As we talked about climate change communication in class this past week and watched Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary, many different issues were brought up and a lot of information was thrown at us. Much of this information from climate science comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which assesses the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information from hundreds of scientists around the world to understand the risk of climate change. This group looks at impacts around the entire world and the impacts that climate change will have on different regions of the world. There is also the National Climate Assessment that reports on climate change impacts only on the United States.
The National Climate Assessment not only reports on issues like rising temperatures and sea levels, but also reports on the impacts that climate change will have on infrastructure, agriculture, the water supply and human health, just to name a few. While all of this information is very helpful, most of it is not seen by the general public or even by children in school. So the problem may not lie with finding the information and making it easy to understand for people, it is in getting that information to people and educating them on these issues. The IPCC even condenses their report into a section for “policy makers” that is easy to read for non-scientists and includes all of the important facts. While the National Climate Assessment has a “highlights” section that, again, gives people just the important aspects from the full report.
As you can see from the chart above, most people (77%) agree that schools should teach climate change to children. With more people, especially young people, educated about climate change, there will more likely be solutions to the problems from climate change. The younger generations are the ones that have to deal with the issues and problems of climate change, so it is up to us to educate others and find solutions in the future.