Greta Thunberg - Cool Kids and Climate Change
by Kerry Finch ■ Updated: September 30, 2019
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the “global warming” or the lesser well-known “global cooling” camp, one thing is for certain:
Our climate is changing.
The science behind it is constantly evolving and revealing new ways in which human beings can make a positive change to our climate. Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old with Aspergers, made a point by doing her part in making a positive change by setting sail across the Atlantic Ocean without leaving a single carbon footprint behind.
Not Always an Activist
Thunberg wasn’t always an activist. But her parents cultivated a strong sense of her standing up for what she believed in from an early age and then provided her with the tools needed to demonstrate her understanding.
Previously Thunberg staged something known as a “School Strike for Climate” directly in front of her Swedish Parliament. She continued to gain global attention by speaking at Poland’s UN Climate Talks in December of 2018.
She is now well-known for her quest across the Atlantic to on her zero-emissions sailboat. Her final destination was the UN Climate Action Summit which is set to begin on September 23, and at which she will speak.
Thunberg is a prime example that one is never too young to make a positive difference in the world.
Talking About Climate Change Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
Speaking with your children and teens about climate change doesn’t have to cause fear or create a sense of doom.
1. Know The Facts
There is a lot of misinformation about climate change out there these days. Look for the latest evidence-backed science on the topic and explain that there is a lot of ongoing research being done on the topic.
2. Start Slowly
Young children in particular are unlikely to understand why climate change is happening and the topic may make them unnecessarily afraid.
Older children will likely be fascinated by the carbon cycle, why the ice caps are melting and how greenhouse gases are created. You can also talk about current events like how the Amazon forest is being destroyed and the effect that is having on the planet.
3. Encourage Solutions
As dire as climate change may seem to some, there are solutions to this pressing issue. There are several success stories out there (like how banning ozone-depleting substances back in the 1980s has closed the former hole in the ozone layer), so be sure to share these with your kids.
Activities to Help Kids Understand Climate Change
Being involved in activities that teach your child about his or her environment is a great way to reinforce his or her understanding of the topic and to support your child in coming up with workable solutions to solve climate change.
For children who are under the age of eight, it’s important to approach the topic positively and celebrate the environment we live in (“look at how the bees pollinate the flowers and how the flowers feed the bees!”). Reading books about different parts of the environment or explaining how plants are able to “breathe in” the gases we breathe out are also good ways to introduce the topic to kids. Gardening, camping and going for nature hikes are other ways you can teach your child to have an appreciation for his or her environment.
Children who are around the age of eight need further reinforcement that everything will be okay. Talk about ways to improve the environment today for a healthier future, but reinforce the fact that there is no immediate risk to their livelihood.
Older children can be active participants in helping soothe the burns that climate change has and is leaving on the planet. Ask your older children to come up with their own ideas on how they can personally help the environment.
You can also help guide your older child’s understanding of how the environment works through books, discussions and science experiments. Here at Cool Kids Australia, we have several kits available that will help your child connect with the environment in a meaningful and educational way.
Our Green Science – Weather Science is the perfect kit for kiddos who are interested in how the weather works. Through a variety of activities, kids learn how air currents produce wind, the effects of acid rain and they will learn about the greenhouse effect.
Another in demand kit we have here at Cool Things Australia is our Green Science – Weather Station product. This kit provides your child with everything he or she needs to build a multi-functional weather station and your child can also create his or her own terrarium in a recycled plastic bottle.
Source Image by: Anders Hellberg - CC