An interesting prompt. How do we teach kids to keep environment safe? The answer is WE DON’T, the onus of keeping the earth safe, for human existence is on us and not the kids. Let’s just take a deep a breathe, and connect with the environment, ever thought of it? Turn the television off, the air coolers and air conditioners off no room fresheners or perfumes for the day. We have walked so far away from where we were that we are no more connected.
On one hand I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We could stand a better chance of survival if accommodate ourselves to this planet and viewed it with appreciation instead of sceptically and dictatorially.
Can man really destroy the planet? Maybe it is an intoxicating vanity. Just an overview of our planet. Earth is four and a half billion years old. There has been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first, then the first multicellular then the first complex creature in the sea, then on land. Finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing dying away – all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. The mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, commentary impacts, volcanic eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant violent changes colliding buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. if all the nuclear weapons of the world went off and all the plants and all animals died and earth was sizzling hot for hundred thousand years life would still survive somewhere, under the soil, frozen in the arctic circle. At the appropriate moment life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take another few billion years for life to reach the present state. And of course its manifestation would be different, the earth would survive our folly but the same cannot be said of us.
If the ozone layer was to think, and ultraviolet rays sear the earth, what then… well ultra violet rays are good for life, it is a potent energy that promotes mutation.. Change. Many forms of life thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. This ain’t the first time this has happened. Think about oxygen, very necessary for life now. But oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive gas, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, by exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life, nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the human though being hundred years is a long time, but think about it a hundred years ago we didn’t have cars airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a different world, a different life, but to the earth a hundred years is nothing for that matter neither is a million. The planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can’t imagine its slow and powerful rhythms and we haven’t got the humility to try. We have residents here for the blink of an eye if we are gone tomorrow the earth will not miss us.
What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another. Think of this, smoggy skies, insecticide grains, pines hidden with billboard signs, from to oily sea… many call this process the destruction of nature, maybe, but more than destruction it is change. Nature cannot be destroyed.
Humans will do a lot of damage before we ultimately destroy ourselves, but life will continue without humans. New forms of intelligence will emerge long after this human experiment is over.
How do we educate remind our kids to save nature? How do we teach Ctrl+S for nature….WE DON’T TEACH THEM. children are never good at listening to their elders. But they NEVER fail to imitate them. the best thing to do for OUR survival is to kick butt and respect nature.
We could confront our creature-hood squarely, how do we propose to educate? The answer I think is implied in the root of the word education, educe which means to draw out. What needs to be drawn out is our affinity for life. That affinity needs opportunities to grow and flourish, it needs to be validated, it needs to instructed and disciplined, and it needs to be harnessed to the goal of building humane and sustainable societies. This in turn would lead to a kind of awakening of possibilities and potentials that lie dormant and unused in the industrial- utilitarian mind. Therefore the task of education as Dave Foreman stated, is to help us open souls to love this glorious luxuriant animated planet.
We could stop fighting over who we believed created the planet, and work against destroying it, and this readiness to assume the guilt for the threat to our environment is deceptively reassuring. We like to be guilty since, if we are guilty it all depends on us. we pull the strings of the catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives. What is really hard for us to accept particularly those influenced by the west is that we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence., we engage in frantic, obsessive activities. We recycle old paper, we buy organic food, we install long-lasting light bulbs – whatever – just to assure ourselves that we are doing something. We make individual contributions like the cricket maniacs who support their team in front of a TV screen at home, shouting and jumping from his seat in the belief that he can somehow influence the outcome of the game.
At the end of it all we need to have the humbleness to accept that nature is constantly mutating and evolving. We are sorry outcomes of the same.
PS; — after playing the devil’s advocate and telling you to stop being so arrogant about mastery over nature, the best way to ensure our environment remains friendly to us, is by getting proactive in the maintenance phase. Will give you the link tomorrow.