Tuesday, February 13, 2007

When Worlds Collide: Global Warming

Last week, my teammate stopped by and told me that he was going to be studying the Middle East and the politics of oil in his social studies class. Would I want to do anything about oil?

Well, we have already "covered" the environment in September, and we were currently studying plants, but I figured dead plants make up fossil fuels. Close enough.

So, my students and I looked into the science of fossil fuels and alternative fuels. (LiveScience has written its Top 10 ways to power the future.) We culminated our short study with selections from Who Killed the Electric Car? and The Inconvenient Truth. (LiveScience also updates us on current electric car technology.)

That night, at home, I was scrolling through the Chicago Tribune, when I came across Mayor Daley and Chicago's timely
response to recent reports (BBC, CNN) that humans are mainly responsible for global warming.

Similar to the fiberglass "Cows on Parade" from 1999, one hundred 5-foot-wide globes will be featured this summer in areas along the lakefront. Each globe will feature an artist's design to help "
bring awareness to the need for solutions to reduce global warming." (Chicago Tribune article)

Mayor Daley announced his plans on February 6 and plans to call the exhibit "Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet."

"We all share responsibility for global warming," Daley said. "We can all be a part of the solution."

Now, here's the even cooler part. After the globes hang out at the lakefront for the summer, they will be auctioned off. The money raised from the auction will be used to expand environmental programs and conservation clubs in the Chicago public schools. Now, that is a great way to give back to schools and empower our kids.

Art teacher Turtel Onli sponsors such a program at Kenwood Academy High School. He says,

"We want to help children make the transition from consumers to committed, passionate citizens"

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