Delphine Zacharias

Hello world!

My name is Delphine Zacharias, I am 17 years old and I live in Hamburg (Germany). I am in the junior year of the oldest UNESCO school in Germany, the Helene-Lange gymnasium where my focus areas lie in art, theater and politics. Besides school I will start two years of an economy course at the chamber of commerce in Hamburg, called “Junge Akademie” in September. In my free time after school I like to go to fitness or dance gym courses, exploring in the topic of fashion or going to art exhibitions. As I think fashion is a really interesting and always changing domain, I would love to work in that business in my near future. I also can not doubt that the fashion industry has an impact on damage of nature, for example by environmentally harmful processes or by using chemicals, but that is one of the things I think we can change and which I want to change. I am part of this project to get a voice, to inspire young people and also myself and to show the world that we can change everything if we will work together as one big community.

Lets change the perspective!

Interview with Klaus Milke, Chairman of GermanWatch on COP21 expectations and what to do

Nesha sat down with the Chairman of the board for Germanwatch, Klaus Milke to discuss his views on climate change and the role of the future generation in it.

(Apologies for difficult audio situation)

Back in Germany – How I feel now

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Back in Germany I did notice that i finally got my idea of distance back! You don’t have any clue in Greenland about distance so that an envisaged 15 minutes way can take up to one hour or even more. In addition the ambient noise is totally different what is easy to imagine. Cars, the subway and roadworks are the daily sound effects in Germany.

Especially in conversations with my class, with my family or in other groups where nature or the climatic change was part in I feel more certain to comment. Furthermore I noticed that I intervene more often when friends don’t show respect for Nature and the raw materials they bought by throwing rubbish on the ground or throwing plastic bottles in the bin instead for recycling them because it is more convenience. (In Germany you get like 0,28$ per bottle!) What really is noticeable is that particularly the point of convenience is a thorn in the flesh of the improvement in climate change. If the most convenience way was the environmentally friendly one we would have less problems right now.

It is our assignment to get people out of their convenience in which they are right now and to find new ways to make actions for nature more easy and attractive. What really caught my attention in school was when we learned about so called „Nudges“ in economy class. A Nudge should affect the behavior and action of people without them noticing. A succeeded example for a Nudge is that the rubbish on danish streets got reduced for about 40% just by drawing green footprints on the ground who tend to guide to public garbage cans. Nudges find more uses by changing for example the former habits like reduce the wastage of paper by printing double-paged. Printers can therefore be set on double-page from the first. Only people who have an objection against has to change the setup then. Summarized, Nudges are changing habits and are improving them in many ways.

Right now it is important to teach young people and children more and earlier about the topic of climate change and the consequences and also what to do to help.

For the people who already have their own (selfish) opinion about the importance of nature and a lifestyle my message is: turn off your egoism. We are not the only creatures on planet earth and we have the responsibility for the future generations!

Did you know…

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Greenland is the 12th largest country in the world, with a size of 2,166,086 square kilometers, making it the world’s largest island that is not a continent. But also Greenland is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with a population of approximately 57,000. 

landscapeMost of Greenland (about 81%) is covered in ice, except for a narrow strip of coastline around the island, where all Greenland’s cities are located.

The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest ice sheet on Earth, behind the Antarctic Ice sheet. The weight of the ice sheet had caused much of Greenland to sink about 300 meters below sea level!

The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest ice sheet on Earth, behind the Antarctic Ice sheet. The weight of the ice sheet had caused much of Greenland to sink about 300 meters below sea level!

 

Climate change – a worldwide problem

About one week ago we came together as a group of 5 people from 3 countries. A mixed group from Australia, Indonesia and Germany. But why is it so important to be that international? It is because we are all affected by climate change, but each of us in a different way. We all have similar fears because we all suffer from it in a special way.

Even when Germany is not one of the countries which is being affected the most by climate change (due to its location in the temperate zone), changes happen. Except for the year 2003, 2015 was one of the hottest years in Germany with a big and long heatwave and record-breaking temperatures from about 36 degrees. This also means that the harvest times for farmers, e.g. for the wine growing will change. Soil erosion will get worse and storm tides will happen more often.

One of the worst things due to climate warming is that the Asian tiger mosquito, which can transfer illnesses like malaria, reached Germany this year.

