Phil and Sue Fight Global Warming

About Phil and Sue

Phil and Sue are two young soccer players who live in Arizona. They live in Maricopa County. One day Phil went outside in November. In November it gets cool in Arizona. But today it was still very hot. He wanted to play outside with Sue. Sue lived next door. They were best friends. They played on the same soccer team. They had always lived next door to each other. They did everything together. They told each other secrets. They fought together when a bad kid moving into the neighborhood. Joe was his name,. He tried to beat up Sue. Together Phil and Sue beat up the bully and after this Joe left them alone.

Phil and Sue loved school. They were in the same room. But they did not sit next to each other., They talked too much and got into trouble. So the teacher had to move them to the opposite corners of the room.

But they still managed to get into trouble at recess together.

That day it was a very hot at recess time. The teacher said they could not go out to recess. There was a heat advisory. Phil was upset about not getting to play outside. “What is a heat advisory”? Sue came over. “Let’s use the internet while we are inside for recess”. They went to Mrs. Blake and asked her if they could go online.

Mrs. Blake – Yes, go ahead. What are you looking for?

Phil – We want to find out what a “heat advisory” is.

As soon as the search engine posted the answers a page on Global Warming popped up.

Sue – What is global warming?

Phil – I heard my Dad talking about it. We’re all going to burn up. The ice will melt in Antarctica and the Arctic. The waters will cover all of the United States.

Sue – We’ll have to grow fins and swim in the sea. Maybe your folks will buy that houseboat they talked about.

Phil – Joe would fit right in. He looks like a fish already.

Sue – Shhh. Here comes Mrs. Blake. She’ll get us for talking too loud.

Mrs. Blake – What is going on? I can hear you all the way across the room. I should never have let the two of you get together.

Sue – I’m sorry Mrs. Blake. But it won’t matter anyway. Soon we’ll all be living in the sea and swimming all over when the earth heats up. Global warming is going to flood the whole USA.

Mrs. Blake – What are you talking about?

Phil – It’s called global warming. We’ll never be able to go out to recess again.

Mrs. Blake – I think since you guys know so much about this, I’m assigning you to prepare a Special Report on global warming. You can present it to the class in two weeks (SHE WALKS AWAY).

Sue – You and your big mouth.

Phil – You started it.

Sue – No, you started it.

Mrs. Blake (over her shoulder) I don’t care who started it. You can’t stay away from each other. Well now you’re going to finish it together.

Phil and Sue looked each other and threw up their hands.

Phil and Sue – Let’s do it!

Phil and Sue started doing the research. After a couple of days they talked to Mrs. Blake.

Sue – This is really scary. We are destroying our Earth. We are really doing a job on ourselves. We are making the world hotter.

Phil – We are cutting down all the forests. We are polluting the air and the water.

Sue – We need to do something.

Mrs. Blake – What do you mean?

Sue -We are making the earth hotter and hotter. We are cutting down the trees. Trees are where we get our oxygen. We are building more and more houses here in Maricopa county. We are covering the soil over with concrete.

Phil -We are polluting our air and people are getting sick. Some houses make people sick. There are even people who have to live outside. They can’t even go inside the church.

Sue – Some people say that when we go to soccer practice in our SUV, we are adding to global warming.

Phil – Yeah, they say that soccer moms are one of the major causes of global warming. How can that be? It is only 8 blocks to soccer practice from our house. Driving eight blocks cannot add to global warming.

Sue – The problem is there are so many kids playing soccer in the USA. Did you know that there are over 17,000,000 kids playing soccer in the USA. That means every day or week there are more than 17,000,000 trips to soccer practice. And some teams practice two or three times per week. And then there are the games.

Phil – I am not going to give up soccer. I love it. Someday I will play in the World Cup.

Sue – I am a better player than you. I scored two goals last week.

Phil – Girls can’t be in the World Cup.

Sue – The American womens team won the World Cup in 1998. They men’s team was way down. Girls are better soccer players than guys,

Phil – Well. it’s soccer moms that drive kids to soccer. That means soccer moms are causing global warming.

Mrs. Blake – Sounds serious. But I think you need more research. Make a thorough report. Then we’ll see what we can do.

Sue – We want to first do more research. We want to make sure what we are telling the class is right. They we want to do more. We want to make the report. Then I thought we could make up a website and put what we learn on the Internet.

