Functional illiteracy is being able to decode (“read”) words without understanding their meaning or implications. This parallels climate change with so many intelligent people unable to clearly see the immensity of the climate crisis and the drastic actions needed soon to prevent the worst climate outcomes.
Climate Change Literacy is simpler than language literacy: it doesn’t require conjugating verbs, different tenses, or other complicated skills. But it does go against the grain of all we have been conditioned to believe (“Don’t rock the boat!” “The people in charge have things under control.” ”If it were as bad as that, the media would be telling us about it.”)
We must feel in our bones the elements of Climate Change Literacy. We have to embrace those elements so fully that we’ll move out of the comfort of our day-to-day routine and not let OPO (other people’s opinions) keep us from acting to rescue the future.
Bottom-line: We will not be successful combatting the climate crisis unless masses of people become Climate Change Literate, the sine qua non of being able to proudly say to our children and grandchildren, “THIS! is what we did.”