When my 4-year-old daughter discovered the documentary series Blue Planet II , thanks to a relative who shares her love of marine life, I was thrilled that she wanted to watch it instead of animated standbys like The Octonauts and Llama Llama. I counted it as a parenting victory: My preschooler liked science and exploration and David Attenborough’s voice. When things got real and one sea creature ruthlessly ate another, I explained that it was an example of the food chain. Her grimace turned into a look of satisfaction — the kind that comes with feeling like you understand the world a little better. Then we arrived at the episode about coral reefs dying off en masse because of climate change . My daughter had a lot of questions, and I teared up looking at footage of the desiccated reefs, thinking about what those images meant for her future. Suddenly I regretted letting Blue Planet II into our lives so easily. Though my husband and I spent a lot of time outdoors, encouraging our daughter’s interest in science, nature, and conservation, we never explicitly discussed climate change before this. We avoided the topic, I think, because of her young […]

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