The science we learn throughout elementary and middle school simply isn’t enough. Or, it’s presented to us in ways we get bored of quickly and we forget as soon as we get home the day of taking whatever test we had been studying for.
High school education provides more options, usually. I remember my senior year of high school, taking an AP Environmental Science class and the already outdated textbook, with my teacher making corrections as we went along. The class was optional, one of the science electives students could take. Most seemed to take it because it was easier than the other AP science classes, such as biology or physics.
But what do we really learn if we don’t seek it out on our own? As many young children are, I loved animals (still love them, actually) and was concerned that we, as a human race, were being overly cruel to the other living creatures we shared a planet with. I honestly can’t remember a definitive moment where I started to take an interest in the environment, but it definitely didn’t come from what I was learning at school.
It started with endangered animals and looking these animals up on the World Wildlife Fund website. Now, it’s evolved to include how agriculture is contributing to climate change and the animal cruelty issues t here, climate change, air and water pollution, etc.
It wasn’t really until college that i realized I had so much more freedom to study what I wanted. I’m a journalism major, news specifically, which I means I need to pick a concentration–I chose environmental policy and communications because in news media, there seems to be a hole in reporting on environmental issues.
Environmental issues can have a way bigger influence on us than we think, and especially in lower class communities, where they’re subject more to air and water pollution than privileged communities. Environmental justice was introduced to me until college either, which immediately grabbed my interest.
This hole in science reporting, specifically on climate change, environmental justice and other related issues will have a negative influence on the general population. I mean, look at the number of people who still don’t believe in climate change. Or they do believe in it, but don’t do anything to help better the environment. It’s because much of the general population can’t read these complex (honestly, badly written), terminology-filled case studies and research papers. The next best thing is reading about this research in the news. But again, if you don’t seek it out yourself, you probably won’t see it, especially if it’s not near the top of the news website, or on the front page of a newspaper.
More of us need to give science a chance because of the importance of it. This means going out of our way to learn more about our planet and how are actions have been negatively contributing to climate change and the environment in general. Since we’re the ones causing harm, it’s our duty to try and fix the problems that humans have created for hundreds of years. The first way we can do this is by educating ourselves.