There is a strong scientific consensus that significant climate change is occurring, that it is substantially human-caused, and that the consequences can be disastrous. There are few skeptics in the scientific community: 97% of climate scientists agree with this, and prestigious associations such as the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the U.K. Royal Society have given their official endorsements. Even Pope Francis will issue an encyclical this summer addressing climate change.
Recently, U.S. President Obama talked about the importance of climate change in a weekly address, to start building support for discussions at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this December. What can we mere citizens do? A lot: we can practice better conservation, support community initiatives, and educate ourselves better so that we can be better informed citizens. Perhaps most importantly, we can make sure our young people are also educated, so that they can come up with even better solutions in the future.
And maybe not just the future. As Johanna Bozuwa, Associate Director of Education at Earth Day Network, told Class Central, “When we give students resources and tools, they can be leaders today” When young people are mobilized by a cause, they can wield tremendous influence in their families and in their communities. As a natively digital and networked generation, they have the power to keep issues top-of-mind.
“When we give students resources and tools, they can be leaders today”
– Johanna Bozuwa, Earth Day Network
So check out these free courses below, learn from them and participate in the discussion forums. And take something you learn and tell it to a young person. Or better yet, invite them to take these courses for themselves.
Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided The World Bank via Coursera It is now clear that without action on climate change, the world may become 4°C warmer by the end of this century. Such an increase would threaten to roll back decades of development progress; thus, we are at a ‘make it or break it’ point in time. This course presents the most recent scientific evidence, as well as some of the opportunities for urgent action. Go To Class | Next Session : 20th Apr, 2015
ChM002x: Sustainability in Everyday Life Chalmers University of Technology via edX Do you want to live a more sustainable life? This course will arm you with the information and skills required to make more sustainable choices everyday! Go To Class | Next Session : 25th May, 2015
Learning for Sustainability: Developing a personal ethic University of Edinburgh via Coursera We all have our own understandings of ‘sustainability’, of its significance as an environmental, social, economic and moral concept, and as a principle for individual, collective or corporate behaviour. This course begins from your starting point and explores how we might make positive differences to the future of our planet, and encourage others to do so. Go To Class | Next Session : 22nd Jun, 2015
Environmental Justice University of East Anglia via FutureLearn Understand how environmental change affects people, and how we can work together for justice in environmental management. Go To Class | Next Session : 30th Mar, 2015
Energy and the Earth University of Wisconsin–Madison via Coursera Learn how all energy systems depend on the finite resources of the Earth, and how this relationship can provide a unique “big picture” perspective on energy supply. Go To Class | Next Session : 21st Jun, 2015
Monitoring Climate from Space European Space Agency via FutureLearn Explore our planet from space and learn how Earth observation is used to monitor climate change Go To Class | Next Session : 8th Jun, 2015