Tuesday 1 December 2015

Blog 9. Back Home + fun with Duplo+a photo shoot in Wales


Oswaldo & Orson with chicken-powered train and Miss Piggy showering

I absolutely loved being away, pedalling across France (well, I have to admit now I suppose that my legs couldn't reach the pedals so Mark had to do all the pedalling.  Shame, really!) and being in Paris with all those wonderful animals and people.  But it's nice to be home and get out our favourite toys.  Orson and I love making up funny stories.  The pig was getting ready to go out so is having a shower (you know how mucky they get!) and we had a good idea that trains could be powered by chickens.  Actually that's not totally mad.  Gas from chicken manure has been used to power cars before.

Then we had a brilliant idea.  Our teacher had been telling us about our 'carbon footprint' which is about how things we do every day (or actually adult humans mainly) make 'greenhouse gases' which warm up the world too much.  Why don't we make it easier to understand by making towers for each bit of our lives which are as high in bricks as the greenhouse gases that they each make? Does that make sense?  Each brick is half a tonne of gas.  
The Average Adult British human makes about 13 tonnes of Greenhouse Gas per year
Home is bigger than land transport.  The main thing for home is to make sure it is warm and cosy through insulating it (just like my puffy feathers) and stopping draughts. Can you guess what the main bit of land transport is (answer below)? Food is a lot and you know from me and the french cow last week, that eating less meat, less dairy and more organic can make the tower much less.  The yellow tower is even bigger that is mainly about buying stuff - so make sure you only buy what you need and get stuff that lasts (and don't be a fashion victim- I've been wearing the same blue feather coat for years!). There is a giant tower if you take a long aircraft flight.

If you join all the towers on top of each other there are about 26 bricks for Mr or Mrs Average British-Human.  But much smaller towers for two other very big nations.  Do you know their flags (clues: one has the Taj Mahal, and the other makes a lot of the toys and electronics we like)?  It's not very fair is it?  You humans, especially from better off countries like in Europe and US need to make more effort to reduce the towers.  Actually they need to be more like the height of the tower on the left.

Carbon footprint of a Uk adult & that of two other nations
 I forgot to tell you that Mark's great nephews and nieces of Mark took me out in the Wye valley in Wales for a photo shoot before I left. They used their phone cameras.

I'm a show jumping owl followed by Alan in second place!
I am just looking cool (it was actually freezing!)

They found me a brilliant perch!

 It's been great telling you all about my adventures.  Phew!  Now I'm completed exhausted. Time for bed.   Perhaps I will dream of another adventure - but not for a while!

Bye bye but don't forget - tell everyone the Climate is precious and so are we animals!

Or perhaps I will be dreaming about vole berger and chips.........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Oswaldo, the Furry Blue Owl (and there isn't a rarer species!)

Answers from Oswaldo the Wise:  

1. Cars make by far the biggest part the climate changing gases from personal land transport (approximately 80% ).  So if you need to buy a car, it's always worth getting a smaller more efficient car or even an electric one.  Walking and bicycles are the best, but if you have to go very far buses and trains are much less polluting than cars.
2. India (the smallest tower).  China.

Monday 30 November 2015

Blog 8. Oswaldo Owl -TV star. A poem for you

Hi Littlest and Most Important Humans,

Monsieur Oswaldo Hibou reads Le monde

I hope I am not showing off, but I’ve learnt enough French to read a paper or bits of it.  The paper is a famous French one called ‘Le Monde’.  Anyone one of you know what that means?  The headlines seem to be about COP21.  French telly was also on COP21 because the leaders are now arriving, excitement and expectation rising.

Yesterday I went to the centre of Paris and met the most amazing number of animals who had come from all over the world to tell the leaders to Act for Climate Justice – justice because we need to do it for the poorest countries who are most affected.   Of course, I spoke to them in animalese so you wouldn’t understand it I’m afraid, but they were all so happy to be there together to show that all species are in it together.

Solidarity with birds of Prey

Solidarity with all birds, french & english-speaking ones!

I felt quite brave being held by this scary reindeer thing

Solidarity with hat-dwelling polar bears!

And I was interviewed on the telly!  This might go to my head so remind me to calm down if I get to boasting.  I got all shy so Mark had to do the talking - but I'll be better at it next time.

