Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective from the Center for Ecoliteracy

Exploring the links between food systems and our changing climate from a systems thinking perspective.

The interactive guide for educators, students, and advocates explores how food systems and our changing climate interact, and how personal choices can make a difference.

Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective explores the links between food systems and our changing climate with an emphasis on systems thinking. A systems approach helps to illuminate how seemingly disconnected phenomena are often dynamically linked and can be understood best when viewed in a larger context. The collection of essays contains an extensive bibliography that provides resources for further investigation.

Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide uses text, video, photography, and interactive experiences to help educators, students, and advocates learn how food and climate interact and how personal choices can make a difference. Ideal for grades 6-12 and general audiences, and connected to Next Generation Science Standards and the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies themes, the guide offers activities for student research and provides extensive resources for further investigation.

Download the Guide here.

What People are saying about the guide:

“The food and wellness movement and the movement to foster awareness and understanding of climate change are among the most powerful social movements in today’s global civil society. And yet, there is hardly any connection between the two, either conceptually or organizationally, even though a thorough understanding of the multiple links between agriculture and climate change seems critical for the survival and well-being of humanity. This interactive guide promotes such understanding in a lively, multicultural way. It will be an invaluable tool for food and climate educators and change advocates, and I highly recommend it.”Fritjof Capra, PhD, Physicist, Systems Theorist, and Author

“Understanding Food and Climate Change is a much-needed resource for educators everywhere that brings the food system “home” in a lucid and informed publication. The food sector, which includes farming, silvopasture, agroforestry, grazing, food waste, and dietary choices—is one of the two largest contributors to global warming, the other being transport. As a solution, it has the potential to be the largest sector in terms of its contribution. It can not only reduce and stop emissions, but it can also bring carbon back home through regenerative land use practices.”Paul Hawken, Editor of Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

“Agriculture has a huge impact on the environment—greenhouse gases as well as pollution of air, water, and soil. The Center for Ecoliteracy’s Understanding Food and Climate Change is essential for finding out how this happens and what we can do about it.”Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, emerita, New York University

“We have an obligation to lead by example as well as give our best effort toward restoring the health of our planet for the next generations who inherit the earth. That’s why I enthusiastically support the work of the Center of Ecoliteracy, whose new suite of resources, Understanding Food and Climate Change, provides insight into how we, as stewards of our environment, young and old, can align our actions with our values.”Kat Taylor, CEO, Beneficial State Bank and Board Chair, TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation

“Teaching children how climate change impacts the food we grow and eat has never been more important. The Center for Ecoliteracy has done a wonderful job of synthesizing many critical issues into this highly usable teaching tool, and they have made it available for free! I hope Understanding Food and Climate Change will be used in classrooms across the country. A sustainable future for the planet depends upon the edible and environmental education of every child.”Alice Waters, Founder, The Edible Schoolyard Project

Additional Articles, Energy & Climate, Food & Farming

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