Congressman Michael Honda yesterday introduced H.R. 4461: the Climate Change Education Act in the United States House of Representatives, noting: "As a former teacher, I understand the importance of imparting knowledge to help people make wise decisions. By providing people clear information about climate change, in a variety of forms, we can take away the fear and the sense of helplessness, and move people to take action."
H.R. 4461 creates a new $20 million Climate Change Education program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which would make grants as well as launch a new national information campaign on the topic. Grants would support: 1) national public education, outreach, and communication programs, 2) statewide plans/programs for climate change education, 3) improving the quality of and access to higher education in green collar industries and green economy-related fields, and 4) teams of faculty and students to deliver services on climate mitigation and adaptation issues to local communities. H.R. 4461 builds on similar global warming education bills introduced by the Congressman in past sessions, and CEL was honored to help the Congressman's staff in making key changes to update the language in this session's version.
The public's lack of basic understanding about climate science, climate economics, and the relationship between the two is one of the key factors contributing to our nation's struggle to effectively mitigate and adapt to the causes of climate change. Coincidentally, The New York Times claimed in an article today that "climate change is finding its way into the worlds classrooms", though it is difficult to find much evidence of this so far on a large scale in the U.S. H.R. 4461 has the potential to significantly change that, and help the U.S. catch up to the rest of the world on climate change education.
It's now up to us to do what we can to help this bill get attention and support within Congress. Please reach out to your elected Representatives in the House and urge them to support HR 4461 by signing on as a co-sponsor.
Thank you for your vital help and support!