What you can expect:
- This is why every child in the world has to know!
- The Classroom
- Madness, Insanity!
- Yesterday We Were Only One Step from the Abyss, Today …
- The Chief Culprits
-The Nuclear Age and Its Waste Problem
- Garbage, Garbage and More Garbage
-The Super Wealthy and Their Character
- Of Hunters and Gatherers or Bears and Berries
- Modern Slavery versus “The 2,000 Watt Society”
- It’s Too Much for Our Brains to Handle
- Nobody Can Avoid Physics
- A Lesson in Physics
- Thank Goodness for Chemistry!
- Geography Ought to do the Trick
- Power Creates Murderous Monsters
- Easter Island
- Maybe Religions will Help Us?
- “Without Music, …
- Current Headlines (November 2018)
- Hope Dies Last
- Vision for 2020
- Hymn to Earth
Dear children, dear adults,
dear politicians of the world,
I am writing this curriculum out of desperation, as a father of three children, as a grandfather of four grandchildren, and as a secondary school teacher with nearly forty years of teaching experience. After spending more than six decades on this beautiful planet, I wonder, “What are we leaving for the generations to come?” Nuclear waste, a climate out of control, mountain landscapes without glaciers, immeasurable environmental damage, filthy and empty oceans, deforested old-growth forests, polluted air, and landscapes covered in concrete! (WWF report from 10/30/2018)
As astronauts (e.g. Alexander Gerst, WWF, YouTube) have confirmed, there is only one earth to be found far and wide. Viewed from the moon, the planet Earth disappears behind the thumb of an outstretched hand (Jim Lovell, Apollo 8,13). If an alien species were to watch from 400 km above the planet as we wage war against each other, burning down the primary forest and polluting the air, they would come to the conclusion that there is no intelligent life on this planet, because its inhabitants are destroying the very basis of their own existence. We, as intelligent and highly civilized adults, mercilessly exploit this planet and our children and grandchildren are the ones on the losing end. We high-tech people are brutally heating up the earth, so much that all glaciers worldwide will soon be melting away.
Here is the fantastic picture of the rising Earth taken from the moon (Earthrise, Apollo 8). Even children in kindergarten are captivated by the moon documentary “In the Shadow of the Moon”. We need to clearly communicate to every child in this world just how fragile and unique our planet is! This is the only way to make them aware of the fact that we must protect this precious jewel of ours.
This is why every child in the world has to know!
- There is only one Earth.
- Currently, the industrial nations need between 3 (CH) and 8 (Qatar) earths, amounting to a worldwide total of 1.7 (WWF 30/10/2018) and 2 by 2050. In this way, they are robbing raw materials from future generations (Footprint, Earth Overshoot Day).
- The way of life in civilized, highly developed nations is destroying the very foundation of life for future generations, both through the exploitation of resources and global warming.
- Every advanced civilization has been destroyed: Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Easter Island, etc. (Collapse, by Jared Diamond); this phenomenon used to happen regionally, now it’s at a global level!
- Parents don’t even think about the future of their children; they live by the principle “devil may care” Therefore, from now on, it’s the children who must educate their parents!
- “Cheap” (also: “greed is great”) always means current consumption at the expense of other people and the environment (movie “We Feed the World”)
-We can (still) save the planet, but we must hurry! We must shift as quickly as possible away from fossil fuels towards hydrogen and a 2000-watt society.
All students wear school uniforms because they are practical, do not distract from the lessons and convey a sense of unity. This also prevents children in camouflage clothing from running around like child soldiers and feeling as if they are something special. The stress of having to wear clothes from known fashion labels is also a thing of the past, just as ugly skulls bringing death and depravity into the classroom instead of happiness and life.
The basic cultural techniques of mathematics, reading and writing are incredibly important for children to learn so that they are able to understand how life works. By studying subjects about people and the world around us, the child will learn how to marvel and understand that we are responsible for our planet. Using tangible examples, they learn all about the earth’s exploitation, namely, where, who and how it is taking place. The bigger picture is fully revealed, showing the causes and effects and ultimately how refugee flows occur. The collective strides we have made towards saving our planet hang on one wall, and the current environmental disasters on the other.
Suggestions regarding how to help the planet recover are discussed in a multidisciplinary way and the lessons are repeated once again at home. New expressions of our existence, such as food waste, carbon footprint, peak oil, fuel cell, true-cost pricing, and Earth Overshoot Day, are basically discussed and then shared with parents at home.
The students realize that the very foundation of their existence is at stake because adults are destroying our earth, and that they must save Planet Earth by bringing about a rigorous change in the way their parents and grandparents live.
They also learn that their bodies are a miracle of nature, which they must use and protect. It is up to the committed, highly motivated teacher to determine just how the children should learn these things. Naturally, it is important that the knowledge is always up-to-date and that the focus is placed on the suffering of the planet.
