EPA Chief: Teach Global Warming in Schools

EPA chief Gina McCarthy EPA chief Gina McCarthy Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy wants schools to include climate science in their curricula.

Irish America magazine scored an interview with McCarthy, who grew up in a Boston area family with Irish roots. In one question, she was asked whether climate change should be part of the educational system.

"Very much so," she replied. "I think part of the challenge of explaining climate change is that it requires a level of science and a level of forward thinking and you've got to teach that to kids.

"People didn't have a sense of how dramatic climate change really is, and what it means for all of us. So that's been a challenge. But what's great about renewables is that when you put a solar panel on the roof of a school, you change the entire dynamic of education for the students. It's hands-on," she continued.

Among climate scientists and those who heed their consensus, McCarthy's sentiment is noncontroversial. The basic conclusion—that the climate is changing and that human activity is largely driving it—is overwhelmingly supported by peer-reviewed research.

EPA spokesman Tom Reynolds said via Twitter that McCarthy supports teaching climate science in schools, just as she supports teaching reading and math.

But McCarthy's comment comes amid a broader debate over the role of climate in the classroom, and a patchwork of existing science standards has created massive disparities in how global warming is taught in classrooms around the country.

A coalition that includes the National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science is seeking adoption of new standards that would require educators to inform students that human activity is the primary driver of global warming.

But the effort has faced pushback in conservative states like Wyoming, where state legislators voted to block adoption of the standards due to controversy over the climate-change provisions.

Elsewhere in the interview, McCarthy said that EPA's proposed rule to slash carbon emissions from power plants has been a boost to international climate policy talks:

"I just met with Edward Davey, the U.K. secretary of state for energy and climate, and he told me that the tone and tenor of the international discussions has changed because of the U.S. proposal on clean power plants and plan to cut back on carbon emissions. It shows a strong level commitment from [the U.S.,] one of the largest greenhouse gases emitters, about making reductions that are necessary." she said.

(Image via Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.