London Graffiti by Sophie Crook

There is a piece of Banksy graffiti that simply has the statement “I don’t believe in global warming” written on the side of a wall against a London canal. The statement is half submerged by the water itself. IAMS student Sophie Crook came across a photo of it and wrote the following about the image.

London Graffiti

This photo says a lot. A lot about what we as humans are and what we are choosing to believe in the world. To use a word as ‘believe’ says much about how we are too stubborn to admit what we have caused. The problem is not the fact that we have made this mess. The problem is the fact that we are blind to our own mistakes and unable to make considerable changes. We have caused a problem and now it is time to pick up the pieces. All we’re doing is discussing it. Blatantly, the words are right on the wall, sea levels are rising and so is the temperature. A contaminated, toxic sheet has been draped over our eyes since 1901 (this was when climate change was first discovered). We are able to see the problem started in our hands, we are able to spray ‘I don’t believe’ on a wall, but unable to use our hands to do anything. We have closed our eyes, let C02 and the ocean take its toll. There is a difference between truth and belief. You may not believe in global warming, but the facts will one day drown you out. You will be unseen, just like this opinion, on a wall in London.

 

Sophie

 

 

 

Frozen Freedom by Rita Paz

1st Year

The cold breeze hit my face leaving my lips frosted. No matter how much lip balm you put on your lips crack. But I didn’t care because I knew that if I could reach the top, the journey would start. I had that heavy breathing provoked by nerves and the little voices in my head were louder than my own. I had one hand holding on and the other one making sure everything was zipped and ready to run. As we reached the top I saw everything and felt… as if nothing mattered right there. I felt just like a bird when it starts flying, with freedom as a price for that one thing that requires practice. The tall man in the distance approached me as my family left me. I was completely amazed by the masterpiece one calls nature. I knew pretty much how to talk Spanish so communication was not my problem but the fear of falling was. I then stabbed the snow underneath me with my stick to push myself forward. I remember the feeling of starting over, like a fish when out of water doesn’t know what to do or even how.

After 2 hours I knew how to not fall and although I could only slide down the beginners way I was already tasting my little freedom. But my biggest fear was yet to come- however tomorrow was going to be a fresh start I thought. And that’s when I discovered the best type of tired someone could imagine because when you lay down in your bed your feet felt as if they were still sliding down the mountains, melting snow and crushing ice. This is what I would call post-freedom syndrome – when your body craves more for that one moment when your courage has won.

The next day I was on the slopes ready to face it. There was a weird thing that pulls you up the slope. ‘So you place the metal stick in-between your legs, fitting a round shaped lid that goes on your bottom ‘ I thought just to confirm. Of course no one told me that I had to pretend like I wasn’t sitting down because otherwise the little pushchair wouldn’t stay and you just fall on the ground. So I went ahead and sat down and fell. My biggest worry was that I was going to be run over by the other starters. So, with no capability to stand up, my feet just slid different ways (and since I couldn’t do the splits) I just lay there waiting for help.

2nd Year

I was ready to put in test all my previously learned skills. Or at least the idea of not falling again. I knew that the beautiful view was different this time, not only because we were going to a different place but because I had been told it had changed. But I had to see it for myself. But once I reached the top I could see nothing different, so why were people telling me such things? From what I’d learnt it was global warming that was causing the snow and ice to melt. But when I got there I thought that no such thing was happening… There was no evidence. ‘How come this snow hasn’t melted?’ I thought. But at that moment everything else was so overwhelming that that one thing vanished from my mind. A few days had passed and all I could see was snow and ice, and more snow and ice.

