Let varsities teach climate

global warming, rising temperatures, climate change

It is now acceptable to qualify climate change as a global problem with no physical boundaries.

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It is now acceptable to qualify climate change as a global problem with no physical boundaries. Although the issue is political across the world, the fact remains that Kenya’s climate is changing and we need to document the events as they unfold. 

Over the past decade, the country has witnessed frequent floods, more prolonged droughts and desert locust attacks. Documentation of these events requires the involvement of both scientists and non-scientist through ‘citizen science’ initiatives.

To prepare for the future, we need accurate information about the impact of climate change on the 47 counties. And there are many ways to collect and share information. For instance, county governments can start by listening to local communities on irregular patterns of rainfall, flooding, pests and migrations of birds. Or they can collaborate with universities within their jurisdiction to tackle the climate crisis. Then, we shall see the influence that universities have on society and the environment.

Institutions of higher learning have a significant role to play in educating various groups—including environmentalists, climatologists, community organizers, corporate managers, scientists, policymakers and the community—about actions that can be taken to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

To achieve this, they should incorporate climate change education into their curricula. The format may be both formal and informal learning and teaching approaches that emphasise carbon neutrality, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Globally, universities have recognised their responsibility to prepare not only students but also society to contribute to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Kenyan ones should not be left behind.

Funding for climate change research, where it exists, should be increased or funds allocated for establishing research groups. This is, obviously, not easy, given the complexity and multifaceted nature of the issue, but it is a worthy cause to undertake.

Dr Manyali, PhD, is a former dean, School of Science, Kaimosi Friends University. [email protected]. @george_manyali