Personally I have never had much doubt about the reality of man-made climate change leading to potentially disastrous global warming. And although people such as Al Gore have presented the facts and the need for accelerated action well, there has until very recently seemed a lack of commitment and especially of action from the current world leadership. People of my (older) generation tend to feel there is nothing we can do.
So it is especially encouraging to see many young people taking action themselves around the world to try to wake world leaders up. The recent highly effective Extinction Emergency protests in London, the school strikes in Australia, the Green New Deal in the US all depend on young people, like Greta Thunberg, the Swedish activist.
I sometimes visit classrooms in Singapore schools, and I see climate change projects on the walls and in the books of students. In England in the 1950’s, we learned about the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago or Norman castles 1,000 years ago. We didn’t need to worry about the future. We certainly didn’t get taught about nuclear winters, the biggest threat we faced at that time. It is good to see school children now are taught about global warming.
Global warming is very frightening; today’s teachers are brave and compassionate to try to educate the next generation about the challenges we face, and about what we can do to deal with this emergency. There is much, much more we can do, and much of the technology we need is already available. Young people can see that well within their lifetimes, weather patterns will alter our lives, often for the worse, and sea-level rise will cause massive loss of land in highly populated areas, causing populations shifts and consequent conflicts. They are telling us we can change but we need to get serious about this now. The teachers have done an excellent job: we all need to pick up the ball and run with it.
Dr. Tim Bunn
Consultant Educational Psychologist