Milo Slevin

Establish ETHS Climate Curriculum Now!

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Milo Slevin
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Students around the world are feeling the physical and emotional toll of the climate crisis in our present and future. A Lancet study surveying 10,000 young people ages 16 to 25 in 10 countries found that more than half felt sadness, anxiety, anger, and guilt about climate change. We are seeing the impacts of climate change and systemic environmental injustice in our communities and around the world, but many feel helpless and resigned to an unlivable future. We want solutions—we want to know how to fight for climate justice.

“The education system is failing the students when it comes to climate change or climate education in the formal curriculum,” says Radhika Iyengar, director of the education sector at Columbia Climate School’s Center for Sustainable Development. “We really need to pick up speed because otherwise we will have a whole generation of students who will graduate with this climate anxiety and will not know what to do because they have not been prepared by our education systems.”

The lack of climate education is national, and ETHS is no exception. When asked in a recent survey if ETHS gives students “the tools to understand the climate crisis,” students on average give the school a 3 on a scale of 1-5. When the same survey asked if ETHS provides “the tools to act upon the climate crisis,” the average dropped to 2.4, with a majority of students answering “1” or “2”.

The implication is clear: ETHS has a responsibility to incorporate climate education into its core curriculum, with a focus on the scientific reality of the climate crisis, its socioeconomic implications, and the interdependency of these two fields. ETHS students deserve to understand the world they’re growing up into and how to steward it for ourselves and those that come after. We deserve to be prepared to act on environmental racism in our communities and around the world. We deserve education on the most pressing issues of our time, and the climate crisis is no exception.

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