She’s turning 13 and bright as can be, but I’m in need of advice on how to teach my daughter that there’s an easy-to-see connection between what she’s learning about the environment and simple, everyday choices she makes that affect the environment. And this being Children’s Health Month, it’s time for teenagers, including my brand new one, to consider as well how environmental health affects children and their health now and as adults.
She recently read the student version of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” which clearly explains and visualizes environmental trends, the influence of human-made carbon emissions, and ways government, industry and people can begin to reverse conditions which have likely alarming consequences. (Readers of Greenversations, I’d confidently guess, are well familiar with Gore’s evidence and argument.)
She gets it. So why, on the same day, can she cogently explain what the Keeling atmospheric CO2 curve tells us, and then leave lights on in empty rooms or ask for multiple car rides when one and a bike ride or two would do? Might some creative Children’s Health Month tips do the trick?
This very short Greenversations piece ends with one sincere request because I’m hoping you feel my pain and have the answer: Can you help me help her connect the global–personal–health dots?
There’s one other consideration to hone my request. My darling daughter can get a bit huffy if I say something critical.
About the author: Larry Teller joined EPA’s Philadelphia office in its early months and has worked in environmental assessment, state and congressional liaison, enforcement, and communications. His 28 years with the U.S. Air Force, most as a reservist, give him a different look at government service.