The "C" Words

Jan 6, 2012

To me, the most interesting question in this story about Environmental Literacy is whether advocates will be able to frame the proposed graduation requirement as a tool to help teachers and students excel in a system focused on evaluation (in other words, improve test scores) or whether it will be seen as one more subject to be squished into an already-packed school year.  It’s a relevant debate.

Unfortunately, my suspicion is that as soon as the words “climate change” enter the story (which they do, at about 1:14), there are some people who will immediately see this as a political issue.

Despite the fact that 47 percent of Americans think global warming is a result of natural causes (only 14 percent of the world shares that opinion), among scientists there is little question that climate change is real and caused by humans.   

It’s a sad irony that a lack of scientific knowledge among the general public could be a factor in preventing students from gaining access to that knowledge in the future.

Barbara Garrity agrees: "(It's) unfortunate because Republicans and Democrats and Independents all live on this earth.  We all want clean air to breath, we all want clean water, we all want a healthy planet.  And I think that we have to seek that common ground and work together.”