UK Schools Put U.S. Schools to Shame on Climate Change, of All Things

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We’ve written in the past about the bizarre saga of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” and the National Science Teacher’s Association. In late November of last year, the NSTA turned down 50,000 free copies of the movie, saying that it didn’t accept materials from “special interests.” In truth, the issue was too much special interest: the NSTA is supported big-time by Exxon, who does more than anyone to stifle action on global warming, and potentially irritating a sponsor was enough to scare the NSTA off.

Today, a study in contrast. The UK’s Independent is reporting that under new curriculum rules set to be released Monday “education for sustainable development — covering issues such as energy saving and recycling — will be a compulsory part of the curriculum” for British schoolchildren. According to the Independent, starting next year 11- to 14-year-olds will learn about:

  • Climate change – the impact on pupils, the UK and the rest of world.
  • Children’s responsibilities – whether to travel by aeroplane or buy food from the other side of the world, and the impact of purchasing a gas-guzzling car or buying new clothes or trainers.
  • The impact of the south Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.
  • Sustainable development – the importance of recycling waste products and saving energy.
  • Global warming – impact of rising sea temperatures and melting ice caps.
  • Fieldwork projects – such as studying ways to regenerate east London during preparations for the 2012 Olympics.
  • Learning to examine individuals’ carbon footprints, and what they can contribute in the fight to preserve the planet’s resources.
  • Looks like the 13th tipping point is beginning.

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    FACT:

    Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

    Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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