The purpose of this soon-to-be-completed project has been to build mindfulness in high school students that climate change is not a looming future prospect but is already profoundly and adversely affecting the lives of millions.
According to the Global Humanitarian Forum report of 2009, the ‘silent crisis’ is causing, on yearly average, 300,000 deaths, seriously affecting 325 million people, with 4 billion people vulnerable. School learners encountering climate change in their studies would, for the most part, not know this. The Activity File will offer learning activities that explore three related aspects of climate injustice. First, it will open up issues and moral dilemmas surrounding the injustice of the impacts of climate change falling unfairly and disproportionately on the people of the South who are least responsible for the heating of the planet. Second, it will explore the inequality of countries of the North appropriating the ‘global atmospheric commons’ through their historically heavy CO2 emissions without offering restitution and compensation while countries of the South are forced to meet a burgeoning burden of economic debt. Third, it will explore attitudinal and structural aspects of the response to climate refugees in host countries. The Activity File, designed for use in senior secondary classrooms and with youth and community groups, but also offering teacher education programs and activities, will continually ask ‘what does this say about the state of the world?’; ’what does this say about how we see the world?’; ‘what should be done?’; and ‘what can we do?’
The Catholic Overseas Development Agency (CAFOD) provided the funding for the project. The Activity File will be made available on open access on the Sustainability Frontiers websites by July 2013.