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Seattle leaders have been making a big promise for more than 15 years: that our city will lead the nation in fighting climate change. And yet, Seattle is polluting as much as it was 25 years ago. What went wrong? How can we do better? Explore the stories in our new series, The Burning Question, below. our reporting team: David Hyde, Amy Radil, John Ryan. Editor: Gil Aegerter.

Is there an adorbs category? See the winners of our drawing contest

Compost-pooping robot dog! Smog-cleaning penguins! Treehouses! Wikes (wind + bikes)!!! 

Those are just a few of the fantastic and whimsical ideas submitted to our drawing contest that asked kids to imagine one way Seattle can save energy.

We received entries from 42 young artists. A selection are captured here. You can see the full gallery on our Facebook page.

Prizes for the contest winners include: A set of KUOW argyle socks to flaunt on the playground, some light bedtime reading called "Out on the Wire: Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio," and a KUOW backpack.

Reporters working on our climate change series "The Burning Question" were tasked with the tough job of picking winners. 

"These were beautiful entries, they really made my week," said KUOW reporter Amy Radil.

"One of our favorites was a suggestion by Hailey that we should have a smog-trapping machine, but it should be shaped like a penguin 'so that the public would accept it.' That just makes me happy."

[asset-images[{"caption": "Hailey, 11, writes of her smog-cleaning penguin: The penguin's feet will be able to move so it can be mobile and clean the smog out of the air in multiple areas of Seattle and not just one. The smog cleaner penguins will have solar panels on their wings so it could be powered by the sun and not pollute more, with gas.", "fid": "142406", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201802/hailey_Age11.jpg", "attribution": ""}]]"This is just beautiful because it's got pictures of flowers and as you can see, next to the car, they're as big as trees. So they actually could clean up the air," said KUOW executive producer Ross Reynolds. 

[asset-images[{"caption": "Ada, 11, writes: Scientists will work with botanists to make a genetically-modified flower to collect air pollution. When the pollution is all collected in the flower, it will perform an act of closing it’s colorful petals around the pollution. When the flower is closed fully, it will be harvested and take into a safe place for the pollution can’t spread", "fid": "142407", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201802/Ada_Age11.jpeg", "attribution": ""}]]
It was tough to choose. But when you invite people to join a contest, you have to pick a winner. So here they are, in three categories, plus runners-up. Because, seriously — how do you choose between these amazing drawings?

[asset-pullquotes[{"quote": "'Coolest' Idea", "style": "wide"}]]Winner: Miranda, age 10

[asset-images[{"caption": "Miranda, 10, writes: This Skyscraper would power itself with wind turbines, solar panels and a water wheel (that uses recycled water from the building). It also has two gardens that helps produce it's own food to decrease CO2 emissions from transportation. The electric chargers are for commuters. The sky bridges allow you to get to other buildings without using electricity to go down the elevators to the first floor. Finally, the large windows minimize the need for indoor lighting.", "fid": "142408", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201802/Miranda_Age10.jpg", "attribution": ""}]]
"This has just so many things going on and it's super detailed. It's almost like an engineering drawing," Radil said. "They have a robotic hawk that keeps the birds away from the turbines.

"You have these wind turbines, the garden, the elevator-power here, electric car chargers down at the base. These are things that are really happening and they are spreading in Seattle." 

Runner Up: Emmet, age 8

[asset-images[{"caption": "Submitted with Emmett's drawing: On the roofs of buildings, there will be a downspout with a turbine.  The turbine makes electricity and then the water goes to the storm drains.", "fid": "142409", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201802/Emmett_age8.jpg", "attribution": ""}]]"Nailed it," Reynolds said. "He is seeing all the water falling all over our region in torrents. And what happens to that water? It just goes down the drain. It never generates any power — but it could — if you put turbines on down spouts."  

[asset-pullquotes[{"quote": "Best Creative or Avant-Garde Idea", "style": "wide"}]]Winner: Olive, age 7

[asset-images[{"caption": "The description submitted with Olive's drawing: In my climate-friendly Seattle, I envisioned a solar-powered cable car that takes people from the Eastside to Seattle, and a bike rental place in Seattle. This would make it easier to have less cars on the road.", "fid": "142410", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201802/Olive_age8.jpeg", "attribution": ""}]]
"I love the idea of a cable car going across Lake Washington," Reynolds said. "It's also solar powered!" 

Runner Up: Jane, age 7 

[asset-images[{"caption": "", "fid": "142411", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201802/Jane_Age7.jpg", "attribution": ""}]]
"There are trees growing out of everywhere: trees growing out of an apartment building, trees and flowers growing out of the Space Needle, and my favorite — a tree growing out of an airplane," said reporter John Ryan.

"They say we're needing to cut our emissions so much that we need to start thinking not just about zero emissions, but negative emissions," said Ryan. "This is maybe what it might look like." 

[asset-pullquotes[{"quote": "The Climate Masterpiece", "style": "wide"}]]Winner: Anzara, age 7

[asset-images[{"caption": "Renewable Clean Energy Neighbourhood is the description submitted with the drawing by Anzara, age 7.", "fid": "142412", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201802/Anzara_age7.JPG", "attribution": ""}]]
Runner Up: Sonia, age 9

[asset-images[{"caption": "The description submitted with Sonia's drawing: I saved energy by making a gondola and no cars. If there is a car, it's electric and it does not use gasoline, it only uses electrical energy. The gondola moves by people working out in the gym on top of it by pedaling and moving the gondola so people can get to work and other places. They make Seattle a better place by leaving no litter on the ground. If there is litter, they pick it up.", "fid": "142413", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201802/sonia_Age9.jpg", "attribution": ""}]]
"The fine pencil technique of this drawing is just exquisite," said Reynolds. 

In case you missed it, watch our "Burning Question" reporting team deliberate over the entries in this video: 

Year started with KUOW: 2004
Year started with KUOW as an intern: 2013