After reading your story about Marjorie Guigliano’s efforts to create a green classroom, I am even prouder to say my son attends the Garrison School (The Sustainable Classroom, Feb. 8).

When speaking about her curriculum, Ms. Guigliano noted that its primary goal was “for students to internalize the green mindset, so they would know that sustainability was the responsibility of everyone in the school community.”

I couldn’t agree more. We have a lot of urgent environmental problems that the next generation will have to deal with, including climate change and plastics. Children represent a particularly vulnerable group that is already suffering disproportionately from the health effects of global warming.

Garrison School second-graders are shown with their teacher, Marjorie Guigliano (Photo by Alison Rooney)

The Garrison School PTA believes in the urgency of acting on climate change. That is why we have endorsed two policies that focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also helping low- and middle-income Americans.

At the state level, it’s the New York Climate and Community Protection Act. The bill mandates a shift to renewable energy, with 100 percent of human-caused climate pollution eliminated by 2050 from all sectors.

At the federal level, it’s the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This bill puts a price on carbon and returns the fee equally to all households on a monthly basis. It could reduce carbon pollution by 40 percent in 12 years, and create more than 2 million jobs over 10 years.

If you have a child, if you teach a student, or if you are in any way connected to a school, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions must become a priority. Children and teenagers are walking out of schools in Europe and Australia to protest inaction against climate change. One well-known activist in Sweden, 15-year old Greta Thunberg, has said: “I want you to act like your house is on fire, because it is.”

Krystal Ford, Garrison
Ford is president of the Garrison School PTA.

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Type: Opinion

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One reply on “Letter: Green Classroom”

  1. Greta Thunberg’s efforts have led to school strikes around the world, and a worldwide student strike on March 15. I hope that Garrison and Haldane students learn about the strike, and that they are angry enough to skip school that day. If we’re lucky these will wrest power away from the adults who’ve been equivocating and dawdling while the planet burns.

    Perhaps the Garrison and Haldane PTA parents of teens like Greta Thunberg could drop some hints. See this Guardian story for more information.

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