Saturday, June 3, 2017

How to teach kids about climate change where most parents are skeptics

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — Jakob Namson peered up at the towering ponderosa pine before him. He looked at his notebook, which was full of calculations scribbled in pencil. Then he looked back at the pine. If his math was right — and it nearly always is — he would need to plant 36 trees just like this one to offset the 831 pounds of carbon dioxide that his drive to school emits each year.

Students calculate a tree’s use of carbon
dioxide at Farragut State Park in Idaho

Namson, 17, gazed around at his classmates, who were all examining their own pines in northern Idaho’s Farragut State Park. He considered the 76 people in this grove, the 49,000 people in his home town of Coeur d’Alene, the millions of people in the United States driving billions of miles a year — and approached his teacher, Jamie Esler, with a solemn look on his face.

“I think I’m beginning to understand the enormity of the problem,” the teenager said — a revelation that Esler later described as “one of the most inspirational moments of my entire career.”

Read Sarah Kaplan’s story on The Washington Post - “How to teach kids about climate change where most parents are skeptics.”

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