Hope for humanity, plus the Family Forest Carbon Program. And Yale’s Climate Change Communication Program’s Teacher Resources.
Hope for Humanity, Family Forest Carbon Program, Yale Climate Change Communication Program’s Teacher Resources
HOPE FOR HUMANITY
I got an email from a California friend who sent along something that gives me hope for humanity in the climate crisis. On September 2, the California Independent Operator, a company that maintains reliability on the California electric grid, one of the largest and most modern power grids in the world, issued a Flex Alert. A Flex Alert is issued by the ISO when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures.
Just before 5:30 p.m. local time on September 2nd, California’s grid operator ordered its highest level of emergency, warning that blackouts were imminent. Then, at 5:48 p.m., the state’s Office of Emergency Services sent out a text alert to people in targeted counties, asking them to conserve power if they could. More than 500,000 homes and businesses had been warned that they might lose service.
However, within five minutes the grid emergency was all but over.
Power demand plunged by 1.2 gigawatts between 5:50 and 5:55 p.m., and would continue to drop in the hours after that, according to data from the California Independent System Operator. A gigawatt is enough to power about 750,000 Californian homes.
Why does that matter to us? When one worries about whether we humans are capable as a species of responding to the danger signals all around, remember that Friday night, Californians responded. So maybe there’s hope for the rest of America.
THE FAMILY FOREST CARBON PROGRAM
The US climate bill helps landowners access the carbon market, where eco-conscious companies reward regular folks for managing their land sustainably. In the United States, the largest portion of forest land — 39 percent — is family owned, according to the American Forest Foundation. And according to that organization, despite their valuable experience, family forest owners are currently locked out of carbon markets and are often unable to realize the true potential of their land. The majority of family forest owners struggle with technical expertise and high costs when it comes to optimizing their land for carbon sequestration.
Knowing that, the American Forest Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, developed the Family Forest Carbon Program. The program partners with family and individual landowners to manage their forests in ways that improve forest health and increase carbon sequestration and storage, while balancing other important benefits from our forests.
AFF then sells the sequestered carbon as verified carbon credits to companies who are working to confront climate change and achieve vital social, economic and environmental outcomes.
Why does this matter to us? Two reasons. First, to date, almost 27K acres have been enrolled in the program, sequestering almost 700K tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent. That’s equal to offsetting the emissions of almost 152K cars. Second, the Family Forest Carbon Program enables family forest owners to access carbon markets, empowering them to help address climate change while earning income from their land.
Check out the links in the deeper dive section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes to find out how to enroll your family forest in the program.
YALE CLIMATE CHANGE COMMUNICATION PROGRAM’S TEACHER RESOURCES
Last week on The Climate Daily we spotlighted the good work the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative was doing educating teachers to educate students in the Great Lakes region of the United States about climate change. This week, we want to hip you to an educational resources offered by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Truth is climate change is a complex topic to teach to adults, much less to students.
According to Yale, it’s not enough to teach the science behind climate change, it’s also imperative to teach students to become effective climate change communicators. That’s why Yale’s CCC developed materials for teachers who are interested in using its resources in their classrooms. These resources include the Yale Climate Opinion Maps and Yale Climate Connections. These materials were developed based on recommendations from educators across the United States. They aim to immerse students in climate change issues in an accessible, digestible, and interactive way.
The NGSS and Common Core-aligned activities were designed for middle and high schoolers; however, according to the CCC, one could easily convert the materials to Word documents using free platforms like https://simplypdf.com/ and then customize them for other students of different age groups.
Why do the materials offered by Yale’s Program on Climate Change Communication matter to us? They provide a template for anybody to help young people—and themselves—become fluent in the vernacular of climate change. The sooner we all learn how to speak the same language, the better we can adapt and become resilient to whatever the climate crisis has to offer.