To avoid having leaders like Donald Trump who do not believe in climate change, children should be introduced to the concept of climate change at an early age in schools. This is the view of theDirector of Obafemi Awolowo University’s Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Professor Emmanuel Ofoezie.
Speaking in an interview with Ecoscope, the professor said that the climate change could be taught in schools as part of a subject or as separate
“We need to create awareness at all levels. If children are aware of the threat posed by climate change as they are growing up they are more likely to pay attention to it, and to believe in it.
The problem with climate change is whether people in authority believe there is climate change.
This is not only in our environment, but also in the highest echelon of the international community. See what is happening in the United States – their president doesn’t believe in climate change. He is allowing America to pollute the environment.
“I believe young people should have jobs, which is what Trump is doing. But the issue of environmental management is all about balance.”
He said all forms of work cannot stop for the sake of a clean environment, and that leaders should look for “the best safeguard that will guarantee sustainable development.
“It is all about sustainable development,” he emphasised.
The professor observed that the current weather patterns witnessed locally in the country, such as the re-emergence of harmattan winds in some areas that had already witnessed rainfalls, was a clear indication of the reality of climate change.
The professor said he would not recommend an outright change in the curriculum to accommodate climate change studies, but it is important to note “that in subjects like Geography and Civics students should be taught that they must only perform activities that have minimal impact on the environment, and factors that affect climate change.”
He added that apart from teaching it as subject students will be examined in, it will be beneficial if “they can be educated in a fun-filled way” involving quizzes and Q&A, by giving children occasional talks, and allowing them attend climate change conferences as has been done at his institute.
It will be recalled that thousands of children have held protests for climate action in Germany and Australia in recent months.
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