Be afraid. Be very afraid.

“After her second day at school, my four-year-old daughter sat me down at the kitchen table for a conversation. She wanted me to explain exactly how I take her to school each morning.

“It’s not by car, is it?” she said.

I confirmed to her that, no, it wasn’t by car.

“We go by bicycle when daddy is running late; otherwise we walk,” I told her.

“Good,” she replied.

I asked why.

“Cars are bad.”

I learned later that upon arrival at her reception class each day pupils have to tick a box on a piece of paper denoting how they journeyed to school that morning.  …

In the UK today, more than 67 per cent of schools have now signed up to the Eco-Schools Programme.

A global award programme that guides schools onto a sustainable journey, it helps provide a framework to embed environmentally aware principles into the very heart of modern school life.  …

The programme was set in motion after the 1994 Rio Earth Summit …

The manner in which eco-awareness is first introduced to children is basic, but effective: the ice caps are melting and the polar bears have nowhere to live. Children, in the main, says Andrew Suter, very much want polar bears to have somewhere to live. From this spark, they begin to comprehend that the world is in peril, and they want to help.

Their first port of call is at home, where they educate their parents accordingly.  …

But pester power is not without its share of controversies. Not all -parents, after all, necessarily want their children at such a young age to get on such a high horse, not least when an increasing number of people are starting to feel that the purported realities of global warming have been exaggerated, perhaps for politically motivated reasons.

“Not all parents appreciate the message,” Andrew Suter says, “and, yes, we do occasionally encounter scepticism. But our response to that is simply to say that all we are really doing is encouraging children to care about the world around them, and to do positive things in it. Nobody, surely, could have an issue with that.”

He concludes, pointedly, by saying that children themselves have yet to question the veracity of climate change, “chiefly because they are children. They are not cynical yet.””  “‘Daddy, where will the polar bears live?’

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