Mrs. Blake – Wait until you get all the facts. Then we will decide what to do. The website will be something we can all contribute to.

Phil and Sue Go To Work

Two weeks of hard work followed. They went to the library, even the Department of Environmental quality and the Environmental Protection agency downtown in Phoenix. They surfed the Internet. They even found some lesson plans for teachers .

Sue- Let’s write a lesson plan. And we’ll make our presentation in the form of a lesson.

Phil – That’s a fantastic idea. We’ll teach a lesson just like Mrs. Blake would.

Sue- Shouldn’t we tell her what we are going to do? She thinks we are going to just get up and talk.

Phil – She said to report what we found. She didn’t say how to report it. We’ll make handouts and charts just like she does.

Sue – Right, and we’ll make a test and hand out fill-ins just like a class.

Phil – This is going to be great.

The two worked for hours. They planned the lesson. What they would say . They rehearsed giving the lesson. The prepared the handouts. They prepared and took the quiz they developed themselves They prepared a poster like one of the one they had in their class he calls.


Mrs. Blake – Today two of our students are going to make a presentation of our class report called “global warming” to the class.

Sue unrolled the poster and hung it over the chalkboard.

Phil – Today we are going to teach a class on Global warming. Sue will pass out your study packet. Make sure you follow them as we present our lesson.

Mrs. Blake – Your lesson?

Sue – Yes, Maam.

Phil – Class, today we are going to learn about a very important subject. It’s called global warming. Take a look at your study packet. The first sheet has a few definitions.

Let’s look at them

1. global warming

2. greenhouse gases

3. carbon emissions

4. carbon sink

5. carbon storage

6. carbon sequestration

7. climate change

8. greenhouse effect

9. carbon dioxide

10. oxygen

11. air pollution

12. Photosynthesis

13. SUV

14. Soccer Mom

15. Tree planting

16. cloud cover

Let’s take a look at them. Take them home and read them later.

Phil – take a look at study sheet One – The carbon cycle -notice how it works

Carbon dioxide is given off by animals. Plants especially trees take in the carbon dioxide gas and separate it through photosynthesis. The sunlight comes in and changes it into carbon, water and oxygen. Carbon forms the food that we eat.

Sue- Notice the cloud layer above the earth. When the sun rays come to the earth they keep going through the air. Then when they hit the earth they bounce back. When the sky at night is clear and there are no clouds, the rays bounce back, that is why it can be very hot in the desert during the day and very cool at night. That is why it is usually warmer when there is cloud cover. The clouds keep the sun rays from burning off and it warms the Earth.

Phil – the more gases like carbon dioxide we put into the air the thicker the gases get, the more they hold in the sun’s rays. That means when there is more pollution from carbon dioxide and other air polluting gases in the air -the atmosphere holds more heat in. That the same way a greenhouse work. The rays come and can’t get back out.

Julio – (holds up his hand) Why can’t they bounce back out the way they came in? They came in through the gases?

Sue – They hit the earth. The rays have a lot of energy when they hit the earth. Some of the energy stays in the earth. When the rays bounce back they are not as strong.

Phil – And remember we studied about gravity. The rays come to the earth through gravity as it pulls them down. But when they try to bounce back they are going against gravity. So they have to work harder and they have already lost part of their energy,

Sue – So the more gases there are in the air, the more heat is kept on our earth.

Paul – Where do these gases come from and why is this happening now?

Sue – Lots of things have happened in the last two hundred years. More and more people. There are now 6 billion people. More and more cars. Gas prices are lower so people are driving more. more and more air pollution from factories.

Phil – And the worst things is we are cutting down all the forests that took carbon from the air and that cleaned the air before. And soccer moms are taking 17,000,000 children to soccer practice in SUVs every week. Do any of you play soccer? Raise your hands.

Almost every child in the room raises their hands.

Sue – You just want to blame it on soccer and soccer moms.

Phil – Together all these things mean fewer trees, more gases in the environment, more carbon emissions, and it will all lead to the greenhouse effect and finally global warming and then the melting of the ice in Antarctica and the Polar ice. It’s all happening. The earth is one you know.

Sue – The trees are the lungs of the Earth. Trees clean up the carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen and carbohydrates for food. But we are putting so much carbon dioxide and other gases into the air at the same time we are cutting so many trees.

