This October we will deliver an open letter to Universities UK, and every Vice-chancellor in the UK, to ask them to support academics who wish to take paid sabbaticals or fellowships with companies. Scientists could work with NGOs working directly in the field from solar installation to ecological restoration to adaptation for towns and cities.
We also wish to lobby universities to give credit to students who conduct a meaningful internship over a term; from tree planting for first years, to installing solar for PhD engineering students. The NUS have already madea a great start with a project called Placements For Good. We hope to support this initiative and help them expand.
The world needs to build solar and wind energy systems at a rapid pace. The only way this will happen is with millions of trained people with the appropriate engineering skills.
We propose the creation of ultra low cost solar and wind turbine kit that can be linked to a Rasberry Pi or other devices to teach basic solar and wind power construction in schools and universities. These systems will be small but will be exact replicas of existing renewable energy systems.
This is an attempt to scale the leadership work done by academics and students to anyone with time to help avert the oncoming crisis. We already have a page where people from the UK can find options for volunteering right now. In the future, we hope to streamline this into a public/private initiative similar to countries that require mandatory national military service.
We will lobby those countries to create an climate/eco-restoration option where national service is mandatory and introduce a voluntary national service in every country.
We shouldn’t waste any time preparing our children for the future. We want to get them involved in important but simple ecological restoration projects such as planting bee friendly plants, helping put solar on their school roofs, learning how to adapt to changing weather conditions and more.
To that end, we will 'do our bit' and support scientists and educators already working on impactful action lessons and lobby for these lessons to become part of the national curriculum of all countries.