BOOK

Howzat!

By Mike Lefroy
Illustrated by Liz Anelli
Walker Books, 2014

This is a visual journey that celebrates children playing cricket in Australia, England, Antigua and Barbuda, the United States, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India — all connected by Mike Lefroy’s joyous poem about the simple pleasures of playing the game in the backyard, garden, beach, or park.

This optimistic book presents an opportunity to teach important concepts about climate change to young people. Why wouldn’t we want to act on climate change to ensure that these wonderfully vibrant children around the world will have a safe future?

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate

By Naomi Klein
Penguin Books, 2014

Naomi Klein believes it is absolutely possible to turn the crisis of climate change around and end the war against Nature. She argues eloquently that we have failed to take action on climate change because we have failed to tackle dominant global capitalism that demands insatiable growth. Multinationals’ carbon emission profits remain more important than cataclysmic climate collapse.

Klein argues governments no longer have the will to say “no” to the powerful fossil fuel industry.

Strong investment is needed in public services to buffer climate catastrophes, she says: we can no longer afford to downsize government funding to education, health, public transport, emergency services and food security.

Despite 97 per cent of scientists confirming the crisis of climate change, Klein exposes how the multinationals have funded journalists, scientists, lobbyists and policymakers into discrediting action on climate change and moving to renewable energy.

The battle between climate change and capitalism has been occurring for the last 30 years, she says, and capitalism “wins every time the need for economic growth is used as the excuse for putting off climate action yet again, or for breaking emission reduction commitments already made. It wins when Greeks are told their only path out of economic crisis is to open up their beautiful seas to high-risk oil and gas drilling ... It wins when a park in Istanbul is slotted for demolition to make way for yet another shopping mall ... It wins every time we accept that we have only bad choices available to us: austerity or extraction, poisoning or poverty”.

Both books are available from Federation Library.

Janine Kitson is a casual teacher.

Classroom Activities

Howzat!

Small group/pair discussion
1. Who likes playing cricket in your class?
2. What other games do children play around the world?
3. How are the children in this book vulnerable to climate change?

Suggestions for learning activities:
1. Organise a cricket match at your school where students wear their national costumes.
2. Look at the detailed illustrations. Make a class collage about a fun game of cricket.
3. Act out the game of cricket as played in the book.


This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate

Small group/pair discussion
1. Who is protesting against climate change?
2. What are some successes in fighting climate change?
3. What do you think of Naomi Klein’s view that we have to stop a growing economy if we are to reduce emissions?

Suggestions for learning activities:
1. Compile photographs about climate change.
2. Create 10 questions about this book.
3. If you were prime minister how would you tackle climate change? Write your “Address to the Nation”.