Climate Change is Now Required to Be Taught in New Jersey Public Schools
The subject of climate change has rarely been covered in school curriculums at a level that matches the degree of urgency of the topic, but New Jersey is the first state deciding to change that. New Jersey public schools will now be required to include climate change in the curriculum for grades K-12 starting in 2021.
In the new curriculum, students will now learn how climate change is caused, how it can impact personal and public health, and how to use art to address climate change and other universal themes.
Climate change will not be a subject on its own, but rather it will be integrated into the pre-existing seven subjects; 21st Century Life and Careers, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages.
Tammy Murphy, NJ Governor Phil Murphy's wife, has been a huge advocate for including climate change in school learning. After the Board of Education passed this addition to the curriculum, she said, “The adoption of these standards is much more than an added educational requirement; it is a symbol of a partnership between generations." Environmental concerns have been a high priority of Governor Murphy and his wife.
Murphy said in a statement: "Decades of short-sighted decision-making has fueled this crisis and now we must do all we can to help our children solve it. This generation of students will feel the effects of climate change more than any other, and it is critical that every student is provided an opportunity to study and understand the climate crisis through a comprehensive, interdisciplinary lens.”
It seems like younger generations are prioritizing climate change the most, especially with Gen-Z figures like 17-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg setting the example.
One person impressed by New Jery's latest initiative is former Vice President Al Gore who has long been a vocal environmentalist with the release of 2006's An Inconvenient Truth: “I am incredibly proud that New Jersey is the first state in the nation to fully integrate climate education in their K-12 curricula,” said Gore.
Eating more plant-based foods will reduce your carbon footprint
Going mostly plant-based has significant benefits for both the environment and your health. A whole-food plant-based diet can help you lose weight, increase your energy and lower your risk of diseases and cancer.
We hope to see more schools in other states follow in New Jersy's lead. By giving kids the awareness and tools they need to help fight against climate change, we are planting the seeds for a brighter future.