Closing the Generational Gap on Climate-Change Education
Monday, March 27, 2023
A new report warns that the window is quickly closing to prevent the most harmful effects of climate change. As global leaders face pressure to act, efforts continue to educate Wisconsin families.
Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said countries have to quickly come together to achieve deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to secure a livable planet for all.
Rebecca Borkowski is the executive director of the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education, which supports teachers and students in learning about these issues.
She said they've sometimes avoided using words like climate change around parents to avoid political tension. But that's changing.
"I think it's at a point," Borkowski said, "where affiliates like ours and the national network are just going to have to take more action and be more direct in our conversations."
As part of their effort to get more climate education in schools, her group is trying to get more adults to become engaged with the issue.
That includes hosting online discussions and prompting elected officials and political candidates to talk about climate change, including those running in Wisconsin's high-profile state Supreme Court race.
A recent survey of teachers from the North American Association for Environmental Education found that 56% of respondents' students have brought up climate change on their own in the classroom.
Megan Giefer chairs the Wisconsin chapter's advocacy committee and said getting kids to pay more attention isn't a concern.
She suggested that it's harder when adults, who have lived through changing seasons their whole lives, might feel that a cold and snowy winter is enough to think there isn't a threat.
"And so, a lot of people will brush it off and say, 'Well, that's the Midwest, that's Wisconsin,'" said Giefer. "But it's really not what we're supposed to be having."
A 2021 statewide report noted that Wisconsin winters are warming more rapidly than summers.
Meanwhile, the national teacher survey says a lack of formal curriculum and an unclear mandate are among the reasons why school districts haven't made climate change education a priority.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Most people probably never give a second thought to their visits to the dentist, but not everyone can navigate this process with ease. People with …
Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …
A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…
Hoosiers could get their holiday trees from any of about 200 tree farms in the state, according to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association…
Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…
Health and Wellness
The holiday season is filled with recipes passed down from years before, and feasting with family and friends. But think again before you have …
While lawmakers and environmental groups strive to lower vehicle emissions and the nation's carbon footprint, many truckers see unrealistic …
Another controversial move in Florida's education system is a proposal to drop sociology, the study of social life and the causes and consequences of …