Expert weighs in on climate change education for fall 2024

KBTX First News at Four(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:35 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As part of a science curriculum overhaul, which was given approval by TEKS two years ago, climate change will be part of the curriculum for eighth graders in Texas.

To get a look at what might be taught, and why this education is needed, the Director of the Texas Center for Climate Studies, climate scientist and Texas A&M Professor Andrew Dessler came to speak with KBTX.

“Kids today are going to live through most of this century, and the climate is going to change a lot over their lifetime, and they need to know about what’s happening,” Dessler said. “If we don’t educate them, we’ve abdicated our responsibility to future generations.”

He said that the issue of climate change is complex.

“Fossil fuels have gotten us to the level of wealth that we experienced today. So for that, we should be grateful,” he said.

But, that does not negate what fossil fuels do. Which is not just change the climate.

“Fossil fuels are geopolitically destabilizing. Just look at the war in Ukraine,” Dessler said.

Climate, Dessler said, is the key to nearly everything we do on a day-to-day basis.

“I think people don’t realize the extent to which we rely on the climate for everything. You go to Kroger and you expect to see bread on the shelves. You don’t realize that the bread is provided courtesy of the climate system,” said Dessler. “And yeah, when you flip a switch and you want to get power and you realize that the climate also affects the power we get.”

Dessler hopes the new requirement will help future generations solve the issue of climate change.

“It’s not a scientific problem. It’s not a technical problem. It’s a political problem. It’s getting our elected representatives at all levels of government to realize this is a problem we have to solve. We can solve it. We just have to.”