The room is filled with various home-made solar toys and science kits. Photos from the Hubbel telescope show the infinite variety and the incomprehensible dimensions of our universe, “the blue marble,” as it moves alone on its solitary orbit around the sun. At the end of the school year, the students show their parents, the press and politicians what progress has been made during the year and what is in store for the upcoming school year.
On Earth Overshoot Day, children from all over the world march in protest carrying posters, showing through the media that from the end of July (8/1/2018, declining trend) adults from the First World are pilfering the resources which rightfully belong to the children. Earth Overshoot Day is accompanied by two car-free Sundays. Each industrialized nation also organizes a “National Overshoot Day” (“Black No – Future Day”), which in Switzerland takes place in April (5/7/2018, downward trend). It is preceded by a car-free Sunday and is followed by another car-free Sunday. Again, children nationwide protest that their raw materials and energy supplies are being stolen from them. The same happens in Qatar at the beginning of February, in Vietnam at the end of December and never in Bangladesh.
Regular excursions to hotspots such as the Smdk (Kölliken hazardous waste landfill, CH), nuclear power plants, institutes of learning such as Technorama, PSI (Paul Scherrer Institute, Würenlingen, CH), the Swiss Museum of Transport with its planetarium and the Umweltarena (Environment Arena) help to deepen their knowledge and enable the students to make contact with fully-fledged professionals, who are subsequently bombarded with uncomfortable questions.
Heroes hailing from the fields of science and business regularly give lectures. For instance, Josef Jenni, Anton Gunzinger, Ralph Schnyder, Lino Guzzella …who, after their presentations, subsequently answer critical and sobering questions.
50 years ago, humans walked on the moon (movie “In the Shadow of the Moon”). This technical master achievement gives us hope. Even then, it was known that hydrogen was the only energy source that could make such incredible adventures possible. Unfortunately, the fuel cell has fallen into oblivion as a power source and is only now being further developed. Instead, in recent decades, a number of insane developments have taken place; here are only a handful of them:
- Trends show that there are more and more super rich and golden parachutes, as well as more and more super poor.
- You can even win over 1,000 million in the lottery (= 1 billion)
- The Mini Cooper, which was originally conceived as a fuel-saving car during the 1973 oil crisis, has doubled its weight from 750 kg to 1.5 t!
- All cars have become wider and heavier. The geographic area of Switzerland (and the rest of the world) cannot increase in size, but the population has almost doubled in the same time period!
- Parent drive their children to school, thus jeopardizing friendships, depriving the children of social contact and daily fitness.
- During the winter, people walk around in their overheated houses (apartments) wearing their underwear.
- People drive many miles to go shopping across the border, without factoring in the car.
- Engine power has increased, as well as acceleration, despite the massive increase in the number of hours spent in traffic jams.
- Cruises are extremely detrimental to the environment, but cheap and satisfying, thus very popular. The passengers overcrowd the villages, restaurants and restrooms during their shore excursions and are a nuisance to the local residents.
- Flying has become, in the truest sense of the word, dirt-cheap and it is now considered a human right.
- School graduation trips are made by plane (e.g. to Berlin)
- We expect a world population of 10 billion = 10,000 million by 2050
- Glaciers are being covered with plastic film to save them
- Greed is great – the ubiquitous mentality of consumer madness
- Packaging and garbage insanity is rampant
- > 10-fold overkill: Humanity could be wiped out several times over with our existing (nuclear) weapon arsenals
The list is far from being complete and could be continued at length, but the fun’s over now! In order for our feverish and abused planet to thrive again, drastic measures are needed, which must be implemented immediately (from 2020):
- Reduced speed limits: 22/55/77 means 22 km/h (15 mph) in cities and on mountain pass roads, 55 km/h (35 mph) outside cities, 77 km/h (50 mph) on highways, across the board, worldwide
- Install quiet road surfaces (silent asphalt) with the lowest rolling resistance everywhere
- The shoulder lanes will immediately be opened for electric mobility, including e-bikes
- General ban on two-stroke engines (mopeds, garden tools, etc.)
- Cars will be taxed according to weight x floor area x cubic capacity (e.g. 2 t x 4 m² x 2500 cm³ = 20,000 USD). This is money we need for hydrogen research at the Swiss University for Sciences and Technology (ETH), universities, polytechnic colleges
- Car-free Sundays, Electric Mobility Sundays, prohibition of car and motorcycle races
- Combating garbage: 5 dollar deposit on aluminum cans and glass bottles
- All houses will be optimally insulated and equipped with a solar power unit
- Billionaires will each be obligated to invest half of their assets in hydrogen research, which would generate > 2000 x 0.5 bn > 1000 bn > 1 trillion dollars
- Impose environmental taxes on fossil fuels
- Nothing’s free anymore, with the exception of clean air and sunshine
- All lottery jackpots are limited to 1000 dollars
- VIPs from movies, music and sports (possibly worthy politicians) volunteer their time to save our planet (Leonardo di Caprio is special envoy of the UNO for the climate, Roger Federer is …? Ronaldo, Messi is …?) Cate Blanchett: Solar Aid activist
- There will be no more advertising, apart from those promoting the protection of the planet (contraception, one-child marriages)
- The absolutely transparent, all-encompassing true-cost pricing shall be applied to all products
- Effective immediately, 1 m³ of drinking water costs 5 dollars, as does 1 m³ of waste water
This list can go on and on for as long as you like. The longer we wait to implement what at first glance appear to be radical measures, the worse they will be in the future. Many of the above proposals will not hurt you at all, but rather they will improve your quality of life: less noise, less congestion, fewer accidents, more fitness and better air.
