Thursday, April 12, 2012

Managing Climate Change Improving Bioliteracy

Humanity learned to read and write and this spiked the rate of learning worldwide. The last 20 years we have become savvy using information and communication technologies (ICT) and this has greatly enhanced global awareness. We are finally starting to feel the likeness of being global citizens, perhaps a bit too late.

Climate change would have been considered a threat to life on the planet 30 years ago. Today it is a real cost that grows every day that passes in which we remain doing business as usual. Business is changing and we should find ways to make it change faster.

As a conflict, climate change is a diagnosis that depicts the consequences of collective human behavior in the way we interact with the global ecosystem as one of its species, perhaps the dominant one. As such, we must come to the understanding that these anthropogenic consequences are provoking the extinction of life on the planet. If we contaminate our air and water and reduce our forest and fertile soil coverage at the rate we are doing now, there won't be much planet for life to thrive on by the end of the century.

I am not aiming at being around by then. But my kids -still unborn- and most certainly my grandchildren, will. I owe them a sense of responsibility and empathy even if they do not exist yet. Our generation is the only one in human history that has faced the challenge to transform radically the way we interact with nature. This demands a particular kind of leadership that must develop within the constraints of our planet's ecosystem.

It also demands that we improve our understanding of the cycle of life, how living things are created, grow and die, and how all species of plants, animals and microorganisms are interconnected. This means improving our bio-literacy, and the best place to begin is with young children. if we manage to explain the situation we face to 4 year-olds, then they will already grow with the notion of these constraints required for the better part of their lives. In this process of teaching them about the science of life, adults will most likely also learn in the process.

Tutorials online teaching children about ecology can be shared and replicated virally through social media. This would be the best way to put together the urgency of change, the power of technology and the virtue of critical knowledge for survival among us all. Ideally, this educational effort should be done nonverbally to try to reach out to as many people as fast as possible without facing the language barrier. Wouldn't it be nice if children taught adults the way forward!

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