By Catherine Ross
Although there are a few stalwart climate change deniers still in existence, for the most part, it is accepted science. Human production of carbon dioxide is causing changes in global climate, resulting in increasing temperatures, weather extremes and sea level rise.
As part of the new national curriculum, however, the government has removed references to climate change from the geography syllabus. Despite the fact that it is our children who will be faced with the reality of living in a world subject to further climate extremes, flooding, drought and all the associated problems.
It is our children who will be the scientists, technologists and engineers who will create the solutions and who will be responsible for mitigating against the impact of climate change. It is our children who will hold in their hands the power to reduce the world’s dependence on carbon and other pollutants and start putting the planet back together.
It might seem like an impossible task, but I remember learning about CFCs in geography at school. We were taught that chlorofluorocarbons were causing a hole in the ozone layer. That hole has shrunk dramatically since CFCs were banned.
Similarly, it’s not too late to take action on climate change, but if schools aren’t teaching about the single greatest threat to mankind and the world we live on, how can we expect them to be engaged in taking action to prevent and adapt to it?
Brighton MP Caroline Lucas has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons that calls for climate change to be reinstated on the geography syllabus. Lucas cites the government’s chief scientist, Sir David King, who has also condemned the decision not to teach climate change.
I’ve written to Horsham MP Francis Maude asking him to sign the Early Day Motion. In my email, I raised the issues I’ve raised here. But it comes down to a fundamental; climate change is too important to be ignored. Children need to be learning about the impact we have on our planet and how we can reduce it.
Sticking our fingers in our ears and pretending climate change isn’t happening is not going to stop it from happening.
While scientists and meteorologists are always reluctant to attribute individual weather events to climate change, we need only look at the number of meteorological records that have been broken worldwide in the last few years to see that the climate is changing.