More than 4.3 million people die prematurely from indoor air pollution each year, most of whom live in the developing world where open fires are used as a primary source of energy. Open indoor fires pose a serious threat to human health and the environment. When wood or other traditional fuel sources are burned, dangerous forms of particulate matter are released into the atmosphere (think ash and soot). Of these pollutants, none is more harmful than black carbon.
As our human population continues to grow, one of our vital resources—Earth’s forests—continues to decline. It’s estimated that about 36 football field’s worth of forests are lost every minute due to logging, clear cutting, climate change, and forest fires.
Share My Lesson now offers a collection of resources that focus on girls’ education and gender equality. The lesson sharing site asked PopEd for resources that underscore the importance of these topics and others relating to the status of women, and we were happy to oblige. As a content provider for Share My Lesson, we highlighted the following three Population Education lesson plans:
The Climate Summit (COP21), now underway in Paris, presents a fantastic teachable moment for engaging students on the science, math and social studies behind climate issues. In his news conference today, President Obama referred to climate change as a “generational issue” and your students comprise the generation that will be most affected by the decisions made over the next two weeks.
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.