Did I tell you that some of the humans had cycled from Vietnam starting in February, walked from Rome from September, wearing out their shoes.  Dan from ‘Pole-to-Paris’ had cycled from New Zealand and you couldn’t get any further away, arriving after 10,000miles.  I gave him your postcards.  He will give them to the most important people in the United Nations so they will read them – at least some and get the message that you care!  Did you know when you wrote them that people from all over the world and important leaders have read you cards!  It’s a wonderful way to tell people.

It’s really important to tell your friends.

I am telling my friends it's cool to act on Climate.  You can see they're impressed!

Don’t be afraid to tell or remind your parents how important to do all we can to defeat Climate Change.  Remember that big humans tend to forget, poor things, because they often get confused by the smaller things in life.  Mark is a particularly bad example.  You should see him get annoyed at his computer when it doesn’t do what he expected!  But you know what is important.
I am telling my dad to act on Climate

Finally, Joan Mc Gavin’s Poem, 2014-15 Poet for Hampshire , on seeing those postcards.

Poem for the Paris Summit and local schoolchildren:

Look out for the Earth as you would
a good friend – one whom you value highly.
It’s not an old umbrella you could
use and neglect, that bends and breaks
in the wind, to be tossed away.
It can’t be replaced at the drop
of a hat. It’s special and caring -- so play
and spend time with it.  That’s friendship!

On behalf of all the children, thanks Joan!

Please send in any comments.  I love hearing from you and you may get a reply!

One more blog tomorrow.

Bye bye,


Sunday 29 November 2015

Blog 7 Ossy loves Paris! And tries Hovering with the Humming Bird

Hi little but important humans,

Oh Oswaldo, haven't you grown!

Cities are not my natural environment and the fuming cars and lorries are not great for me or you humans but at least we haven’t added to the pollution on our ‘velos’ (bikes in French).  And going along the ‘Route Verte’ (green way) was great by the Seine, the huge river that runs through Paris.
It's really big close up.

I’ve had a bit fun here in Paris.  I took a few selfies with the Eifel Tower. Going up close it was really massive.
The classic selfie of the Eifel Tower!


Rather envious of that beak for the nectar but I prefer voles.
Just below there are some great noticeboards about our friends the animals.  I had a try at hovering like the humming bird whose wings beat so fast that they hum.  I could only manage it for a few seconds before I had to have breather!  The humming bird is so beautifully adapted with a long beak to take the nectar out of long trumpet-shaped flowers, with its shimmering coloured feathers to attract mates.  I would be envious BUT I am really well-adapted to my environment too.  See my giant eyes so I can hunt in the dark, and, it may not look like it, but I can swivel my head right around 180 degrees without moving my body.  Also, the front of owl’s wings have soft feathers so we can fly silently and creep up on voles (yum, yum) with a hooked beak and strong claws to hold on.  Yes, we animals all have our special places, our niches. You know about polar bears on the ice floes I can tell from your post cards but all animals have their places.  So please look these special places1  I am sure you will when you grow up but let’s hope that the leaders read your post cards and start doing more now!

Anyone for a swim!  Nice and warm in the Mediterranean.

My farmyard friends

That's all for now because I am a tired little owl!  And I know there will be some exciting things happening in Paris tomorrow!

Bye, bye.
Oswaldo the Slim

PS  Sorry it maybe a bit late for those who have already seen it but children you are famous!  The Lymington Times has written about you.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Blog 6: Bonjour Mademoiselle Vache!


It was a hard frost this morning and I went for a walk in the fields and met some very friendly cows. Their breathe was steaming in the cold air and I think they envied my warm coat of feathers which keeps me rather snug.

Then back on his bike after cycling a few more miles met some more animal friends in the local patisserie, a pair of wild boar.  I like to meet the wild creatures as well as those on farms.  They all need to have a nice life in surroundings that suit them which means for a big wood with plenty of roots to dig and eat.

I couldn't help noticing all the amazing pasties behind the glass counter.  I've seen fabulous food in France (it is famous for it) and  pastries like this is what you humans really go mad for!  Not that you could eat many at time.  Anyway, nothing like a  beak full of fresh vole - what I go mad for!  