Aedes Albopictus - the tiger mosquito can be infectous with Malaria and reached germany for the first time this year

Australia is already affected more and stronger by climate change by droughts, tropical cyclones, sea-level rise, heatwaves, bushfires and heavy rainfall. Heatwaves have become longer and hotter. The number of record hot days in Australia has already doubles since the 1990s! Those hotter and drier conditions have contributed to increase bushfire weather risk in southeast Australia. That means that the continued increases in hot and dry weather will likely increase the frequency of extreme fire danger days. In southwest and southeast Australia droughts are also likely to happen more often.

Global sea level has risen 0.2m over the last century and still continues. This will drive major impacts to costal cities.

Indonesia is also hit very hard by climate change. Such as severe droughts, annual floods and intense tropical storms. Floods in Jakarta used to be once every 5 years, but now it is every year.

The increase in seawater temperature is causing major stress on Indonesia’s marine life. Coral bleaching has been spotted throughout Indonesian waters. Deforestation has cause more soil erosion and mud floods across Indonesia’s rural areas as well.

Help to make Greenland greener

Planting trees

Our mission for today was to plant at least 100 trees, and that is what we have done. Nature in Narsarsuaq is really amazing. The arctic is not full of ice and glaciers, as most of the people think. Here, in South Greenland, you can also see a beautiful green vegetation.

During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen so when they grow over a long time like trees they will reduce our carbon dioxide level. It especially rises due to burning fossil fuels, like with automobile traffic, manufacturing processes and other energy intensive activities. It is also really important to plant trees as they are the natural habitat of the animals and birds, as well as many endangered species.

If you want to have a comparison about how much a tree can help us, I have these 3 facts for you:

  • Over the course of its life, a single tree can absorb one thousand kilograms of carbon dioxide.
  • One tree can absorb as much carbon in a year as a car produces while driving 26,000 miles.
  • A single tree produces approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year. That means two mature trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family of four!

Reduce global warming simply by planting trees for the environment.

The arctic is..?

Arriving in the arctic. What do each of the earthTeam members say about it? Also we met Jason Box.

Day 2: The Hills

Nesha, Delphine and Kalinda

When reading the posts from my fellow travellers you might notice that we had some (and today even worse than yesterday) problems with landing at our destination again. That’s why we are in Nuuk for one more day.

After the arrival we felt the need to get some fresh air so we decided to go for a hike up a hill next to the airport. The view was amazing and totally different from what I’ve seen before. The hill is made up of granite which gives it the special layered look. Moss and plants which are adaptable to the cold climate dominate the surface. Only the runway is separating the hill from the open sea, where we were able to see our first few icebergs, although they were very small.

On our way up the hill, whilst enjoying the amazing view and serenity, I felt very connected to nature and touched by it’s beauty. I can also feel  that the fresh arctic air was very good for my lungs as my coughing got better.

Day 1: Let the journey to the arctic region begin!

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Two days of preparation in Hamburg are behind us. Finally we met the whole team and all of our earthTeamMembers (Kevin, Delphine, Kalinda, Nesha & Thomas) in Copenhagen to give the final start for Youth4Arctic 2015.

After a quick breakfast in the hotel, we rushed to the airport for our 9 am flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq/Greenland. It took us about 4 hours and we crossed 4 timezones, so we arrived at 9 am again. We took a walk around town and visited the museum about the military history of Kangerlussuaq. Even though it was cold, it was very nice to walk around with fresh air surrounding us. Kangerlussuaq is located right on the Arctic circle, and we noticed that there was still vegetation around us. Since the arctic circle follows the tree line, it was interesting to see that there is still bush vegetation on the arctic circle.

We had a local free range organic cage free muskox burger for lunch. Unfortunately our plane that was expected to depart at 1:20 pm, got delayed for more than 4 hours. This gave us some time to brainstorm about the project. Finally, we left Kangerlussuaq around 4:30 pm. The expected journey was about 45 minutes, but it went up to nearly 3 hours because we could not land directly due to the fog above Nuuk. Plane rides to Nuuk often have this problem because the fog is kinda normal for that area due to the high moisture wind coming from the sea.

Nuuk

After our arrival in Nuuk at around 7 pm we checked in at the hotel. That wraps up the day, we’re going to get some rest now and we shall continue the story tomorrow.

 

written by Nesha and Delphine