I am deeply grateful for Gonzaga University’s institutional embrace of this challenge through the creation of the Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment, a place for innovative scholarship, teaching, consulting, and capacity building. The Center embodies very well what we Jesuits call our Four Universal Apostolic Preferences, orientations that Pope Francis has given to us for our life and mission over the coming decade.”
Gonzaga University offers students and the regional community the opportunity to learn about climate issues.
Understanding climate change
Here are a few resources to help you get started with understanding the complexities of our fragile climate and what we can do to help.
- UN Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change
- National Climate Assessment
- Spokane Climate Project
- NW Climate Toolbox
- Executive Summary: Spokane Climate Vulnerability and Resilience Assessment
- Skeptical Science
How to talk with kids about climate change
It's important to help young people understand climate change and to support them as they cope with emotions. The following are some basic principles to follow and resources for parents, guardians, and teachers.
- Listen - start off by asking what they know and what concerns them about climate change. Kids will often surprise you by how much they know and how much they have already thought about the issue.
- Break the silence - climate disruption is not a distant problem; it is here and already being felt in the form of extreme weather events. Share the basic facts about climate change in an age appropriate way.
- Focus on feelings - the science is important, but equally important is to discuss how climate change makes your young person feel. Affirm their feelings.
- Get outdoors - you protect what you love and you love what you have a relationship with. Being in nature's beauty can itself be restorative for you and your young person.
- Keep it local and make it hopeful - climate change is a big and complicated problem. Discuss what is beautiful about your part of the world and what things we can do as individuals, families, and communities to protect what we love. Giving opportunities for agency is vital to maintaining and developing a hopeful attitude.
- Ensure it is not one-and-done - look for regular opportunities to discuss climate change. As your young person grows older, make the discussions increasingly age appropriate. Addressing climate change is a multi-generational challenge that will require decades of effort.
Resources for talking with kids about climate change
- NASA: Climate Kids
- Yale Center for Environmental Communication: "How to talk with kids about climate change"
- National Public Radio: "How To Talk To Kids About Climate Change"
Gonzaga University Initiatives
- Cataldo Project: Sustainability Across the Curriculum
- Francis Youth Institute
- Office of Sustainability
School by school initiatives
College of Arts and Sciences
School of Business Administration
School of Engineering and Applied Science