English then Double Climate Change: Education Against Climate Chaos

Education is heralded as a pillar of our modern society.  Could it therefore and should it be used to make a society of super green citizens.  Citizens that understand why they should buy more expensive energy saving devices and who do not moan about the number of bins they need to sort their rubbish into. Is education powerful enough to transform our society in to sustainable utopia?  If yes can we wait for it to feed through the newest generations or do we need enforced adult education?

I actually remember the first time I heard about climate change.  It was in Geography in high school.  It sounded quite a threatening, but my geography teacher reassured us by saying that as he was growing up in the 70s there was the fear of global cooling.   So basically he told us not to believe science always.  10 years on I am a fully-fledged, vegetarian, no flying, rubbish harvesting green.  It was however not this first mention that changed the way I live.  It was rather through my geography course at university.  There a professor described in detail the lack of action and protection for the environmental good.  The way that money was often put before the environment due to our system’s inability to value the environment. It hit a nerve.

I was sat in a room with 100s of others and I can truthfully say that I am now in the top 5 of the greenest.  A lot of my friends carried on. This is important because it shows that many people when confronted with the information disregard it.  My geography teacher disregarded climate change because of the failed theory of climate cooling.  My friends ignored it because they probably believed the professor was inflating the threat.

This difference in acceptance of information may result in a lower impact of education than many environmentalists would like to believe.  However the key is the introduction young and more importantly than environmentalism itself is the ability to work out complicated interrelationships.  Is the politically introduced target of 20% biofuel for the EU by 2020 good for the environment?  The theory is yes, but if you look at the increase in land scarcity and the balance of energy crops grown in the damp north then the balance is pretty poor.  Therefore society needs to be built in with a willingness and want to unravel these processes.

Here education really is the key and environmentalism really does offer a great subject to teach children how to assess different policies and whether they will really help us achieve the goal they are designed for.

Climate change should become a subject in school but action is needed now.  Adult education in this case is too late as adults are generally already stuck in their decision making ways.  Some will accept the BBC’s take on a situation.  Others will hear what The Sun has to say and others will scour the information sources and think about it themselves before they make up their mind.

More robust environmental policies will develop with time as the children with their climate change knowledge start taking more control of the decision making process and as the public becomes more susceptible to environmental protection.  This remains the main hurdle to a sustainable society the unsustainable and unwillingness to change our own lifestyles. Through education the bigger picture becomes clear.

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