Whether or not we recognize it, climate change is an issue that impacts all areas of our day-to-day lives, and it will only become more relevant in the coming years. A climate change education requires climate literacy to help make informed decisions about climate-related actions. Climate literacy, an understanding of your influence on climate and climate’s influence on you and society, involves an understanding of the principles of the planet’s climate system, as well as the ability to evaluate information about the climate. In this post, we will explain what is so important about a climate change education (CCE), and how it is a marketable knowledge that will help you create a better future in various areas.
Why does the world need CCE?
The Earth’s average surface temperatures have risen over 1.33°F since the beginning of the twentieth century ‒ an astonishingly rapid rate of change that the vast majority of scientists agree is due primarily to human activity. Though climate action and sustainable practices have been getting more attention in recent years, we still have a long way to go before we can begin to combat the effects of climate change. As we have already seen around the world, these rising temperatures are causing rising global sea levels and increased frequency and severity of various natural disasters, among other changes to the environment.
Interdisciplinarity and Environmental Justice
Climate change is a complex, interdisciplinary issue, with widespread implications. A holistic climate education that speaks to the interdependence of the environment, economy, and social justice will enable you to navigate climate change with knowledge of the working systems involved.
Although the interdisciplinarity of climate change is more discussed in environmental education in recent years, environmental justice as it relates to race and poverty is an often neglected facet of the problem. For example, matters of land use and protection from pollution often depend heavily on race. Environmental justice means that everyone ‒ regardless of race, color, national origin, or income ‒ is involved in the development of environmental policies.
By being involved in climate change, you will have to come into contact with these issues, and how they relate to the environment. With a holistic climate change education, you can help make the world a better place by shedding light on the interconnectedness of these systemic issues.
In regards to the economy, it is no secret that businesses require some aspect of environmental sustainability in order to survive and benefit in economic gains. The interdependence of economic and environmental sustainability can be seen in our use of the planet’s natural resources to produce goods.
The changing climate will undoubtedly bring unexpected challenges and crises in the next years, and those who have an adequate CCE will be best prepared to handle these inevitable difficulties. An understanding of climate change and sustainable practices is a valuable tool that will give you a leg up in a number of industries, not just limited to environmentally-related fields. In the coming years, as the effects of climate change play a greater part in our everyday lives, companies will need people to know how to best implement sustainable practices to their business. Businesses, and the world, need people who are climate-literate to tackle these environmental challenges and make informed decisions.
Not only does CCE give us an understanding of this phenomenon, but it is also incredibly empowering to have the tools to be able to address the problem. With a knowledge of the causes and consequences of climate change, we can develop and implement strategies to cope with and prepare for the coming challenges posed by a changing world. Only by discussing both potential and existing strategies and practices can people be motivated to have an active role in climate action. In recent decades, the tone of climate awareness has shifted from one of an urgent doomsday message to an empowering call to action, and this has proved to be enormously effective in engaging communities and moving toward measurable progress. By beginning to untangle this complex issue and framing it as a collective effort, more people will be spurred to action.
With education becoming an integral part of the international response to climate change, future generations will be better prepared to face the oncoming environmental challenges. Teaching students to be actors, whether on the local or global stage, is one of the most important parts of environmental education. But CCE is not only limited to the classrooms and our youth. Even with formal education, an understanding of climate change and sustainable practices is a lifelong learning process and should be emphasized as such. As an individual, climate education can change the way you think and enable you to make sustainably-minded choices in your daily life. For example, understanding how the livestock industry makes up a bulk of the world’s carbon emissions can inspire you to cut out meat more frequently, or go vegetarian altogether.
Climate change discussion will stay a lasting topic in public discourse, and its importance will only grow in the coming years. Now more than ever, climate literacy proves to be a vital understanding of our current world that is invaluable for anyone that wants to make any kind of lasting difference in the world.