Environment Group members enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with Mr John Alexander OAM MP on Wednesday 5th April, 2017 at his office to discuss climate change.
Arden’s enthusiastic Environment Group Coordinator, Mrs Karen Moss, explained: “The purpose of the meeting was for the students to have an opportunity to hear John’s views and offer their views/concerns as future voters, so that they can feel empowered to use their knowledge to enact change. As soon to be voters, I think it is incredibly important for students to be able to engage with their elected members and recognise that the voice of the voter will always be central to a healthy democracy.”
Following the meeting, Mr Alexander shared: “It was a real pleasure to meet such engaged and interested students. The issues they are addressing will affect us all, but future generations most of all. It is really encouraging to see them all taking an interest now, and being proactive in looking at solutions to these global problems. I look forward to continuing on our conversation well into the future.”
The student perspective on the Environment Group…
Oliver Moss, Environment Group Prefect has a vision for the group:
“As a Christian community, we have been explicitly called to not only save the poor, but also be stewards of our environment. This is firstly seen in Genesis 2:15, ‘The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it’. This shows us God’s call to serve and protect the environment. We have a choice to either exercise our power and domination over the environment, in selfish and destructive ways, or to show responsible compassion and kindness, in the same way God loved us. I would like to think that most of us believe in the second option, so now it is time to put that conviction into action. And so I will be rebirthing the Environment Group in the school and provide a platform for the development of Arden students’ awareness and action, and ultimately to promote Arden as a school community that not only serves God’s people but God’s environment. The mission is to elevate the importance of the environment to the Arden community, and raise our conscientiousness of pressing environmental issues, such as palm oil destruction, plastic bottle accumulation in the ocean, animal exploitation and the extinction of species. We aim to look at this on a global scale, but also how some of these issues impact the school. Through participation in the group, we endeavour to respect the environment, to view it with hope, and engage in community action, that demonstrates courage and compassion, while protecting the earth. We aim to speak for those without a voice, to whose survival in the near future, relies upon human choices. For ‘the greatest threat to our environment is the belief that someone else will save it’.”
Background information on Arden’s Environment Group
In Term 1, 2017 the group viewed the world wide acclaimed movie Before the Flood which was created by Leonardo DiCaprio (UN Messenger of Peace for the Environment, with a particular focus on Climate Change). The group had many discussions on the impact of climate change on oceans. The EG then decided to increase awareness by speaking about the issues at assembly and also organising meetings with local members of Parliament to discuss their different viewpoints.
In Term 2 the EG plans to look at rainforest destruction in South East Asia and the subsequent effects on climate change and forest destruction from palm oil usage. This will build upon earlier discussions the group had in Term 4, 2016 when Oliver Moss first became leader of the EG group. At that time they looked at Palm Oil destruction and thus the emotional link of orangutan habitat destruction. They also started an awareness program of which products do and don’t have palm oil using an app and shared at a school assembly about palm oil choices and how to shop ethically with regards to chips, chocolate and toothpaste.