Why teachers need to take the lead

In these days when government leaders are dropping the ball, it is really critical for schools and teachers to take the lead in raising awareness of global warming and climate change. Recent extreme climate-related events such as more — and more severe — wildfires & hurricanes add urgency & interest.

If you’re a science teacher, you may find some useful resources here—but the idea is is for all teachers to engage students in these critical issues. Climate change, like other sustainability concepts, connects and integrates ideas from many areas—and not all students take courses that deal adequately with global warming and climate change. We need to engage students with these critical ideas in core subjects.

This guide provides context and information so teachers in any subject area can feel comfortable with these topics—background information and sources on global warming’s causes, impacts, and social-justice implications. We also include sample ideas for engaging students in every subject area. [See contents list in right sidebar.] Continue reading

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School GHG Calculator update!

We have made a few improvements to the free School GHG Calculator, including updating to newer emission factors released this year and providing more options for heating fuel. As before, it comes with complete instructions.

Doing a GHG inventory at your school is a great way to raise awareness and get students and teachers involved! Responsible high-school students can complete the entire process with minimal help, while middle-school students often require more direction. For elementary schools, the inventory can easily be done by the teachers—or you can involve local high-school students—a great opportunity for cross-age teaching!

To get your students involved in this critical issue, read the teacher guides and then contact teach-climate@sustainlv.org to request your free school GHG Calculator.

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NOAA reports: 40 straight months of high temperatures

April 2018 was the 400th consecutive month of global temperatures above the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAAannounced Thursday.

This three-decade streak is not some fluke, NOAA scientists remarked.

“It’s mainly due to anthropogenic (human-caused) warming,” NOAA climatologist Ahira Sanchez told CNN. “Climate change is real, and we will continue to see global temperatures increase in the future.”

Read full article on EcoWatch… 

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New resources

A few new resources you might find useful:


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2 New Resources

Two new resources for those helping students explore the impacts of global warming & climate change:

  1. Fourth National Climate Assessment –  stand-alone report of the state of science relating to climate change and its physical impacts, prepared by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).
  2. Bill McKibben. Radio Free Vermont. Penguin-Random House (2017). – Bill McKibben’s new novel follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.

I’d also like to mention the ‘Climate Change Mixer‘, an important (but not new) resource from A People’s Curriculum for the Earth. (Rethinking Schools, 2014).

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Climate Science 2017 published!

The new Climate Science Special Report confirms what most people have known for years: that climate change is happening, that it’s largely the result of human activity, and the impacts will be critical. (Catastrophic might be a better word.)

The complete report, executive summary, and individual chapters are all available as downloads from the climate science website.

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‘Stupid Book of Wrongness’

Another great issue from Rethinking Schools! This title article shows that even primary students can understand that climate deniers are wrong. Check out the magazine and A People’s Curriculum for the Earth

We have a duty to provide safe spaces for in-depth discussion of climate & sustainability for children of all ages—and not only in science classes!

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We are compiling ideas & resources to help teachers & students explore the many dimensions of storms such as ‘Harvey’ & the even-worse storm flooding in Nepal & Bangladesh and in Africa.

In addition to connections to global warming & climate change, we need to consider causes & impacts in environmental, economic, and social-justice dimensions—as well as why we repeatedly fail to learn from history. Will Cuba, Dominican Republic & Haiti, Puerto Rico, & Virgin Islands get same attention as Houston (& Miami)?

Send us your ideas on what to include and resources you have found useful!

[Email to teach-storms@sustainlv.org.]

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My school doesn’t want us to teach about climate.

OK—don’t teach about climate change.

But do use climate change to meet teaching goals — whether you teach youngsters in elementary school or high-school art, chemistry, communication, drama, economics, English, history, government, math, physics, sciences, social studies, or writing. 

Even better, use the free School GHG Calculator to create a hands-on project. And use an interdisciplinary approach to help you engage students and increase retention.

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Artists Making Climate Change Real

This article gives some great examples of what artists can do to help people feel the reality of climate change, in drawing, painting, murals, and performance art.

“These Artists Are Trying to Make Climate Change Visceral – Ten people turning disheartening data into amazing paintings, sculptures, and illustrations”
—(Outdoor Online, 2017)

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