Thinking Through Climate Change – Lecture at GA Conference

Professor Stuart Lane gave an interesting lecture on climate change. Certainly called in to question how this subject is taught in schools.

A main point through the talk focused around using current events to illustrate the effects of climate change. If I think about it, this is a common method of communicating the possible effects of climate change to young people. However, the danger of doing this is that the events are often part of a more complex pattern, and nothing to do with climate change.

I was also interested in the language used. For example, ‘possible’ all indicating that it is very difficult to find 100% consensus on the subject.

Another interesting point was that those members of society that work the land have a better understanding of the changes happening. The majority of us are insulated from the effects of climate change and only really see the extreme events. The danger in using events to illustrate climate change was illustrated by using the following example: ‘So does the snow mean that climate change is over?’. Using events can lead to a simplified way of understanding climate change. In conclusion, Professor Lane said that events are not proof or disproof of climate change so how can we ‘see’ climate change.

So how, as teachers, should we be developing ‘belief’ about climate change in our students?

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