Paul Douglas, who after decades of forecasting, now seeks to educate the next generation about what will be their greatest challenge: climate change.
MINNEAPOLIS — As day broke Tuesday, you might have felt like the day was, well, broken.
We did, so Breaking the News presenter Jana Shortal called longtime KARE 11 weatherman Paul Douglas.
“Jana, we’re supposed to win our sources in Minnesota,” Douglas said.
It’s a way of saying we’re in spring training.
“A year ago it was 85 [degrees] and I’m just happy and proud to live in a place where one year it can be 85, and the next year it can be 35. It makes life interesting, all of its variety,” Douglas said.
This Spice of Life way of thinking comes from a man who, after decades of forecasting, now seeks to educate the next generation about what will be their greatest challenge: climate change.
To do this, Douglas wrote a book for young children titled “A Kids’ Guide to Saving the Planet: It’s Not Hopeless and We’re Not Helpless.”
“We’re called to be stewards, and that’s Stewardship 101,” Douglas said. “I wanted to write a book for my grandson, for your child – for viewers watching over their children and grandchildren – that is hopeful, optimistic, life-affirming.”
In words and illustrations, Paul has written an introduction for children ages 8-13 in a way they can understand and act on.
“It’s about climate change, but also about air pollution, water pollution, plastic pollution and young people who are really leading the way to a cleaner and more sustainable future,” said he declared.
But are the kids too young to dive into something so big? Paul doesn’t think so.
“They’re already stepping up – inventing new things, new ways of seeing the world, recycling clothes…it’s a long list, so I wanted the kids to be hopeful and optimistic that they’re going to figure this out, things will get better,” Douglas said. “There’s a lot of climate anxiety out there, and my goal was to try to address it head-on and focus as much on the solutions as on the science itself.”
Paul sometimes describes himself as a “naïve optimist”, but not when it comes to the next generation. He really believes they have this.
“I just wanted to encourage our children and our grandchildren not to be afraid. Start young, you don’t have to wait until you are an adult. The adults have done a good job of ruining everything,” Douglas said. , adding: “I think young people have a chance to make things better – a blank sheet of paper. Is there a smarter way forward?”
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