Children teach the world about climate change

Speakers: The app gives children a voice to talk about the climate crisis. © Earth Speakr

Are young people the best teachers? A new project lets people make cartoons about the environment and share them with the world. There is just one rule – only children are allowed.

What’s happening

At first, it looks like a normal recycling bin. But then it opens it eyes and grumbles: “I’m hungry!”

In the next video, an iceberg cries as it melts into the sea. Then, there is an exhaust pipe that cannot stop coughing.

These climate films all have one thing in common: they were made by children.

Find out more

The videos were made using an app called Earth Speakr. It is part of a climate project set up by an artist named Olaf Eliasson.

He wants to give children an opportunity to teach adults about climate change.

Earth Speakr lets children film everyday objects, like a tree or a puddle, and make them talk.

Young people can make videos on environmental subjects like recycling and pollution. There is also a space for films about inventions fighting climate change.

Olaf’s app is not the only project encouraging adults to listen to young people. This week, a group of activists aged 14 to 21 from around the world are getting together online for Mock Cop26. They will give speeches about the climate crisis.

Are young people the best teachers?

Some say…

Not always. Young people have helped draw attention to the climate crisis. But when it comes to teaching, that is best left to the adults. They have more experience of life and can give the best advice. They have been taught themselves. Now it is time for them to pass on their knowledge.

Others think…

Yes! When it comes to climate change, it is children who have taught the adults. Greta Thunberg started protesting when she was 15. Now she is a global superstar who inspires presidents and politicians. Young people are clever, brave and imaginative. Adults should listen to them more.

You Decide

  1. Who do you trust most to give you good advice – an adult or a friend your age?

Activities

  1. Draw a cartoon that you could use to teach a grown-up about climate change. Try to make it as colourful and funny as possible.

Some People Say...

“People always tell us that young people are going to save the world, but there is simply not enough time to wait.”

Greta Thunberg

What do you think?

Word Watch

Recycling
Instead of throwing something away to be left on a rubbish heap or buried, you can recycle. This means a material, like cardboard or glass, can be sent back to a factory and made into something else.
Exhaust pipe
The pipe where the smoke or gas from an engine comes out of a car, van or lorry.
Environmental
An adjective describing anything to do with the environment.
Activists
People who stand up for and fight for a cause they believe in.
Mock Cop26
The event is a replacement – or mock version – of an event called Cop26, which was cancelled because of coronavirus. It usually takes place each year and is an opportunity for young people to share their worries about the climate crisis.
Draw attention to
To make somebody notice and concentrate on something.

Subjects

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