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P

I s s u e 1 2 . S P R I N G 2 0 1 6

Dragons

TODAY

olar bears, penguins, bees, gorillas,

even walking trees and sunflowers,

were seen marching through Oxford

University Parks on 24 September 2015.

Over 1,500 children from the Dragon and

other schools - wearing creative, colourful

costumes and carrying striking banners

and placards - took part in the first youth

‘Climate for Change March’.

Some Dragons from the Dragon

Eco-Group felt so passionate about climate

change they took action ahead of the UN

Climate Change Summit (COP21) in

December 2015. They organised and led

the march and launched an internet based

‘Youth Creating a Climate for Change’

forum and online petition to lobby David

Cameron and COP21 leaders through the

website

www.change.org

. In the process,

the children learnt about democracy and

influencing political change by engaging in

peaceful protests and campaigning through

social media.

The march raised awareness of

anthropogenic (man-made) climate change

through six learning stations around

Oxford University Parks which covered

the science of climate change, its effects,

raising awareness, reducing CO2 emissions

and energy waste and the use of renewable

energy. One station focused on rain forests

which absorb over half the atmospheric

CO2 produced annually, cover 2% of the

Earth’s surface and contain over 50% of the

9 million species that live on Earth.

In the afternoon, Ian Goldin, Professor of

Globalisation and Director of the Oxford

Martin School at the University of Oxford,

formerly Vice President of the World Bank

(2003-06) and an advisor to President

Nelson Mandela addressed Dragons, along

with children from Cutteslowe Primary

School (Oxford), Willowcroft Community

School (Didcot), and Victoria Park

Academy (Smethick, West Midlands). He

explained that their climate change march

was, “the most optimistic thing that I have

seen in many months.” He added, “Climate

change will be the defining topic of all of

your futures. It is not just about climate

change; it is whether we can work together,

whether we can think, learn from Science

and ensure that we have the

right outcome.”

Andrew Hanson from the National

Physical Laboratory, Dr Alan Jones from

Earthwatch’s Climate Change Research

facility and the Dragon’s Sue Ormerod also

spoke. Tom Klenerman, (OD 2015), in

his impassioned speech urging children to

take action, said, “Don’t wait for the next

generation. We can make a difference if

we act now.”. Rowan Ibbotson (OD 2013),

now a Member of the Youth Parliament,

echoed Tom’s thoughts: “Environment and

Climate Change are two of the main issues

that matter to young people today and we

all need to play our part to address it.”

Dragons recognise that 100 years from

now, the world will be of human design.

They are passionate that their futures will

be influenced by scientific understanding,

evidence-based policies and rigorous

campaigning. Today’s Dragons are being

empowered to understand the issues and to

be the drivers of social change.

The Dragon Eco Team are currently

working on a documentary film about

climate change, are lobbying for zero

deforestation, reducing CO2 emissions

and energy waste across the Dragon

community. They are creating the largest

on-line students’ climate change forum and

presenting to 12,000 youth at ‘WE Day’ on

9 March 2016 at Wembley.

Compassionate, empathic and imaginative

Dragons of today can, and will, become the

leaders of tomorrow.

Creating a Climate for Change March