Sunday, 28 October 2007

Geogtastic Photo Competition!

A few more excellent entries for the Geogtastic Photo Competition have arrived in the past couple of days... If you haven't got yours in yet, you have until the end of school on Friday (2nd November) to email it or bring it to me in the Hums Block on a CD or memory stick...

Don't forget - the competition is open to all SHS students, staff and parents... No theme - anything Geogtastic goes!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Atlas Schmatlas!

Well, my intentions of doing lots of work have been thwarted yet again by the arrival of a parcel from Amazon containing Atlas Schmatlas... Only had a quick look so far, but it looks fantastic! I'm particularly liking the Climate Map of the World (we live in an "Umbrella now and again" zone) and the story of the was between the penguins and the polar bears...

Not very happy at all about the ridiculous amount of packaging it arrived with though...

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Could you be a Climate Change Champion?

"Are you passionate about the environment? Could you spread the message about climate change and represent England?"

Then visit the Climate Change Champions 2008 website and find out more about what sounds like a fantastic opportunity!

Some ideas to get you started here... But you'll have to get your skates on - the closing date is 9th November!

Britain to claim parts of Antarctic seabed...

Back in September, we heard stories of a "Cold Rush" with Russia planting a flag on the Arctic seabed...

This week, it was announced that the UK Foreign Office is preparing a claim to extend British Antarctic territory by a million square kilometres and increase Britain's oil, gas and mineral rights... Mining in the Antarctic is currently banned by the Madrid Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty, but this is up for review in 2041. A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said that there were no plans at the moment to exploit mineral deposits in the Antarctic, but that the claim would be a "safeguard for the future".
The map below shows the current British Antarctic claim...

Unsurprisingly, the plans have been condemned by environmental groups... Go here to see what Greenpeace have to say about it all.

What do you think? Should Britain - or anyone else - be claiming Antarctic territory? Should mineral exploitation be allowed? Who should make the decisions about these issues?

"Sat-nav helps African tribe"

I've just found this interesting story on the BBC website about a Dutch logging company who are working with a tribe in the rainforest of the Congo basin to protect the tribe's way of life.

The Pygmies have been provided with GPS units, which they are using to mark sacred trees, hunting areas, water holes, the tombs of their ancestors, areas of medicinal plants, and other sites that they want to protect. The information is then used to create a map so that the forest can be managed and developed more sustainably.

Brighton Bag Ban??

An interesting story from the BBC here - good idea?? Will it work? Should it be happening all over the country??

The greenest city in Britain is...

This one, according to a news article that my sister's just sent me! Do you know where it is??

Friday, 19 October 2007

One World, One Environment

8PBr (or those of them who hadn't disappeared off on holiday already anyway!) had a great end to their Environmental Issues unit this morning with a videoconference on "sustainability".

We linked up via Global-Leap in London with a lady called Mary Gower at the Centre for Alternative Technology in southern Snowdonia, and talked about resources, conflict, water, deforestation, Fairtrade, carbon footprinting, eco-footprinting and lots more. I particularly liked Mary's definition of sustainability - "treating the planet as though we intend to stay" - rather simpler than some of the others I've seen, but conveys the concept quite clearly!

The website that Mary mentioned where you can calculate your eco-footprint is here There are lots of other eco-footprint and carbon footprint calculators online as well - this one from the WWF is quite good . I like to think that I am quite good in terms of recycling, switching off lights and appliances, using energy-saving lightbulbs, etc. BUT my eco-footprint according to the first quiz is 1.9 planets, and 2.7 planets according to the WWF one... both smaller than the UK average - but bigger than they should be!! The main reasons, I think, are driving to work, living by myself and not being vegetarian...

As for the Centre for Alternative Technology... I haven't managed to get there yet, but am quite keen to go and check it out (I've been told there's a fantastic café and bookshop there!!)... Have a look at their website by clicking on the banner below...

Work out your footprint and leave a comment to let us know what it was and how you are going to reduce it (if you need to!)... And if you've been to the C.A.T., tell us all about it!

Monday, 15 October 2007

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day - the aim is to get bloggers all around the world posting about the same issue - THE ENVIRONMENT.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

We hear stories about the environment every day in the news... melting sea ice, carbon footprints, renewable energy, extreme weather events, resources running out, deforestation, animals becoming extinct, food miles, packaging, the list goes on... Many of the posts on Geogtastic have been about environmental issues and we're increasingly being told that we should be recycling, composting, walking to work/school, buying British food, switching off lights, etc.

So... over to you... Leave a comment about the environmental issues YOU'RE concerned about... ARE you concerned about the environment? Which issue worries you most? What do you to to help the environment? What else could you do??

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Geogtastic Photo Competition!

If you are going away at half-term (or even if you're not), make sure that you have your camera with you and that you are taking plenty of geographical photos!

The third Geogtastic Photo Competition is open to all SHS students, parents and staff, and the closing date will be Friday 2nd November. Entries can be brought to me in the Hums Block on a CD or memory stick, or can be emailed to (make sure your name - and form if you are student - is included).

There is no theme this time, so anything goes, as long as it is geographical... Happy snapping!!

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Things are warming up in South Georgia!

As the temperatures are falling here, things are warming up in South Georgia. 8PBr were very interested to have a look at the fantastic South Georgia webcam this morning, and there's now a seal lying on the beach! Not long now til the return of the penguins!

For those of you new to Geogtastic, if you click on the South Georgia label at the bottom of this post, you will be able to see all the other posts about South Georgia. There are several other pictures taken from the webcam, so you can see how the weather, wildlife, etc are different at different times of the year!