Thursday, November 14, 2019

Students forced to advocate for themselves on impact of climate change

Students forced to advocate for themselves on impact of climate change

Students take their future into their own hands on climate change activism
Why aren’t schools helping them?

When high school senior Destiny Watford learned that state officials had approved a building permit for a giant incinerator that would burn 4,000 tons of trash every day and emit more than a thousand pounds of lead and mercury every year, less than a mile away from her school in Baltimore, she took action. The plan reeked of environmental racism , which occurs when communities of color are burdened with a lop-sided amount of environmental threats, including toxic waste sites, polluting industries, and other sources of pollution.
Watford mobilized her impoverished neighborhood of Curtis Bay, canvassing the area for four years. Her efforts led the state to revoke the permit in 2016. That was a real civics lesson she will never forget.
“The decisions that affect the land that we live on are made behind closed doors,” Watford told Essence magazine. She added that communities are left in the dark “until a development’s built — or until they are dying of lung cancer.”
Students should be fully informed of climate issues, particular those that directly impact them. What good is a curriculum if it’s not relevant? As adults drop the ball, as politicians erode environmental protections, and signs of climate change are too evident to deny, students are forced to speak out against practices that directly impact their environment and contribute to the mounting climate CONTINUE READING: Students forced to advocate for themselves on impact of climate change

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