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How can I teach about climate change when the local economy depends on fossil fuels?
How can I teach about climate change when the local economy depends on fossil fuels?
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Written by Guest Teacher Contributors
Updated over a week ago

I have lived and worked as a science teacher in Doha for the past four years. My school and my job would not exist if it were not for the discovery of natural gas in Qatar. Many of my students are here in the country because their parents work in gas.

When I teach about climate change, I have my students engage with data and climate change facts. Focusing on the truth of the matter, solutions we can be a part of, and actions we can take will empower students. The key point to emphasize with students is that climate change is a “wicked problem” we all need to tackle together.

As we transition away from fossil fuels around the world, economies that depend on fossil fuels will need to adapt. Many of my students are aware of this and are actually eager to discuss solutions. My students experience some anxiety around what could happen to their families and their futures if job opportunities in gas diminish. This is a good chance to focus on careers in the green economy with your students and connect climate change to social justice.

A just transition away from fossil fuels will involve providing job training and transitions for workers into green economy and renewable energy jobs. The skill sets of people who work in the fossil fuel industry will be valuable as the world transitions to green energy. A just transition away from fossil fuels can involve meaningful work for everyone.

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About the Author: Greta Stacy

Greta is a high school science teacher in Doha, Qatar. She has previously taught in Ecuador and the United States. Greta teaches IB Chemistry and is passionate about giving students real-world, hands-on experiences doing science.

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