By: Ella Burns-DeMelo ‘23
Climate change is a hot topic, but many of us feel unprepared to do anything about it. Although we can wish for a simple solution to this dire situation, it is a little more complex. What should we be learning in school that we aren’t?
Throughout Bethel High School’s student learning experience, the statistics of climbing global temperatures and rising sea levels have been pushed into the back of our minds. Students are aware that climate change exists, but not how they can do anything about it.
Bethel High School student Nina Hemsey 23’ is an example of one of those students.
“I may have learned the mechanics behind climate change in 9th-grade biology, but I certainly didn’t learn anything in regards to the future of the planet,” said Hemsey.
Bethel High School has done a fine job teaching students about the causes of climate change, but what can we do to take it one step further?
Founding CEO of Connecticut Sustainable Business Council, Heather Burns, provided some input.
“The focus on STEM education will be helpful for students wanting to go into careers in renewable energy and that industry is about to explode so that all states can meet their greenhouse gas reduction goals,” she said. “Students interested in communications, public policy or law will be a huge help as the country and the world transitions to clean, renewable energy.”
All the problems adults face today will soon be passed down to current teenagers, making it crucial that every moment is used to prepare students for the future.
“No matter what a BHS student grows up to do for a living, you can always put climate and planet at the center of what you do,” said Burns.
It is important to understand that Climate change isn’t a topic that we can learn about and move on from simply because that part of the curriculum has been covered. This situation determines the future of our planet. In order to successfully prepare Bethel students, we need to connect climate change to each topic we learn.
“This is such an exciting time and there are many opportunities to get involved on a local and even global level,” said Burns.
When asking Bethel High School student Hemsey about Sustainable CT, she was completely unaware of what it was. This is an example of where we can start.
Currently, the Town of Bethel is involved in Sustainable CT, which is a program that towns can participate in to become more sustainable. Furthermore, The Sunrise Movement in Connecticut is a youth organized activist group inspired by Greta Thunberg that is rapidly growing.
It is normal for issues to be swept under the rug when it doesn’t seem to affect someone personally, but this is not the case. Climate change is an issue that everyone faces, and Bethel High School can be the starting point to help spread this message.
By doing this, Bethel High School can not only inspire only our students but lead by example for neighboring communities.