Phil – And we are paving over farmland. We are destroying areas where carbon is stored by plant and the soil. At the same time more and more factories are giving off more and more gases. Its called a vicious cycle.

Jane – So what’s going to happen to us? And to the earth? If it gets any hotter we can’t live in Arizona. Last year it got up to 115 degrees.

Sue – Take a look at the idea sheet we have. From what we have told you, we want you to answer these questions. Feel free to give your own opinions as well.

1. What is global warming?

2. How hot is the earth getting?

3. Will the ice melts and what do you think will happen?

4. Does this have anything to do with he ozone layer?

5, What will happen if the ice melts?

6. What will global warming mean to the weather?

7. What are the things we each of us is doing that cause global warming?

8. What could we do to stop global warming?

9. We all play soccer. What can we do to offset the global warming caused by all those trips to soccer practice?


Sue – Does anyone have any questions?

Pete – Yeah my dad say the global warming stuff is all nonsense. Its all some folks who want to stop progress. You’re just a bunch of ecofreaks.

Sue – Let me show you a chart. See how much gas is in the atmosphere since 1700. It’s almost double and gases can be dangerous. One kind of carbon gases called carbon monoxide doesn’t bother you in the open air and in small quantities. But if you are in a close place with lot of it can kill you.

Pete – That’s not the same thing.

Phil – No one know what will happen if we have more gases in the air. The question is what if it does affect us? We can’t wait until it happens to say “we could have done something earlier – why didn’t we listen”.

Andrea – But what can we do? We’re just kids. And maybe it really isn’t going to affect us.

Sue -My dad sells insurance. The people who buy it don’t know for sure they will need it. They don’t want to get sick or die. But they buy insurance to protect their families just in case. That way if something bad happens, they’ll be protected. So just in case global warming does hurt our earth, we need to protect ourselves ahead of time. It’s like flood insurance.

Phil -And just because we’re “just kids” doesn’t mean we can’t do something., Kids have lots of power to do things. We could form a club., We can talk to other kids. We can talk to our parents. I can always get my Mom to do anything I really want.

Sandra – We are all in soccer. Is there something we can do?

Sam – But still. We are not cutting down the rain forests here in Arizona. We don’t even have any rain forests. And most of the factories are about est. How can we do anything here in Arizona that would stop global warming.

Phil – The first thing we have to do is see that we are living in one world The air circulates over the whole planet. When the weather changes off South America it makes it our weather reacts here in the United States. The hurricanes that come to the Caribbean all come off the coast of Africa. We are all living on the same planet. What we do to the air in Arizona affects the air in Japan or in Brazil. And the weather comes from the air.

Sue – We learned a lot about carbon emissions when we were doing our research. Carbon emission is the carbon dioxide we are putting into the air. That is called emitting carbon. To emit means to send out, release or give off. Like when we breathe, we emit carbon dioxide into the air. When we run our cars , we emit carbon dioxide. When we run our factories to make products, we emit carbon dioxide. When we burn anything we cause carbon dioxide to be emitted.

Phil – So if we can find a way to walk or ride a bicycle instead of driving our car we still emit carbon dioxide, but lots less. Driving in carpools with lots of people means we emit less gas than when each of us drives alone. And now they are making cars that emit less carbon dioxide.

Phil – Well, here in the valley there are more and more people every day. More and more houses means more and more cars. So we have to find another way.

Sue – Well maybe we can’t stop people from emitting carbon dioxide in the air. That would be the best way. But my Dad said sometimes you can’t prevent something. But you can do something when you see it happening. Maybe we can’t stop more people from coming to Maricopa County. Maybe we can’t stop people from driving longer and making more trips. Maybe we can’t stop people from putting carbon dioxide in the air. But there is a way to take it right back out. We can plant trees.

Janie – You know I was on the internet looking for a soccer camp this summer. There is a program in Honduras called the Honduras Youth Soccer Program. They plant trees to offset global warming from soccer mos in the USA.

Sue – Really? Tell me more about it.

Janie – I am trying to get my mom to send me to Honduras to that camp this summer. They have tournaments and camps and they all plant trees with the kids from Honduras. In addition to playing soccer, they have trips to all kinds of cool places in the mountains. It is cool there all the time because its over 5000 fet high. There are pine trees everywhere. And the kids from there will be planting trees with American kids.

