have urged Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Durham Public Schools to pass resolutions to save critical school funding by transforming their operations to 100 percent renewable energy.
Greenpeace cites the fact that renewable energy has become cheaper and cheaper and the fact that our children's futures are on the line when it comes to climate change as reasons that schools should be at the forefront of the transition to renewables. "By transitioning school systems to run on 100 percent renewable electricity, schools can reinvest in the classroom and provide hands on experience with 21st century technology," said Greenpeace.
Since January, the coalition has brought renewable energy lessons to schools through a solar truck tour and classroom presentations. And this fall, the groups plan to participate in the Green Apple Day of Service sponsored by U.S. Green Building Council and other STEM-related activities.
"As utility costs continue to rise and renewable energy, such as solar, continues to get cheaper, the opportunity for schools to go renewable has never looked better—in fact the cost saving potential is the primary reason why nearly 4,000 schools nationwide have gone solar," Greenpeace said.
But sometimes you just need the simple explanation that only a child can offer. So, watch these adorable kids explain why schools need to go 100 percent renewable:
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If people in three European countries want to fight the climate crisis, they need to chill out more.
"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."
The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.
The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.
The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.
"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."
Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.
"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."
Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.
"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."
- Reduced Work Hours as a Means of Slowing Climate Change ›
- How working less could solve all our problems. Really. | ›
- Needed: A shorter work week – People's World ›