Why Teach about Climate Change and Current Events

February 03, 2014 by Julie Walker
Dry riverbed

Why Should YOU Teach about Climate Change and Current Events?

As we have all experienced the extreme cold this winter, it seems easy to let climate change slip from our minds. After all its hard to feel bad for those melting polar ice caps, when you have one rapidly forming in your driveway at home. But being the good environmental stewards that you are, you know that weather and climate are two very different things. Unlike the growing number of Americans that cite their personal observations of cold and snowy winter conditions as the primary factor influencing their disbelief of climate change. So hopefully some fresh polar vortex air will give you the second wind that you need to pull out your climate change soap box.

How Can YOU Teach About Climate Change and Current Events?

“BUT HOW!?” you say; “I’ve taught my students about climate change! How do I make it interesting?”

It’s true, not all students will find greenhouse gases, and mitigation strategies all that interesting. But, that doesn’t mean they can find some connection to climate change. Drawing connections from climate change to current events may be the ticket to grabbing their attention.

For example if you are reading this at my point in time, your students might be hyped on a sports overload with the recent Super Bowl, and upcoming Winter Olympic Games. And even if they might not think that carbon emissions are all that cool, they might find it interesting that Peyton Manning carpools to games, that Super Bowl 48 is being billed as the “First Mass Transit Super Bowl” because of the increased focus on public transportation, or that in 2012 the NFL purchased renewable energy certificates to offset the carbon footprint of the big game day at “Lucas Oil Stadium”.

And you can’t forget about the Olympics, everyone loves the flags, the patriotism, and the inspiring feats of athleticism. But, did you know that  if we experience climate change to the degree predicted by scientists by the mid-21st century close to half of the cities that have hosted the Olympic Winter Games in the past would no longer be able to because it would not be cold enough? Or that in the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway all of the silverware and plates were made from potato starch and fed it to cattle afterward?

NOW DIDN’T YOU FIND THAT INTERESTING? So did I! Maybe your students will too!

So if you want to get you students to relate to climate change try using current events to lead into a lesson, it could help students to make everyday connections to climate change. If you are looking for some lesson plans on climate changes try using some of the great lesson plans from Bay Backpack.

Related Articles:

The Future of the Winter Olympics in a Warmer World- University of Waterloo

The Best and Worst Olympic Cities - Discovery News

Super Bowl Tackles Climate Change- Discovery News

Taking the Bus to Super Bowl XLVIII - Sustainable Cities Collective

The Chilling effect of winter 2013 on American Acceptance of Global Warming - National Surveys on Energy and Environment

Protect our Winters- Organization started by winter sports athletes and enthusiasts, with a focus on educational initiatives, advocacy and the support of community-based projects to lead the fight against climate change.

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