Climate change speaker visits science classes

Spencer Carlson, Author

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Alliance for Climate Education speaker AshEl Eldridge addresses Kenyon Scott's 7th Period AP Environmental Science Class. Eldridge spoke to students about the growing threat of climate change, and what they could do to help.

Alliance for Climate Education speaker AshEl Eldridge freestyle raps to Kenyon Scott’s 7th Period AP Environmental Science Class. Eldridge spoke to students about the growing threat of climate change, and what they could do to help. Photo by Spencer Carlson.

The elaborate lifestyle of American teenagers is unsustainable, warns AshEl Eldridge, a speaker from the Alliance for Climate Education who spoke to Palo Alto High School AP Environmental Science classes on Monday.

The visit is part of ACE’s broader efforts of outreach to American high schools, efforts that reached 1.5 million students last year. Palo Alto High School students were invited to participate in the Do One Thing campaign and attend an upcoming climate rally in San Francisco.

“We’re all living pretty large,” Eldridge said. “2-Chainz and all that. We are balling out of control. The average American teenager uses 25 football fields of the Earth’s [land] resources.”

According to Eldridge, if every country’s citizens were to enjoy the American lifestyle, humankind would need five planet Earths.

“We gotta get real gangster on it [climate change],” Eldridge said. “These [skills being presented] are skills you can use in any group, in any project you’re working on to get stuff done.”

Eldridge started out his presentation by playing music, singing and dancing around the classroom. His musical introduction included funk, reggae and freestyle rapping about the importance of acting on climate conservation.

Then Eldridge began an animated presentation, which he narrated in real-time..

“Yo, we got this on lock,” Eldridge said, while portraying self-assured greenhouse gasses as “upperclassmen” giving degrees Fahrenheit,or so called “freshmen”, a hard time leaving the atmosphere.

While describing the dangers of greenhouse gasses, Eldridge asked students to remember that greenhouse gasses are also necessary for life on Earth.

“Can I get an ‘ice cold’?” he asked. “We rely on greenhouse gasses — in the right amount. Without them, life would be ice cold.”

Eldridge encouraged students to see themselves as leaders and artists of the future.

“We’re all artists in the sense that we’re all co-creating our lives together,” Eldridge said. “As artists, we have the power to create stuff. We always say, “Aw… he’s an artist, that’s why he ran in the street buck naked and stuff’ but we could have done that same thing too. We have to make the decision. … Look at yourself as a leader of how you can change civilization. We are at a nexus point. A lot is being decided right here, right now.”

The presentation ended with a video montage demonstrating the effects of climate change that have already begun to take place.

“There’s always a chance that extreme weather can strike anywhere,” Eldridge said. “This is just loading the dice.”

According to its website, acespace.org, ACE is an organization dedicated to educating high school students about climate change and to motivate action against it. The multimedia assembly and the DOT presentation provided to students were the first two steps of ACE’s seven for students getting involved. Click here to see a video of an ACE presentation similar to the one given to students.