Scientist and daughter’s ‘love letter’ on climate change

Environmental scientist Janice Lao-Noche and her sixth-grade daughter Esther

An environmental scientist and her 10-year-old daughter have written a book about climate change through the eyes of two kid whales who are about to lose their homes.

“Sparky and Benny’s Big Home Mystery” is a personal story for children, parents and educators to understand what climate change is all about, said authors Janice Lao-Noche and her young daughter Esther.

“This book is our love letter to nature and to the world, because real love means telling them the truth but also showing them what is possible,” they said in a statement. “The book ends with hope, that if we take action today and do it together, we can solve the greatest threat we face as a humanity — climate change.”

The book is published by U.S.-based Wise Ink.

Lao-Noche is both an Environmental Scientist and a Development Economist. Her life’s work is in making businesses a force for good. At the age of 30, she developed the initial mathematical and economic modelling that was the basis for international aviation’s carbon-neutral growth strategy, according to her website.  She originated and led some of the “first in the industry” sustainable financial deals. She has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s most influential sustainability leaders. She graduated from the University of Oxford under a full academic scholarship.    

Her daughter Esther started writing and illustrating stories at 5 years old and began writing this book when she was 9. She is a triathlete and gymnast, loves to draw and code, and speaks several languages fluently. A lover of sea animals, she wants to become a marine veterinarian when she grows up.

A fun book, say experts.

Mother and daughter launched a book party on November 28 and invited so-called “seatizens” to join.

“The seas have given us so much life, adventure, and nutrition, and it’s time for a thanksgiving. As a community, we can help make the seas healthier and the earth live longer,” they said.

The book launch is in partnership with Save Philippines Seas (SPS), a non-profit organization advocating for environmental conservation of Philippine archipelagic waters and marine resources.

“The book blends reality and fantasy: two whales on a journey to learn about the impact of climate change on their home,” said Anna Oposa, who heads SPS. “It’s not every day that we read about how climate change affects our oceans, and it’s a story that needs to be told more. With this book, children and youth can learn to make small but meaningful lifestyle changes and inspire their parents to do the same.”

Experts praised the book for its timely and engaging content.

“It’s just brilliant…What is most wonderful about this book is that it shows us that while our humanity has created this crisis, it will be our humanity that helps solve it,” said Dr. Sally Uren, CEO of Forum for the Future based in the United Kingdom.

Carola Wijdoogen, co-founder of Sustainability University Foundation in the Netherlands, said the book is “unique and fun” because it “addresses the most important part of the problem (and solution!): the human element.”

© The FilAm 2020

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