What is Climate Literacy?

For my first post, I would like to delve into what the title of the blog means. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),

“Climate Science Literacy is an understanding of your influence on climate and climate’s influence on you and society. A climate-literate person

• understands the essential principles of Earth’s climate system,

• knows how to assess scientifically credible information about climate,

• communicates about climate and climate change in a meaningful way, and

• is able to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect climate.”

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2009

What’s the significance?

With Earth’s temperatures and sea level rising due to carbon emissions, we are seeing many ecosystems and communities being affected. Polar ice caps are melting, extreme storms and disasters are on the rise, and our Earth is polluted with plastics and waste in both oceans and on lands. Additionally, front-line communities are experiencing polluted lands and spills in their waters. These are just some of the examples of the issues that we have seen.

Watch my video on our warming up planet to learn more about the greenhouse effect, the statistics, and what is in stake for us in the future. NASA also has a cool website that delves into the background info behind climate change.

So now that we know what it means to be climate-literate and the importance, how would one become informed? You can read books, watch videos and documentaries, and listen to podcasts about climate change. It’s important to learn about what’s happening around the word AND in your very own community.

On a final note, commit to implementing solutions in your own life. Look toward the Project Drawdown’s 100 solutions (their book was recently updated in March 2020!) and the UN Sustainable Development 17 goals. Explore these solutions and decide how to live a more sustainable life.

In my next blog, I will discuss specific resources that you can use to become more climate-literate!

What do you know about the environment that is interesting or thought-provoking? What climate solutions do you want to see implemented in your community? Send in comments so that we can continue this discussion on environmental education and awareness!

Published by dkahn25

Student at Emory University and Curriculum Researcher with Sustainability Clubs

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Dana Kahn

Climate Literacy Blog

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