My career is devoted to science education. Today on On Point, NPR, Katie Worth was interviewed about her new book, Miseducation: How Climate Change is Taught in America.
This is an important direction for post COP26 to prepare the next generation about the world they will live in and solutions to the problem. Why wouldn’t we prepare children who are bright and see the evidence of climate change in front of them? As Worth explores the subject, we come face to face with myriad societal, religious, political, and economic forces working against teaching American youth about climate change and solutions.
Vanessa Nakate, a youth activist from Uganda spoke at this morning’s COP26 session with High Level Climate Ambassadors. Her words are stunningly honest and stark. This morning she pleaded for wealthy countries to contribute to the Loss and Damage Fund. Youth leaders point out that the Global South in particular is experiencing climate change now. Unlike rich countries, the Global South countries have to borrow money from richer countries in the form of loans that they are not able to pay back. The Loss and Damage Fund has only one contributor so far: the small country of Scotland which pledged $2M. Vanessa pointed out the truth: the largest contributors to climate change are the rich countries, with the whole of African countries contributing only 3%.
Below is today’s panel discussion with three youth and three adult representatives of countries that have signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, and specifically the Declaration on Children, Youth, and Climate Action which does not include the U.S. (on either convention). Only 26 countries have signed on to the Declaration.
Mediated by Mary Robinson, past president of Ireland, this is a critical video to listen to more than once. Youth are asking to be involved from the beginning when their countries develop the actions to decarbonize and prevent deadly warming. The panel also emphasized the need to include climate education as part of school children’s curricula which Mexico has already accomplished. The U.S. must recognize the rights of children and in substantive ways, include youth in climate planning.
If you have read Kim Stanley Robinson‘s latest book, Ministry of the Future, you know that banks play a pivotal role in delivering the human world from extinction. That, of course, is not a clean line to a solution. While banks work out how to finance the sweeping change from fossil-based markets to nature-based markets, bad “stuff” happens.
Pledges so far, but looks like it has real potential to drive climate mitigation toward a nature-based economy . Read from the Guardian about this new coalition that has incorporated nature into finance, finally accounting for impacts on our only source of life, and shifting industries and societies away from fossil-based values and culture. Among the nations of the world, the USA will struggle to make this change but thank God we are at least driven toward greener markets offered by this coalition as no culture is more in love with a profit and more adverse to fees than ours.