Raising Awareness on Climate Change Issues Through Education
Written by Sekar Ningtyas Kinasih, Content Writer
Project Child Indonesia
Many scientists have stated if our future generations will face severe issues about climate change, where human beings play the role in rising temperatures around the world. The worse thing is that climate change turns out to be a threat to a child’s opportunity to live, survive and thrive. We often witness that extreme weather such as heat waves rise in frequency and severity, then it threatens children’s lives in several chronic diseases such as renal disease, respiratory disease, fever, and electrolyte imbalance. Floods effects poor water and sanitation facilities, then cause cholera while the children are vulnerable to it. Crop failure caused by the changing of rainfall season and aridity, leading to the rise of food prices that make a lower class economy society would be hard to obtain adequate nutrition that can have lifelong impacts on their health.
Over these cases, we know if climate change has become an urgent issue requiring a global movement, one of which is through education. According to UNESCO, education is a critical tool to help the populations in understanding the impacts of climate change and encourage them to transform behavior to practice more sustainable lifestyles, participate in decision making and take action as soon as possible. They also promote Climate Change Education (ECC) to support the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). UNESCO provides guidelines on how to introduce “climate literacy” that becomes government responsibility to involve climate change education towards all levels and components of the education system. It requires strong coordination, support and many resources such as establish curriculum and build teaching methods in schools.
Based on the World Values Survey in 2005-2008 of 47 countries, the people who possess a higher level of education tend to express more concern for the environment. Besides, when in the 2010-2012 World Values Survey asked the participants to choose between protecting the environment versus boosting the economy, the results showed that secondary education preferred the environment more than those with less than secondary education. In separate semi-arid areas of China, farmers who have an adequate educational background are likely to use rainwater harvesting and supplementary irrigation technology to relieve water scarcity. Likewise in the Netherlands and Spain, the more educated people the more they consider to use less energy at home, save much water and control their consumption with environmental harm limitation.
Since it becomes very clear that human actions seriously affect environmental disrepute and climate issues, education should be a limelight to get sharpened and tap their potential. And yet, we do know that it’s really hard to change our attitudes on the preservation of the environment overnight, as well as to complete education courses through formal to informal that going to takes time. But still, the various threats that are not trivial by these issues have assumed an unprecedented pressing to which we are all responsible to do something.