Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dumbing Kids to Green: Getting an Indoctrination

“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.” (Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992)
“We must make this place an insecure and inhospitable place for Capitalists and their projects – we must reclaim the roads and plowed lands, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settled land.” (Dave Foreman, Earth First)

“Generally, more highly educated people, who have higher incomes, consume more resources than poorly educated people, who tend to have lower incomes. In this case, more education increases the threat to sustainability.”
Unfortunately, the most educated nations leave the deepest ecological footprints, 
meaning they have the highest per-capita rates of consumption. This consumption drives 
resource extraction and manufacturing around the world.

Reorienting education also requires 
teaching and learning knowledge, skills, perspectives, and values that will guide and 
motivate people to pursue sustainable livelihoods, to participate in a democratic society, and 

to live in a sustainable manner.
(the above quotes are from UNESCO's Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit)

Historically, the Department of Education hasn't been doing enough in the sustainability movement. Today, I promise you that we will be a committed partner in the national effort to build a more environmentally literate and responsible society.
Several agencies across the federal government already have made important contributions linking education and sustainability.

We at the Education Department are energized about joining these leaders in their commitment to preparing today's students to participate in the green economy, and to be well-educated about the science of sustainability. We must advance the sustainability movement through education."

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