Must read “The Soil Will Save Us,” plus in community action, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland. The National Center for Science Education, and there’s an XPrize for carbon removal?
“The Soil Will Save Us,” Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, NCSE, XPrize for Carbon Removal
NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION
According to a 2016 report of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), 75% of U.S. science teachers cover some aspect of climate change, and almost all students have some exposure to climate warming topics. Here’s the scary thing though.
- Many teachers were not aware of the consensus about climate change among scientists that actually study the topic.
- Over 25% teachers give equal time to unsubstantiated perspectives not supported by peer reviewed studies.
- More than one-third of the teachers questioned whether human contributions are at play.
National surveys show that 40% to 60% of U.S. public school science teachers hedge, equivocate, or send a mixed message when they teach evolution or climate change.
In other countries, the pattern of climate change practices in schools is just as patchy. A study this year by Unesco, the UN agency, of educational policies and curricula in 46 member nations showed that more than half of members made no mention of climate change in policy and curricula documents, and just 19 per cent discussed biodiversity. “More needs to be done to prepare learners with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to act for our planet,” the report concluded.
NCSE aims to help all of them improve their teaching practices. NCSE vigilantly monitors efforts to interfere with the accurate teaching of climate change and evolution and strategically mobilizes local communities and educators to respond effectively when problems arise.
Why does the NCSE matter to us? Because the best way to equip today’s youth to deal with the challenges of climate change is through improving the quality of climate change education in the public schools.
DEEPER DIVE: NCSE, Forbes, FT, WaPo
MUST READ: “THE SOIL WILL SAVE US”
Author Kristin Ohlson, looking for something else to research and write about, reached out to a Cleveland chef. He suggested she look into “carbon farming.” She’d never heard of it, and so was intrigued. So glad she did.
From knowing nothing about carbon farming to understanding that “everything we want above ground depends on what they’re doing down there.” And the “they’re” Kristin’s talking about are the 6 billion microbes in every tablespoon of healthy soil.
And it’s those 6 billion microbes, she argues in her seminal book, “The Soil Will Save Us” that will, well, save the world. Ohlson introduces visionary scientists, farmers, foodies, ranchers, and landscapers, whose work shows that earth can be healed, and offers the hope that seemingly intractable problems like climate change, air and water pollution, food quality, and even obesity have the same low-tech solution—put nature’s carbon back into farming.
The Soil Will Save Us was a Finalist for the 2015 Oregon Book Awards.
Stephanie Bernhard for the Los Angeles Review of Books, wrote “The Soil Will Save Us is an important book and a pleasure to read. Ohlson, who has traveled the world to meet with innovative farmers, soil scientists, and environmental activists, writes her adventures while foregrounding her own vibrant personality.”
Adrien Schless-Meier, of Civil Eats, a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system says, “The Soil Will Save Us is part soil science primer, part history lesson on environmental degradation and the efforts to fight it, and part manifesto on restoring our relationship with the land.”
DEEPER DIVE: Kristin Ohlson, The Soil Will Save Us, CivilEats
XPRIZE FOR CARBON REMOVAL
XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity – fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, this $100M. This four-year global competition invites innovators and teams from anywhere on the planet to create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans, and sequester it durably and sustainably.
Team registration OPENED on Earth Day, April 22nd 2021. The competition will last for 4 years through Earth Day 2025. XPRIZE teams come from all around the world. Teams can be composed of university groups, high school students, startups and innovators, small to midsize companies, community-based organizations, families or individuals.
HERE’S THE EASY PART—HOW TO WIN:
To win the prize teams must demonstrate CO2 removal at the 1000 tonne per year scale, model costs at the million ton per year (megatonne) scale, and present a plan to sustainably reach gigatonne per year scale in future. In the first phase of the competition, teams must demonstrate the key component of their carbon removal solution, at a minimum.
Teams can submit entries across natural, engineered and hybrid solutions. The $100M prize purse will be distributed as follows: After 1 year of competition the judges will review all submissions received by that time and award up to 15 Milestone Prizes of $1 million each. After 4 years, judges will select the winners: $50 million paid to the single Grand Prize Winner. $30 million to be distributed among up to 3 runners up.
XPRIZE will also award up to US$5M to student teams in the Fall of 2021. These awards may fund participation in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal or the development of key supportive technologies.
DEEPER DIVE: XPRIZE FOR CARBON REMOVAL
STOP CLIMATE CHAOS-SCOTLAND
Scotland hosted the latest UN conference on climate change—COP26. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is a diverse coalition of over 60 civil society organizations in Scotland campaigning together on climate change. Its members include environment, faith and belief groups, international development organisations, trade and student unions and community groups.
They believe that the Scottish Government should take bold action to tackle climate change, with Scotland delivering its fair share of action in response to the Paris Agreement and supporting climate justice around the world.
SCCS believes that Scotland is a just, sustainable and flourishing nation consistent with a climate-safe future domestically and globally. It has four aims:
- Climate justice
- Action at home
- Global action
- Building the Movement/creating connections for change
DEEPER DIVE: SCCS