A time capsule full of messages of hope for the future of our climate was buried at Aberdeen University today.
Academics and students from the university, as well as young pupils from local schools, were all asked to write a message to be included in the capsule after being asked how they would like the state of our planet to be in 2040.
The stainless steel container was buried beneath the Cruickshank Botanic Gardens today to mark what is planned to be the final day of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
What were some of the messages?
Laura Johnston, a Bucksburn Academy pupil, wrote in her message for the future that she wants “polar bears to have a home again”, and for “pollution levels to decrease alongside meat consumption”.
And Marina Fraioli, a student at the university, wrote: “I hope that world leaders from more developed countries who have caused this crisis do everything in their power to help the people in poorer countries who are paying the price of this consequence the most”.
A message was also included from the university’s chancellor, the Duchess of Rothesay.
She said in her letter: “My hope and prayer is that the inspiring efforts made by this generation of young people to fight climate change will lead to a better, more sustainable future for everyone”.
Professor Graeme Paton, head of the university’s School of Biological Sciences, expressed in his message his hope that “everybody in the planet will realise their role in enabling its sustainable future”.
When exactly will the capsule be reopened?
The time capsule will be dug up on February 10, 2040, to mark the occasion of the university’s 545th birthday.
As well as messages, those who crack open the time travelling treasure trove will also be able to see artwork created by pupils at St Peter’s Primary School and Bucksburn Academy, as well as get their hands on vials of soil, air, and North Sea water.
Professor David Burslem, from the university’s school of biological sciences, helped organise the initiative alongside Ana Payo-Payo, a research fellow at the school.
David believes it is fitting the capsule includes so many messages from youngsters, as he has been inspired by the younger generation’s commitment to reducing the impact of climate change.
He said “Young people are the key to driving change that will protect our planet for future generations, and it has been heartening to see so many of them active and engaged in COP26, including many of our own students who have attended the event as observers, facilitated by the university.
“Our climate capsule has provided another opportunity for young people, including local schoolchildren and our next generation of academic researchers, to voice their hopes for the future.
“It’s my sincere wish that these hopes are realised when the capsule is opened in 2040.”