While the world is reeling under climate crisis. So much so that droughts, floods and wildfires have ceased to be ‘breaking’ news.
Schools in New Zealand have make sensitizing children about climate crisis, activism and global warming a part of the curriculum. The study material for 11-15 year-old students will be written by the country’s leading science agencies, reports The Guardian.
Called Climate Change – Prepare Today, Live Well Tomorrow, the resource uses video, text and guidance material to drive home the point, and was tried out on a trial basis at New Brighton School in Christchurch in 2018, reports the Newshub. “One of the pieces of feedback we’ve got from teachers around the country is that they’re really crying out for something like this, because kids are already in the conversation about climate change,” said James Shaw, New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister and co-leader of the left-leaning Green Party told The Guardian.
“They’re seeing stuff on social media on a daily basis and none of its good news, and the sense of powerlessness that comes from that is extremely distressing,” he added.
Why this is an important step?
Unabated industrial and civil lifestyles have already warmed the planet about 1°C (1.8°F) since the pre-industrial era, defined by the IPCC. At the current rate of warming, Earth would reach the 1.5°C threshold between 2030 and 2052, according to UN report.
Half a degree may not sound like much, but as the report details, even that much warming could expose tens of millions more people worldwide to life-threatening heat waves, water shortages and coastal flooding. Half a degree may mean the difference between a world with coral reefs and Arctic summer sea ice and a world without them, reports The New York Times.
School Strike for Climate
Discourse around climate change gathered momentum recently, thanks to Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg. Greta made global headlines after she protested outside the national legislature during her school hours, demanding the government to reduce carbon emissions. Greta’s #FridaysForFuture movement inspired students across the world to skip school demanding action from leaders over climate change. Students across India had also joined the climate strike. Students across India had also joined the climate strike. Greta and 15 other children had filed a complaint to protest the lack of government action on the climate crisis at the UN Climate Action Summit.
Ridhima Pandey, an 11-year-old girl from India was also among these 16 children. “Our government is working on paper, less on the ground,” Ridhima was quoted as saying by PTI.