NATURE & ENVIRONMENT

It’s time for Climate Change to enter the classroom

Rigorous science tells us just how bad it can get. That according to current plastic production trends, the ocean and beaches will very quickly fill with plastic waste, erasing their beauty and killing the life within them. The chances are horrifyingly high that the planet will warm up towards catastrophe, which the UN warns could wipe out progress we’ve made towards creating a sustainable world.

And yet schools worldwide have failed to make the dramatic paradigm shift to face this reality. This is a cultural shift that the latest IPCC report points out is essential for preventing global warming from reaching a tipping point, beyond which humans will almost certainly be utterly unable to prevent cataclysmic warming.

A recent NPR/Ipsos U.S. poll pinpoints part of the cause: though 80% of parents and 86% of teachers agree climate change should be taught, most teachers don’t because it doesn’t fit into their traditional subject area.

If we are to have any chance of building a hopeful future, we need to tear down traditions and rebuild our curricula, refocusing on increasing the capacity of the next generations to not only deeply understand but also help solve the global environmental disasters they didn’t create. Survival must fit into every subject.

Sustainability Impact Accelerator high school Syllabus

In this spirit, I created this course. A flexible toolkit of everything you need to teach it will soon be available on the free FateChanger app, which will probably be released in October of November of 2019. I’m making the toolkit to help teachers not only create courses like this, but also use an impact approach to refocus science fairs and build school sustainability impact clubs.
If you are a teacher, if you haven’t already, educate yourself about the realities we’re facing. Read the IPCC report. Another NPR poll shows just how little teachers understand climate change. Learn, and I swear, it will inspire you to send a group email to your colleagues to set up a meeting.
Share the facts with them, then go to the principal and push for a paradigm shift. If the principal isn’t willing, go to the superintendent. If the superintendent isn’t willing, go to the board. We all love our students. The future is dimming fast. There is no time to wait.

Peder Hill is Executive Director at Kids Save Ocean