Sue – Sounds cool and lots of fun. And planting trees is the best way to offset carbon emission.

Janie – And if you can’t travel to Honduras you can still plant trees. They have a program where if you donate your old soccer gear – like the old cleats or uniforms in your garage or closet, the kids in Honduras will plant the trees for you. You just have to send the stuff to Soccer for Life, Inc in Arizona. You get so many trees planted depending on how much gear you send. And they will send you a collection kit to use to collect from other kids in your soccer club or group.

Sue – Do you have more information on that program? Where did you find out about it?

Janie – On the internet. I printed off the pages. I’ll show you after class. It has the URL.

Sue – It sounds really great. Trees are so important for fighting global warming. Those who want to could go to the camps in Honduras and those who can’t could still help plant trees. Trees that store carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere.

Phil – This is right. Every tree stores carbon dioxide into the plant. You see, the way the plants grow is to take in carbon dioxide and using it in making food by photosynthesis. The light comes in, breaks the carbon dioxide intocarbon and oxygen. The oxygen goes back into the air to help us all live.

Sue – Without plants producing oxygen from carbon dioxide, no life as we know it could exist on our earth. The way the tree help in addition, is the carbon produced by photosynthesis is then stored in the body of the plant or trunk of the tree.

Phil – That means it is sequestered so it cannot interact with the oxygen in the air to create more carbon dioxide. That is why forests are called carbon sinks. The carbon is stored in the trunk and it is like it is sunk down into the tree so it cannot form gases in the air.

Sue – Plants and animals could not live without trees. Planting trees also clear the air of air pollution. Trees cause rainfall by reaching their root deep down to get what is called ground water. By reaching roots way down in the ground the roots can bring the water up. Remember when we went camping. We used kerosene lanterns. The cloth or wick reached down in the bottom of the lamp where the kerosene was. The wick brought the kerosene up to where it could burn and give us light. The tree is like a wick. The roots reach down into the ground, deep down and brings water up just like the lamp brings up the kerosene.

Phil – Right you know things like to go from where there is more of a liquid to where there is less. So the water in the ground goes to the top of the tree into the air where there is less water. When the trees brings the water up, it uses it to cool off the tree. And it cools off the tree the same way we cool off at the beach. The water dries up by going off into the air. And we cool off when that happens. The tree cools its leave the same way. And the water goes into the air.

Sue – Without water in the air, you can’t have rain. That’s why in places where they cut down all the trees, the rain stops falling. There is no water being brought up from deep in the ground to fall down as rain.

Phil – And trees do more than that. Air is cooler in the shade so trees make your yard and house cooler. Because there is more moisture it feels cooler. Trees can do a lot to take carbon dioxide out of the air and cool our communities.

Barry – If trees are so good, why do we keep cutting them down? If we need the rainforest, why do people keep cutting them down. And anyway that is happening way away somewhere. It doesn’t matter to us here in Arizona. Let them cut down the rainforest, it doesn’t affect us.

Sue – Take a look at these two pictures of our earth and how the air circulates. Can’t you see the air goes all around the earth. Air we breathe out in Arizona can end up over Brazil. I read that last century a volcano called Krakatoa erupted and people could hardly see for five years all over the United States. It caused crop failures in our Midwest. Did you know that when the meteorite came that destroyed the dinosaurs, the sun did not shine for five years? All over the earth from one meteor fall. What happens anywhere in the air affects the whole earth’s air.

Phil – Remember the air movement is what ends up as our weather. Hurricanes begin off the coast of Africa and then go to the Caribbean. Our earth has one big atmosphere. The air circulate all over the world.

Janie – So if we plant a tree in Honduras, it can affect the air here in Arizona or in Brazil or anywhere in the world. If they cut down the rainforest, that means less oxygen for us here in Arizona. If we burn forests in California, the whole earth’s air becomes polluted. There were a lot of forest fires in Borneo and Indonesia last year. The smoke traveled a long ways. Our whole earth is one planet. So if we plant a tree here in Arizona, it can affect global warming.

Sue – Guys, there are lots of things we can do if we don’t want to change our climate. And we don’t have lost of time. We read one paper about how the climate changed from the last ice age in 16 years. Just 16 years. And the ice melted at the poles. We’ve got to get started doing something about this.

