anuradhanaik anuradhanaik, September 5, 2018

Climate Education – January 2018

Climate change is a problem right now, and it will only get worse. My generation will be dealing with effects of climate change more than any previous generation. That is why activism is so important to me- because I need and want to stand up for my future. And while many kids scan the newspaper, and almost all have social media, they still aren’t fully aware of the causes and effects of climate change. Perhaps it’s because you can’t see climate change, and it isn’t all of a sudden, like many other current events. It’s hard to acknowledge that something can be so bad when you haven’t heard of people dying from climate change, or of people currently suffering from it’s effects.

That’s why incorporating the science and the politics of climate change into school curricula is so important. Kids need to know what they’re up against. Many schools already have programs that deal with solving climate change. At my elementary school, NEST+m, we had an organization, Cafeteria Culture, that gave us lessons and put bins into our cafeteria so food could be composted and recycled. Experts from the organization came to talk to us about littering and pollution. Now, I am in 7th grade at Hunter College High School. Recently, my schools had Community Day. The entire student body performed community service and learned about some issues affecting our planet today, including climate change. We watched a video that explained what causes climate change and how it affects our planet, both now and in the future. Afterwards, my group made posters about the issue, and some students went outside  and participated in projects like garbage cleanup. Both efforts started up important conversations among my classmates and were small steps in cleaning up climate change. It is important, more now than ever, that we keep those conversations going.

Kids have a right to know what their future will be like, and, most importantly, that they can do something about it. Education can and should go farther and be more in depth. Picking up garbage and conserving energy are important efforts that every individual must do, but kids need to learn about the other piece of the issue: the big corporations and powerful lawmakers who have policies and practices that are harming the climate and who, in some cases, are trying to reverse our progress. Kids need to learn about solutions that influence these powerful corporate and political interests.

If schools provide education about the science and the effects of climate change, as well as tips and ideas on how to become active in the climate change movement, through technology innovation, policy advocacy, or economic influence we can ensure that my generation reaches its potential as powerful leaders and activists. I will be reaching out to the Principal of my school about the possibility of 350NYC doing a presentation, and looking into how climate change and activism can be made a part of kids lives. I urge all parents, teachers, and students reading this to do the same. The slogan for the People’s Climate March was “To change everything, we need everyone” and climate education is a way to share that message.

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