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TWO-MINUTE TALKING POINT - Education for action on climate change by Laurie Goering

TWO-MINUTE TALKING POINT - Education for action on climate change by Laurie Goering

by Laurie Goering | @lauriegoering | Thomson Reuters Foundation

"With our generation failing to act on climate change, there's little question that our children are the ones who will have to. They need the tools to do it."
-- Laurie Goering, Climate Change Editor, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Every week, Thomson Reuters Foundation correspondents offer distilled insight on pressing issues. Two-Minute Talking Points bring you concise commentary from the front lines of humanitarian crises, climate change, corruption and human rights.

As climate change brings more extreme weather around the world, some governments are trying to educate young people about the risks.

El Salvador, which suffered through three years of unprecedented damage from storms and flooding, now asks school children to do maths problems that help them calculate how high rivers might rise if a certain amount of rain falls over a certain number of hours.

Britain also has seen record flooding in recent years. But the British government has taken a very different approach. It recently announced plans to scale back education about climate change in its new national primary school curriculum.

Lots of people think that's a bad idea. Britain's energy minister wrote a letter of protest. Petitions and email campaigns are circulating, one started by a 15-year-old girl. She asks how her generation is going to have the skills to fix a problem they didn't create if they aren't educated early about it.

She's not the only one. I spoke recently about climate change to a group of 8-year-olds at Belleville Primary School in south London. They quickly understood the problem -- and came up with some remarkably good ideas on what to do about it. One suggested building underground tunnels so the extra rain has somewhere to go -- exactly what London is planning. Others had clever thoughts on how to use less energy.

With our generation failing to act on climate change, there's little question that our children are the ones who will have to. They need the tools to do it.

Change starts in homes and classrooms. As any parent knows, there's no better motivation to do the right thing than an educated 8-year-old following you around the house, turning off lights and insisting that you not waste their future.