Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
A legislator in Connecticut in January introduced a bill requiring schools to teach climate change science starting at the elementary level. Connecticut already has a science curriculum “standard” that encourages the teaching of climate science, but if it passes, this law would be the first in the country to mandate it, according to The Associated Press (AP).
State Representative Christine Palm, who proposed the bill, told the AP, “I think it should be mandatory, and I think it should be early so there’s no excuse for kids to grow up ignorant of what’s at stake.”
But others argue the law is not needed because Connecticut already adopted the “Next Generation Science Standards,” which include climate change as part of the core science education curriculum beginning in middle school.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia so far have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, but generally, state legislatures stop short of curriculum mandates.
Palm believes it is essential that climate is taught to students, saying, “I’d love to see poetry be mandated. That’s never going to happen,” she said. “That’s not life or death.”
Why This Matters: Mandating in law that certain subjects be taught is a tricky precedent to set. It is not hard to imagine a backlash of laws being passed in “redder” states prohibiting the teaching of climate science in response. This feels a bit like the debate over teaching evolution in schools. And yet, without the knowledge about the greatest challenge their generation will likely face, it seems like we are not preparing children well to deal with the impacts of climate change that surely lie ahead. Goals and standards may not be enough in this case, and given the scientific consensus around climate change, this does not seem like a terribly radical proposal, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the Connecticut bill. Last year the same bill failed.
To Go Deeper: We highly recommend this incredible series by The Washington Post’s Zoeann Murphy and Chris Mooney called “Gone in a Generation” about how the impacts of climate change are already disrupting lives across America. It looks at climate change through the lenses of forests, floods, fires and fisheries. It is excellent.
The world’s richest one percent cause more than double the CO2 of the poorest 50% according to a new study from Oxfam. From 1990 to 2015, CO2 emissions rose by 60%; experts saw the wealthiest one percent’s emissions rise three times more than those of the poorest half during that period.
Why this matters: While the wealthiest indulge in luxuries that contribute more to climate change, a federal report found that the poor will be among the earliest victims of climate crises and will be impacted the most.
By Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Last week, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier announced the country would be implementing a new climate charter that calls for “increased state incentives for environmentally friendly businesses” and “more EU-wide policies” as Deutsche Welle (DW) reported. In addition, the charter declared that each year until 2050 will “see new […]
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a rock-steady vote in favor of environmental protection and sympathetic on issues involving clean water and air.
Why This Matters: There are many challenges to President Trump’s rollbacks of environmental laws that are working their way to the Supreme Court. Once there, the Court can effectively re-write those laws narrowing them considerably by upholding the Trump deregulatory position even if it is contrary to prior interpretations or other plausible interpretations of the statute itself.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.