But this was until I had a lesson and we took a different route this time- not only because I was improving (well, at least I believed so) but also my teacher was getting slightly bored of the same route for 2 hours per day. So I was a bit nervous but this time we took the chair lift- fancier than the fake chair, I must say, for advanced students. We were skiing down the slope and it was so foggy that the only thing I had to guide me was my teacher’s Spanish voice. ‘iVamonos!’ he would scream ( for those of you don’t know Spanish that means let’s go!). The ride was tranquil and I was so proud of myself that I decided that since my lesson was over, I was going with my family up that track again. And so I did until we got to the final part where the fog decided to lift suddenly. This brutally changed the happy family moment. I was terrified. ‘No, no, no, no!’ I screamed in my mum’s face. I decided that going down was going to be impossible. I sat down and just refused. My mum tried to convince me and even in desperation- frighten me with that one stick. I was literally sitting down in the middle of the track, crying and wishing I did not exist. Let’s just say that I was there for about one hour. And then my mum realised I was not going to get up and have an epiphany so she gave up and went to seek for help. While in the process of calming down I decided to not look down and avoid thinking about my ice diaper (by the way so incredibly painful). I looked to my sides. And I could see the type of slushy ice covering the outsides of the track. I thought ‘Well it actually looks like the ice is melting.’ After 5 minutes I was carried down by a special ice motorcycle. And I thought the incident the year before had been the most embarrassing moment of my life. I was wrong. Why was it high season? There were too many witnesses there. On our way back home I was incredibly silent because of those two words ‘Global Warming’.

_______________________________________________________________________________

I was 11 back there, now I am 15 and realise how this issue is getting worse every second. And for our sake I really do hope that working together we’ll put an end to our self-destruction. The small things matter, let’s save the planet together. And maybe who knows when I am older with my kids I will be able to take them through the same ski tracks but not the same experiences.

We of the Western World

We of the western world

Indeed have the power

To preserve what was once held

But have only acted in the closing hour.

 

We stand protected in our bubble,

With our vast wealth

Protecting us from any trouble,

Wasting what can keep our earth in health.

 

How could it take so long to detect?

Why do we show no sorrow?

We know how to profit but not how to protect

The people of tomorrow.

 

Mo Konteh

Thoughts from inspiring quotes.

Martin Luther King JR:’Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter’.

(“Lets be aware of climate change because its real!”)

Albert Einstein: ‘Anything seems impossible until it is overcome’.

(“How do we know that we can’t prevent global warming if we have not tried enough?”)

We should not be afraid of failing the task ahead of us. This fear of failure should not be an excuse for turning away from looking at the problem of climate change. We have to tackle this task and change it for the better. That is why I believe we have to make the world’s leaders and peoples realise that change needs to begin as soon as possible before sea levels rise even higher, before any more species become extinct due to natural disasters, before vast bushfires occur, before severe droughts and floods take place in the next 50 years or even less and before countless more disasters that are just waiting to happen!

Anas Ahmadzai

 

Thoughts on the stories we have told.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the old stories – seeing links between these and the climate change we’ve brought upon our planet. In particular, I’ve been thinking about Pandora’s Box and also The Expulsion from Eden and seeing, in these tales, ripples out to the story of now.

In the Climate Change version of Pandora’s Box we were all complicit in the whispering urging to open that box, “for the advancement of human kind open it now Pandora!” And once it was out we couldn’t or wouldn’t put it back – unlike Pandora, we were entranced not horrified by what we’d released.

And did a weary God shake their head as we plucked that apple of knowledge – the one that made us so very aware of all we wanted and all we could take from the garden we were supposed to care for? It was the moment we exalted ourselves above all nature; the moment we believed ourselves to be somehow both separate and more than all that. Yet, once expelled, we didn’t heed the lesson, but instead like a petulant child we obstinately and defiantly repeated and expanded our mistakes. Of course, in the retelling we insisted that it had been God who had exalted us in the first place.

Did we ever really feel our connection with this wondrous place – our home? Was there a time when we rejoiced in our position as a small component of all that our home is? A time when we understood how we were a mere strand of all that existed? A time when we knew that a tug or break on this strand or that led to the unravelling of so much more? A time when we heard Gaia’s heartbeat – when lying on the earth watching the ants toil felt like watching the universe? A time when laying palm upon the soil felt like placing a hand upon your own skin?

