Thanks to an invitation from OKAGE (Oklahoma Alliance for Geographic Education), my colleagues and I got to spend a day working with 130 seventh grade geography teachers from around the state who convened at the University of Oklahoma for a World Geography Academy on November 18. In addition to Lindsey Bailey (our Teacher Training Manager) and myself, we also shared the workshop facilitation with one of our star trainers, Dr. Kristy Brugar, Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at OU.
Earlier this month, president Obama rejected construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Since 2008 when it was proposed, the pipeline has become a politically charged symbol of the conflict between economic growth and environmental progress. Some argued that the pipeline would bring jobs and lower gas prices while others argued that it would significantly increase emissions and exacerbate climate change.
This year’s World of 7 Billion student video contest topics are Deforestation, Public Health, and Water Scarcity. In doing research and preparation for creating their videos, students may consider reading some contemporary books on their selected topic to explore the issues.
Books on Deforestation:
There was bleak, though not unexpected, news coming out of the World Meteorological Organization yesterday. Average levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had reached 400 parts per million (ppm) in the early months of 2015, a rise of 43 percent over pre-Industrial levels (when we were at 278 ppm). While the atmospheric concentration ebbs and flows with the seasons, WMO officials say the planetary average is expected to remain above 400 ppm beginning in 2016.
Last month, leaders from all around the globe met at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) have a huge span in scope, with the overall goal of impacting the root causes of poverty.
What do climate change and global security have in common? According to U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, everything. When speaking at Stanford University last month, Rice warned that America faces no greater long-term challenge than climate change, calling it an “advancing menace that imperils so many of the other things we hope to achieve.” For Rice, the danger of climate change lies not in its ability to spark the change necessary to create conflict, but in its ability to amplify social, political and environmental tensions.
The next Steven Spielberg or Sophia Coppola might be sitting in a seventh grade classroom today, dreaming up ways to put their visions on screen. With that in mind, we have opened up our annual student video contest to middle school grades for the first time.
The National Council for the Social Studies annual conference is near (November 12-15) and the Population Education staff is gearing up for what’s sure to be a great event. This year’s NCSS theme – Celebrate Social Responsibility – fits in well with PopEd resources that strive towards global citizenship and sustainability. As a member of our ever-growing global family, we all have a responsibility to be a steward of the planet and act with others in mind.
If we flash forward to 2050, what countries do you think would have the largest populations in the world? India and China would still be at the top of the list, with Nigeria coming in at number three. The rate of growth in Nigeria, currently the 7th most populous country worldwide, is an example of how Africa will be at the forefront of global population growth.