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Climate Break Posts

Educating Future Environmental Justice Leaders with Candice Youngblood

Environmental racism typically isn’t taught in high school science classes, and often the socio-political aspects of the climate crisis are left out of environmental science education altogether. One effort to fill this gap is Youth on Root, which supplements existing STEM education with a curriculum kit on environmental justice, a youth-directed conference program that brings California kids together, and an animated explanatory video series.

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Earth Day with Ken Alex and Ethan Elkind

Earth Day, which falls on April 22 and is the annual celebration of the birth of the modern environmental movement, began in 1970. It is a day of unity for environmentalists, groups and organizations mobilized around specific environmental issues, and everyone in between. Once focused on more local environmental concerns, now on its 51st anniversary, the meaning of Earth Day is giving way to more organized international concerns of inspiring global action on climate change.

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Recycling with Deborah Raphael

Many “recyclable” materials are not recycled or even recyclable. While papers and metals are recycled at relatively high rates, recycling rates for plastic are below 10 percent. Most plastics display numerical codes, purporting to denote a standardized and elaborate recycling system. But the system is convoluted, sometimes confusing even recycling facilities and identifying recycling processes that are not used.

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Sustainable Biofuel with Yuxin Wu

Bioenergy is a form of energy produced through the conversion of biomass. Biomass is living organic matter that contains chemical energy captured during photosynthesis. When burned, biomass releases energy in the form of heat, which can be used to heat buildings or generate electricity. Alternatively, biomass can be converted into fuel or gas to be burned for energy at a later time.

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Climate Change Warning Labels with Robert Shirkey

Highlighting the link between a product’s consumption and its carbon footprint could potentially alter harmful consumer behavior that contributes to climate change. Similar to how warning labels on cigarettes changed the smoking habits of some users, placing climate change disclosure labels on gas pumps could introduce discomfort that serves as an effective intervention that connects consumers to the dangerous reality of fossil fuels and illuminates the hidden costs of climate change.

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Communicating Climate Policy in Purple States with Janet Napolitano

When it comes to crafting policy solutions to climate change, government messaging often depends on the ideological leanings of the electoral base. When an elected government official’s politics align with the politics of the majority of the constituent base, like it does in “red” and “blue” states, political support is easier to find. But what about in purple states where there are similar levels of Democratic and Republican support? For government leaders in purple states, writing policy that appeals to everyone can be difficult.

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Urban Farming with Paul Bernstein

Urban Farming is one solution to agricultural emissions. Approximately 30 percent of Greenhouse Gas emissions are from agriculture and the food system, so finding ways to drastically reduce emissions is in this sector is key. Urban farms often feed local residents, which eliminates much of the emissions produced by transportation. They are also often farmed agroecologically, which is a kind of agriculture that promotes environmentally sustainable and socially just farming practices.

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