Climate Change & Early Learning & Development

In every crisis, children are amongst the most vulnerable. The same is true for climate change.”

– Inga Menke, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner

We are supporting children and building our systems today, for tomorrow – a tomorrow with climate conditions that will be very different than they are today.

We have more questions than answers, and think now is the time to elevate the importance of the relationship between climate change and young children’s learning and development, presently and in the future.

We’re having the discussion about the impact of climate change on young children—emotional, cognitive, physical—and learning about what is being done—and figuring out what else we can do—to mitigate this impact, in Vermont and beyond it’s borders.


Climate Change and
Early Learning & Development

Understand, Reflect, & Take Action

What we know about climate change, what is being done about it, and how climate change impacts the learning and development of young children.


Megan Camp

Shelburne Farms

Bill McKibben

Middlebury College

Mary Powell

Former CEO, Green Mountain Power

Dr. Paul Rosenau

UVM Medical Center

Sarah Sciortino

Organize UVM

Thank you for joining our webinar on Climate Change and Early Learning & Development

This was just the beginning of what we hope can be a series of conversations and activities related to climate change and early learning and development.

We appreciate the time you dedicated to watching Tuesday’s conversation with Mary, Bill, Paul, Megan and Sarah. We chose to do a follow up survey instead of having a chat option to monitor during the webinar.

Thank you,
Mark Sustic

Panel Discussion

Children in Nature

Discussing the reciprocal relationship between children and the natural world.

“Recently I had the opportunity to talk with Mary Zentara and Jeanne Goldhaber about the connections for the early childhood community and the connection with climate change education. Here is a clip from our conversation with more to come. Enjoy the listen and I hope you also get to find space to have these important conversations.”  – Jed Norris


Jed Norris

Mary Zentara

Jeanne Goldhaber

Resource Library

“Climate Change and Early Learning & Development: Understand, Reflect, & Take Action” featuring Megan Camp, Bill McKibben, Mary Powell, Dr. Paul Rosenau, and Sarah Sciortino
The Dalai Lama offers a take on climate change: ‘Promote vegetarianism’
November 11, 2020 – NPR

Climate disruption is now locked in. The next moves will be crucial
September 22, 2020 – The New York Times

Biden plan: ‘Pope Francis directed the global community to raise awareness about growing climate change crisis’
November 9, 2020 – CNSNews

Organizations fighting climate change: A quick guide
October 9, 2018 – Medium

Children change their parents’ minds about climate change
May 6, 2019 – Scientific American

Federal Appeals Court dismisses young people’s climate lawsuit
January 23, 2020 – 60 Minutes

Three scenarios for the future of climate change
October 5, 2020 – The New Yorker

Civilization’s last chance
May 11, 2008 – Los Angeles Times

9 things you can do about climate change
January 23, 2017 – Forbes

The four most effective things you can do about climate change, according to science
July 13, 2017 – Forbes

AG calls Global Warming Solutions Act constitutional; Scott admin still has reservations
December 3, 2020 –

Pope Francis: The pandemic has ‘given us a chance to develop new ways of living’
September 1, 2020 – America

How to protect children from wildfire smoke
September 18, 2020 – The New York Times

A tale of two crises: COVID-19 and climate change
July 31, 2020 – DeseretNews

Humans waging ‘suicidal war’ on nature: UN chief Antonio Guterres
December 2, 2020 – BBC

Scientists warn worse pandemics are on the way if we don’t protect nature
May 4, 2020 – World Economic Forum

Court of Appeals considers whether U.S. climate policy violates rights of young people (video replay)
June 4, 2019 – KQED

Did Trump scare Americans into caring about climate change?
November 11, 2020 – Grist

Why I joined the Sunrise Movement
March 8, 2019 – Medium

The Complete Guide to Divestment: Hitting the big banks and fossil fuel companies where it hurts
July 2, 2019 – Medium

Global climate change and children’s health
Adhoot, S., Pacheco, S. E., & The Council on Environmental Health (2015). Pediatrics, 136(5), e1468-e1484.

A natural choice: Learning outdoors
Hansel, L. (2018). Young Children, 73(5).

Our proud heritage. Take it outside: A history of nature-based education
Prochner, L. (2021). Young Children, 76(3).

Wildfire smoke exposure under climate change: impact on respiratory health of affected communities
Reid, C. E. & Maestas, M. M. (2019). Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, 25(2), 179-187.

Planting the seeds for nature-based learning: Impacts of a farm- and nature-based early childhood education program
Rymanowicz, K., Hetherington, C., & Larm, B. (2020). International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education, 8(1), 44-63.

Wild at Heart, by Alice Outwater

“…history shows we should not despair. We have solved many environmental problems in the past. We saved the whales, healed the ozone hole, and cleaned up our air and water. We stopped killing everything. When you see how far we’ve come, it seems like dealing with global warming is just the next step.”

Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have
Review by Bill McKibben: To fight global warming, think more about systems than about what you consume – The New York Times

What we’ve learned about climate change in the last 30 years
Bill McKibben | November 13, 2019

Talk to kids about global warming
Bill McKibben/PlayfulPlanet | April 4, 2012

Climate change 101 with Bill Nye
National Geographic | December 2, 2015

Thinking about climate change in the wake of coronavirus
Slate | April 21, 2020

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