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Changing the Climate in Our Schools

Maybe you've heard. We are facing a climate crisis that threatens life on our planet. Climate scientists are unequivocal: We are changing the world in deep, measurable, dangerous ways -- and the pace of this change will accelerate dramatically in the decades to come.

Then again, if you've been a middle school or high school student recently, you may not know this.

That's because the gap between our climate emergency and the attention paid to climate change in the school curriculum is immense. Individual teachers around the country are doing outstanding work, but the educational establishment is not. Look at our textbooks. The widely used Pearson/Prentice Hall text, Physical Science: Concepts in Action, waits until page 782 to tell high school students about climate change, but then only in four oh-by-the-way paragraphs. A photo of a bustling city includes the caption: "Carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants, and other sources may contribute to global warming." Or they may not, the book seems to suggest.

IAT's Coordinated Science: Physical, Earth and Space Science devotes several pages late in the book to climate change, and concludes with this doubt-soaked passage:

Some people take the position that the increase in carbon dioxide should be reversed. They believe this is necessary even though the size of the contribution to global warming is not certain. It is their belief that the consequences would be very difficult to handle. Other people take a different position. They consider that it would be unwise to disrupt the world's present economy. They consider the future danger to be questionable. The big problem is that no one is certain that rapid global warming will take place. If it does, it may be too late to do anything about it!

(More) Original story here.

by Bill Bigelow and Bill McKibben, Published on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 by Common Dreams

Online Community Building

An Interview With Dr. Kareem
Today at Socialnomics, I am pleased to share some incredible wisdom from a friend and true “Digital Leader”, Dr. Kareem Samhouri. Dr. Kareem is one of the nation’s premier fitness and nutrition experts, and has built a phenomenally successful internet community around his vision. Whether you want to lose stubborn fat, or build a dynamic online community, Dr. Kareem’s words are applicable for us all.

1. Looking back, what thing do you think has led to your success more than anything else?Perseverance, professionalism, and personality. Establishing yourself as someone who is both:
a) Permanent in your industry
b) Unique in someone’s mind

Now, think hard about what you want to represent before you jump into a decision for either “a” or “b”.

Here’s what I decided for each:
Permanency in my industry: I showed up to all industry events possible for 18 months straight. This makes me the “common denominator” in people’s minds. Low and behold, other successful entrepreneurs were doing the same thing. As it turns out, this means you get to have a lot of fun meeting great people, learn amazing things, and remain cutting-edge in your industry. It’s a win.

Also noteworthy, my education proves that I’m permanent. By studying to be a licensed professional, I’ve shown that I’m committed to this field, as a career. There are other ways, but this is my way.

(More) Original story here.

By Ryan Bethea

Ivan Illich

Writing on the Web
Ivan Illich became well known in 1970, when he published Deschooling Society which argued that the top-down management of schools makes students powerless - and that the same top-down management is typical of the modern, technological economy that prevents people from learning. Tools for Conviviality made the same criticism of technology generally. Along with Energy and Equity, this book made Ivan Illich one of the most important theorists of the radical ecology movement of the 1970s.

Illich has the following works on the web:

(More) Original story here.

Know Your Logical Fallacies

Ever found yourself reacting with disbelief – rage, even – to any kind of public debate where there are massive holes in the logic of the arguments?

Even more maddening is when these holes are not pointed out by anyone who is moderating, or others participating, and the debate proceeds based on a flawed basis.

The field of sustainability is no exception – watched a debate on climate change or the carbon tax lately? If we could improve the quality of debate on sustainability issues, and public issues in general, we could cut out all the superfluous, time-wasting diversions faulty logic enables, and get to the core of what we need to resolve.

In previous posts I’ve discussed how logic and rational appeal won’t necessarily change someone’s views on an issue – but where logic is used, it’s important to be able to spot when someone is using a dodgy basis for making a point, and be able to call them out on it.

It’s also crucial that you become aware of any fallacies you yourself may commit, so you can purge them from your communication repertoire!

But how do would-be fallacy-spotters, with little training in rhetoric and reasoning, know what to look for?

Luckily, Jesse Richardson, Andy Smith and Som Meaden have created thou shalt not commit logical fallacies, a clever, well designed and useful site that has condensed the wisdom of Plato, Socrates, Aristotle (and others) into a bite-size form, using easy to understand language.

(more) Original story here.

April 20, 2012

Shifting to Net Work

Time UseOur first Net Work Literacy session ends this week. There were several reasons why Jane Hart and I decided to offer this two-week online programe. The idea first came to me as I realized how many of my clients and colleagues were not as connected as they could be, too often wasting their time on routine things and not building networks that could help them get work done.

I’ve also noticed that people in their mid to late job careers are woefully unprepared to adapt to a post-job world, where work is simultaneously connected, contractual, part-time, global and local. Once the job is gone, many also lose their professional networks. The Net Work Literacy programme aims at getting people to think in terms of networks, with a focus on taking control of their professional development.

(more) Read the source article.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012 by Harold Jarche

Get Solutionary Ideas with Spring of Sustainability Summit

As a humane educator and activist, I’m always looking for ideas and resources to increase my knowledge about humane education issues and inspire and improve my activism -- and it’s even better when those opportunities are free!

I just found out about the Spring of Sustainability Summit, which provides a season (March 26-June 22) of live and virtual events offering "insights and tools to help you co-create a thriving and sustainable world."

In addition to a smattering of live events, you can join in on teleseminars featuring dozens of sustainability changemakers talking about problems and solutions related to topics such as green business, green lifestyles, activism, and global stewardship.

Shift Network, 3 March, 2012

Denying what we know.

We are trapped by our indoctrination. Even when our own primary experience tells us that something we "know" is wrong or faulty in some way, we still cling to the old idea. Often we are frightened to explore the new idea because if it is true, many of the other things we believe might also be challengeable.

For myself one of the most scary times was when I first stopped calling myself a Christian. For many years I dreaded that someone might directly ask me about my beliefs. For me at least it’s true that once you’ve dismantled a huge believe system life that. Something I was once entirely committed to. It’s easier to look other challenges squarely in the face. Like the idea of progress for instance.

Social business drives workforce development

www link Posted on Monday, 26 March 2012 by Harold Jarche

Earlier, in Bridging the Gap; Working Smarter, I explained how loose external networks are necessary to have access to diverse opinions, while work teams need to share complex knowledge and therefore have to build strong, collaborative relationships.

Communities of practice are the bridges between the work being done and diverse social networks, fostering cooperation without hierarchical structure.

www linkMore Here;