When years from now people look back on how we began to address climate change by preparing young people with knowledge and knowhow about climate and energy, they should know about people like AshEl Eldridge.
A passionate educator-performer-comedian with ACE, the Alliance for Climate Education, AshEl is on the front lines of informing and inspiring young people about the causes, effects, and risks of--and responses to--climate change.
Having seen one of ACE's high school assemblies last year at El Cerrito High in the East Bay and been impressed by the high quality of the science content and the deliberately youth-oriented flavor of the presentation, I was looking forward to seeing the new improved assembly, with updated graphics and a focus on the Right to Know (or R2K) campaign that ACE has been developing with NCSE and other partners.
ACE has already reached well over a million and a half students in 2000 schools, and many of the students inspired by ACE over recent years are now in college, pursuing climate- and energy-related studies and activities.
I arrived at Concord High School a little early (I was impressed to see most of the student parking area shaded by solar panels) and already could hear through the door AshEl describing the greenhouse effect and talking about the American propensity for "living large." Today, rather than a large assembly with hundreds of students, AshEl was presenting in front of Mr. Duffy's AP Chemistry class.
Clearly comfortable bantering with youth and articulate and well-informed about climate science, AshEl delivered his talk with the aid of new multimedia graphics that walk students through the essential science of climate change. AshEl talked about young people's right to know about climate change, and how they can support the Right to Know campaign, which declares: