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9th Graders and Their Original Perspectives on Climate Change

Save the Coffee Bean

Besides the polar bears and future generations, why should we address climate change?

I get to speak with lots of people about climate change. Recently I visited the Watkinson School in Connecticut and chatted with the students in Dr. Jennifer O’Brien’s Environmental Science class. We discussed the ways people traditionally talk about climate change as either an environmental issue (Save the Polar Bears!) or a moral issue (Think of the children and the grandchildren!)

But many (most?) people do not get motivated by either of these talking point. Sure they might go, “Awww, poor things,” but then move on to the next thing on Facebook. But there are also talking points that are be meaningful to people, that catch their attention, jar them awake, and get them to say, “Whoa, I need to know more about this.”

So I asked these students (and a few other folks)

Besides the polar bears and future generations, what are compelling reasons to act to address climate change?

I found their answers to be insightful, thoughtful, fanciful, witty, and wise. Added to the mix are some the characters that appear on the Climate Stew Show. If you are looking for ways of engaging family, friends, co-workers, and seat mates on public transportation, consider some of these students’ talking points about all sorts of interesting reasons to act for climate.


Author: Peterson Toscano

Peterson Toscano is a quirky queer Quaker concerned about Climate Change. His website is

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