But it did make me think of all the food that we eat and that it's good to know about where it comes from.  That friendly cow could be in your next beef burger!  I hope it had a happy life before that because  not all cows have nice fields to roam around in.  Some cows are kept mainly in sheds.   Many are fed not just with grass but with other crops grown in fields from long way away and it takes a lot of plant food to make a cow, 5kg to 20kg of plant food to make 1kg of beef.  All that has a much bigger Climate Change effect.  That's one reason why some people say it is good to eat less meat or be vegetarian.  But we should be kind to all animals

The important leaders in Paris who are meeting in a few days to good plans for action on climate change.  Let's hope they know all about food too.

Bye  Bye

P.S. Some more super postcards

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Blog5 Monsieur Oswaldo Hibou gets kitted up

Hi Children,

Thanks for all of you who wrote and asked about my clothes, or lack of them, with all this rain. Mark took me to the bike shop to get fitted up.  We tried on a hi-viz jacket and several different helmets
Hi Viz, Helmet and dark glasses. I look rather cool in this don't you think?

The Viking look.  Not really!

I'll go for the helmet with ventilation holes. Still bit worried about how strong it is!
Mark is not as daft as he looks (don't tell him I said that) because he always wears something bright and reflective on his bike, like me now.  It's not that cycling is very dangerous but it is taken a precaution about being seen by car drivers.  

Thinking about what all the leaders in Paris are doing, or we hope they are doing, is taking sensible precautions to keep the climate safe.  Actually nearly everyone agrees that it is sensible to keep below 2 degrees Centigrade rise. We don't know exactly what would happen to the world if we went above 2 degrees C, but it is not going to be very good.  Probably there will be more floods, storms. droughts, ice melting and sea level rise.

I am loving cycling through France.  You can tell we are in France because of the Chateau!

A selfie of me and a chateau

Here are some more brilliant postcards from you children!

I have been learning some French.  

Aurevoir!  Monsieur  Oswaldo Hibou

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Blog4: A Rough Crossing

Me & Orson saluting flags from many nations.  Quiz:  Where are they from? Clue the blue one is from everywhere!

Hi Children,
I had to give Mark a sharp peck on the ear to wake him up early this morning in time to catch the ferry as his alarm didn’t go off.   Very exciting weather! Have you ever been on a ferry.  It is huge and built of heavy steel but when you get on it in rough seas, it is tossed about like a plastic duck in the bath.  That’s the power of natural forces and we must work with them and not against them on the climate.  After all as a little owl I am a part of nature and so are you and we must all work together to make it a good world for us all.

There will be nearly 200 flags outside the Climate Summit meeting showing that all the nations of the world are trying to work out the solutions together

I'm singing in the rain!  Bye Bye England

Big waves on the Newhaven harbour wall

Playing with a new friend on the boat
Anyway we arrived safely and are now in Dieppe in a warm hotel, drying off.  My feathers are steaming!

Bye Bye.  See you tomorrow!

PS Another Post card It's the United Nations Development Goals.  A bit complicated but your teacher might explain them.  Actions on Climate has been ringed!  Listen you leaders!

Monday 23 November 2015

Blog 3- Post card prizes & technology.

Hi Children,

We had a fantastic send off at the prize-giving for the post-cards at the Pennington Solar Farm.  The mayor was there and all eleven winners to get their prizes of solar lights from Solar-Aid.  They were made for poorer countries where they can’t just flick switch because there is no reliable electricity to even read at night.  Imagine what a difference that would make on these dark winter nights.   For every 1 of these solar lights sold in the UK, 3 more are given away in the poorer countries without electricity.  Picture below, the prizewinners, the mayor, Mark who is glowing like an alien (scary!), and me snug on the bike waving the French flag.

11 Prizewinners, mayor, Mark & me i

Gill (competition organiser), Prizewinner, Mayor, Anthony (solar coop)

It’s a good example of technology for good like the solar farm.  It has 9000 panels which make enough electricity to power 650 homes and it makes no greenhouse gases.  There are not many days in the year when there is not a little sun for the solar or a little wind for wind turbines somewhere in the UK, so we can make a lot more clean energy in the future.
Sometimes we can have just too much stuff but I just love good technology like Mark’s new GPS. It  uses satellites to show us where we are on the map to Paris.  GPS has so many good uses besides not getting lost on a bike.  Little GPS's are put on wild animals to find out their movements so we know how to look after them better.
I am playing with the GPS.  Don't tell Mark.
I like the messages on your cards as well as the pictures.

Bye for now.  Oswaldo