Our Middle School has had the environment on its mind this week. Last Friday, the Eco-warriors won a presentation from the BC Sustainability Energy Association, which had SMUS students role-playing conversations about reducing their family’s carbon footprint.
Science 7 students had just wrapped up their Ecosystems unit, which they ended with presentations on humanity’s impact on nature. Now, SMUS is participating in the BCSEA Climate Change Showdown, where students must implement carbon-saving endeavors at home and then submit their results to see how they measure up.
Below, two Science 7 students share their presentations on humanity’s ecological impact and their plans for the Climate Change Showdown, which runs until February 10.
Genetically Modified Foods
My topic was genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I decided to choose this topic for three reasons. One, I believe very deeply that GMOs should be banned from our country, or at least be labelled, which leads into my second reason. Organic is as much a part of my lifestyle as waking up to go brush your teeth in the morning, which means the discussion of “why GMOs are harmful to our health and world” is always talked about in my household. My third reason involves my background knowledge on this subject. I have been to both GMO protests in Victoria, one of them being the march against Monsanto. I was first introduced to Monsanto and GMOs when I was ten when my mom started talking about the big issue. Ever since then I have been very keen about avoiding GMOs and supporting labeling and hopefully banning.
We did a very effective and educational project on human impact. Some of the options were GMOs, the Enbridge pipeline, and the great Pacific garbage patch. In our GMO project we created a slideshow and video about the impact GMOs are causing in the world. A whopping 395 million acres of the world is GMO farming space, including 93 percent of soy, 88 percent of corn and 68 percent of cotton grown in China. The worldwide GMO protest that happened last year in October went down in over 52 different countries and 436 cities. In all of these marches all citizens were protesting the same thing: “No More GMOs, We have the right to know!” – all up and down the streets of our city and theirs.
A few of the challenges I will be engaging in from the Climate Change Showdown are: planting my own garden, walking to school or biking, unplugging devices so energy isn’t wasted. I love the idea of how we can help our environment by doing the simple, small and effortless actions to help our earth.
Oil Sands and Pipeline
by Chris E.
My Science 7 Human Impact Project was on the proposed Enbridge Pipeline. The project was about how the Enbridge Pipeline will affect the environment.
I chose this topic because I believe that if the Enbridge Pipeline goes through that it could impact one of the most endangered species in Canada, the Spirit Bear, as well as the Great Bear Rainforest.
In our project one of the most important facts that I learned was that if a supertanker (length of 2½ football fields) crashed in the Kitimat Inlet, the oil spill would spread into the surrounding water and cover the shoreline for at least 22 km from the spill. This would destroy marine habitat and pristine wilderness shorelines where the Spirit Bear makes its home.
The pipeline itself is its own problem. To build the route for the pipeline will mean destruction of wilderness as land is cleared. If there is a leak or break in the pipe, there will be further destruction of local habitat, which impacts not only animals and water, but also impacts the food web in that area.
We also discovered in our research that Enbridge has covered up small oil leaks from their pipelines in the past. They covered these spills with sand, tarps and then planted grass seed on top. These are the leakages that you don’t hear about.
I am personally against the pipeline due to the environmental impact on the different species of plants and animals and the great risk to the Great Bear Rainforest.
I am looking forward to the Climate Change Showdown. I am going to try these actions: local food, tire trick and online quizzes.