Climate change affects every aspect of our world, from human health and the ecosystems we live in to the ways we support ourselves both materially and emotionally. But the siloed world of higher education can make it difficult to present cross-cutting solutions to climate change in the classroom. This is why a joint partnership between the National Council for Science and Education and Project Drawdown has developed a new resource to help instructors across disciplines explore “real world” strategies that can inspire students to take action to solve climate change. The resource is based on the 2017 book Drawdown, which catalogs 100 comprehensive, pragmatic solutions utilizing existing technologies and knowledge.
The resource translates the 100 solutions into relevant, user friendly lesson templates for university courses that can be linked together in sequences and strands that apply across disciplines and in a variety of contexts, from big undergraduate general-education courses to small, topically focused graduate seminars. These templates can fit into existing courses or form the foundation of an entirely new course. They also are flexible enough to inform courses from the environmental sciences and engineering to the humanities and education.
An inconvenient truth about climate change is that teaching it can be depressing – for both students and instructors. Shifting the narrative about climate change to actionable, achievable solutions is not an easy process. But it is a necessary one if science educators are to stem the tide of hopelessness and despair rising along with global temperatures and sea levels.