Environmental Science Issues

Environmental Science Issues (4:37)

“Scarcity is going to be probably one of the biggest issues that we’ll be faced within the next 10 to 20 years. We live in a world where there are a lot of people, a lot of children who die every day from water-related illness. And we’re fortunate to live in a country where we have an effective treatment systems and storage so that we can capture and have that water available as we need it.”

Video Transcript

One of the best things that we’ve seen in this generation of young people is that they really care about the environment and that they know they can make a difference. So there have been studies that show that recycling habits are created when kids bring the lessons home to their family. Girls have the ability to be role models for the people around them.

One of the easiest things I think that girls can do to revitalize their communities is recycle, and I think everybody can do that. If you see something, just pick it up.

If you see a park that’s full of litter, find out if there’s a group that’s working on that park. And if there is, get involved. Go help out at a cleanup. If they’re not already doing cleanups, maybe you can organize one. And if there’s not even a friends group that’s caring for that park, maybe you could start one.

If you live in a beach town, you can help with beach cleanups. Almost every beach town and coastal town has some organization that does beach cleanups.

There are a lot of things that people can do in their everyday life to help preserve not just coral reefs but all kinds of ecosystems around the planet. Perhaps the biggest one is the amount of carbon dioxide that we put into the atmosphere is causing a lot of problems associated with climate change that’s causing something called ocean acidification.

In order to reduce the rate of ocean acidification and the impact it’s having on marine life, there are a number of things that we can all do, including young girls. We can recycle more and so use plastic bottles less often. We can turn off the lights and try to save more energy. And instead of driving, whenever we have the opportunity to use public transportation or ride a bicycle or walk, those are fabulous ways to reduce our carbon emissions and also enjoy nature and get to meet new people.

Scarcity is going to be probably one of the biggest issues that we’ll be faced within the next 10 to 20 years. We live in a world where there are a lot of people, a lot of children who die every day from water-related illness. And we’re fortunate to live in a country where we have an effective treatment systems and storage so that we can capture and have that water available as we need it. We’re all responsible for being conservative because it’s the right thing to do but even more so now.

We need to figure out how to use our water smarter and be more efficient with our water. And what we call that is water conservation. And we need to make sure that we either have the proper trash receptacles for the trash that’s around, that we clean up our rivers, that we don’t dump pollutants in them. We use them to drink, to grow food. And in many places, in a lot of communities, they rely on a healthy fishing and outdoor recreation economy in order to support their livelihood.

There’s so many fish that are endangered, and one of the reasons, particularly, that we encounter living in the United States is they’re being overfished, and we really need to do a better job of managing our fisheries. If we manage them well, they can be sustainable and fish populations can be maintained and everything will be fine.

Climate change is the root of things like bad storms, or like in California, they’re having a drought. So things like that, it’s really important that we act on it so that we don’t have any more of the damages that it can cause.

Resilience is the ability of communities and cities and ecologies to recover. It has become so important now in the face of climate change. The seawater is rising. All the coastal cities like Boston, like New York, like many cities around the world, they are going to experience seawater rise and storm surges. So flooding is going to become a part of life. Okay. How do you deal with that? How do you design for that? And how do you prepare communities for that? You can design for climatic resilience, and you should design cities for social resilience. I think that will be young people’s challenge and opportunity. And so I think it’s going to be exciting. I am very optimistic about the future.

Discussion Guide

Independent Learning Guide: This all-purpose guide can be used by educators, parents, and mentors to jumpstart a lively discussion on environmental issues.

Classroom Lesson Plan

Did you know that your actions have an impact on our planet? From how you get rid of your garbage to how you choose to get from place to place, these choices affect your environment. Learn how your actions can turn you into an environmental role model!

Classroom Lesson Plan: This step-by-step lesson plan is available to guide a more in-depth “before, during, and after” learning experience when viewing the video with students. This lesson plan is also suitable for use in after-school programs and other educational settings.

Fun Page Activity

Environmental Science Issues Fun Page Activity: Use this activity page with students to reinforce and expand on concepts discussed in the video.