‘It Has to Be a Priority’ Why Schools Can’t Ignore the Climate Crisis
Greg Libecci is an environmentalist who wants to save the world by making schools greener. He works as an energy and resource manager for a school district in Utah. He tries to minimize the district’s use of energy and natural resources.
Progress has been slow going. He initially focused on what he called “low-hanging fruit” – encouraging staff to turn off lights and shut down HVAC systems more often during holidays and weekends. He wanted to make bigger changes but was told it would be too expensive or that it wasn’t the highest priority.
Schools should be environmentally friendly. Students should ask teachers why they aren’t doing more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Teachers should explain how schools contribute to global warming.
Students presented a thorough research project about clean energy and climate change. They asked the school board to commit to transition to 100% clean energy by 2030. They also asked the school board to eliminate fossil fuel use for heating and transportation by 2030.
The board unanimously voted yes. This gives Libecci the backing she needs to work with colleagues and teachers on a plan of action that will reduce the district’s carbon emissions by 30%. All schools will have LED lighting installed, 6 schools will receive solar panels, and 2 elementary schools will receive new mechanical systems that run off electricity instead of fossil fuel.
The district saves money by cutting energy usage. This allows them to pay for the new buildings needed to cut energy use.
A successful example of how a school district could take bold action to combat climate change.
Climate change is something that happens over long periods of time. It takes a long time for schools to get ready for changes in weather patterns. Schools may be slow to adapt because of other issues such as COVID-19.
Climate change is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by schools. Schools need to take action to reduce emissions. Schools should have plans to reduce their carbon footprint.
Kids should wear masks because we’re worried about global warming. We need to convince people that human activity is causing climate change.
Climate change is real. Fifteen percent of teachers think it isn’t affecting them right now. Eight percent say it’s not real.