by: Monica Douglas
With an urgent emphasis on climate education via systems thinking, we are combining the most effective business and non-profit models to create systemic change in how we educate and how we fund this change. Here is why:
In 2018, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were 14 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 1 drought event, 8 severe storm events, 2 tropical cyclone events, 1 wildfire event, and 2 winter storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 247 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted.
According to the World Health Organization, changes in our weather impacts everyone through social and environmental determinants of health- clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine conclude that climate change is an education issue.
However, it is not about being educated. It is about how we are educated. The Public School Review argues that the current focus on testing in both the national and state level is a detriment to the public education environment. This focus has led teachers to teach subjects in isolation and to continue to use the reductionist method due to time constraints.
A Hewlett Packard article states that reductionism is not functional. B.C. Goodwin believes that the reductionist method has failed us in our ability to understand complex matters and to respond appropriately.
We believe Systems Thinking is the solution. Dr. Terry Jackson writes, “Thinking from a system approach provides a better language and a more complete and holistic way of thinking. Its principles are a camera’s wide-angle lens. It gives us a better view on our ‘radar scope’ a more effective way of thinking, communicating, acting, and achieving superior results.”