Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) met with press on Thursday to announce that she would be introducing a House Resolution in support of teaching climate change in schools. This news is significant, says 17-year-old Jonah Gottlieb, one of the collaborators on the resolution.
“Unfortunately, because of the political situation that we’re currently in, it’s difficult to get the comprehensive change we need with this Congress and administration,” he tells Parentology. “But every time a bill or resolution in introduced about climate change, it reminds the American people, and it reminds the members of Congress who aren’t taking action on the climate crisis, that we are coming for them.”
Beyond Gottlieb, who’s both the Director of Schools for Climate Action (S4CA) and the Executive Director of the National Children’s Campaign, wasn’t alone. Other collaborators present included Kate Roney and Christian Hernandez, both 17-year-olds from Schools for Climate Action/Sonoma Academy, as well as Nancy Metzger-Carter, a UN Climate Change Teacher from Sonoma Academy and Schools for Climate Action.
The impetus behind the resolution is specific to the impact of climate change on students. Some wording in the resolution which speaks to this:
- Whereas climate change is threatening students’ communities with intensifying natural disasters, increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, and other extreme weather threats;
- Whereas climate change disproportionately affects students of color and students in poverty, thereby exacerbating existing inequalities and limiting equality of opportunity;
- Whereas children represent a particularly vulnerable group because greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere will continue to accumulate over the coming decades and cause negative health outcomes;
- Whereas teaching climate change will have consequences for Earth, human lives, and ecosystems around the world;
“Having the support of someone like Congresswoman Lee is so important for this movement,” Gottlieb says. “As someone who has supported climate action and climate education for years, Congresswoman Lee is clearly someone who is in Congress to support and protect America’s children and young people. We at the National Children’s Campaign and Schools for Climate Action are so honored and inspired to have her support and can’t wait to continue working with her as we fight to save the world.”
Also on hand to speak were Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), and Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.).
Tomorrow, an international strike against climate change will see students marching for change. In Washington, DC, a protest will kick-off John Marshall Park at 11 a.m.
“The millions of students who will be striking in the United States and around the world will be a perfect example of what happens when students are galvanized into action by their elected officials,” Gottlieb says. “Both by elected officials like Congresswoman Lee who do take action, and galvanized by those who don’t. We’re showing those who aren’t taking action to prevent this crisis that we are coming for them.”