Marcelo Suárez-Orozco: Op-Ed Highlights Need for Climate Change Education

Co-authored op-ed for The Hill delineates urgency of teaching all students to find solutions to most pressing environmental challenges.

Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco has published an op-ed for The Hill, co-written with Veerabhadran Ramanathan, distinguished professor of climate sciences and the Frieman Presidential Chair in Climate Sustainability at UC San Diego, on the need for climate change education in PreK-12 education.

“Young people are struggling to make sense of the planet’s finality,” write Suárez-Orozco and Ramanathan. “While all children come to contemplate the mortality of their parents and loved ones and eventually, their own, the mortality of the planet is not easily grasped. In their collective cry, they are articulating the existential terror of planetary death.” 

The co-authors cite a switch to renewable fuels as one solution to avoiding catastrophic outcomes in climate change and environmental damage. They also point out that, “Education for all is the only way to affect such mass scale behavioral transformation toward a sustainable planet and sustainable humanity.”

Suárez-Orozco and Ramanathan state that climate change education should begin in kindergarten and continue through adulthood.

“Schools have always organized around special themes  —  the arts, STEM, the humanities, coding and the like,” the co-authors write. “Sustainability education should be woven seamlessly into these special themes.

“Last week, we saw up close an ethic of youth solidarity triumphing over the endemic culture of indifference. Education must build on this solidarity by providing meaningful new opportunities to connect with each other to learn about climate change and the levers to mitigate it.”

To read, “Climate change: Students, finally, are on fire,” in The Hill, visit this link.