children's stories

Doctor earth's emergency callout
written & illustrated by Grandad

 

"My dear friend, we have no time to waste, we need to assemble the team, we have an emergency on our hands," said Doctor Earth, to his dear friend Doctor Stein."  "Is it that bad my dear friend, asked Doctor Stein. Doctor Earth  told him to follow him to the airport and he would tell him on the way, but they had to get to the assembly point, as soon as possible, as there was no time to lose.

Within three hours, they arrived and Doctor Earth started to brief the team, however before he started, he told them, he just wanted to show them one image, which will explain everything and he showed the image you can see here. After an hour, everyone knew what they had to do and started to leave to go to their start point. Everyone knew that the Earth needed not only their help, but everyone's help on the planet.

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It was still the beginning of the first morning, but the team who were targetted to check underground, had been working since five in the morning. There was a sense of urgency in the work they were doing, nobody was really talking and were concentrating on the tasks they had to do. Scientists had recently discovered that the Earth's crust was moving and their initial measurements has shown the scientists were correct. The team were actually right under the Antarctica and they could see it was much wetter and that their markings from the last two years showed major movement.

So, I know you are wondering, what is causing the Earth's crust to move. Let me explain, climate change is attacking our glaciers and ice sheets, it is causing them to constantly melt, at a much faster rate. This melt causes the Earth’s crust to deform and the movement is due to sudden loss of weight on the surface, as huge chunks of ice melts, leading to vertical and horizontal movement.

 

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Doctor Earth was attending a conference, where many of the world's politicians and scientists had gathered, he was there to give a talk and decided to shock them all. He appeared on the stage, wearing a white boiler suit, a mask, blue gloves and a small model of the earth. For the first two minutes he said nothing and then said," Science has painted a very very clear picture, climate change is happening; you can't hide any more from this fact."

It is caused almost entirely by our species, yes, us humans and it is creating many serious and damaging effects. The primary cause of climate change is our activities, there is no one else to blame, driving our cars, creating electricity and cutting down forests, just to name a few.  This is not natural changes in the climate, you can't blame nature for this. Our activities release gases into the atmosphere called greenhouse gases, which slowly warm the planet, creating climate change., which in turn is slowly killing our planet.

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Our activities are increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. One type of greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, has reached a level in our atmosphere that the Earth hasn’t seen for more than, wait for it, in four hundred thousand years and we are meant to be the most intelligent species, on our planet, I am not so sure that is right, any longer.

Plants, soils, and the ocean can absorb carbon dioxide, but they can’t keep up with all the extra greenhouse gases that we have been releasing. Also, some greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for a long time, from hundreds to even thousands of years. All these gases are making things hotter than natural, so we need to stop producing them to avoid climate change. Not just talk about, but actually act now.

 
   

Two hundred years ago, we had the Industrial Revolution and it changed how people lived their lives. Overnight, there were huge developments in science and manufacturing. People burned lots of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to power new factories and machines. Since then, we have burnt more and more fossil fuels to run our cars and planes, power technology and heat our homes. But here’s the real problem, when you burn fossil fuels, it releases harmful gases into our atmosphere.

This is one of the main causes of climate change, but that's not the worst of it, we have destroyed important natural habitats, like forests, to make space for farmland and buildings. Clearing enormous areas of land, in some cases, the size of an average country, then farming them intensively also releases a lot of harmful gases and also causes climate change.

 
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One of Doctor Earth's team, was his dear friend Doctor Stein. Now Doctor Stein was a force to himself, he had one speed, his speed and nothing can change that speed. Saying that, Doctor Stein was the best doctor in his field, he was totally in tune with the planet and what he didn't know about the planet, was not worth knowing. After two days of conducting his experiments, he did an unusual thing and called Doctor Earth on his phone. Two things, no-one knew he had a mobile and secondly he NEVER called Doctor Earth.

So when Doctor Earth heard Doctor Stein's voice, he knew it was not good news. Without Doctor Earth knowing, Doctor Stein had been in contact, with all the other teams, getting their findings and realising that Earth was in a even worse state, then anybody realised.

   

Sadly, climate change is already affecting our wildlife all over the world, but certain species are suffering more than others. We all love Polar animals, but did you know, their icy natural habitat is rapidly melting in the warmer temperatures and are particularly at risk. The real horror of this, is that, scientists believe that the Arctic Sea ice is melting at a shocking rate of nine percent every ten years.  The one animal that reminds us all of the Artic, is the Polar Bear, but did you know, it needs sea ice to be able to hunt, to raise their young and as a place to rest after long periods of swimming, while it hunts.

When Doctor Earth and his team got to the Artic, they were horrified by what they found. The ice was melting much faster than they expected and it was heart breaking to see Polar animals stranded on small pieces of ice drifting in the Artic Sea. They also saw that glaciers were melting much more quickly.

   

After a week of putting the report together, Doctor Earth gathered his team and told them, that not only must governments understand the extreme urgency, but also that children should be told, so that they could put pressure on the grown ups, to actually do something and not sit on their hands. We need to explain, climate change affects us all, it doesn't pick and choose, it truly does affect us all.

As the Earth warms, we can all see, we are getting more unpredictable and extreme weather. Big storms and heavy rainfall are causing extreme flooding. Record high temperatures are triggering droughts and wildfires. Melting ice caps are making sea levels rise. Even our seasons are changing, and our wildlife is getting really confused by warmer winters and earlier springs.

So, you are asking yourself, can we stop climate change? Yes, it does sound scary, but don’t be too scared, because there is hope for a better future. If we all act together now, we can actually slow down the rate of climate change and prevent the worst effects. One of the most important things, we can do is to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. This means making changes to the way we all live, but it needs to start now, not tomorrow, but today.

   

   

what can you do?

You are probably thinking, as an individual, there isn't much you can do as a single person and whatever you did won't make a difference. But, you are very wrong, every single one of us, needs to make small changes, to help halt climate change, together it adds up to a massive change. Here is a simple example, we all use plastic cups, if you choose from today not to use them any more and ask your family and friends to do the same, this will in turn prevent thousands of plastic cups on a yearly basis turning up in our oceans and landfills.

Below are some simple actions we all can do, to save the planet, it is not a complete list, but just a start.

 

   

Actions to Save Our Planet

These actions will help, so tell your family and friends about them

*  Buy and use less plastic. *  Use a reusable water bottle.
*  Avoid single use plastic. *  Sort and recycle rubbish.
*  Plant trees. *  Write to your local council, ask them what they are doing.
*  Reduce your waste. *  Turn lights off when leaving a room.
*  Avoid wasting water. *  Educate family and friends about what they can do.
*  Try not to waste paper. *  Walk and share travel when you can.