When the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was published in early August.
What was already being made increasingly obvious by 2021’s extreme weather events I confirmed : the burning of fossil fuels is “choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk”.
While the report’s main headlines weren’t news to many – especially climate scientists, who have been sounding the alarm for decades, and the fossil fuel industry, which has spent billions obscuring the truth about climate change – one cohort in the UK was mostly able to continue with their days unaware of its implications: young children.
David Sobel, the American environmental educator, has a maxim:
no environmental tragedies before fourth grade .
Is this realistic today in a rapidly heating world? How parents talk to their own children about the Earth crisis will be child dependent, age dependent and location dependent.
Of course as children go to school and become more aware, questions will be asked, and any fears and emotions should be acknowledged and explored, rather than brushed under the carpet. Parents and adults spending time with children can model living lightly and encourage responsible ecological behaviours from the earliest ages.