Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Ignorance Isn't Bliss


I keep expecting Dave & Nick to hold a press conference to announce “Haha, got you! We’re not really the Government. This is a reality show. looool.” Because, quite simply, this just can’t be happening, can it? It seems like every new policy they wheel out is more ridiculous than the last. The cuts, the tuition fees, the caps... It’s like we’re moving back in time to a darker, less caring place.

Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has obviously decided the past is the new future. If, as a society, we’re moving back to a more Victorian way of doing things, then let’s apply that to education too. No, I’m not talking about corporal punishment, although give him time - he is a defender of the right to smack. This week, it has transpired that climate change has been, in the most part, cut from the school curriculum. Well, they didn’t have climate change back in the good old days, why do we need it now?

Michael, Michael, Michael. Do you never tire of being politically castrated by good people? Unsurprisingly, there has been a tirade of media coverage of charities and campaigning organisations exclaiming how ridiculous this move is. And they’re right.

I’m not going to argue that climate change is happening, because I’m going to assume that you believe it is. Otherwise you’d probably be too busy penning a letter to Mr Gove telling him it’s about time someone took that nonsense off the agenda, and it’s about time we reinstated that section 28 whatnot, or something equally awful.

Image credit: Ivan Prole
The idea of taking climate change off the school curriculum is terrifying. Young people need to be aware about climate change, because they need to be inspired to force change. They need to be the ones getting angry about what we’ve done to their planet. They need to be learning about the recklessness of future generations - mine included- and the impact this has had on the planet. They need to learn that 300,000 people a year are already dying as a direct result of climate change. Sure, it’s not people in Gove’s constituency of Surrey Heath, but this is still an issue that he should feels affects him as a decision maker.

300,000 people a year are dying from drought and floods and forest fires as a direct result of climate change. So can we all stop pretending this is a problem we can stick a pin in for a few years. Climate change is happening, and young people need to be taught about it.

Young people need to learn about the importance of recycling, so that they can go home and insist their parents recycle. Young people need to learn about the carbon footprint of their dinner, so they can implement meat-free Mondays at home. Young people need to know that climate change is a global problem, and that we are part of the solution.

The media often paints young people as apathetic, uninterested and idle. Well, I’ve worked with young people, and this isn’t true. I’ve visited schools and spoken to young people about the causes of climate change, I’ve spoken with young people about actions they can do politically and personally to try and prevent climate change, and I’ve been inspired by the passion young people have to protect their world, and themselves, from this disaster.

We need to keep educating, inspiring and supporting students to tackle this issue.

If, like me, you feel we need to keep talking about climate change in schools, please tell Michael Gove that ignorance isn’t bliss. This automated email does all the work - although feel free to add to/change it - and it will only take a minute.

Thank you x

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