Now we gleefully disembowel her in a frenzy of greed and displace the truth tellers who, inconveniently, tend the places we have set out to plunder. So I wonder, Pandora, what little scrap is left fluttering at the bottom of the box – is it still hope? And Adam and Eve when will you understand that you are but a tiny singular strand of that whole precious web?

Iluska Farkas, London Substation coordinator

 

 

 

Mother Nature……… by Anas Ahmadzai

The painfully sharp sapphire blue sky covers the above,

Skin flakes are grateful to have salty sweat moisture,

Cracks are inevitably dry on the face of the earth,

Like the dry rashes that lay on your arm , the dry land silently begs for moisture,

A heavy blessing from the heavens would only do for all,

Mother Nature’s eyes were once like glaciers but are now drowned in tears,

Mother Nature’s skin once like golden desert sand but now dry like the present cracks,

We’re not playing a game of poker,

If we risk our Mother Nature then we lose all,

We will lose all.

 

Hello from Islington Arts and Media School, UK

Hello to all Substations out there!

We’d like to introduce ourselves to you. We are a happy multicultural school in the London borough of Islington with committed staff, lots of facilities and many exciting opportunities to develop our talents further such as this Weather Stations project.

The IAMS substation is a group of Year 10 (15 year olds) students who have been working with Free Word. We meet up for a regular after school session with the Substation Co-ordinator from Free Word. We have also met up with some of the Weather Station’s international writers. So far we’ve; considered our favourite weather and childhood memories with Tony Birch from Australia; discussed writing from our own experiences with Xiaolu Guo from London; learnt about crafting a narrative with Oisin McGann from Ireland. Take a look at some of our writing on the Global Weather Stations website.

We are in the heart of busy urban London near to Finsbury Park station and not far from Arsenal Football Club. Some of us have lived in different countries however this project is introducing us to scenes, thoughts and ideas from around our planet and we’re very excited to be heading to Berlin later this year and meeting all of you!

So, goodbye for now and see you in September.

IAMS Substation.

There is never enough water … by Rita Paz

The earth is in a cry for help.

Our skin burns like never before

as cracks cannot be filled in, as if the earth’s crust

was like glass.

As we take a wrong step we break our surface.

Pods cannot grow in such darkness.

We act as if there is no right or wrong on our planet.

But is there a solution to the decay of earth?

Are we saving ourselves or are we never learning the lesson, until

until…

until it is too late.

Are we as intelligent as we think we are?

Is our brain big enough to understand that without a planet, we cannot study the planet!

So should we keep searching for WATER in the Universe or SAVE the ONE that we HAVE?

THINK.

There is no more hope…by Mo Konteh

The unforgiving clouds release no rain

Skin is as dry as the ground we walk

Cracks appear and cannot be covered

Like a fish out of water, it is hard to cope.

A droplet would create peace of mind,

Pods of replenishing goodness is a thing of yesterday.

There is no more hope.

Never did I expect to admit this.

Is this a sign of weakness…

Enough warnings were given.

Water is gone and we are to blame.

A memory by Bella Amodeo

 

For me the sea used to be a beautiful place with a pleasant atmosphere but now as things change, the sea also changes in to a dangerous weapon that takes lives rather than regenerates them…

                                                                       

                                                        As I walked closer to my new discovery                   imagesCAZTWVAZ  

I could hear the light blue waves

washing up on to the hot golden sand.

As I approached the waves I could feel

the scorching earth grow colder and colder

until I stopped and waited for the transparent water to tickle my toes.

The blazing sun beamed down on my back

turning me red like a lobster.

The delicate ocean touched me gently

giving me goosebumps all over my skin

As the waves retreated they drew me in.

I followed their lead and threw myself in to that deeper world,

My body moving quickly in shock from this new sensation.

I let this feeling wash over me so I could explore this new

magical place that I now found myself in.