McFly’s Dougie Poynter launches a new book for children concerned about climate change
Best-selling children’s author and McFly bassist, Dougie Poynter, has launched The Whale Watchers in a bid to combat children’s feelings of climate anxiety and take charge on making change.
The book takes a dive into educating children on the hugely significant, yet widely unknown, important role that whales play in the fight against climate change, and how it is vital we protect them from suffocating in a sea of single-use plastic pollution.
The release of The Whale Watchers comes as new research from water filtration experts BRITA, reveals that almost two thirds (70%) of children are worried about the future of the planet and three in five (60%) are concerned of the lasting damage single-use plastic pollution is having on sea animals, including the goliaths of the sea, whales (59%). To visualise the issue, Dougie has posed as a ‘whale waiter’ to showcase the devastating amount of plastic humans are discarding which is being eaten by whales. BRITA commissioned the book in order to raise vital funds for charity partner WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation).
BRITA’s study found that children’s climate anxiety is being triggered by the thought that it’s now too late to save the planet from permanent damage, with 63% of children thinking the damage will become irreparable between five and 20 years from now.
When asked to convey their feelings into drawings of the future of the oceans in 50 years’ time, school children responded by drawing pictures filled with plastic and rubbish, with no sea life to be seen. The feelings of concern are further validated as children reveal that they have found plastic bags (59%), plastic bottles (57%) and food packaging (48%) when visiting the beach.
Over half (54%) of children say that dumping waste into our waters as one of the most harmful behaviours for the planet, and believe that being more mindful of this would help preserve our oceans and environment. Dougie has written The Whale Watchers to explain how readers can help protect whales and their environment by reducing single use plastic and embracing a more sustainable reuse culture.
The book follows the story of Finn who ends up on a rescue mission to save a whale who has become entangled in plastic. Readers join his journey of discovery, they learn about the role whales play in combatting climate change and their startling carbon capture abilities. It’s a little known fact that whales re-distribute nutrients across the seas, and are essential to the marine eco-system and the production of phytoplankton, which produces over half of the world’s oxygen – they are the rainforests of the ocean.
Author and BRITA ambassador Dougie Poynter said: “The character of Finn is one I really relate to as Finn gets quite down about the plastic pollution problem, which I do too and need a little picking up every now and again like he does. But it’s the small stories of triumph and helping to guide change which really restore my faith.
“I wrote this book because I really wanted to create a fictional story with facts that the reader could absorb, learn and carry them on into the rest of their lives as that’s how I learnt about the natural environment when I was growing up. I’m really proud to have worked alongside BRITA and WDC to create a story which will inspire the future change makers of this earth.”
Despite the growing feelings of concern around the future of the planet, the study highlighted that 58% of children are eager to do more to protect the planet and 57% declaring that they want to dedicate their future career to protecting the planet and marine life.
The study also showed that children have told their parents off for not recycling enough, using too much plastic, and using single-use plastic bottles instead of reusable ones.
The Whale Watchers is available from all good book retailers for £6.99. For more information, please visit www.brita.co.uk/thewhalewatchers.