On 30 October, George Monbiot and Alice Aedy visited a school in Dagenham to speak to young people about the urgency of the climate crisis.

Hosted by Alice Aedy – the British documentary filmmaker and and co-founder of the ‘Earthrise.studio’ – the event brought together students from years 10-13 at Dagenham Park Church of England School to hear George speak on the urgency of the climate crisis, what we need to do to make a difference, and what we stand to gain by making these changes.

Attending students received a copy of George’s latest title, This Can’t Be Happening, which calls on humanity to stop averting its gaze from the destruction of the living planet, and wake up to the greatest predicament we have ever faced.

The book is part of the new Green Ideas series – twenty short books of important essays, thoughts and ideas on the climate crisis and what we can do to combat it.

This free event was part of Penguin Talks, a programme of creative talks hosted by Penguin for young people across the UK, which give the audience the opportunity to both hear from and directly question a world-renowned thinker, writer or influential figure from the Penguin Random House family of authors.

Following fourteen months of virtual events, the event marked the return to in-school Penguin Talks following the peak of the pandemic.

Out of the 170 attending students, over 88% agreed that the talk deepened their understanding of the topic and has made them think differently about climate change.

“I feel like I’ve gained an insight into the climate crisis – humans need to make a change soon!” said one student, aged 15.

“Several of the students have spoken to me about the talk and were all very positive," added a teacher from Dagenham Park, "they really enjoyed the whole experience and some have been following up on Monbiot’s other works, which is fantastic."

Learn more about Penguin Talks.


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