Cool Plant Experience
The Cool Planet Experience
The Cool Planet Experience is a unique collaboration between industry, academia and philanthropy who together are leading Ireland and beyond to ensure we have an engaged, educated and inspired public who understand why we are experiencing climate change, and what are the new, innovations and solutions that we all need to adopt as we transition to a climate free economy.
The Cool Planet Experience is located at Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow, whose gardens were voted number 3 in the world by National Geographic after Kew in the UK and Versailles in France. Located in a glacial valley, Powerscourt attracts over half a million visitors annually, two thirds from Ireland and a third from UK, USA, Europe and Asia.
It is being modelled on London’s Science Museum and Belfast’s W5, albeit on a smaller scale and with a climate focus.
Why do we need The Cool Planet Experience:
Public understanding on climate change is improving, but very slowly.
In Ireland 49% of respondents to a SEAI poll (2015) believe climate change is a ‘serious problem’ which appears to highlight the gap that exists in Irish society between the undisputed reality of climate change and public awareness and engagement on this grave global emergency.
It is this gap – coupled with a passion for preserving the Earth as we know it, that inspired the Cool Planet.
Who we are:
The Cool Planet Board are:
Norman Crowley (Chair); George Polk; Clyde Pereira; Frank McGovern; Anna Pringle & Sarah Slazenger
The Team are:
Vicky Brown (CEO); Philip Smyth (Head of Public Engagement); Sinead Crowley (Design & Content)
The Cool Planet will target the half a million visitors that currently go to Powerscourt.
We will focus on school children, those in 5th & 6th class at primary level and 1st, 2nd and transition year at secondary. There are 3,300 primary schools and 750 secondary schools nationally and we are developing state of the art science based education programme for these groups to engage schools before, during and after the exhibition. We will create an e-learning site whereby schools can engage at a deeper level with the content. This programme will be delivered in conjunction with the Green Schools Programme using the support of the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum & Assessment); CPD for teachers through the Education Centre’s and the SEAI schools programme.
Academia: UCC Marei Institute; UCD Earth Institute, TCD & Science Gallery, Icarus Centre at NUI Maynooth.
Industry: Crowley Carbon, Calor, Vodafone, NTR Foundation, Gaelectric
Sector: The Environmental Protection Agency, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland
Not for profit: BirdWatch Ireland, Friends of the Earth
Media Partner: The Independent News & Media Group
Visitors will learn about climate change, what is is, why and how it is happening. They will work out their carbon footprint and learn about the implications of global warming on our seas and our environment, and why this warming is having such a negative effect on our planet. One of the highlights is an immersive experiential experience on extreme weather, from drought to the super storms such as those we experienced last year.
The Cool Planet Experience gives a glimpse into what the planet will look like in 50 years’ time if we continue burning fossil fuels and clearing rainforests at the current rate. Visitors can play ‘Race to 2050’ where they have the chance to save the planet by going back in time and making decisions about our energy choices such as renewables, waste and pollution, water, transport & through this game interact with being part of the solution.
Visitors will understand the science of climate change, from what is carbon and green house gases, to carbon sinks and the impact to their health, disease, migration, to crops and food availability.
Finally, they will be brought from now to the future – to see what is possible, what innovations are happening that may help us win this race to keep our planet below 2 degrees.
As they leave, visitors can make their ‘pledge’ to reduce the carbon footprint and will be given tips and suggestions on how to do this – linked to a media wall where all the pledges can be shared publically.
Above all – this will be interesting, engaging, unexpected and fun!
About Vicky Brown
Vicky Brown is CEO of the Cool Planet Experience.
Vicky has spent the last 20 years working in both the for and not for profit sectors looking at how small groups of people can effect real social change. Previously Vicky held a number of roles in the One Foundation, investing €85million into non-profits in Ireland and Vietnam, Barnardos and several advertising firms in NYC.