Tuesday, 10 May 2016

UoI 2: Sharing the Planet Quickwrite

Last night Sarah sent me the following video:

I really enjoyed this, because it didn't sugarcoat the truth - we are destroying our planet, our homes. We are cutting down trees (maybe forgetting the important role trees play in our lives) as if they will regrow really quickly. We are using fossil fuels like they are replaceable (scientists aren't absolutely sure, but they think that it takes the earth hundreds of thousands of years to break plants and small animals into oil). We are filling the oceans with plastic and rubbish, which is killing fish and marine life, as well as altering their bodies on a cellular level.

This is all very true, and there are lots of videos, songs, books and social media posts pointing out the way the earth is heading.  Here is another one:

The problem I have with all of these videos is that they don't offer up real solutions.  Yes, you and I can walk or bike more and put out our recycling, but is that enough? People will still cut down trees because we need paper, cardboard, tissues, toilet paper, packaging. We need wood for our houses and buildings and playgrounds.

To me, one of our biggest problems is plastic, for two reasons. Firstly because of the issue of plastic ending up in landfills and our oceans, secondly because of one of the ingredients in plastic - oil.  Yes, our precious oil is an ingredient in plastic.  Have a look at this list of products which contain oil. It is a real surprise to see some of those items. Read about all the clothing we wear that contains oil. Your school shirt, polar fleece and socks all contain oil.

What are we going to do to save our world? I don't know, which makes it worse. It will take major changes from not just each of us, but businesses and governments to stop the decline.  At the moment, people across the world can't even agree that change needs to happen.  

Tomorrow, you'll wish you had started today

Monday, 2 May 2016

UoI 2: Sharing the Planet Activities

You will need your Sharing the Planet UoI book and pencil case with you in the ICT Room

The title of your page will be: Issues around the Oceans

You can complete these topics in whatever order you choose.  They need to be completed by Friday this week (May 6). Make sure your answers are full and have evidence to support them.

Topic ONE: Dynamite Fishing

  1. Read this article on dynamite fishing.
  2. In your book, summarise the main points of the article.  Reading your summary, I should know what the issue is, why it is a problem, and what, if anything, is being done about it.

Topic TWO: Pollution - Oil Spills

Pollution - Oil Spill 

In New Zealand, the sea is a special place and we all have an interest in keeping it pollution free. One of our greatest fears is an oil spill - this has become more of an issue as more companies are coming into NZ to look at putting in refineries. 
The oil spill that occurred in Alaska some few years ago cost over $2 billion to clean up and caused serious problems to fish and bird life and other animals poisoned through the food chain. As well as this there was the problem of oil lying on the beaches.
In New Zealand, Regional Council staff are trained to deal with oil spills and have equipment stored at the Port to deal with oil spills. More equipment can be called in if need be. 

How does an oil boom work?
An oil boom consists of a float which is filled with air, a skirt which keeps the oil contained and a weight which keeps the skirt below the water. Once the oil is contained skimmers pick up the oil from the sea and it is taken away for disposal.

Activity - Research 
What can find out about oil spills in history? Write about 2 large oil spills - what caused them, how were they cleaned up, and what were the consequences? 

Topic Three: Shark Finning

Watch this video - it isn't nice - you can read about shark finning if you do not want to watch it:

Answer the following questions:

Key Questions:
What is threatening shark species?
What role do sharks play in our ecosystem?
How are people working to protect sharks?

Key Concepts:
Causation: What is the issue? Why is this a problem?
Perspective: Who are the different parties involved in this issue and what are their perspectives?

Topic Four: Global Warming

We all love the warm weather, and February 2016 was one of our hottest months in recorded history. Visits to the beach, ice-blocks in the sun, what's not to love?

Read this news article about temperatures in February and potential effects.

Have a look through the Connected slides on climate change and rising sea levels.

Answer these questions in your book:
  1. What do you think a 'climate scientist' does?
  2. What do you know about global warming?
  3. From reading the news article, why is Professor Renwick worried?
  4. What does he see as potential consequences of the warmer weather patterns? Who will be most affected?
  5. The connected slides finish by focusing on 'making sure we are prepared'. What can we do NOW to prepared ourselves for global warming in the FUTURE?
  6. What actions can we take to slow global warming down? Have a look at NASAs Climate Kids, 'What we can do to help' page.