Friday, December 19, 2008

Education for a Green Economy

Here's an exciting piece co-authored by many of our colleagues working in the education for sustainability movement. The shift in language is I think a good one, "green economy" probably makes a lot more intuitive sense to a lot of people than does "sustainability" ... a green economy of course is not just about the environment - the trees and owls - but about people meeting their needs. Some might say "green/blue" to make that more explicit - but the social and environmental aspects of all of this are so interrelated that they are indeed one in the same.

Education is too often overlooked in these matters, yet it is vitally important - it shapes our thought and patterns of thought that create our unsustainable systems (and then say "we didn't do it, there's nothing we can do about it"). This is key both for the immediate-term green jobs training, particularly in our community colleges, but also in all disciplines and throughout our education systems to breakout of these thought-traps and create sustainable systems - economic, infrastructure, social, energy, engineering, building, health, transportation, monetary - all kinds of systems.

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OPINION: Letter to the New Education Secretary

by Worldwatch Institute on December 19, 2008

Worldwatch is pleased to publish this open letter from prominent education and environment leaders urging the newly nominated U.S. education secretary, Arne Duncan, to consider the importance of education in carrying out President-elect Barack Obama's environmental agenda.

Dear Mr. Duncan:

Congratulations on your nomination. As you jump into the daunting challenge of bolstering our sagging education system, you have a powerful opportunity presented by the need to create a carbon-free economy.

President-elect Obama has astutely perceived the linkages between climate change, economic stimulus, energy security, and job training by declaring that the transition to a green economy is his "top priority." The missing link in this system is the critical role that education can play in quickly making the green economy a reality. By working with him to include a major role for education in his green economy plans, you'll help advance his agenda - and yours.

Transforming our nation's economic, energy, and environmental systems to move toward a green economy will require a level of expertise, innovation, and cooperative effort unseen since the 1940s to meet the challenges involved... Read the rest at the Worldwatch site.

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