Climate Change and Global Warming
The earth is heating up fast! Many people believe this is largely due to Greenhouse Gas emissions from humans and their activities. We can see the weather patterns changing around us and more wild storms and crazy weather events are occuring all over the world. Humans, animals, plants, bugs and entire ecosystems are affected by climate change and global warming. Even the stability of human institutions and the economy are affected.
- Wellington City Council’s Climate Change page – local plans, policies and related events
- Taking Action – Becoming Carbon Neutral
- Climate Change for Kids – Colourful site covering the basics of climate change.
- EPA Climate Change Kids Site – Another fun site on climate change, this time by the United States EPA.
- An Inconvenient Truth – Have you seen the movie on climate change called An Inconvenient Truth?
- NIWA Climate Change for Students – A New Zealand site full of scientific information and explanations of climate change.
- Te Ara on Climate Change – From the Encyclopedia of New Zealand – Te Ara – clear information and beautiful pictures
- Climate Change VIDEO: Tim Flannery – Tim Flannery, author of We are the Weathermakers discusses Climate Change.
Our library databases are full of interesting information that you can access from your home (you will need to put in your library card number):
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Global Warming
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Climate Change
- Opposing Viewpoints Database: Climate Change
With the world population getting larger and larger there is a greater demand on the earth for energy. New Zealand alone has doubled its energy use every 22 years over the last century and that amount is predicted to increase … faster. There are three things we can do about this: Change our habits so we use less energy; change our technology so it uses energy more efficiently; and we can look at where and how our energy is made.
A lot of our energy is generated using fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases. Fossil fuels are not renewable, that means we have a finite amount of them and they will run out. Many countries are looking at ways to make sustainable energy. New Zealand already makes electricity using water power which is renewable, but we are also investigating other renewable sources like solar, wind, tidal, and biomass.
Transport is one of the biggest ways we use energy and emit greenhouse gases, so it is also one of the areas where we can look at changing our habits.
- Mercury Energy education – Mercury energy’s site on electricity generation and the environment
- EIA Kids Energy site – An easy to use site full of information on energy history, current facts and games.
- Ministry for the Environment: Energy – Ministry for the Environment site on the many aspects of energy.
- EECA Renewable energy information – A NZ government site looking at the different types of renewable energy.
- Te Ara: Geothermal Energy – The Encyclopedia of NZ, Te Ara looks at geothermal energy.
- Te Ara: Wind and Solar Energy – The Encyclopedia of NZ, Te Ara looks at wind, solar and renewable energy.
- Energy Planet – FULL of great links to blogs, events and webpages on renewable energy.
- Electrocity – A computer energy game from Genesis Energy. The energy equivalent of Simcity.
Check out our databases to see what we have on energy:
- Opposing Viewpoints Database: Energy
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Solar Power
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Wind Power
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Wind Power
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Energy Conservation
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Energy Conservation
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Fossil Fuels
Sustainability is about meeting the needs of those of us living today, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. That means we need to think ahead and think about how our actions today will effect the world of tomorrow. Will there be enough clean water and air for our great-great-grandchildren? Will there be enough food? And enough energy?
- Wellington City Council’s Sustainability page
- Sustainable Living New Zealand – All sorts of information on sustainability.
- Sustainability.govt.nz – Some good links to New Zealand government initiatives towards sustainability.
- Sustainability Council of New Zealand – News blogs and recent ideas on sustainability.
- Ministry for the Environment: Sustainability – Ministry for the Environment site on sustainability.
- Sustainability Trust – Ideas on how to run your home, business or community more sustainably.
- University of Canterbury on Sustainability – A page dedicated to the origins and definitions of sustainability
- Sustainable Future
Conservation and Biodiversity
The idea of protecting and living in harmony our environment has been around for a long time. Life has evolved to be extremely intricate and diverse, and interacts in a very complex manner. Everything depends on everything else for survival. Humans are part of this system, and there are many of us trying to make use of the resources our environment provides. It is necessary for us to look at how we can conserve these other aspects of our environment, from birds, to trees, to seas, to entire ecosystems. Some of these are in danger due to natural causes, but many have been effected by human agriculture, pollution, cities, and migration.
- Kids Conservation Club – A great site made for kids all about conservation in New Zealand
- Forest and Bird – Forest and Bird is an organisation dedicated to the conservation of our plants and animals in New Zealand
- Biodiversity.govt.nz – A government site dedicated to explaining every aspect of biodiversity and how you can help.
- Convention on Biological Diversity – A good explanation of biodiversity.
- Up The Creek – A fun interactive way to learn about biodiversity for kids.
- Terranature – A beautiful site looking a New Zealand’s environmental history and current conservation issues.