Yesterday we were one step away from the abyss, today (2016–2018) we are already one step further:
- Forest fires in Portugal, Greece, and California have claimed dozens of lives
- The glaciers are melting twice as fast as expected and have already lost 20% of their mass (not their length) over the past 10 years
- Heavy rainfalls in Sierra Leone have claimed hundreds of lives
- Severe drought in South Sudan
- Landslides in Switzerland claiming lives
- Wars over water and raw materials due to overpopulation
- Extreme extinctions of species, e.g., insects
- Pandemics: diabetes, cardiovascular problems
- Driest summer in a long time in Northern Europe: Emergency slaughter of livestock due to insufficient water and food on mountain pastures
Key culprits behind the destruction of our planet:
fossil fuels coal, oil, natural gas
150 years ago, crude oil was discovered by chance. It was much easier to handle than coal. Since it was liquid, had a very high energy content, and initially freely gushed out of the boreholes, it was ideal for transportation and combustion.
At that time, nobody thought about the consequences of being totally dependent upon it and about the impact that exhaust emissions would have on the atmosphere. The first time a rude awakening occurred was during the 1973 oil crisis. The Arabs shut off the oil supply and oil quickly became a scarce commodity. I remember the stockpiling of garbage bags that replaced the garbage can and the three car-free Sundays that we boys enjoyed so much. Venezuela is the most recent example of just how vicious dependence on fossil fuels is. Although this oil-rich country actually has an abundance of energy, the people are impoverished, stand in front of empty shelves and even end up as refugees. We have to carefully analyze this contemporary example and learn from it.
Switzerland once swore to be free and independent, but we are in fact heavily dependent (> 75%) on oil and gas, which we ourselves do not own. Currently, our main suppliers are Nigeria and Kazakhstan, with most of the natural gas coming from Russia.
The financial consequence is the outflow of enormous amounts of money to countries abroad and into the pockets of terrorists and totalitarian regimes. There is talk of one billion dollars per month or, to put it another way, 12,000 million dollars per year going into the wrong hands. Wherever so much money is at stake, wars are waged that trigger immense suffering and massive streams of refugees. This is money we urgently need here for education and research!
We must keep in mind at all times the fact that huge environmental catastrophes are associated with the extraction and transport of fossil fuels in the form of pictures and reports (tar sands, fracking, oil tanker accidents, offshore oil rigs exploding or destroyed by storms: movie “Deepwater Horizon”, …)
The worst and most insidious thing about coal, crude oil and natural gas are the exhaust fumes that are emitted into the atmosphere during its combustion. Today, we know that carbon dioxide, CO2, is a major contributor to global warming (An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore). Since 2012, every summer has become hotter and since 2018 there has not been enough rainfall. Alternating periods of drought and storms drive people out of their homeland. The worldwide melting of glaciers has had dramatic consequences on water supply, energy production and permafrost in the high mountains. The Bondo landslide was just a taste of the dramatic effects of global warming. The insurance branch needs to ask itself about the affordability. Ten years ago, economist Nicolas Stern already called for investments in climate protection, “If we do not invest now, we will have to repair it later and we will no longer be able to afford it”! Let’s take a look at the environmental damage inflicted upon the Mediterranean in October/November 2018 and the number of deaths resulting from it.
The Swiss people, and thus many parents and grandparents, have rejected the Energy Tax Act 2015 with > 90 %. In doing so, they have missed a crucial turning point towards another course, which their children and grandchildren will have to formulate in a much more painful and extreme way and incorporate into the constitution. There simply is no truth available about the actual costs for fossil fuel consumption! Profits go to the oil industry, while environmental damage is borne by the general public. In his book “Power Plant Switzerland” (Kraftwerk Schweiz), Anton Gunzinger calculated what a liter of gasoline should actually cost and came up with more than 10 dollar/liter. With his amazing computers, he has also proven that people in Switzerland can live without oil and gas in the future.
So, we must also ask ourselves what is to come after oil, which is readily available? The so-called “peak oil” (movie: Oil Crash) has most probably long since been exceeded, oil is increasingly difficult to find and extract (offshore, tar sands, fracking, etc.). Prices will skyrocket, the economy will collapse, a real ticking time bomb for our children and grandchildren! Yet another reason to move away from oil as soon as possible.