Source: A United Tribes Technical College production for NASA's Where Words Touch the Earth.
In this video segment adapted from United Tribes Technical College, listen as Native Americans share their concerns about climate change. See photographs from the past and hear one woman describe how tribal people were the first environmentalists. In addition, learn how people are noticing that they are losing sacred plants and are concerned for the future. Finally, hear about the importance of education to help future generations live in harmony with Mother Earth.
Seven-generation sustainability is a view of human interaction with the environment that considers the impacts of today's decisions and actions for seven generations into the future. It is a belief that people are responsible for preserving Earth's natural resources so that hundreds of years from now, the planet will still be able to provide for its inhabitants. Derived from the Native American way of living harmoniously with the environment, the seven-generation concept guides people to live sustainably.
Climate change is already impacting ecosystems, and it is imperative that everybody takes responsibility for the problem. Humans have the power to affect climate—in fact, there is vast evidence that humans are at the root of the problem of climate change. The burning of fossil fuels for transportation and power has caused increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has led to global warming and climate change. Because humans are contributing to the problem of climate change, it only makes sense that humans can be the source of the solution as well.
The key to slowing climate change is reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that we emit into the atmosphere. Individuals can take action to minimize their own energy consumption, but that alone will not be enough to stop climate change. To significantly slow the rate of climate change, major efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be made at the industry and government levels. For example, states and local governments have developed strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by putting in place laws and regulations regarding emissions as well as offering tax incentives for energy efficiency. On an even larger scale, nations can make commitments to reduce emissions; for example, the Kyoto Protocol, which entered into force in 2005, is an international treaty under which participating countries agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to below levels emitted in 1990.
However, everybody can help by reducing personal energy consumption. For example, you could make your home more energy efficient by improving insulation and conserving the amount of energy used for heating and air conditioning; updating appliances to those that use less energy, such as Energy Star–qualified products; and using compact fluorescent lightbulbs instead of traditional lightbulbs. Turning off lights and unplugging devices (such as phone chargers and computers) can also make a big impact in energy savings. Recycling also helps reduce emissions because recycled products take less energy to manufacture than products that use new materials. In addition, transportation is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions; you can make a big difference by walking or biking instead of driving; carpools and public transportation are also good options. Eating fresh, locally grown foods can also help reduce energy consumption because the foods don't need to be processed or transported from far away.
If everybody makes a small effort to conserve energy in their daily lives, the effects can really add up. Although it may feel like you are just one person and can't make that much of a difference, each person's effort contributes to the greater good, and the cumulative effect of everybody's actions is immense. In addition, your behavior can inspire others to also take action to protect the environment.
If each person is willing to do just a little to protect the environment, the planet will be in better shape for the seventh generation.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.