Climate "Solutions" — sloppy use of language...

Education   Mar 3, 2017 by Gordon Harrison

I can be sloppy in my use of language at times and in this sloppiness, adopted the phrase "climate solutions" instead of a bulkier phrase like "adaptation and mitigation measures required to address climate change." In talking with a CA150 teacher yesterday, I discovered "climate solutions" was misleading, resulting in the teacher wondering if his students would be able to come up with solutions.

We need to help students understand the problems, the impacts of climate change on them, their communities and beyond. But we don't want them to just look at the problems. And that's my reason for wanting to keep an emphasis on examining the "s" word — what can I do about it?, what can my community do about it?, and what do I want others (Government, etc.) to do about it?

  • Mitigation: Your students examine the impacts of climate change on them/on their community and take action to reduce their GHG emissions — their actions and the actions of others in their community contribute to the overall mitigation of the impacts of climate change.
  • Adaptation: Your students identify the increased risk of extreme weather events like flooding and examine what homeowners and communities can do to improve preparedness for these events.

I may have answered any confusion and I may have raised more questions about how students come up with what can I/my community do about it? and what can others do? and so look forward to responses to this and ongoing dialogue.


Post comment

You must write a comment to post it!

3 Comment(s)

Mar 6, 2017

Great post!

I think the aim is to create shift in the mindset of students so that they not only think about the problem but also begin to see themselves as co-creators in solutions to the negative effects of climate change. The term 'mitigation and adaption measures' does a good job of describing this process. What is so good about Climate Action 150 is its two-fold nature - engaging and empowering. It engages youth in deconstructing the problems and then empowers them to take action by brainstorming what can be done. It can be challenging coming up with solutions but this type of learning stretches a student's mental capacity while creating in them a personal sense of responsibility for the environment...

Jessica Karafilov
Mar 6, 2017

Thanks for the post,  Gordon!

Yes, it's very important to have students think about their implication in climate change in Canada and what they can do on a personal/family/school/community level. (Thanks to the CA 150 project for encouraging them to do that!)

Jessica Luciuk
Mar 5, 2017

The students in working in the ADLC group are looking at their 'do' as an informational campaign to spread awareness in Alberta as they see that the major issues in our province are from a lack of knowledge from the general public.  Our last meeting ended with one of the younger students realizing that climate change isn't truly taught in Alberta at all, mainly because he was speaking with my co-teaching lead in this project who grew up in BC and also taught in BC for a few years... through that discussion, even the teacher was talking about that climate change in Alberta curriculum seems to be non existent or worse yet, taught in odd ways (she was explaining it through Chemistry outcomes that I don't exactly understand).

I am hoping this will at least meet some of what you are talking about.....