CLI­MATE CHANGE ED­U­CA­TION

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

TIMOTY JHON C. DEL ROSARIO

Cli­mate change, also known as global warm­ing, has re­ceived much at­ten­tion and is chal­leng­ing all sec­tors to learn more about what is hap­pen­ing to the earth.

It is also a source of much con­tro­versy and con­fu­sion, es­pe­cially among stu­dents who can­not de­ci­pher any­more which is the rainy sea­son and dry sea­son. Yet while de­bate con­tin­ues about how to best un­der­stand and man­age our chang­ing cli­mate, sci­en­tists agree that it does have an im­pact and there­fore, cli­mate change ed­u­ca­tion must be made part of the cur­rent cur­ricu­lum.

In fact, one of the es­sen­tial prin­ci­ples of teach­ing cli­mate change to stu­dents is the mes­sage that it has con­se­quences for the earth and hu­man lives.

In cli­mate change ed­u­ca­tion, stu­dents should un­der­stand the ef­fects of hu­man­caused cli­mate change that can al­ready be seen, for ex­am­ple in the melt­ing po­lar ice caps. More con­se­quences are ex­pected, in­clud­ing the ex­tinc­tion of cer­tain species and loss of forests.

Some of the in­fra­struc­ture cre­ated by hu­mans is in dan­ger, such as the ex­tra bur­den placed on the en­ergy grid from high tem­per­a­tures. Stu­dents, es­pe­cially those in the el­e­men­tary and high school lev­els, should the tech­ni­cal­i­ties of how the cli­mate and pre­cip­i­ta­tion pat­terns change and threaten agri­cul­ture and food se­cu­rity.

Teach­ing about cli­mate change can be a chal­lenge. For one, be­ing too alarm­ing can lead peo­ple to ig­nore or deny warn­ings. Also, the im­pact of cli­mate change may not be re­lat­able for many stu­dents. It helps to bring the les­son close to home as much as possi bl e.

For high school stu­dents, the Philip­pine At­mo­spheric and Geo­phys­i­cal Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion sug­gests talk­ing about the ef­fects of cli­mate on an­i­mal habi­tats. High school­ers can also un­der­stand that there are so­lu­tions they can be a part of at home and school.

Sug­ges­tions for high school stu­dents in­clude us­ing ge­og­ra­phy to study sea level or bi­ol­ogy to study how species adapt. High school­ers can also use case stud­ies to un­der­stand more com­plex cli­mate so­lu­tions.

Stu­dents can learn that cli­mate change is no longer just of in­ter­est to sci­en­tists. All stake­hold­ers now, vir­tu­ally every­one, are more con­cerned about cli­mate change.

Stu­dents them­selves can take an ac­tive role by learn­ing about it to­day, and per­haps choos­ing a field in which they tackle cli­mate change in the fu­ture.

— oOo—

The au­thor is Teacher II at Ba­hay Pare Na­tional High School, Clus­ter V, Con­gres­sional Dis­trict IV, Divi­sion of Pam­panga

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