Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Having failed to win over adults, climate activists appear to be stepping up efforts to impress their viewpoint on children entrusted to their care, with strategies ranging from climate themed early learning stories to activism workshops for teenagers.
Get them young;
Why Children’s Stories Are a Powerful Tool to Fight Climate Change
MAREK OZIEWICZ 6 MIN READJAN 14, 2022
The power of children’s stories resides largely in its audience: in how open young people are to new ideas. Their drive to experiment is familiar to any parent: Children invent new words, do things differently, and ask “why” about pretty much everything we adults take for granted.
For teachers, children’s noncompliant curiosity is at once a source of delight and frustration. We know this curiosity lies at the heart of learning, and we strive to keep it alive by pushing against educational systems built on factory-model standardization. And while some dismiss youth “rebelliousness” as a stage—something to grow out of—what if it is really a refusal to comply with the wrong ways of doing things that adults have acquiesced to?
In this time of climate change and biodiversity loss, children’s ability to imagine alternatives to the way things are may be the most powerful force for the socioeconomic transformation we need. It is childlike curiosity that allows youth climate activists like Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Greta Thunberg to imagine that people like you and me, together, can change the system to work for the planet. It is childlike honesty that empowers young climate strikers to say, much like the child in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” that adults are caught up in self-serving illusions about eternal growth in the market economy. And it really takes a childlike power to believe that a sustainable, equitable, and multi-species future is achievable even as corporations are fracking like there’s no tomorrow.
Imagine that we teach climate literacy from kindergarten all the way up to high school and across all subject areas. Imagine we give our students story-rich examples to help them understand what is at stake and how they can be agents of change. Imagine we also empower them with vocabulary and concepts to articulate visions of sustainable, equitable futures. And imagine we give our teachers a resource where they can find books, films, apps, and other formats—including lesson plans—for teaching climate literacy effectively.
We do this because we recognize that in our current socioeconomic system, any meaningful action on climate change is indeed a childish dream. But if this childishness—its audacity, directness, and hope—is the only way forward, addressing climate change is eminently a job for children’s stories.Read more: https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2022/01/14/climate-change-childrens-stories
Teenage workshops to turn out more kids who think like Greta Thunberg;
Climate change: Inadequate governmental response is causing climate anxiety in young people
January 14, 2022 by World Economic Forum
Author: Stefan Klebert, Chief Executive Officer, GEA
- More than half of young people worry about the future of the planet, according to a new survey.
- 75% described the future as “frightening”.
- Despite the lack of action from global governments, young people are taking action.
Governments around the world must protect the mental health of young people by taking action against climate change, a study from The Lancet Planetary Health has concluded.
What are young people doing to help solve the crisis?
Regardless of the perceived government inaction, Melati Wijsen and her sister Isabel are training up a generation by giving them the tools to make a difference.
YOUTHTOPIA offers on-the-ground local workshops and training for young people who want to become “changemakers”. YOUTHTOPIA is the second project from the pair after they helped bring about a ban on single-use plastic bags six years ago in Bali – a movement called Bye Bye Plastic Bags.
Greta Thunberg and other young climate activists sat in front of the Swedish parliament every day for three weeks in August 2018 to protest the lack of action on climate change. As a result, she launched the Fridays for Future school climate strikes.
Our kids are not “powerful tools” for others to use, to further a political agenda which parents have largely rejected.