Feb. 1, 2016 By Michael Florio
Council Member Costa Constantinides is urging New York State to begin teaching students about climate change.
Constantinides introduced a resolution (Res. 375) in 2014, which asks the State to implement climate change in the Kindergarten through 12th grade curricula. The resolution has received more than 25 co-sponsors, including fellow western Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
“Our children need to be prepared to grapple with the problems that will confront them over the course of this century, and our schools must be equipped to teach this,” Constantinides said in his State of the District speech last Monday. “They will become the leaders that must think creatively and critically to solve the problems of the 21st century and climate change.”
His resolution quotes the National Center for Science Education, which has similarly stated that “it is important for the science of climate change to be taught… in order for future citizens to be able to make scientifically informed decisions about the consequences of climate change.”
“We firmly believe this will make a real difference in young people’s lives,” Constantinides told the Astoria Post. “They are the ones that will carry the burden of the 21st Century challenges that we are facing and we have to give them the tools to do so.”
Constantinides is unsure as to if or when this resolution would go into effect, as it requires State action.
“I would love for the State to put it into effect tomorrow,” he said. “We are hoping to have a hearing in the education committee.”
The resolution has the support of State Sen. Michael Gianaris, author of New York’s Clean Energy Law, among other green legislation.
“As the author of New York’s Clean Energy Law and sponsor of legislation to combat climate change, I hold great pride in being a leader for our environment and am proud to support Councilmember Constantinides’s legislation,” Gianaris said in a statement. “In order to address the serious threat of climate change, we must act now to provide a cleaner and safer community, for our children and future generations.”