Phil – Think about how hot it is here in Arizona here in July. We don’t want it to get any hotter. Arizona is hot enough now. Kids still have time to make a difference.

Sue – Kids have done a lot things to help the environment. Some kids recycle, Some kids pick up litter and clean up communities. Some kids plant wildflowers.

Phil – My Dad is in Ducks Unlimited. They make places and land good for ducks. He and his friends love duck hunting. So they work to make the place better for ducks. Last year we had a Father-Son workday. Dads in Ducks Unlimited, they call it DU, camped out overnight with their sons and we worked in cleaning out stream beds. We planted trees, made duck blinds. The kids worked just like the grownups. We also planted shrubs. We had fun and we helped a lot.

Andrea – I sold Girl Scout cookies in with our whole troop. We used the money to help build more nature trails on our scout campground.

Barry – I’m in Boy Scouts last year we planted lots of trees and shrubs andmade wildflower gardens at our camp.

Nancy – Our Sunday School class held a car wash to raise money for family from Kosovo.

Pete – Our church youth group was the host for a meeting with at-risk kids from the inner city. We did everything – we made the sandwiches, decorate the room, made place mats. And we raised the money to hold the meeting by making crafts and selling them. And we did all the cleanup after the meeting.

Sue – Kids can do things. There are lots of things we can do to halt global warming.

We’ll end this class with a discussion of things kids can do to halt global warming. What we will do is complete the following form. It is study sheet # 5.


Let read it aloud and then I want you guys to vote on each one. If you think a kid or a groups of kids could do this Alone could do with adults, or could not do. We will vote on each one.

Print this article off and then put a number next to each thing depending on what you think

1. A Kid Or A Group Of Kids Could Do This Alone

2. A Kid Or A Group Of Kids Could Do This With Adults

3. A Kid Or A Group Of Kids Could Not Do This

1. Learn more about Global warming by

a) going to the library and looking it up in the card catalog

b) go on the internet and search for the following phrases

global warming

greenhouse gases

carbon emissions

carbon sink

carbon storage

carbon sequestration

climate change

greenhouse effect

heat advisory

polar ice melt

carbon dioxide


air pollution

greenhouse effect


2. Talk to your teacher and see if she will let you make a presentation of global warming to your class

3. Talk to your teacher about letting you do a presentation in the school

assembly or program

4. Ask your teacher if your group can write a scenario about what happens when the earth gets warmer

5. Ask you teacher if you can take part in a school assembly by doing something with global warming

5. Prepare your own simple FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions Sheet) on Global warming

7. Talk to your family about global warming

8. Ask your Sunday school teach if you can talk about Global warming and stewardship of the earth

9. Ask your pastor if you can plant a tree in your churchyard

10. Find out if your school will let you plant a tree on the school grounds

11. See if your church will let you plant a tree

12. Call the Audubon society and see if there is a place you or your classcan plant a tree

13. See if you can collect seeds from the tree son your school ground or a local park and grow them up in cups to plant

14. Ask your parents to go bicycling with you on the weekend instead of going in the car

15. Ask your parents to carpool

16. Ask your parents to sponsor a tree to be planted overseas

17. Get together with kids in your class and sponsor a grove of trees in Honduras.

18. Find out how many trees at your school and measure them for the amount of carbon being stored with your teachers help

19. Start up your own tree nursery, can work with your church, school scout troop or other group. Germinate the seeds in paper cup. Then transplant hem into larger cups. When they are large enough ask your parents or teacher to help you plant them

20. Hold a tree for life” booth at your local church bazaar or other event. Give out flyers and information on global warming and free seeds from local parks of tree seeds

21. Talk to the city council about street trees

22. Send in letters to the editor about trees and global warming

23. Talk to other children about saving their earth

24. Talk to your church or pastor about stewardship or the Restoring Creation Movement which is ecumenical

25. Go To Google and look up Global Warming

26. After you gain enough knowhow put your own global warming website up. Then develop your own internet strategy to let others know about global warming.

27. Find out about the Phil and Sue Art Contest where you win prizes for illustrating the Phil and Sue Play Soccer and Fight Global Warming story.

Kids are the key to the future and our major weapon against global warming. Begin today to develop your own project to combat global warming.

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