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How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change — & Why You Have To

"There’s no doubt about it: We’re in the midst of an environmental emergency. Human-caused climate change has reached a crisis point. Our summers and winters keep getting warmer, average wildlife populations have dropped by 60 percent in just over 40 years, and we’re losing entire islands and capital cities (farewell, Jakarta) as sea levels continue their rapid rise.

The message from the United Nations is clear: We need to keep the global temperature rise in this century to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — ideally, to 1.5 degrees Celsius — to avoid “severe, widespread and irreversible” damage. But if we carry on as we are, we’re likely to pass that crucial cutoff point sometime between 2030 and 2052. That’s only 11 years away. My eldest child will be 22, barely an adult, and my youngest won’t even be a teenager yet.

If you’re not scared yet, you should be. And our kids are scared, too; just ask them. We did — chatting with the teens of our SheKnows Hatch program, whom we’ve followed for five years to gain their perspectives on current issues and what it’s like to come of age in this decade. Their verdict?"

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