In my experience as secretary I've seen the impact of climate change first hand. Last year, I travelled to Alaska with a delegation of Cabinet members. We visited the remote village of Hooper Bay. Scientists have documented that more and more carbon dioxide in Alaska's oceans is affecting fishing for crab and salmon. But we heard directly from the village elders that they had noticed for years the changing water temperature—and that the changes were affecting their livelihood of fishing for salmon. We need to address these issues head on—and education must be part of the solution.
This week's sustainability summit represents the first time that the Department is taking a taking a leadership role in the work of educating the next generation of green citizens and preparing them to contribute to the workforce through green jobs. President Obama has made clean, renewable energy a priority because, as he says, it's the best way to "truly transform our economy, to protect our security, and save our planet."
Educators have a central role in this. A well educated citizen knows that we must not act in this generation in ways that endanger the next. They teach students about how the climate is changing. They explain the science behind climate change and how we can change our daily practices to help save the planet. They have a role in preparing students for jobs in the green economy.
Historically, the Department of Education hasn't been doing enough in the sustainability movement. Today, I promise you that we will be a committed partner in the national effort to build a more environmentally literate and responsible society.
You can read the entire piece at this link. What do you think of Duncan's ideas? Are incentives and money the way to go? Is it about jobs? What would you like the federal government to address on this issue?