Environmental Education Guide
(9 April, 2005, Antioch New England Graduate School, NH, USA)
A group of master’s students from Antioch New England Graduate School?s Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program recently visited Louisiana as part of a field studies trip. The class met with elected officials, petrochemical industry executives, union leaders, scientists, EPA officials, environmental activists, and members of polluted communities. They also unexpectedly encountered off-duty police and sheriff?s department officers and corporate security officials who detained them because they took photos of industrial facilities from public roadways and sidewalks. Following the group’s visit, the group’s community liaison officer, Willie Fontenot, from the Louisiana Attorney-General’s Department, was asked to take early retirement or face a hearing and be fired. Public action to support Fontenot is underway.
(Dan Vergano, 13 December, 2004, USA Today)
Another symptom of humans’ unsustainable lifestyle is that bird species are struggling to adapt to the pace of change. New estimates indicate that about 10% of all bird species are likely to be extinct by 2100. The most direct causes are habitat loss, hunting and climate change. What can be done? Expand and connect up natural habitats and replace hunting with ecotourism are some practical suggestions.
(Jonathan Fowler, 2004, Associated Press)
Humans seem to be fatally slow on the sustainability uptake. Even though technology is available to enable the world’s population to live within the capacity of one planet, our parasitic greed is proving more attractive. The World Wildlife Foundation’s annual Living Planet Report (2004) has revealed the grim news that human beings are now collectively outstripping the planet of its natural resources faster than it is being replenished by a whopping 20%. "Ecological footprint" calculations further reveal that an average North American’s consumption is double that of an average European, and seven times the average per capita consumption by an Asian or African. Of note also is the spiraling consumption in China and India which provide habitat to over a third of the 6.1 billion humans.
(Steve Scauzillo, Pasadena Star News, 3 December, 2004)
Nature groups pour millions into buildings that sit alongside building-less nature preserves. Too often, these so-called nature centers are nothing more than banal buildings that advertise politicians’ names and are stuffed with useless paraphernalia. Nature centers must be alluring, hands on, interesting. Or they shouldn’t be built at all.
(MountEverest.net, 17 November, 2004)
Global warming is affecting our mountains, the polar areas and the oceans. Only a few decades from now we’ll be paddling to the North Pole and scaling green Seven Summits. Research shows that by 2020, the snows of Kilimanjaro may exist only in photographs, and by 2050, the Arctic Sea may be completely ice-free during summertime.
(British Ecological Society, 3 November, 2004)
The British Ecological Society is warning that without making outdoor education a statutory part of every child?s schooling, the UK government risks undermining its ability to tackle important environmental issues such as climate change.
(James Neill, 2004, 1st ed. Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
This 12-page booklet is designed an inspirational and practical primer for simple environmental activities which can be applied in many settings and which focus on raising ecological and environmental awareness and developing eco-sustainable behavior.
(New Zealand Council for Educational Research and Waikato University, 2004)
This research, presented in four volumes, looked at current practice in environmental education in New Zealand schools using a range of methods ? a literature review of national and international practice [vol. 2], a national survey of schools [vol. 3], and eight case studies looking at schools where environmental education is a strong focus [vol. 4]. Vol. 1 provides the key findings from each of the research components. It’s clear from the report that for environmental education to provide immediate and lasting benefits, there needs to be a whole-school commitment to planning and integration, rather than relying on one or two enthusiastic teachers to drive environmental change.