Our schools are doing way too much to save the planet.
At first glance this seems a ridiculous thing to say- how could one possibly do too much? The UN has set massive sustainability goals for 2030. Recent articles have outlined the amount of work that will need to be done in order to meet the 2 percent goal for global emissions agreed to by most countries on Earth. It is a staggering goal that no nation is yet set to meet. The immediate reaction to this knowledge is cognitive dissonance- meeting these goals is currently impossible, yet facing the prospects of not getting it done is equally impossible. We react by doing what we can while exclaiming in a panic, ‘There is so much to do! We must do something!’ For a moment, I would like to focus on the verb, ‘doing’.
In the schools around the area I live I see many things that schools are doing to save the planet; cleaning up beaches, designing solar lights, reducing food and paper waste, planting gardens and creating art installations from garbage. How can that be bad? It is certainly positive and well-meaning. It is involved with the environment and building competencies creating solutions. It is absolutely not bad to be doing these things, yet I would like to emphasize that by putting ‘doing’ as the focal point of our efforts to work toward environmental wholeness, we are in fact continuing with ‘business as usual’ in terms of how we humans have interacted with the planet in the last many hundred years.
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