Independence, Education, and Environment – How do we get where we want to go?

Happy Independence Day, America!

fireworksphoto credit: Photo by Timothy K. Hamilton

I could have written something about how to make your Fourth of July celebration eco-friendly, although I still hope you keep your eco-conscious common sense planning the day’s festivities, but instead I have been thinking about a letter to the editor in National Geographic that I read this morning discussing I = PAT.

I = PAT is the formula developed in the 1970s to describe the impact of human activity on the environment. Human Impact (I) on the environment equals the product of P= Population, A= Affluence, T= Technology and describes the multiplicative contribution of each factor.

However, the question is if the human impact on our natural world is mitigated by education?

We know that education has great benefits for the individual and society, but does it act as a divisor to mitigate the negative impact of human behavior on our environment? What about on our fellow human beings?

I am not sure we can ever truly be free if we live with violence against people, violence against our environment. I do believe in “one day” and I do believe that education is one way to get there. I hope that we can use our Independence Day as a catalyst to remember what kind of world we want for our children. The hard part will be figuring out how to get it for them and what our roles as individuals will be in ensuring it will manifest as we envision it.

I don’t have the answer, but I would love to hear what your opinion might be. What do you believe your role will be in education as a means to ensure greater freedom for our children – in terms of lessening our impact on the environment?

“All my life I been waitin’ for
I been prayin’ for, for the people to say
That we don’t want to fight no more
They’ll be no more wars
And our children will play, one day

One day, one day, one day
One day, one day, one day

One day this all will change
Treat people the same
Stop with the violence down with the hate
One day we’ll all be free and proud
To be under the same sun
Singing songs of freedom like

One day, one day, oh
One day, one day”

One Day performed by Matisyahu


Independence, Education, and Environment – How do we get where we want to go? — 5 Comments

  1. Great post.

    I think education is freedom. Our little children are like sponges and it is up to us society as whole to educate them the right way to give them their freedom.

    • I agree. I was just having a conversation last night about the importance of a quality public education for all children and why that is to the benefit of our whole society. Education is freedom.

    • Thanks for the stumble! Education can and should indeed start in the home and it is so valuable when it it does. I look at what you are able to do with your little one and see how wonderful it is to grow up with access to so much information about the world and how to make it better.

      Then I wonder what a societal role we have when that type of home has not been made available to a child?

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