- Karori Wildlife Sanctuary – All you ever wanted to know about Wellington’s amazing urban sanctuary.
- Te Ara: Marine Conservation – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Te Ara, looks at marine conservation.
- Penguin conservation – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Te Ara, looks at the conservation efforts made for penguins.
- Kapiti and Mana Islands – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Te Ara, looks at the history of Kapiti and Mana island conservation sanctuaries.
- New Zealand Birds – Everything you ever wanted or needed to know about New Zealand birds.
Try looking up conservation on our databases:
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Conservation
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Biodiversity
- Index New Zealand: New Zealand Conservation
- Index New Zealand: New Zealand Biodiversity
Humans are making more and more things, but at the moment that means we are making more and more waste. We are running out of space to put the world’s garbage, and we are running out of resources to make our things out of. We need to start looking at making less garbage. We can do this by buying less, recycling more, and buying things with less packaging.
- Garbage Games – A whole lot of games to see how much you know about dealing with your rubbish.
- Recycle – Another quiz testing your knowledge on recylcing.
- Recycle Zone – A fun site full of interactive games on recycling and rubbish.
Try our library databases to see what we have online about waste and the environment:
We use water to make electricity, to drink, to water our plants, irrigate our farms, and clean. And we are not the only ones using water. Animals and plants rely on water to survive too. The problem is we are making our water more and more polluted, and using it for more and more things. We need to learn how to use water sparingly, without making it polluted.
- sustainability.govt.nz on water
- Water NZ – Promoting and enabling the sustainable management and development of the water environment
Try our library databases to find out about water and the environment:
- Opposing Viewpoints Database: Water
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Water Pollution
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Water Cycle
Work out your Environmental Impact, your Water Use, your Emissions, and Play Some Games
- International Ecological Footprint Calculator – Find out the impact YOU have on the earth. Is it sustainable?
- Ecological Footprint Calculator – Calculate your impact. If everyone lived like you, what effect would it have on the earth?
- Water Calculator – How much water do you use? And where can you improve?
- CO2 Emmissions – How Carbon Neutral are you? How much greenhouse gases do you help put in the atmosphere? Find out with this quiz.
- How much do you know? – An interactive quiz to find out if you know your environmental stuff!
- World Wildlife Games and Fun – WWF tiger quiz and free environmental e-cards.
What can you do?
The best thing you can do to help the environment is to change your own habits. Look at the pages below and use the calculators above to see what areas of your life you can make a change in.
How do you get to school? What do you do with your organic rubbish? How much energy do you use? How long do you spend in the shower? Or do you take a bath? These are all questions you could be asking yourself.
Have you ever thought about the food you buy? Food that is grown locally has used less energy to get to you, so try and buy locally if you can. Also check out the Red Fish Guide to see what fish has least impact on the environment to eat.
Or you could browse the virtual supermarket shelves online to see which companies are GE Free with the Greenpeace GE Food Guide.
- Department of Conservation: Getting involved in Wellington – A Department of Conservation site dedicated to conservation events, volunteering, projects and awards in Wellington.
- Greater Wellington: Local groups – Greater Wellington’s website with information on lots of local environmental groups.
- Reduce your rubbish
- Zero Waste New Zealand – A great site looking at ways New Zealanders can reduce their waste.
- New Zealand Trust for Conservation Volunteers – Join up as a volunteer for a conservation project!
- Enviroschools – Find out more about the Enviroschools project. what have other schools been doing? What can you do?
- Environment and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa New Zealand – A page full of links to environmental organisations you can get involved in.
- Green Pages – A directory for environmental organisations and businesses. Search within the category and area you are interested in.
- Environaki – An educational website dedicated to sustainability. Some interesting information on permaculture.
- 2007 Sir Peter Blake Environment Youth Forum – Become inspired to be involved in next year’s Youth Forum.
- London greens – Find out what teenagers are doing in London to deal with Climate Change.
A Future helping the earth?
Are you trying to decide what you can do when you leave school? What if you had a career that helped to make a better world? There are heaps of courses around the country that focus on conservation, the environment and its resources. Check these pages out and see if any of them are for you!
- Victoria University: Environmental Studies
- Lincoln University: Bachelor of Environmental Management and Planning
- Massey University: Certificate in Environmental Science
- Otago University: Environmental Science Post-Grad courses
- Otago University: Ecology
- Resource and Environmental Planning Programme, Massey University
- Environmental Science Canterbury University
- Environmental Engineering, Canterbury University
- Natural Resource Engineering, Canterbury University
- Civil and Environmental Engineering, Auckland University
- Certificate in Natural Resources, Lincoln University
- University Of Canterbury: Sustainability Related Courses