You don’t have to look far for signs that we are living in the human age, or the Anthropocene. Every day we’re exposed to evidence of human impact. For a city dweller a tell-tale sign might be a tall skyscraper whereas for a person living in a rural area it may be the miles and miles of cropland.
Every day, all over the world, ordinary people are dreaming up solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our planet. From technologies such as LifeStraw (a small water filtration device) to programs like American Forests’ Global ReLeaf Program (a tree re-planting program) – we’re constantly coming up with ideas to mitigate human impact on our planet. Here are a few of our favorite solutions to this year’s World of 7 Billion contest challenges:
Sustainable Solution to Deforestation:
In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their 4th report stating human caused climate change is ‘unequivocal.’ To understand how a scientific panel can clearly, and with no doubt, make such a statement about carbon dioxide emissions, we need to understand the trends that led to the 2007 IPCC report.
It goes without saying that the United States is a nation of immigrants. With the exception of indigenous native populations, most of us can claim an ancestry (distant or otherwise) derived from the passage of one group of people via land, ocean, or (in recent cases) air. Even so, every stage of our nation’s history has been fraught with difficult, and often controversial, decisions about immigration policy (Who should be admitted?
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.