BOSTON (CBS) – The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Since then, the average US temperature has warmed 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit. In the city of Boston, the temperature has increased by 1.4 degrees.
Climate change describes a change in average conditions such as temperature and precipitation over a long period of time. You can just say that our world is getting warmer. Sure, but why? And why is that so bad? And how do you explain it to children?
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Let’s start with the basics. We burn coal, oil, and natural gas to power cars, houses, and businesses. These resources are known as fossil fuels.
These fossil fuels release an invisible gas into the air, like carbon dioxide, known as greenhouse gases. Now there is a very protective shield around the earth called the atmosphere that wraps around the earth like a blanket. These greenhouse gases are trapped, making this blanket thicker, which makes our world warm faster.
The ceiling is too thick, which hurts plants, animals and people.
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So we have to make small changes to have a big impact on Earth. Alicia Barton, CEO of FirstLight Power, New England’s largest clean energy company, on our opportunities.
“I think it’s important, however, to educate our children about the environment and its fragility early on,” explains Barton. “There are many ways to clean up local parks, take part in volunteer days … and think about things like planting vegetables in your own garden and focus on the local sustainability issues which are great learning opportunities for kids.”
And as children grow, so can the discussion about climate change.
“So you have to start with the basics and of course be age-appropriate. But as kids get older, you can still focus on educating them about the problem of climate change, but about some of the solutions … and technologies that you can really see all around us, “said Barton.
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Discovering clean energy solutions like solar panels, electric car changing rooms, and wind turbines can be a great learning opportunity, to have conversations about where our energy comes from and what decisions we need to make.