Italy is doing something every country should: Making climate change education mandatory in schools.
via Footprint / Twitter

Kids today are growing up on a planet that is much different than the one their parents did. Unless humanity takes extremely bold steps in the next few years to combat climate change, Generation Z will live their entire lives dealing with a climate crisis.

Research shows that the younger someone is, the greater their concern about climate change, which makes sense because they're going to have to live through it. As teenage environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, famously said, "You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes."

Italy has decided that the best way to help the future generations combat climate change is by educating them on the subject. So starting in September 2020, climate change education will be compulsory in its schools.


While this seems like a no-brainer, Italy is the first country in the world to do so. Its leaders hope that by making the subject mandatory, Italy will become a world leader in environmental education. The decision is also a way to eliminate climate change's fiercest opponent, those who deny it is happening.

"The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model," Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti told Reuters.

"I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school," he continued.

via Times Higher Education

In the fall, students will receive 33 hours of climate change education throughout the year, and sustainability will be a theme that appears across subjects. "There will be more attention to climate change when teaching those traditional subjects," Vincenzo Cramarossa, Fioramonti's spokesman, told CNN.

"I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school," Fioramonti said.

A panel of scientific experts, including Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of Columbia University's Center for Sustainable Development, and American economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, will help the ministry redevelop the national curriculum.

The United States should take a page out of Italy's book and implement a similar climate change mandate; however, the U.S. school system is so decentralized it's difficult to implement such change.

via Jim Bowen / Flickr

In 2013, a group of states tried to implement a nationwide program that teaches a consistent science curriculum, called Next Generation Science Standards. The standards say that "human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels," are remaking the planet hotter and less hospitable.

Only 36 states have adopted the idea or something similar.

In 2015, the NCSE surveyed 1,299 middle and high school science teachers and found that 71% taught about the warming climate and only 54% of teachers taught that it was accused by human activity.

If the United States is going to continue on its current path of releasing greenhouse gasses like nothing is happening, it should at least work to educate its children so they understand what the older generations did to them.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Welcometoterranova article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Racist jokes are one of the more frustrating manifestations of racism. Jokes in general are meant to be a shared experience, a connection over a mutual sense of humor, a rush of feel-good chemicals that bond us to those around us through laughter.

So when you mix jokes with racism, the result is that racism becomes something light and fun, as opposed to the horrendous bane that it really is.

The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

British author and motivational speaker Paul Scanlon shared a story about interrupting a racist joke at a table of white people at an event in the U.S, and the lessons he drew from it illustrate this idea beautifully. Watch:

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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