With that in mind, this month sees the publication of an amazing array of books on a wide range of environmental issues, covering everything from climate change to burning rainforests to protecting our water.
The classical university was based on the unity of research and teaching; the modern university has been based on the unity of research, teaching, and practical application. I believe that the current historical moment, with one civilization ending and dying, and another being born, invites us to reconceive the 21st-century university as a unity of research, teaching, and the praxis of transforming society and self.
Education for social and ecological literacy will be an important catalyst in the process of creating a culture of sustainability. The challenges of climate change, approaching peak oil, and non-renewable resource depletion are creating the need for an education that empowers citizens through knowledge and skills which enable them to actively participate in the design and creation of sustainable communities and bioregions.
We may be meeting our schools’ curriculum targets, but in many cases we are still missing the larger aims of environmental awareness, our essential inter-connectedness and inter-being with the planet we live on, and thus many teachers, and their students, are not acting out of deep ecological understanding or deep ecological commitment.
Children at Cedarsong Nature School spend their first school years – rain, shine, and snow – in five acres of Washington State forest. For four hours a day, a group of preschool children and their teachers in Washington State head into a forest. Rain, snow, or shine, the children are free to run, play, climb, explore, sit quietly, or play musical instruments. The teachers are there to support children’s natural curiosities and exploration.
I believe that whatever you consume, whether it’s food or music, you should do it consciously.
On Tuesday, April 16, the Worldwatch Institute held its seventeenth annual State of the World Symposium to launch its latest book, State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? As contributors to the book, Pat Murphy and Faith Morgan were invited to attend the event, where Pat spoke on one of several panels. The complex topic of sustainability was addressed along with the need to measure it in order to prepare for the currently unsustainable future toward which we are making quick strides. The symposium was held in Washington, but an online live stream of the panels was offered for those of us who could not make it to D.C.