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Climate activism education

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I see from a recent NAEE weekly webwatch that there’s a climate activism education event in London on Saturday October 12th.  It's sponsored by NUS, UCU and NEU.

This conference is aimed at "workers and students from across the world of education to discuss, in plenaries and workshops, how we can work together to bring about the change we so desperately need".  The organisers say that student strikes have inspired a generation of new activists and pushed the climate emergency to the top of the political agenda.  For more detail on the day, click here.  Maybe I'll see you there.

The organisers add that the latest UN report on the climate emergency says the following:

  • Without urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero carbon there will be dangerous temperature rises above 4 degrees by 2100 – in the lifetime of young people alive today.
  • 1 degree rise above pre-industrial levels has already led to an increase in fires, hurricanes, floods and droughts
  • The transition to a zero-carbon society to keep below a 1.5 degree increase is the most urgent problem facing humanity and is technically feasible
  • The obstacles are entirely political

But the last two points are disingenuous.  Obstacles are not entirely political and to say so is to play a blame game.  In part they are also social in that there will be resistance to change as there always is; education might reduce this but it's not the only tool in the box.  As for technical feasibility, well, you just have to despair at such glib assertions.  Where, for example, are the carbon capture schemes operating at scale.  We shall need these – and to be able to suck CO2 out of the air, but they don't yet exist which would be laughable in the context of radical change by 2025 (or even 2030) were it not so serious.  Will such little difficulties be discussed in October?  I somehow doubt it.  Detail is so tedious when solidarity is on offer.

What will be more interesting, perhaps, is what is said (and by whom) about curriculum change, especially now that one part of Labour's fissiparous organisation seems to have endorsed the idea.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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