On Wednesday, 3.14.18 Credo High School Governing Board passed the groundbreaking "Commitment to Climate Change Action Resolution"
This may be the strongest climate change action resolution by any school board in all of human history!
5 important reasons:
#1. This is the first time (to my knowledge) that any school board has described climate change as an "generational justice and human rights issue". Previous resolutions have hinted at that ("children's issue" and "human issue") but the CREDO resolution is the first to state it outright. As more schools pass these resolutions, not only is the threshold for future schools lower, but the language can grow bolder.
We are introducing climate common sense into the commons; of course, climate change is an generational justice and human rights issue. Embracing this self-evident perspective and speaking freely about it in places of power and public discourse will allow us as a society to see it and then reflect on it. We can then decide that we don't want to be the people/nation to transfer this enormous burden to our own children and grandchildren. I think most Americans have not yet considered the difficult the generational justice implications of climate change because institutional and social silence and individual perceptual filters prevent them from seeing it. (See Jane Hirshfield's poem Global Warming for a poetic analogy of this---we are the natives unable to even see the "global warming moral crisis ship".) However, when schools like CREDO redraw the boundaries of mainstream public discourse, so that we can speak clearly and openly about the deep moral and spiritual crisis of our current national climate stance, they help shift paradigms in a way that lays the groundwork for rational climate policies.
Paradigms, like memes, are mostly a social phenomena. Resolutions and statements at school board meetings actually do help change change paradigms. Most Americans would happily and enthusiastically choose climate action rather than turning their backs on future generations. They just haven't yet been able to "see" this choice and their role in it. Credo has highlighted this for us. Thank you CREDO board for having the heart to speak clearly, compassionately, and respectfully in a politically powerful and non-partisan way about this very important topic. You remind us that we do not have to be the people to place this burden on our future generations.
#2. This is the first school board resolution passed after a student council formally requested that their board pass a resolution. The youth led on this one, not just in speaking but in writing. Their initial resolution can move up the scales.
#3.This is the first resolution to "Resolve" that they "call on Congress to take swift and effective action". Other resolutions hint at it (all elected leaders should act) but this is more direct and powerful. Up until now, Congress has failed us all, but especially our children on this issue. CREDO board is providing constructive coaching, being assertive about what they specifically want Congress to do.
#4. Carbon pricing mention.
#5. Follow-up committee to recommend on-going action.
Thanks again Credo!
Who is next?
CREDO High School Governing Board Public Charter School Board (March, 2018) Rohnert Park, CA
Kai Guthrie is a ninth grade student at Credo High in Rohnert Park, a Citizens' Climate Lobby volunteer, and one of the founders of Schools for Climate Action campaign.