Teach Kids the Truth About Climate Change

Target: Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Goal: Support greater inclusion of climate change in school curriculums.

American children are not being taught about the greatest threats to their future: climate change. Thousands of children and young adults from around the world recently exercised their power and awareness by participating in the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement. While the passion Earth’s youth have exhibited for environmental causes is inspiring, the schools and organizations that should be educating students about these critical issues are willfully abandoning their responsibilities. A dedicated climate change curriculum is not a luxury but a needed priority in America’s education system.

One recent study revealed some troubling insight into the next generation’s knowledge, or lack thereof, about climate change. The large-scale survey investigated junior and high school science classes in every state. According to the results, teachers spent on average one hour a year discussing climate change. When the subject was taught, the science behind the issue—including the strongly presumed link between fossil fuels and climate change—was greatly downplayed or outright ignored. As one of the main researchers behind the study noted, “We don’t think that is good preparation for citizens to be effective in advocating for policies that are going to be critical to their own generation and their children and grandchildren.”

The neglect of this subject seems shocking, but perhaps unsurprising, given current political divisiveness and special interest lobbying. In the study, not even half of the evaluated teachers attributed human activity to climate change. The textbooks were often rife with outdated information years or even decades old. Special interests in Colorado and other school districts have even lobbied to ban the teaching of climate change outright.

This issue, arguably more than any other, will fundamentally impact the future of the world’s youth. They need preparation and facts, not ignorance and propaganda. A resolution to teach students across the country about climate change dangers and solutions has been strangled in Congress. This important effort needs renewed fire.

Sign the petition below to urge the new House of Representatives to put their promises into action by fighting for true climate change education.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

Climate change is emerging as one of the core, driving issues in the 2020 campaign. On March 15, students worldwide took to the streets to bring their message of environmental reform to governments around the globe. Please listen.

In 2016, the Climate Change Education Act was first introduced. Among other efforts, it would have given NOAA the authority to begin a nationwide climate change education program that teaches students about climate change, its effects, and potential solutions. This bill died a quick death. Rather, in the past two years climate change has been relegated to a ‘fringe’ topic discussed on average for sixty minutes a year in classrooms. Man-made contributors are often disregarded in teachings, and some school districts have even faced pressure to drop mentions of climate change altogether. This trend of ill-equipping the nation’s youth to deal with a looming crisis cannot continue.

Making climate change a requirement in science curriculums and a fixture on standardized tests could provide an essential foundation. First, this Congress needs to demonstrate that it takes the education of America’s young people and the future of the planet seriously. Reintroduce and affirm the Climate Change Education Act.

Give our youth the tools and the truth they will need to fight for a better, cleaner future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jeff Peterson


4 Comments

  1. Also we should teach everyone about the effects of idling cars. Emissions is the number one contributor in global warming. In New York and New Jersey it is illegal for non-emergency vehicles to idle for more than 3 minutes. We should petition all auto makers from offering the auto start feature. So PLEASE people do not idle your vehicles

  2. ALL children and youth should be taught about climate change; it’s links to fossil fuels and the role that humans play in it. This is THEIR future! They need information that they can act upon and be prepared for. How can we possibly withhold such knowledge from them?! After all, we are handing them a disgusting legacy that they are forced to inherit and remedy if possible.

  3. Are you as obtuse about climate change as Trump?
    If not, do something.

  4. Justin Recht says:

    Teaching begins at home.

    e.g. Stop buying over-packaged items.
    Recycle. Walk or bicycle instead a car.

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