Understanding climate change is critical to our shared future on Earth

In 2021, The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), reaffirmed our commitment to providing accurate, effective climate science education to all students with an update of our Position Statement on Teaching Climate Change. The Position Statement reads as follows:

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) recognizes: (1) that Earth's climate is changing at a rate unprecedented in human history, (2) that present warming trends are both dangerous and primarily the result of human activities, (3) that the greatest drivers of modern climate change are related to our use of energy and land, (4) that teaching climate change, energy use, and land use is a fundamental and integral part of Earth science education, and, (5) the urgency of these issues requires providing learners with skills, knowledge and vision to act immediately and effectively.

Issues related to climate change are among the most serious problems that society is currently facing and will continue to face in the coming decades. As climate change is primarily driven by human extraction and use of energy resources and land use, climate change education requires effective attention to these issues. Climate change education must be grounded in science, should reach across disciplines and all ages of learners, and should help these learners understand, devise, and/or implement effective solutions to climate issues.

We view the teaching of climate change as critical to ensuring the future habitability of Earth for humans. Students deserve to know how human activities impact the planet and how Earth processes, in turn, impact human activities. Such knowledge is necessary when making decisions on actions such as resource extraction and use as well as making plans to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate.

See the full Position Statement document on Teaching Climate Change.

Read other essays from our #ClimateEdNow series.

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The National Association of Geoscience Teachers is a member-driven organization. Our vision is that everyone experiences welcoming, inspiring, and effective Earth education.