Brazilian children show they opt for new renewable forms of energy
“Your Excellency President Dilma, I feel obliged to inform you about the situation of electricity generating sources in Brazil. As your Excellency must know, Brazil has many different sources of energy but they need to be used more conscientiously. We all need electricity, we are dependent on electricity and so there needs to be more investment made in cleaner, renewable sources of it".
That direct, original message sent by Jorge Alves Pinto, a year-nine student at the Prefeito Williams de Souza Arruda School in the state of Paraiba opens the text of the document ‘Investing in the present to improve the future’ addressed to President Dilma Rousseff.
Joao was one of 2,000 students that engaged in studies of clean energy sources and the energy options that are open to Brazil as part of their participation in the essay competition on “The Cleaner Energy Challenge ‘ promoted by the Agora (Now) Project.
The educational action was unfolded in government-run schools in 10 Brazilian states and the Federal District and involved children and young people in the 10 to 15 age group. They were invited to write a response to the question “What kind of energy does Brazil need and where will it come from?” There were four months of research and classroom work enabling students to study, learn and form an opinion on energy production in Brazil and to express it in the form of a letter.
29 letters were selected as prizewinners and will be sent in to President Dilma Rousseff by the project’s coordinating body. This Wednesday (December 5) the award celebration took place in Sao Paulo attended by prizewinners from the respective Brazilian states. The students received a Tablet and the teachers that were responsible for tutoring them were awarded notebooks. Each of the student’s schools received a retro-projector.
To Pedro Bara Neto, leader of the Infrastructure Strategy of the WWF Network’s Living Amazon Initiative, the invitation to participate in the competition’s panel of judges made it possible to discover new facets of young people today and learn how they will face up to the consequences of the choices that are being made by the authorities today.
“What was most striking was the fact that they addressed subjects like climate change and sustainability. It seems that children nowadays are already born with more green in their DNA. These students, for example, embraced the project and thoroughly grasped the idea behind it. They related the energy questions to considerations on the environment and what could happen to Brazil and the world at large if that relationship is ignored,” declared Pedro Bara.
Energy and Football
In a country where sport and movement mobilize the population, relating energy to football and the World Cup was only to be expected in the letters.
Krison Curtes Tereza, from the Getulio Evangelista da Rocha State Government School in Cumari, in the state of Goias, linked football to renewable energy sources and suggested that President Dilma should form a “golden foursome” in the field of energy.
“I am writing this letter to inform your Excellency that Brazil, with its immense natural wealth, could very well make use of all four sources of clean energy: hydroelectric, solar, Aeolian and biomass energy; each one complementing the others. Instead of forming a division among those sources, we could form a great, unbeatable team: a golden foursome”.
The importance of complementariness among energy sources and the impacts on the environment caused by using them were addressed in the text of a letter written by Karolyne Cassimiro Duarte da Cruz, from the Gercina Borges Teixeira State Government School, in Caiaponia, in the State of Goias.
“The electricity we use that comes from the hydroelectric plants brings with it harm to the environment, the fauna and the flora, as well as being highly dependent on rainfall patterns. However, as great investments have already been made in it, I suggest that we should continue with the hydroelectric plants and make use of bio-energy to complement it”, commented Karoline Cassimiro, who went on to remind the President and the Brazilian authorities that Brazil leads the world in technology for making best use of biomass; she also underscored the importance of renewable forms of energy.
The Agora project, an initiative of the Sugarcane Industry Association (União da Indústria de Cana-de-Açúcar- Unica), promotes educational activities designed to clarify and raise awareness on the essential economic, social and environmental components of sustainability.