Climate Change-Education Is a Laggard

Time April 26/May 3, 2021 pp80-82 |Climate Is Everything| “Climate 101” “The subject is finding its way into unexpected corners of the academic world” by Ciara Nugent

Read the article, part of a dedicated report on the climate in Time, for all detail

Summary of the article provided by 2244

The article covers the obvious that efforts to effect climate change must urgently include training in climate across all disciplines and at all levels from grade school, undergraduate and graduate education. As one might guess, Peter Mahally (King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta), comments “’Earth’s life-support systems are changing at an exponential rate, but education is changing at the rate a glacier moves.” Further he emphasizes “’We need to equip citizens and scientist to think bigger.’” Efforts are also disconnected.

How will educational institutes take on this challenge?

Political Scientists “should look at climate migration and poverty, ethicists should examine rising inequality because of climate change, and economists should discuss the impact of extreme whether events on national economies.’” Further Scott McCaulay (Founder of Anthropocene Architecture School) emphasizes the need to weave-in climate teachings “’It is inevitably becoming mainstream, no matter what field, because the connections are so clear now: climate change permeates everything.” In Italy, high schools now “teach one hour a week on environmental issues in every grade.” Dramatic change is needed as pointed out by Serafin Huertas (Valencia Spain’s Center for Environmental Education), “’Right now we’re in a situation where natural scientists are learning the science of climate change but engineering students in Spain are still learning about the internal-combustion engine as if it were still viable in a few years.”

Can professional societies help lead change by updating professional credentialing?

Examples include: The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) “published a new Climate Framework which will…make climate-literacy mandatory across its 109 accredited schools and course providers in 23 countries…”, The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)…has “launched a three-year project to reorient chemistry education globally toward ‘systems thinking for sustainability…”

How can governments help?

Examples include: “Argentina’s lower house voted…to approve a law creating a national strategy on environmental education ‘at all levels and in all educational forms”, In France, Parliament is debating a climate law that includes a plan to modify the education code to feature requirements on the environment.”