How can I teach my students about climate change?

The good news about young brains — as anyone who’s been even passively absorbing climate news over the past year probably knows — is that the Teens Are Pretty On It. Seattle-based climate activist Jamie Margolin launched the nonprofit Zero Hour when she was yet to hit voting age.

The International Youth Climate Strike, which took place in over 130 countries this past March, was organized by a group of middle and high school students, some of whom were as young as 13. And Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who’s become something of a patron saint of the climate movement, just sailed across the whole-ass Atlantic Ocean on a zero-carbon yacht to school the United Nations on climate action at the tender age of 16.

It’s easy to read that as a teacher and think, “I’m good here! The next crop of kids is already all over the climate thing.” Kids today may be “digital natives” who get the latest TikTok update downloaded directly to their brains, but they’ve also had to grow up wading through the rising cesspool that is online misinformation.

When you add into the mix that many media outlets continue to prominently feature climate deniers (despite the vast majority of scientists affirming that human-caused climate change is real), and the fact we’re talking about complicated science stuff and existential threats to human life on Earth, you have a recipe for utter bafflement.

So what should you do?


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