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Environment watch for secondary pupils

Did you know that on average each person in the UK was responsible for emitting nearly nine tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2000? This is one challenging statistic which accompanies the launch of an environmental education pack produced by Scottish Natural Heritage, the first of its kind in Britain with direct links to the secondary curriculum.

The Heat is Up and It's Raining shows the damaging effect of current lifestyles on the environment and encourages people to change their habits. It suggests practical long-term solutions for everyone to help slow climate change, such as buying locally produced food to cut back on the miles travelled to bring food to consumers, choosing energy efficient goods and walking or cycling.

"Scottish Natural Heritage is concerned that concentrations of greenhouse gases are at unprecedented levels," says Noranne Ellis, its adviser on climate change. "We give pupils the facts to get them to think about what is the sensible thing to do. They're the ones who face future pollution, so we need them to think about the effects and how to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used in their daily lives.

"It's about giving them information to make decisions themselves. It's about encouraging them to look at problems logically rather than encouraging panic over possible ecological disasters," she says.

A copy of the teachers' pack, containing lessons on topics such as Scotland's climate, the effects of climate change and nature's calendar, which asks pupils to consider the timings of annual migrations of animals and the opening of flowers, has gone out to every Scottish secondary. The illustrated cross-curricular pack can also be downloaded at: www.snh.org.ukpdfspublicationseducationadvancesTheHeat.pdf

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