The science is unequivocal: emissions are still rising and the planet is still heating. We need to decarbonise the economy as a matter of urgency and dramatically alter our high-consumption, energy intensive lifestyles. We also need to steer away from denying the politics of the current crisis: certain entities have been, and will continue to present themselves as environmentally concerned despite, in terms of practice, being anything but.
What is to be done? A newly created toolkit by OBESSU targeted at school students articulates the idea that schools can play an integral role in not merely raising awareness on environmental issues, but also, and more importantly, equip students with the capacity to act in the face of environmental injustice and stamp out greenwashing wherever it raises its head.
The toolkit sets out concrete steps from which students can realistically engage with environmental issues – it provides a viable path to begin a journey of activism that is rooted in the reality and lives of students. This ensures that the environmental crisis is articulated as close-to-home and not, as is often the case, a distant phenomenon – making action more attainable in the process.
Implicit across the pages of this toolkit, lies a renewed understanding of the student: as both an agent who is environmentally aware and an activist simultaneously. One supports the other. Indeed, it is one thing to interpret the world and quite another to change it.